AN: Nope you're not seeing things it is an actual update. We know we suck on the update front, and we are very appreciative of all of you out there that continue to stick with us and prompt us for updates.

Besides general laziness/short attention span, one of the hurdles we were having was figuring out some of the finer details on one of the more crucial plot points (yeah we know we should have nailed it down before starting but as the fic evolved it kinda outgrew the early outline) but that has now been resolved so it should hopefully smooth(er) sailing from here on out.

This chapter is largely due to Captain A, who turned into the little fanfic writer that could and just kept churning on this chapter. I wish I could say I helped but...not so much.

Hope you enjoy the update.

Captain B(een Slacking)


Chapter 12

After they each took a quick turn in the bathroom, the pair finally settled into bed, lying awkwardly next to each other. Amy had taken up position in the middle of the California king, while Lucy had remained firmly attached to the edge; a safe, respectable distance between her and the enticing blonde. The only sound that could be heard was the occasional heavy sigh that Lucy would emit and the constant shuffling of the sheets as she moved around trying to get comfortable.

"Are you always this restless," Amy asked quietly, her voice breaking the uneasy silence that had blanketed the room when she felt the bed move again from Lucy trying to find a suitable position.

Lucy sighed and then chuckled softly. "No, but it kind of puts me on edge when I have a gorgeous woman in my bed that I'm not allowed to touch."

"I never said you couldn't touch me," Amy whispered, her hand reaching out for contact with her suddenly stiff as a board bedmate. "Now get over here," she instructed, finding Lucy's hand and tugging at it until Lucy finally relented and turned towards her and moved to the middle of the bed.

"You never said it, but I'm afraid I won't be responsible for my actions if I do," the brunette answered honestly, knowing that if she was allowed to touch the blonde intimately in any way, she would want to take things further.

Lucy felt Amy release the hold on her hand and slowly trail it up and down the bare flesh of her arm. It made her shudder and caused goose bumps to form under the warm hand that was softly caressing her. Lucy felt the movement in the bed as Amy shuffled even closer, the blonde's hand skimming over her tense shoulder and trailing a slow path up to caress her cheek. Amy was so close now that Lucy could feel the heat of her warm body and breath mingling with her own.

"How about you let me take responsibility for your actions and you can concentrate on getting comfortable with me being in your bed," Amy whispered against Lucy's lips before moving in to capture them in a brief, reassuring kiss while her hand slipped down and around to the back of Lucy's neck and massaged it tenderly.

Lucy's eyes slipped closed and she took a couple of deep breaths in an attempt to slow down her rapidly beating heart, but with the blonde so close and caressing her, she knew it was futile. The darkness that surrounded them didn't allow for sight, but what eyes couldn't see, hands could feel and Lucy tentatively reached out and ran a hand along Amy's side causing the fabric of the borrowed shirt to rise slightly.

Never one to not take advantage of an advantageous situation, Lucy's hand found its way to Amy's flesh and she lightly trailed her fingers along the smooth skin until the flat of her palm rested against Amy's back. She took in another deep breath and let out an involuntary moan from Amy's gentle touch.

"Is that your way of saying you want to be in my bed more often?" the brunette whispered as her fingertips lightly kneaded into soft skin.

"As often as you'll let me be," Amy replied instantly as she continued to caress Lucy's slender neck.

Lucy bit back the urge to tell the blonde that she should just go ahead and move in. She could use the constant companionship and the advantage of an in-house bedmate was never a bad thing. However, she knew that was a can of worms that she shouldn't even think about, let alone consider opening, because not only would she be opening up her home to a D.E.B, it essentially meant she'd be opening up her heart as well. It was bad enough that she found herself constantly thinking about the girl and wanting to be with her every minute of the day. She knew that if she wasn't careful, she could easily find herself doing something she had sworn she would never do again. Fall in love.

So instead of thinking about what could never be, Lucy focused on the hand that was softly kneading the back of her neck and causing all the tension she was feeling to melt away and be replaced with a more primal need.

"That feels good," Lucy sighed out, her voice thick with desire. She could feel Amy's breath on her and she wanted to lean in and close the remaining few inches that separated them and take Amy's lips with her own, but in an effort to maintain control of herself and the situation, she took another deep breath and was content to let the soft touch of the blonde lull her to sleep.

"Are you falling asleep on me?"

Lucy's eyes opened at the unexpected question. There had been a period of silence between them and in that time Amy's hand had stopped its soothing caress and had slid around and was resting against the side of Lucy's neck. Her breathing was even and she hadn't moved so Lucy was sure that the blonde agent had been about to fall asleep too as she snuggled in closer.

"Isn't that what we're supposed to be doing?" Lucy questioned with a chuckle knowing that there were other things she could think of that they could be doing, but she didn't want to push after Amy had voiced her thoughts on it being "too soon" earlier.

"I suppose," Amy replied with a shrug as her thumb started a slow back and forth motion against Lucy's neck.

"You suppose?" Lucy repeated, sensing the blonde's hesitancy as she remained silent.

"Well I don't know, but I didn't think we'd actually be sleeping right now," Amy said with another slight shrug.

"Ooookay," Lucy said slowly wondering just what Amy had in mind if she didn't mean for them to actually be sleeping. "So what'd you have in mind?" Lucy voiced her thoughts as she slid her hand down and placed it on Amy's hip, her thumb moving in a back and forth motion over the fabric.

Lucy felt more than heard the chuckle that emitted from Amy and knew she was presumptuous in assuming that maybe the blonde had changed her mind about it being too soon.

"Well we've been doing…whatever it is we've been doing for a few weeks now and considering we've put an official title on what's going on between us, I just figured we could talk more. It just seems like everything has moved so fast and I feel we don't actually know a whole lot about each other and I'd definitely like to get to know you better," Amy explained.

With her hand still resting against the blonde's hip, Lucy pressed her body impossibly closer against Amy's and slipped her thigh between her legs. "I'm sure I can think of something better for an official couple to be doing to get better acquainted." While she didn't want to push, Lucy figured a little nudge couldn't hurt.

"I'm sure you could," Amy gasped slightly at the pleasant intrusion that had settled between her thighs, "but um…how about we stick with the talking for now."

Lucy groaned and slowly pulled herself away from the warm, enticing figure of her bedmate. She sat up and ran a hand over her face before she reached over and turned on the lamp. She looked down and watched as Amy blinked a few times trying to adjust her eyes to the sudden flood of light.

"That didn't mean you had to move," Amy mumbled as she rubbed at her eyes.

"If you actually had plans of getting any talking done then uh yeah, I did," Lucy said as she rubbed tiredly at her own eyes and stifled a yawn. "So…let's talk," she pointed to the prone figure next to her, "but next time we're doing something I want."

Amy laughed as she moved over and lay on her back with her head in Lucy's lap and looked up at her. "Deal," she agreed. "And see, we're already learning new things about each other," Amy told the pouting brunette.

Lucy glanced down with a confused look. "New things?"

"Yes," Amy said with a playful grin, "I didn't realize you were such a brat and you're really cute when you pout."

Lucy narrowed her eyes at the girl lying in her lap and with the speed of cat she brought her hands down to Amy's side and started tickling her.

"Say mercy," Lucy taunted.

"Lucy!" Amy yelled through a fit of laughter as she squirmed and swatted at the brunette's hands. "Stop! Please, stop," she pleaded as she tried to grab Lucy's hands, but with her prone position and her constant movement it made it impossible for her to get the upper hand.

"Say it!" the brunette insisted, continuing to torment the girl squirming under her.

"No," Amy replied defiantly.

Lucy finally relented when the she noticed the blonde becoming breathless and red faced from laughter. "Looks like I just found out something new as well."

"Yeah but you're not playing fair," Amy told her as she wiped at her face and struggled to catch her breath.

"All's fair in love and war sweetheart," Lucy said as she ran a hand over Amy's head adoringly then realized a little too late what she'd said. Even though it was only a figure of speech, she definitely didn't want to be bringing up the 'L' word in any way shape or form. However, if Amy had noticed it, she definitely didn't comment on it or give any indication that she had.

"So what are we supposed to be talking about?" Lucy asked, trying to deflect from her statement.

"Doesn't matter," Amy replied absently after she'd gotten her breathing under control and reached for Lucy's free hand and interlaced their fingers. Her eyes remained glued to their joined hands as she idly toyed with Lucy's hand.

Lucy looked down at the scene in front of her and noted just how comfortable and at ease she seemed with her professional nemesis. She couldn't help the small smile when she noticed the position they were in it was so couple-y. She moved her hand to brush aside a few errant strands of blonde hair on the blonde's cheek and took in the beautiful features of her…girlfriend. She was still adjusting to that reality.

While nagging at the back of her mind was the knowledge that she and Amy could never actually be a real couple and that sooner or later it would all come crashing down; in this moment she couldn't help the smile that spread across her face as she allowed herself to believe that the gorgeous blonde goddess that was lying with her head in her lap was hers.

"What?" Amy asked as she looked up to see Lucy smiling brilliantly down at her.

"Nothing," she lied.

"A smile like that doesn't constitute 'nothing' Lucy, tell me what you're thinking," Amy prodded.

Lucy's smile grew wider and mischievous and she looked down at the blonde and raised a knowing brow.

"Okay, so don't tell me…that transparent look on your face says it all," the agent laughed.

"Heeey," Lucy complained, "I wasn't thinking about THAT…," she complained at the blonde's skeptical look but then rolled her eyes, "okay fine, maybe I was…but that wasn't the only thing," she pointed out. "I was also thinking about how beautiful you are."

"Oh you're smooth," Amy laughed but Lucy could see the slight tinge of red that crept along her cheeks from the compliment.

"Oh c'mon, that wasn't a line…it's the truth, you really are beautiful," Lucy confessed, her expression softened as she gazed down at Amy and her fingertips continued their caress and traced over the beauty marks that graced the right side of the blonde's face. "I'm wondering how I got so lucky," she added in a whisper as she gazed down at Amy adoringly.

The thought that luck had absolutely nothing to do with finding her new government issued girlfriend was fleeting as Lucy lost herself in the calm, seemingly glowing baby blue eyes that stared dreamily back at her.

Amy sat up and turned more fully towards Lucy, cupping her face in her hands, she gazed affectionately back at the alleged thief before slowly leaning in. "And you're incredibly sweet," Amy whispered against Lucy's lips before pressing her own against them to plant a series of hot, opened mouth kisses on them before she let her tongue slide softly over Lucy's bottom lip.

With a groan and a proverbial internal kick in her own ass, Lucy turned her head to kiss the inside of Amy's palm before removing the hand and kissing the back of it. She knew if things continued the way they were going, she'd probably offend the blonde with her ravenous nature. "I thought we were supposed to be talking," Lucy managed to say with a sly grin.

"We are," Amy responded, her own eyes now opening as she pulled her bottom lip between her teeth to fight off her own grin at being caught wanting to make out instead of talking as she suggested.

"No, you're acting like you want to get me naked," Lucy said with a brilliant grin.

"You're such a horn dog! Is that all you think about?" Amy asked through a bout of laughter and playfully slapped at Lucy's shoulder.

"Of course not!" Lucy said, feigning offense and rubbing her shoulder. "I also think about getting you naked too," she finished, her grin getting wider.

Amy rolled her eyes and scoffed playfully, "You're impossible."

"I'm human," Lucy retorted. "Plus you can't tell me that you don't think about it because if you do, I'll know you're lying."

Amy chuckled, "Of course I do, it's only natural…but my internal censor keeps me from blurting things like that out."

"Apparently my internal censor is broken then; it's quite possible it was fried to hell when we first met because you're the hottest thing I've ever laid eyes on." Lucy leaned in and placed a lingering kiss on Amy's lips, which was eagerly returned. She pulled back with a grin. "See…as long as I get to do that…there's nothing else going on up here," the brunette tapped her finger against her temple.

Amy laid a hand over her face and laughed while shaking her head slightly and moved to mirror Lucy's position in the bed and sat back. She reached over and grabbed Lucy's hand and linked their fingers together again and rested them on her lap. "If I didn't find you utterly adorable I'd think you were probably the cheesiest person on the planet right now."

"Well that's just ridiculous, do you know every person on the planet?" Lucy challenged, a slight grin gracing her lips. "But okay…I'll stop. I won't project any more of my sexual urges or my irresistible charm onto you. I'll be good," the brunette promised with a dazzling smile and a slight squeeze of Amy's hand.

"No you won't, but I appreciate the sentiment," Amy said with a laugh closing the distance between her and her incredibly sweet and corny girlfriend, cuddling into Lucy's side. She rested her head in the crook of the brunette's neck and smoothed her lips against the warm skin and wrapped her arm across Lucy's torso.

"Can you blame me?" Lucy asked rhetorically. "You have amazing lips and I enjoy kissing them," she said almost breathless as she felt Amy's lips on her and her hot breath hitting the side of her neck, "and you being so close does things to me. What can I say; I'm deprived, so getting to touch any part of you makes me eager."

"Deprived?" Amy questioned, but it came out more disbelievingly. "You'll have to excuse me if I find that hard to believe."

"Why?" Lucy pulled back slightly so she could look at Amy. "It's the truth. It's like you said before, we've been doing this whole back and forth thing for a few weeks now, so it's safe to say that it's been at least that long."

"Well a few weeks without sex certainly doesn't constitute being deprived Lucy."

"Tell that to my sex drive," Lucy said with a chuckle that soon turned into a yelp from the pinch in the side she received from Amy.

"And what about before?" Amy inquired.

"Well I haven't really dated in a long time so..." Lucy said with a shrug as she let the sentence hang in the air.

Amy pulled back slightly to look at Lucy. "You have to be dating someone to sleep with them?"

"Not at all, but it certainly doesn't hurt. Sex without some kind of understanding is just too confusing if you ask me, so I prefer to keep it simple and know what I'm getting into before I dive right in, so to speak." Lucy commented and pulled her arm behind her head and shifted to get more comfortable.

"Wow, that's….wow," Amy said with an air of disbelief as she lay her head back down against Lucy.

The brunette frowned slightly and cut her eyes to the blonde. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"Nothing," Amy quickly replied and lifted her head once again, but upon seeing the frown that still marred Lucy's face she explained further. "It's just that I know women probably throw themselves at you all the time so I guess I just assumed…I mean, I'm sure it has to be tempting."

"Trust me; it's not as tempting as you would think. Girls like that are a dime a dozen, and I'm more into quality…not quantity." Lucy frowned again at the implication and looked over at companion. "Seriously, did you think I'd be into sleeping with every pretty face and hot body that threw herself at me?"

"No! That's not what I meant," Amy exclaimed, scrambling for an explanation. "God I don't know what I meant," Amy brought an embarrassed hand to cover her reddening face. "I'm sorry," she mumbled.

"For thinking I'm a raging slut? It's no big deal," Lucy grinned at the incredulous look Amy had when she suddenly moved her hand.

"That is not what I think of you! You're gorgeous….incredibly sexy, charming and have a smile that can make any woman fall to her knees…so it's not you that I'm concerned with, it's the rest of the female population that I don't trust," Amy confessed.

"Flattery will get you everywhere," Lucy teased as she leaned over to capture Amy's lips with her own. She teased at the girl's bottom lip until she felt Amy's tongue playfully come out and lick her own before dropping a brief kiss on her lips. Lucy couldn't help the dazzling smile that broke out on her face before she moved to lie down and urged the more than willingly blonde down on the bed with her. "Well it's not like I won't be competing for your affections either."

Amy chuckled and snuggled more into Lucy while throwing her arm back over her. "You won't have to compete with anyone as far as I'm concerned. I'm yours and I want only you," Amy brought her hand up to turn Lucy's face in her direction to kiss her softly.

Lucy shivered slightly at the words and the soft kiss. "Yeah well like you said," she mumbled against Amy's lips, "it's the other assholes that can't be trusted."

Amy pulled back and settled her head against Lucy's shoulder. "I think you'll find that with the way I spend most of my time, I'm not really put in a position to be noticeable. If I'm not working at the garage then I'm mostly holed up in the apartment listening to Max rave about some new car part she just added. Sounds exciting right?" Amy asked sarcastically with a light grin playing at her lips.

"It doesn't matter where you are, what you're doing or what you're wearing, believe me when I say a beautiful girl like you gets noticed. Plus there's the fact that you're batting for both teams, so looks like I'm going to need to keep an extra eye on you."

Amy chuckled, her warm breath tickling over Lucy's skin causing goose bumps and her seemingly always active libido to rise. She raised her head to look down at the gorgeous chocolate orbs that had her spellbound. "Well other than that one time I told you about in college, which was like a gazillion years ago, that was the only time I'd ever been with another woman," Amy revealed shyly as she laid her head back down in the crook of Lucy's neck and held her tighter. "And even then I was…you know…more on the receiving end," Amy mumbled into Lucy's neck.

Lucy chuckled, "Well did you at least enjoy it?"

"You did not just ask me that," Amy groaned and buried her head further into Lucy's neck at the question.

Lucy laughed out loud. "I did, you were the one who wanted to talk…now c'mon, answer the question."

Amy sighed and rolled away from Lucy to lie on her back, she looked over at the grinning girl and placed her hands over her face with a chuckle. "It was….nice."

Lucy raised a brow and waited, when nothing more came she rolled over and brought a hand up to move the ones Amy still had covering her face. "That's it? Nice?"

"Yeah," Amy shrugged, "What more do you want me to say?"

"I don't know…I guess something more than just 'nice'." Lucy told her then propped herself up on her elbow. She rested her head in her hand, and then a thought occurred to her. "If it was only once, there was no reciprocating and it was only 'nice', then how do you know you're really into women?" she asked, thinking it was a valid question. Lucy had seen an otherwise straight girl dabble on the other side of the fence more times than she could count. There was also the fact that Amy was pretending to be someone else completely, so it would make sense that the blonde agent didn't even like women and the story about the other woman and the fact that she really was into women was all made up as well just to get close to her.

"Um Lucy…you do realize I'm here with you right?" Amy asked, once again mirroring Lucy's position and gazed curiously at her.

"Yeah but all we've done is a little making out, hell…you won't even let me round a few bases. When I try to touch you anywhere I'm sure you deem inappropriate, you stop me," The brunette said, adopting a slightly whining tone. "So it's fair to say that you don't really know if you are or aren't."

"Do you like men?"

Lucy blinked a few times as she registered what she'd just been asked. She shifted and lay back down against the bed and looked up at the blonde. "Uh…that would be a negative."

"Have you ever been with a man…sexually?" Amy asked as she gazed down at the slightly miffed features of the brunette. A slight blush giving away that she wasn't totally at ease with the conversation.

"I know what you're doing and it's not the same thing," Lucy replied instantly.

"Answer the question please." Amy smiled softly and batted her lashes slightly for effect.

Lucy narrowed her eyes and huffed, "No, I've never been with a man sexually or otherwise."

"So how do you know you're not into guys if you've never been with one?" Amy questioned and Lucy couldn't help but sense a little smugness coming from the girl.

Lucy sighed, she'd set herself up for this. "Because I'm not attracted to men, in any way and I have no desire to be with one. I mean sure, I can look at a guy and think 'oh hey, he's a nice looking guy', but that's about as far as it goes and it doesn't mean I'd want to sleep with him," Lucy explained.

"Well see it's exactly the same thing, I can look at a woman and think that she's attractive, the only difference is sometimes I may be sexually attracted to her as well…case and point, me being here with you. So just because my first experience with a woman wasn't mind blowing doesn't mean I'm still not attracted to them." Amy's blush deepened as she continued, "Plus, I never said I didn't do anything…just that she was a lot more generous than I was."

"So no sudden urge to pack up the U-Haul with this chick then," Lucy joked.

"Ha ha," Amy feigned humor. "It definitely wasn't moving in that direction," Amy chuckled, "in fact, we barely spoke to each other after that night."

"Wow…if that's the case, it sounds like you're being charitable when you said it was 'nice'." Lucy laughed as Amy lay down against her again. When the agent remained quiet, Lucy decided to tease the blonde further. "Or maybe it's you that's the raging slut! I knew there was something I liked about you from the moment I saw you!" Lucy joked and laughed as she had to shield herself from the flurry of hands that were being aimed her way.

"It wasn't like that," Amy pouted as she finally was able to land a soft slap against the back of Lucy's hand, "we just never got the chance to really get to know one another."

"Why not?" Lucy inquired as her laughter died down and she warily watched the blonde in fear she would start up her playful physical abuse again.

"Bobby and I got back together," Amy simply said with a slight shrug and a sigh as she sat back.

"Ah, good ole Bobby," Lucy said sarcastically upon hearing his name. "Twat blocker circa college days and still going strong. Did he know?"

"God no…no one does, or did. I've never told anyone about it, except for you now."

"Were you ashamed?" Lucy quirked a curious brow.

"Not at all, she was a really sweet girl and I felt bad that things happened the way they did without us taking the time to really get to know each other, but with Bobby still being in the picture, it was…complicated."

Lucy frowned not understanding what could've been so complicated about just dropping the meathead. So she asked the only question that seemed to make sense as to why Bobby would factor into Amy's relationship with anyone else. "Were the two of you together then?" She had to ask, she didn't really peg the blonde for a cheater, but then again it's not like she really knew her.

Amy shook her head. "No, nothing like that. We were…on a break, I guess you could say."

"A break?" Lucy lifted a curious brow.

Amy shrugged slightly. "Yeah, I guess that's what you could call it."

"Meaning?" The criminal mastermind inquired, wanting to know the full scope of the story and not just the few bits and pieces Amy were giving her.

"We were split up at the time and it had been decided that it was the best course of action for the time being."

"Best course of action? What the hell were the two of you doing, coming up with a battle strategy or trying to end a relationship?"

"Trying to save one actually…at least that's how it looked at the time and I have to admit, I was really angry with him for leaving," Amy reluctantly admitted.

"Because you were in love with him?" Lucy stated more than asked and hoped that she didn't sound as bitter as she felt.

Amy shook her head adamantly. "That wasn't the reason."

Lucy waited and when the blonde didn't elaborate she rolled her eyes at having to continue coaxing her for information. "Well what was the reason?"

"He was there when I was dealing with my parent's death," Amy explained.

"Oh," was all Lucy could say.

"As time went by I realized he was only just there…which I eventually realized wasn't really a good thing."

"Why not?" Lucy asked not really understanding what Amy was getting at.

"Well that's just it, he didn't help, we never talked about it; he never even tried. He was just…there, and I'm ashamed to say that I was grateful for the distraction so I wrapped myself up in dating the handsome, popular guy from a well off family."

"He's not that handsome," Lucy mumbled. She saw the smirk that crossed Amy's lips at the statement as she ignored it and continued talking.

"He was really good at circumvention, and anything that looked like it would take my focus away from him and his perfect little image of us, he wanted no part of." Amy sighed heavily. "So I did just that, I focused solely on him and trying to fit into a life that would go well with his. So when he decided that he was going to New York…something that he didn't even think to discuss with me, I realized that I was more upset about the fact that I wouldn't have him around to help take my mind off of things more than I was about the thought of not seeing him."

Lucy watched as a cloud seemed to settle over the other girl and she knew what that darkness centered around, it was something she could attest to feeling contritely about.

"Hey," Lucy said softly as she brought her hand up to Amy's face and turned it towards her. She could see the tears that had formed in the perfect blue eyes and she wanted nothing more than to make them disappear. "Don't beat yourself up about what happened okay? It's a natural reaction and it doesn't make you a bad person for wanting to feel something other than grief."

Amy didn't say anything, she just leaned into the warm body of the woman that was consoling her and Lucy wasted no time in wrapping her up in her arms. She felt Amy shiver against her and she smoothed a hand over her blonde head and then kissed the top of it.

"It's not just that, I just hate that I wasted so much time and effort with a man that I knew I was with for the wrong reason. I mean he wasn't really a bad guy he was just….self-absorb and had this image of what he and I should've been. He and I had been together for a while, on and off mostly, but I think everyone…myself included, just always assumed that we'd always be together, his father especially. It was creepy because I'm almost positive he was a direct descendant from a Cromag, with the possessiveness and his ideas of what women should be like. His mother was just as bad though because she was a typical Stepford wife. So naturally, Bobby was looking for that perfect life that he'd been brought up to believe in by his perfect parents, and on paper, I apparently fit that mold."

"Well if everything was so perfect for you and Crogmag Jr., then why'd the two of you break it off? It's obvious he still has strong feelings for you. What broke the cycle?" Lucy asked the million dollar question she'd been dying to ask since first finding out that the two secret agents were in a relationship. Even she had to admit that from the outside, on paper, they seemed perfect for each other.

Lucy watched Amy's mouth gape for a few seconds as if she was trying to find the right words to convey what she wanted to say before she finally spoke. "There was nothing intense about mine and Bobby's relationship. When I first got to school I was still in shock I think, and when he pursued me I just…went with it. I mean sure I cared about him but we were on and off a few times even before he left for New York. He simply assumed that I was going to follow him, but when I decided I needed time to think about it we decided that maybe it would be best if we took a little space. He left, things…happened," Amy said with a slight blush, letting Lucy know exactly to what things the blonde was referring.

"When he came back he insisted that we give it another try, and I just fell back into the old pattern. I think we would have continued to follow our old pattern but he….," Amy trailed off seemingly lost in thought.

"He what?" Lucy urged as her eyes never left Amy's face. She silently swore to herself that if he had done something stupid like cheat on the blonde or hurt her physically in any way, she would track him down and do something more than break his nose.

Amy sighed before swallowing hard. "He asked me to marry him."

Lucy arched her eyebrows in surprise. Okay she hadn't been expecting that answer.

"And it's not like I didn't think that it would happen eventually and we'd end up married, but when he actually proposed, I don't know…I couldn't picture a future with him and I…" she paused again.

"You what?" Lucy asked interestedly.

Amy turned to look over at Lucy seriously. It seemed like forever the two locked in a heated gaze before Amy finally spoke. "I think love should be irresistible, like a drug, ya know? I think when it happens you should just…not be able to help yourself. I just, I wanted….more," Amy finished the statement as she continued to stare into Lucy's eyes.

Lucy stared back, her dark eyes boring intensely into sparkling blue ones as she let what Amy had just said filter through her mind. She couldn't help but think that everything that Amy had just said about love somehow applied to the situation she found herself in now, because even though she knew who Amy was and what she was there for…she just couldn't seem to help herself where the blonde was concerned.

"I knew I didn't feel that way about him so I ended it," Amy said as she finally looked away shyly before chancing another glance over at the brunette. "I'm sorry, I'm babbling."

"No…you're not, at all," Lucy reassured her, but her mind still dwelled on the implications of the blonde's words and she knew she was in trouble. Her eyes squeezed shut and her heart thudded at the feeling of dread that ran over her with the situation she found herself in and wondered how things had turned to shit so quickly.

Mere minutes ago, she had been happily joking with the blonde, reveling in her good fortune to be with the other girl, and now she was doing everything to keep the swelling feeling of panic from taking control and causing her to bolt from the room. This simply couldn't be happening to her again.

It was Amy pressing her soft lips against her temple then down over her cheek until she reached her lips that broke Lucy out of her thoughts.

"Thank you," Amy said softly as she continued pressing kisses along Lucy lips.

"For what?" Lucy asked confused.

"For everything…for being here, for listening. Just for being the wonderful person you are. You just…get it without even trying and I lo…," Amy paused and Lucy's eye brows shot up in her hairline at what she thought Amy was going to say. "I like spending time like this with you." Lucy let out a slow breath and thanked the heavens that Amy had chosen something simpler to say.

"And this goes both ways, you know?" Amy continued which caused Lucy to raise a brow wondering what the other girl was referring too.

"Okay," Lucy said slowly and looked down suspiciously at the blonde laying in her arms. She noted how she was avoiding making eye contact with her and more red flags were instantly raised.

"Even without me asking you things you should feel that you can tell me things too." Amy looked up briefly to gauge Lucy's reaction before lying back in her arms and began toying with the brunette's hand. "I'll listen without prejudice and I won't judge you."

"Is there somewhere particular you're going with this?" Lucy asked, wondering how the conversation had turned around to her.

"Not really," Amy said and shrugged slightly. "I just want you to know that you can trust me, that's all and anything you say or do won't make me change my mind about wanting to be with you."

"Where is all of this coming from, Amy?" Lucy pulled back slightly to look down at the secret agent. The thudding in her chest seemed to get stronger and her sense of panic and dread was starting to increase.

Amy pulled herself into a sitting position again and turned so that she had one arm leaning over the alleged thief's body and looked down at her. She gazed at Lucy for a few moments before she finally spoke. "Well like I said before, anything that I know about you and your family are only things I've seen in the paper or on t.v. and not all of it has been good."

Lucy nodded as she listened, having an idea of where this conversation might lead. After all, Amy had a job to do and at some point, trying to dazzle her with her superb French kissing skills wasn't going to get the D.E.B.S the information they needed. "Yeah, those news reporters are nothing but glorified paparazzi, what they can't find, they make up. It's how they make their living, it's dog eat dog sweetheart," Lucy replied dismissively.

"Well it's not just that Lucy….you surround yourself with a lot of people, and it's not hard to see that most of those people are armed. Other than the whole racing scene, which I can't exactly reprimand you for because hello…I'm dead smack in the middle of it too, but I'm not exactly packing either when I'm at a race."

"Oh well then that explains it," Lucy smirked in an effort to steer the conversation to something lighter.

"Explains what?" Amy asked confused.

"Since you're not packing, that just means you're happy to see me," Lucy grinned, unable to help herself.

Amy couldn't help the eye roll at the comment as slugged Lucy in the shoulder again, "Lucy!"

"Okay seriously, the only person I should probably be worried about hurting me is you since you keep hitting me," Lucy commented as she rubbed her shoulder again.

Amy reached up to move Lucy's hand away and took over rubbing her shoulder. "I'm sorry…but Lucy I'm serious," Amy stated with a slight pout that Lucy couldn't help but find endearing even though every voice in her head was screaming at her to stop falling for the blonde's charm.

"I noticed, but I'm still not seeing where this is going," Lucy feigned innocence knowing good and well where the D.E.B. was headed.

"I guess I'm just worried…or afraid," Amy confessed, her hand starting to softly knead into Lucy shoulder.

That got Lucy's attention and she couldn't help but soften her stance. The last thing she wanted was for Amy to be afraid of anything as far as she was concerned. "Afraid of what?"

"I guess of what you do."

Even though that particular answer wasn't one she wanted, it made her breath a little easier knowing that it wasn't her that Amy was actually afraid of. "And what exactly is it that you think I do?" Lucy asked curiously.

"Don't do that Lucy," Amy said stiffly as she moved and roughly lay back down on the bed and peered over at Lucy. "You and your family have been in the media since…forever. Even when you were out of the country the infamous Lucy Diamond made the headlines. I'm not judging you okay? It's just that I know your business isn't just about real estate and street racing, so please don't insult me like I don't know who you are and what it is you do."

Lucy ran a frustrated hand over her face as she let out a long, deep sigh. She knew she shouldn't be surprised by anything Amy was saying or the tactic she was using, after all she knew the D.E.B had a job to do and this would happen sooner or later.

The only feeling she had now was that of deep disappointment that it was happening now and disappointment that she'd allowed herself to actually develop feelings for the government agent. She knew that the more time she spent with the gorgeous girl and the longer she looked into her mesmerizing baby blue eyes, the harder it became for her to keep up the visage that this was all a game for her even though Amy clearly was still only in it to take her down. At least without the interrogation Lucy could delude herself into thinking that Amy actually gave a damn, but now she knew that the secret agent wasn't playing around.

It was all fun and games for Lucy when she knew she wasn't at any risk of being hurt, or even hurting the D.E.B. for that matter. The worst she figured that would happen to Amy would be that she would go back to her organization with her tail tucked firmly between her legs and tally another strike in the loss column on the government side caused by the elusive Reynolds' crew. Now however, she knew her own personal feelings were becoming an issue and that's something she never accounted for when she started this pursuit.

She internally cursed herself for not factoring in any unknown variables such as this, but it was something she never thought in a million years would be an issue. Never did she think that she'd be so smitten with someone she was so supposed to hate. Then again, it's not like she didn't have a history for falling for women she wasn't supposed to. Maybe that was the problem Lucy thought to herself, she always wanted what she couldn't have, and in her world there was nothing she wanted that she didn't get.

This however was something completely different because the thing she wanted had the ability to literally destroy her, not only professionally but emotionally as well. Lucy knew she had to put an end to what she was doing, if not only for her sake but for her family and those she employed as well. Right now, it was a matter safety and of survival, and those things definitely didn't lie within the arms of the woman she couldn't for the life of her keep herself from wanting.

With another deep sigh, Lucy reeled in her emotions and figured diffusing the situation was the best course of action for the time being. She'd figure out a way to let go of the girl later, right now she was being watched with concerned, piercing blue eyes that she had to struggle not to get lost in as they waited for her to respond.

"Look Amy, I pretty much know how we're portrayed by the media, they're vultures, they do what they're paid to do and that's to cause suspicion and make things seem interesting when they're really not. All that stuff that you think you know about me and my family has never been proven…ever," Lucy put emphasis on the word and noticed how Amy's gaze waivered slightly.

"So I'm not going to delve into all of my business dealings with you and it's not that I have anything to hide, but it's just not something that I feel the need to discuss or explain," Lucy said without malice or the intent to give the agent any reason to question her further even though she knew it wouldn't just end here. "Mixing business with your personal life is something I've learned should be kept separate," Lucy said with a heavily sigh. "In the end, it just isn't worth it."

"So what are we doing then?" Amy asked softly as she shifted so that she was facing the brunette. She reached out and placed a hand against Lucy's cheek to force her to look at her.

"What do you mean?" Lucy frowned slightly not understanding the question.

"Technically I do kind of work for you so that means…,"

"You're fired," Lucy said authoritatively, but the slow grin that was spread across her lips betrayed her seriousness.

"You can't fire me," Amy countered with a grin of her own as she gazed adoringly at Lucy, "you need me."

"I do need you," Lucy readily agreed as her tongue darted out to moisten her lips and her hand reached out to lightly brush against Amy's cheek. It didn't surprise her how easily she could admit that, but what did was how much she meant it. Oh yeah. She was definitely in for a world of hurt with this one. She wasn't sure when or how she'd allowed herself to fall so head over heels for this woman, but she did know that it made her feel vulnerable, something she didn't like feeling. "But if you're afraid, then why are you here with me?" she asked, her voice barely above a whisper as she wrestled with her thoughts.

Amy shook her head slightly and brought her hand up to place over the one Lucy was caressing her with and leaned into her touch. "I'm not afraid of being with you, I wouldn't be here if I was…I'm afraid of losing you."

Lucy smiled warmly at what Amy had just said to her. It made her heart race at the look in her eyes when she'd said it, like she actually meant it, Lucy knew better though. She couldn't allow herself to be fooled into thinking that the blonde actually gave a damn about anything other than obtaining information on her and locking up her for a long time. That's what had landed her in this mess in the first place.

"I'm not going anywhere," she rasped with raw emotion, "and you don't have to worry about me, believe me Scud does that enough. Besides, this place is like the White House, I think it's safe to say that I'm well-guarded."

Amy smiled and nodded slightly, closing the distance between them and cuddling into Lucy's side. She rested her head in the crook of the brunette's neck and wrapped her arm across Lucy's torso. "Well if it takes all that then you're obviously in danger. I guess I don't get why if what you do is that dangerous and you need all this security, why even bother with it?" Amy questioned rhetorically but Lucy felt the need to answer anyway.

"I inherited a multimillion dollar empire from my dad as well as any enemies he's made. He was a ruthless business man and hostile takeover was his favorite tactic, so obviously when you're dealing with people's livelihood and literally putting them in a soup line it tends to creates malevolence. That coupled with that fact that I'm sure I'm bound to make a few enemies of my own now that I'm in charge, it's just part of how it goes," Lucy made a point to make mention of the legal side of her business dealings.

"I can't change that, but I can assure you that we take every necessary precaution to ensure my safety as well as those I employ. What can I say? It's all a part of doing business and it's not always safe," Lucy simply stated and hoped it would be the end of the conversation, but unfortunately for her it wasn't.

"If there was no family business that just fell into your lap what else would you want to do?"

Lucy drew in a deep breath and blew it out, lightly ruffling her bangs. She was sure that they'd had this conversation earlier tonight but at the sake of keeping things calm she answered anyway. "Like I said before, I honestly never gave it any thought. I always knew I would take over one day so really what was the point in wasting the energy."

Suddenly, Lucy felt her breath hitch in her throat and she involuntarily lifted her head and looked down to see that the blonde had managed to work her hand under the hem of her shirt and was now caressing the smooth skin of her stomach in small circles. She was sure it was intended to be a soothing gesture but it was having quite the opposite effect and she let her head fall heavily back against her pillow.

"Oh come on Lucy, there has to be something that you enjoy doing?" Amy asked seemingly unaware of the effect she was having.

"Oh there is," Lucy paused momentarily as she relished in the feel of Amy's warm hand on her skin.

"Well?" Amy asked, unbeknownst to the fire that she was once again igniting in the brunette.

"Racing and hot women," Lucy finally said and jumped slightly when Amy stopped her caress and pinched her firmly in the side instead. "What?" Lucy asked as she looked down innocently at Amy. "You asked," she defended herself with a small laugh. "My love for both was firmly solidified before I reached puberty and saw American Graffiti."

"American Graffiti?" Amy asked with surprise lacing her voice. "Lucy that movie was made in like…the 70's or something wasn't it? It's older than you are so how on earth did THAT end up turning you into a pervert with a penchant for racing." Amy chuckled.

"Seriously Amy, have you seen the movie?" Lucy pulled back slightly to look at the Amy's face.

"Well no, but still…70's movie, so not my thing," the blonde said as she turned up her nose slightly at the thought.

"Well see there you go! How can you appreciate something when you don't even know what you're missing?"

"And what exactly am I missing?"

"Other than the fact that it's a classic…you've got a hot mysterious blonde cruising around in a white '56 T-bird. So let's see," Lucy brought a hand up and tapped her index finger against her lips as if she was thinking, "hot blonde, hotter car…okay seriously need I say more? What's not to love about that?" Lucy asked seriously as she threw her hand up in a dramatic fashion.

"What am I going to do with you?" Amy laughed as she pressed tighter against Lucy and splayed her fingers against her abdomen and slid it around to rest against her side.

"Whatever you want," Lucy winked suggestively as she wrapped her arm around the blonde's shoulders and pulled her in tight. "Besides you should take that as a compliment. You got the hot blonde part down pat and you are sort of a racer chick."

"Sort of?" Amy queried.

"Yeah, sort of…you don't exactly drive, and that car of yours, well…," Lucy trailed off.

"Hey! There is nothing wrong with my car," Amy protested.

"No, but I doubt it's equipped for racing," Lucy smirked, "but out of what I just said you should be focusing on the hot blonde part. Which means you should probably take that as a compliment."

"Oh should I? Because I do recall that you also said you enjoy women and racing…'women' as in plural," Amy pointed out with a pout in her voice. Lucy chuckled softly and pressed a kiss to the top of the blonde's head. She just couldn't help herself.

"Force of habit," she assured the other girl. "I definitely prefer to keep anything in the bedroom a one on one activity.

"Well that's extremely fortunate for you because I would hate to keep you in your deprived state all because you wanted to impose some type of weird sex group thing you're harboring," Amy chuckled.

"Oh c'mon, there's absolutely nothing weird about a threesome! You can't honestly tell me you haven't at least thought about it, right?" Lucy grinned at the exasperated look she was getting from her teasing and instead of a verbal answer, Lucy felt soft kisses being peppered against her lips and it caused her eyes to flutter closed.

"I take that as a no," Lucy mumbled between kisses.

"Lucy?" Amy finally responded.

"Hmmm?"

"Shut up," The blonde commanded as she continued her advances against the brunette's lips.

Lucy smiled against the soft lips that were being pressed against her own and simply allowed herself to be kissed. She knew she probably shouldn't have especially when she'd made the decision not to take things any further with D.E.B., but the kisses were sweet and affectionate, and each time Amy's lips touched hers, Lucy couldn't help but feel like she was falling deeper and deeper. Into what, she didn't know, or at least didn't want to acknowledge.

What she did know was that every so often, she could feel Amy's soft tongue brushing against her bottom lip, causing an even bigger rush of desire to wash over her. When she opened her mouth to receive it, Amy eagerly slipped her tongue inside and gently massaged it against her own.

Lucy brought one of her hands up to Amy's head and threaded her fingers back through her hair making the golden locks pour through them like hot butter. She felt Amy mirror her actions as one of her hands reached up and slipped into her dark, silky tresses. The brunette rewarded her efforts with an answering moan of her own as she deepened the kiss and slipped her tongue deeper inside of Amy's mouth.

After several long moments and when breathing became an issue both girls pulled back and seemingly at the same time they both leaned forward and pressed their foreheads together. Lucy could feel Amy's breath washing over her lips as she panted for air. Her heavily lidded eyes opened and she leaned in to plant a series of soft kisses against the lips she was fast becoming addicted too.

"So I guess that means we're done talking for tonight," Lucy managed to say with a smirk as she struggled to pull air into her lungs.

"Looks that way," Amy responded, equally as breathless. "And since you were such a good sport about it, maybe we could maybe do something you want….look at it as a compromise." Amy suggested as she reached down and grabbed Lucy's hand and placed it under her shirt and pushed it higher until Lucy could feel her thumb brush the underside of Amy's breast.

A small frown marred Lucy's face as her eyes briefly darted to the outline of her hand under the thin fabric and back up to look into Amy's eyes. "What are you doing?" Lucy asked and then internally chastised herself for asking such a stupid question because it was more than obvious what Amy was letting her do.

"Letting you round a few bases…think of it as something to quell your deprivation," Amy rasped, her voice was thick with need and want and she leaned in to capture Lucy's lips again.

The tone wasn't lost on Lucy, and she allowed herself to be kissed again as her own desire drummed throughout her entire body. Her hand instinctively moved on its own accord to cover the soft flesh of Amy's breast. She squeezed it gently in her palm and allowed her thumb to graze over the taut nipple. She felt more than heard the moan that reverberate in Amy's throat at the touch and felt herself being pulled forward as Amy's hand grasped her forearm and laid back against the bed, bringing her with her.

The movement brought Lucy back to reality and she begrudgingly slipped her hand from under Amy's shirt and pulled back to stare down breathless at the women lying under her. She could feel the rise and fall of the other girl's chest against her own as her brilliant blue eyes stared back at her. Lucy felt lost, like a deer caught in headlights and not knowing which way was the safest way to turn.

"What's wrong?" Amy asked as she reached up and cupped Lucy's face in her hands.

Lucy had heard the question but it had sounded distant as the sound of her thudding heart pounded in her ears. Her mouth gaped slightly but she couldn't answer because of the lump that had formed in her throat at the number of things that passed through her mind that were actually wrong with the situation. Instead, she brought her hand up and sought the outline of Amy's angelic face and gently caressed it with her fingertips, tracing the contours as her dark eyes followed the movement.

"You don't have to do this…in fact we probably shouldn't be doing this," Lucy finally whispered as her eyes swept over Amy's face again before she looked into her eyes.

She watched as curious blue eyes stared at her, probably looking for any indication that something was wrong. Lucy felt uncomfortable at the close scrutiny and with a heavy sigh she slid off of Amy and back onto the bed and ran a frustrated hand over her face.

The bed shifted beside her and she felt Amy's hand on her forearm, "Lucy, please tell me what's wrong?" She asked again. "Was it something I did?"

"No! Of course not," Lucy assured hoping she sounded convincing. "It's just that…it's late and in a couple more hours I'll probably be reaching the twenty-four hour mark of being awake." She sighed heavily at what she was doing. "It's just that…I'm tired and knowing Scud he probably won't allow me to be in here past seven without coming to make sure I'm still in here and amongst the living." She knew it wasn't a valid excuse, but any excuse was better than none, right?

"Are you sure?" Amy asked, not entirely convinced.

"Yeah baby, I'm sure," Lucy smiled softly and leaned up and placed a reassuring, lingering kiss on Amy's lips. "Let's just get some sleep okay?"

Amy nodded slowly and Lucy could tell she wanted to press the issue further, but fortunately, she didn't and only conceded and leaned in and placed another gentle kiss against her lips that made Lucy shudder because she knew it would probably be the last.

"Goodnight," Amy said softly and lay back against the bed.

"Nite," Lucy reluctantly replied back and watched as Amy shifted and faced away from her and grabbed one of the pillows and curled herself around it. She couldn't help the scowl that crossed her features at her own actions as she pulled herself up to lean over and turn off the lamp and shrouded them in darkness. Even though she ached to do so, she resisted the urge to curl herself around the women lying next to her and hold her as she slept. Instead, she flopped back against the bed and hoped like hell unconsciousness would take over her soon and relieve her of the nightmare she'd found herself in.


Lucy made an attempt to pull her body into a stretch only to find that her range of motion was limited by the warm body that was snuggled next to her. Her eyes popped open at the unfamiliar notion that there was someone occupying her sleeping space. Pulling back slightly to look over at the still slumbering figure lying next to her, she blinked several times trying to get her eyes to adjust to the darkness that still enveloped her room. The blackout curtains only allowed a sliver of light to peek into the room, but it was enough for Lucy to see the mess of blonde hair splayed on the pillow.

Not since her time in Japan had she had a regular overnight companion, and even then there was no mistaking it for anything other than what it was. As soon as she'd landed on the island, she was received by Kaminari Akihiro, the daughter of Oyabun Akihiro, the man she was there to do business with.

Lucy was so well received in fact, that she and the dark haired beauty had landed in bed together within the first week. Kaminari was only a year older than Lucy, drop dead gorgeous and the best part was that Lucy knew she didn't have to hide any part of herself or what she did from the girl; she too was the daughter of a family head and that made full disclosure much easier.

Neither girl was naïve enough to believe that what they were doing could be more than what it was, just sex. Amazing sex to be sure, but still just sex that would occasionally led to a sleepover so they could wake up and do it all over again. Lucy knew she wasn't in any danger of losing her heart to her new foreign lover; it still belonged to the girl that had broken it into a million pieces back in L.A., and the distraction Kaminaril provided from her broken heart was appreciated.

Lucy wasn't sure of how long her forced trip to Japan was supposed to last while she expanded her family's business and ensure foreign relations with the head of the Japanese mafia. However, when her visit turned into a number of years and both girls started to develop a fondness for each other that went beyond the sexual, they knew that their friends with benefits status was becoming more complicated than they had intended.

After a long discussion, it was agreed that they'd keep things strictly professional. So once again, Lucy had to make a choice between business and her heart and the still gun shy Lucy had once again chosen business. She had resigned herself to the fact that there was no room for love in her life.

However, there was the fact that she wasn't a nun, nor did she have any aspirations to be, so from that point forward, the brunette made it a point to keep any romantic involvements she'd had short and to the point. She never gave any girl a reason to believe that what they were doing would last or turn into something more serious, and if either one of them started to develop feelings Lucy was quick to end it. It was just her way of trying to connect with someone without losing herself in them and even though it left her lonely most of the time, she got what she needed so all in all, it was a good arrangement.

Lucy frowned, wondering how she'd strayed so far from her former self. After her last encounter with heart ache, that in which she called Riley Schaffer, she'd promised herself to never allow another woman to get close to her heart again. Somehow though the blonde had snuck past her defenses before she knew what hit her.

Lucy ran a lazy hand over her face and sighed as the previous night's events played out in her mind even as she slept. Given her abysmal luck when it came to dating maybe she should consider becoming a nun, it would surely be less confusing and frustrating.

Just as she was preparing to slip out of the bed, hopefully unnoticed, the blonde head on her shoulder stirred and rose. Hazy, unfocused beautiful blue eyes slowly opened and blinked at her a few times. After a few moments the confusion in them cleared and she was greeted with a shy smile.

"Good morning," Amy's voice cracked with disuse and the general huskiness associated with the first words of the day.

"Morning," Lucy replied, a small smile gracing her own lips. She wanted to reach out and smooth the blonde's sleep rumpled hair but she squelched the urge. She could afford to pursue a diversion with the D.E.B., she could even afford to like the girl while doing it, but she couldn't afford to fall in love.

So instead of losing herself in bedmate and suggesting that they just blow off all their responsibilities and spend the day in bed, she shifted and pushed herself into a sitting position, dislodging Amy in the process.

Just as she was about to provide Amy with some flimsy excuse as to why she needed her to leave, there was a knock at her door. Good ole, punctual Scud, Lucy thought. Naturally, she groaned at the intrusion but deep down she was grateful for it. The knocking grew more persistent and she looked to Amy with what she hoped was an apologetic look.

"Sorry, he's not going away so I need to see what he wants," Lucy motioned towards the door.

Amy shook her head adamantly, her blonde hair ruffling around her shoulders, "No, it's fine…really."

Lucy only nodded as she got up and ran a hand through her hair while hoping her bedhead hadn't decided to play a cruel joke on her this morning as she made her way to the door. As she approached, another more forceful knock resounded through her room and she could hear Scud mumbling something on the other side.

"Lucy? I know you're in there," she heard him yell. "At least I hope you are and didn't spend the entire night out like Dom once again. I swear she never listens to me, one day she's going to get herself in a world of trouble…," he continued to rant.

Lucy jerked the door open with a scowl on her face and causing the sandy-haired man to jump and let out a little surprised yelp. "What is it Scud?" she barked.

"Oh! You're up!"

Lucy rolled her eyes as her right hand man stated the obvious. "I am, but if I wasn't…all that banging surely would've done the job. Now what is it?"

"Well, there's something I need to discuss with you…or rather show you," he stated and made an attempt to enter Lucy's room.

The brunette extended her arm and held her hand to his chest and shoved him back into the hallway. "Slow down there Seabiscuit," she told him as she briefly looked back and then stepped over the threshold and out into the hallway and closed the door.

She watched Scud's face as the revelation that she was not alone registered. She snickered when his mouth opened and closed a few times before he finally spoke.

"You have someone in there," he asked and Lucy simply nodded. "A female someone?"

Lucy rolled her eyes. "As if there would be a someone of any other variety."

"Is it Amy?" Scud leaned in and asked in a hushed tone and bounced his brows playfully.

The criminal mastermind shook her head at his antics, but nodded in confirmation.

"This is great! This means we can get rid of her now!" He yelled and slapped Lucy heartily on the back, the move caught the thief off-guard and she lurched forward slightly from the force.

She reached out and slugged him hard in the shoulder. "Do you mind being a little more tactful? Albeit thick, these doors aren't sound- proof you know?"

"Oh! Sorry…sorry," Scud apologized but still had a goofy grin still plastered on his face.

Lucy shook her head unable to help the slight smirk that graced her lips at her friend. Just as she was about to tell Scud she need to take her overnight guest back to her own home, movement out of the corner of her eye caught her attention. She turned her head to see Dominique slowly walking their way.

Scud's head turned in the direction that Lucy was looking in and he folded his arms across his chest and gave a disapprovingly glare to his sister.

"Well it's so nice of you to join us this morning. I mean I was just telling Lucy here how I wondered if you would grace us with your presence today."

Dom smiled lazily at her brother as she neared. "Of course you were, because I know your day just doesn't go well if you aren't afforded with the sight of me dear brother."

Lucy could only smile warmly at the duo; the two of them never failed to amuse her, particularly when they were together and bantering.

"So since when do we conduct morning meetings in the hallway?" Dom asked as she leaned against the railing of the staircase.

"Since Lucy has a girl in her room," Scud answered, clearly amused with himself. "The girl," he provided.

"Oh?" Dominique looked to her boss and longtime friend.

Lucy nodded. "Look let me take care of...," she gestured toward the closed bedroom door behind her, "so we can take care of...," she gestured to whatever it was Scud wanted to show her. "I won't be long, I just need to run her home." Seeing both Scud and Dom nod Lucy turned to reenter her room.

"I knew you could do it," she heard Dominique yell out as she closed the door behind her. So different, yet two of a kind, she thought as she walked towards the bed, slightly embarrassed and hopeful that Amy's secret agent ears hadn't caught any part of that interaction.

"Sorry about that," she apologized as she neared the bed and looked down at the inviting figure that still occupied her bed. "I don't want to be a bad hostess or anything, but that can't wait," she motioned to the closed door, indicating Scud's arrival. It was the partial truth, she knew that whatever Scud had come to her room at such an early hour was probably important, but not that important seeing as he took the time to access and joke about her sleeping arrangements.

Lucy saw the blue eyes cloud once again, this time with confusion, hurt, and finally what she assumed was a mixture of embarrassment and discomfort. Seeing the agent's confusion Lucy felt like an ass and once again fought the desire to just say "screw it" and crawl back into bed. Before she could second guess herself any further Amy sat up, dragging the sheet with her and holding it to her chest as some kind of feeble shield.

"Right, of course, let me just change back into my clothes and I will um…." Amy tucked some of her unruly hair behind her ear and letting her sentence trail off.

"It's no rush or anything, it's just that…you know," Lucy interjected, letting her sentence trail off as well. Awkward much? She thought as she ran her hand through her hair. "I um, well…you can go first," Lucy motioned to the bathroom. "I'll just…I'll get dressed out here and when you're ready I'll take you home."

"Thanks." Lucy saw the light burn of embarrassment high on the blonde's cheeks and she smiled reassuringly. While she wanted some distance she really didn't want to unduly humiliate the other woman.

She adopted a genuine smile and nodded her head. "Not a problem."

She could see a small sliver of relief ghost through the blonde's gaze and Amy sent her a small smile of her own and nodded her head. "Okay well I'll just…" her voice trailed off and she gestured vaguely towards the bathroom. Lucy watched as the agent quickly gathered her clothes from the chair they had been placed on the night before and disappear into the bathroom.

Lucy let out a ragged sigh and flopped back onto the bed, draping her arms across her eyes. "Fucking cursed," she grumbled to the empty room.


Amy stood at the curb, watching Lucy's car drive away, trying to figure out where she had gone wrong with the lanky brunette. The conversation was minimal on the ride over and Lucy barely looked at her when she'd dropped her off. The brunette didn't even have the decency to offer her a goodbye kiss or walk her to her door. Amy knew a brush off when she saw one, and certainly when she was on the receiving end of one, she could definitely sense that the criminal mastermind was more than a little eager to get rid of her, but she couldn't figure out why.

Lucy had been more than receptive before and after they'd settled into bed. She was affectionate, playful and incredibly sweet. It was such a contrast to the woman that had been profiled by her organization. Lucy Diamond was a sweetheart plain and simple, and it was that woman, not the cold hardened criminal she was made out to be that Amy knew she was falling for.

With that said, Amy was willing to consider that it was her own hot, cold, hot routine the previous evening that had caused the brunette to flee. Just remembering her behavior the previous night caused the blonde agent to pinch the bridge of her nose and shake her head in disbelief at her own actions. She still wasn't entirely sure what had possessed her to change her mind and want to takes things a little further with the other woman when not even an hour before she herself had put the brakes on taking things to a more physical level.

Okay so she could come up with a few reasons of why she'd done it. Amy couldn't deny anymore that she wanted to take things to the next level with the brunette; however, she knew that she couldn't with so much riding on this case being closed and Lucy ending up behind bars. Sleeping with Lucy would cause an even bigger mess as far as her feelings were concerned. She knew there'd be no turning away from the alleged thief if she took that extra step. So in a way she was relieved that Lucy had shied away from her advance. It was the reason why and the cold nature in which she was being treated now that the blonde didn't understand.

So while she was sure that her spastic behavior was a factor, something told her that it wasn't the whole story. By all rights the brunette should have happily taken advantage of the situation given that she'd made it more than obvious that sleeping with her was definitely something she wanted. Amy wracked her brain, trying to figure out what they had been discussing that could have shifted the tide. Previous relationships, dead parents, Bobby. Although she had made an attempt to talk about the organization and to get Lucy to open up to her about it, even just a little, Amy knew she had been stonewalled on that front.

Amy sighed heavily. Definitely not the most scintillating of pillow talk, it was no wonder the other woman had been eager to flee. Oh and of course she mustn't forget that she had more or less implied that she was in love with her and wanted more. Great. No wonder Lucy had been so distant all morning. The crime boss had made a vague promise to call her later, but at this point Amy wasn't sure she should wait by the phone. Max was going to be so pissed.

Amy sighed again and turned reluctantly to face her apartment building. She was seriously dreading the upcoming confrontation with her volatile partner, but she knew that she couldn't put it off forever. Knowing Max, she was in for a very loud chewing out, a list of all the section codes she had broken, and a lecture about standard mission operation procedure. She drew in one final fortifying breath and figured she might as well just hurry up and get it over with. The sooner Max chewed her out the sooner she could retreat to her bedroom and figure out how she was going to patch things up with Lucy.

Amy quietly entered the apartment and was immediately enveloped in a bone crushing hug as she crossed over the threshold.

"Oh my god Amy…you're okay!" Janet squealed as she leaned back to look at the blonde, causing Amy to frown at the unnecessary welcome home.

"I'm fine Janet, why would you think I…," Amy's words were cut off by the lack of oxygen that she now had. Her luck could not be this bad, it simply couldn't. Life wouldn't be this cruel.

"Ah the prodigal has finally returned," the voice held the cool edge of disdain and Amy found herself straightening to attention as best she could with a still clinging Janet. Apparently it would.

"Ms. Petire! What a surprise," Amy managed to squeak out.

"I'll bet, "the older woman drawled dryly. The agency head stood with her arms folded as Mr. Phipps and Max flanked her on each side. "Why don't you come join us, we were all just having a lovely chat about you."

Janet glanced sympathetically at Amy as she slunk away and sat down on the couch and tried to make herself disappear. Mr. Phipps stood wordlessly beside Mrs. Petrie, his usual stoic mask in place while dressed in his usual blue business attire, Amy couldn't help but muse how weird it was seeing him back in a suit after months of the standard garage attire she'd gotten use too. She shot him a quick glance and she could see his eyes soften a bit before her own eyes turned to meet her partner's gaze. Max stood to Ms. Petrie's right, arms crossed over her chest, and a positive death glare aimed in her direction. Amy swallowed nervously; this was going to be fun.

"Now that we've established that you aren't bobbing face up along the coastline and waste valuable government resources looking for you, Ms. Bradley would you care to tell me exactly where you were last night?" Ms. Petrie questioned as soon as Amy made her way further into the living room.

"Bradshaw," Amy corrected automatically.

"Excuse me?" Petrie asked, her eyes narrowing dangerously.

Amy swallowed thickly, recognizing her mistake almost as soon as the words left her mouth. "My name, it's Bradshaw, not umm Bradley," Amy finished quietly, not understanding how after all these years of working for the D.E.B.S, Ms. Petrie still couldn't get her name right.

Ms. Petrie's mouth quirked into what Amy assumed was the other woman's version of a smile. The blonde felt an involuntary shudder race through her body at the sight. "Well then, Ms. Bradshaw would you care to tell me, why it is your partner here and Jill felt it necessary to summon me out of a very important meeting with the presumption that something awful had happened to you?"

Janet opened her mouth to correct their department head about her name, but was abruptly cut off by the death glare Max shot her way.

Amy licked her lips nervously, and fought the urge to fidget. "I was uh…following up on a lead." Petrie arched a perfectly sculpted brow and looked at the clearly uncomfortable agent questioningly, silently urging the blonde to continue. "The target decided to the leave the event we were invited to a little earlier than we assessed. An opportunity to accompany her presented itself, so I took it."

Petrie sat quietly for a few moments, apparently digesting the information. "Ms. Brimley, I know you're well aware that no agent is to be left alone with a target for any length of time. It is why our agents are always paired up in teams of at least two, not only is it more practical in that it serves as an extra pair of eyes and ears for the mission, but more importantly, it is for your safety and doesn't leave you vulnerable to the enemy."

Amy nodded in agreement, but briefly thought that there was definitely no way she wanted Max around for some of the steamy make-out sessions she and Lucy had engaged in. Just the thought of them and being with the other woman almost brought a smile to her face…almost, then she realized she was in the middle of being reprimanded. Surely a lovesick grin wouldn't bode well for her in this moment.

"So in knowing that," Ms. Petrie continued, "You didn't think it prudent to notify the rest of your team as to your whereabouts? When my office received the call that one of our own was missing, I had to leave in the middle of a very important meeting to get here and sort this mess out, Ms. Bower here simply had no idea where you were."

Amy sent a few unkind thoughts her partner's way. Max was usually rigidly by the book, but if there was one time to make an exception Amy would have thought now might have been a perfect candidate. They were already skating on thin ice with this assignment, and revealing that they were violating protocols left and right would surely not end well for them.

"Well it happened pretty quickly, Lucy Diamond was clearly upset about something and I didn't have time to check in and still accost her before she left."

"You are aware you wear the standard issue watch for a reason, correct?"

Amy bit back a curse. She had deliberately not worn the multi-purpose communications device and time piece for her outing last night. She was desperately trying to think of a better excuse as to why she had neglected to don the item than the real reason; it had clashed with her outfit.

"I do." Amy nodded her head emphatically. "It's just that Lucy had already commented on it a few times, and it uh…would have looked really out of place if I had continuously worn it so I…." Amy lied and trailed off when she saw the narrowing of the older woman's eyes. Yeah she definitely should have thought of a better excuse.

"I see, well I'll be sure to notify R&D that they need to find a way to make it more fashion forward." Petrie paused briefly, eyeing the blonde critically. "Surely someone of Ms. Reynolds considerable holdings must possess at least one phone?"

"Well I didn't think it was appropriate to check in on a phone line of the person I'm targeting. The line could've been unsecure and I didn't want to risk it. Then it started getting late, so it was decided that I just stay the night and then we just made our way into bed," Amy replied unthinkingly, then realized her error as soon as the words left her mouth and she saw her boss's eyes narrow critically. Shit. Why couldn't she just once realize how something would sound before she blurted it out?

Petrie tapped her index finger against her lips thoughtfully. "I'm slightly confused. You are a trained agent, are you not?" Amy nodded, carefully refraining from actually speaking as to not dig herself into a deeper hole. "So why is it that being on a landline of a target would prevent you from using your subterfuge skills and making a simple phone call to your partner, alerting her to your whereabouts and status?"

Amy wracked her brain trying to come up with some feeble excuse to cover up her prior feeble excuse. She knew that she could've just picked up a phone and had a casual conversation with Max about where she was and who she was with and informed that she'd be staying the night. "I guess I just wasn't thinking," Amy finally admitted, because she really wasn't thinking about how many rules she was breaking when she was with Lucy. All she could see and think about last night was the girl in question and how to get closer to her.

"Not thinking is the very thing that can cost lives, so I would caution you to take heed the next time you're faced with such a simple decision such as accountability."

"Yes ma'am," Amy readily agreed.

"Now that that's out of the way, I must say, I'm still a little confused at something here. I've read the reports of this particular mission and I'm surprised to see that nothing has been mentioned that may lead me to believe that Ms. Diamond trusted you enough to let you into her home, let alone her bed. Tell me, has something taken place over night that I should be aware of as far as this case is concerned?"

Amy visibly blanched, and once again her eyes darted to Max who had now adopted a more alarmed look. Amy heard shuffling on the other side of her, and turned her head to see Janet trying to make herself invisible in couch. They all were equally responsible for that little tidbit of information being left out of the report.

It was also very clear to Amy that the last thing her boss was suffering from was confusion about the situation. It was equally as clear however that she was going to be forced to come right out with the truth. She looked briefly at Max, hoping her partner was going to jump in and help her out; it had been her idea after all. Unfortunately Max continued to stand in silence. Great.

"Well as you know we had been making very little progress infiltrating the Reynolds' organization."

"Vaguely yes," Petrie quipped mockingly.

"Right, well uh, once Lucy arrived back in the states, we had a one in a million chance at meeting her, so of course we promptly jumped at it," Amy paused, really not wanting to get into this with the formidable woman. She was sure it was going to end with them being removed from the case, and more than likely getting suspended, demoted, or outright fired. "Well after that first meeting, it quickly became apparent that Lucy might have an uh…interest in me."

Petrie pursed her lips thoughtfully. "I can only assume this interest was not in you and your partners racing ability?"

At that sake of having her ability questioned as inadequate, Max finally decided to speak up.

"Uh Ms. Petrie, I can assure you that it was my racing ability that got us the invite to begin with. We were simply playing a hunch and…," Max trailed off as Ms. Petrie held up a dismissive hand at her and motioned for Amy to continue.

Amy saw Max bristle at the slight, but the last thing she was worried about at the moment was her partner's wounded pride. Max hadn't wanted to help her out with this situation so she was going to just have to deal with it.

Amy shook her head. "As Max said, we were going on a hunch that Lucy would be more receptive to me as opposed to Max's racing skills. I mean why she would care about another thrill seeking gear head when she already had dozens on her payroll just seemed insubstantial and like it wouldn't work," Amy threw in there just for insult as she looked in traitorous partner's direction.

"But it was just a theory," Amy added when Petrie simply sat there and studied her silently, rushing to fill the uncomfortable void. "I know it was against protocol, and that we should have checked in with HQ first, but the opportunity just presented itself and we decided to run with it when it appeared that it was working and it seemed silly to let it pass without taking advantage of it."

"You find the DEBS section code silly?"

Amy blinked in surprise. "What? No! I just… there wasn't time to get it cleared, and after the plan looked like it would work we were afraid that we would get pulled for not following protocol."

"This is a top priority case which is why I implanted Joan here with the two of you," Ms. Petrie motioned to Janet, "She is your direct liaison to me and could have easily gotten this cleared within hours. So this means not only did you all knowingly disobey protocol, you flagrantly decided to hide the violation to achieve your own goals."

"Ms. Petrie I wanted to tell you, but I…," Janet blurted out and was also given a dismissive hand.

"You know Angela," Amy wisely let the error in name go uncorrected, but couldn't let go of the fact that it grated on her last nerve that this woman could not remember her name! "I have had my eye on you since you first entered the academy." Amy knew she looked shocked by this because Petrie chuckled slightly. How is it that she's been watching her since day one and couldn't remember something as simple as her name after all these years?

"Don't look so surprised. A student with a perfect score doesn't just skate by unnoticed by the department heads. I wanted to make sure you were living up to your full potential as a spy, but more importantly, as a D.E.B. While you have always performed admirably in your classes and on your assignments I never saw anything particularly special in you." Petrie cocked her head to the side, eyeing the blonde critically. "You were always content to follow the rules and let others take the lead. I am actually surprised that we find ourselves in this position."

Petrie walked towards the blonde and stopped just inches away from her. Amy cringed internally at the invasion of her personal space by such an ominous figure. She was sure that this was it; she was about to be handed her walking papers and she couldn't' help but think that it may not actually be a bad thing.

She could get as far away as possible from supervisor's who didn't remember her name, partners that always questioned her and she'd get to freely be with the woman of her dreams. Okay, so Amy knew she wouldn't be able to be with her freely, seeing as she would probably always be hunted by some law enforcement agency, but she did love a challenge. Amy cleared her throat as she saw that she was being regarded by everyone in the room. A small smile graced Petrie's lips as she eyed the nervous blonde.

"Good job Ms. Bradshaw. In fact your valor should be commended; so I'm promoting you to team leader."

"What?" All three girls cried at the same time.

Petrie flicked her gaze back and forth between them. "Don't look so surprised ladies. While following the rules to the letter of the law is an important trait to have in most of our agents, after all there would be anarchy if everyone disregarded the rules, there is also a need for a special few to occasionally throw off the yolk and reach their true leadership potential. Maybe the test wasn't wrong about you after all."

Petrie rested a firm hand on Amy's shoulder and a slight smirk crossed her lips. "I think you identify with Lucy Diamond, she sees your pathos. You've got some dangeroussymbiosis going on and we can use that to our advantage. So if she has indeed taken in interest in you then for all intents and purposes you are our leading expert here."

"Oh, I don't think I'm an expert…," Amy went on to say but was cut off.

"Don't underestimate yourself Amy. If Lucy Diamond seems to be responding to your womanly charm then I don't oppose to you using that to get this mission accomplished. She is after all our most notorious foe and by any means necessary I wish for her to be taken down, if you know what I mean." Petrie shot Amy a knowing look.

A blush crept its way up Amy's neck at what her boss was implying, because yes, she did in fact know what she meant. She briefly looked to Max to see and saw the furious gaze that had settled on the face of her former team leader as she stepped forward.

"Excuse me ma'am," Max interjected, getting the attention of the head D.E.B., "but I am team leader. I always have been."

Ms. Petrie regarded Max for a moment. "I don't have time for bruised egos, this isn't the Girl Scout's it's espionage! Now I have more important things to attend to today so I will leave you to it." She strode confidently to the door before pausing and turning back. "Though do be sure to keep Jill informed of your progress, just because your initiative is to be commended I do still expect regular, fully informed status reports."

"Of course," Amy managed to stutter out through her shock. With that Petrie, and Phipps who had remained silent the whole time, left the trio in stunned silence.

"She got your name right," Janet finally stated in surprise, breaking the quiet.

Amy shook off the fog of confusion that had descended; that was definitely not how she had pictured things playing out. "What?" she asked the still stunned brunette.

"Ms. Petrie never remembers anyone's name. You must have really made an impression."

"Well of course she did, when she took all the credit for a team effort," Max complained bitterly.

Amy whirled to confront her pissed off partner. "Don't even try to lay this on me Max. You had ample opportunity to chime in and let Petrie know it was your plan but you preferred to sit there like a statue and throw me under what I'm sure you thought was going to be a bus."

"You still could have corrected her when it became clear she wasn't pissed off about it," Max griped.

"Whatever Max," Amy replied, not in the mood to deal with her partner's mercurial attitude. "Just like you could have covered for me with Petrie this morning. Instead of calling her!" Amy put her hands on her hips and glared at her partner. "Did you really think it was in the best interest of the mission to report you had no idea where I was?"

"You were AWOL," Max insisted stubbornly.

Amy rolled her eyes. "Please, like you couldn't have deduced where I went? C'mon Max don't pull that crap with me. You were the reason why I had to go after Lucy in the first place!"

"I was the reason?"

"That's right Max, you and your showboating. Lucy wants to pull you from the Vegas race because you can't follow simple directions. All she did was ask you not to race before Vegas, and just like always, you blatantly disregarded her. If I remember correctly, we're supposed to all be playing roles here."

"She's right Max," Janet piped in. "It was agreed that we all take on some kind of role for the sake of the mission, even though you guys could've given me something more to do besides play the freeloader, but hey I'm not complaining about it," Janet said flippantly. "I just wished you'd have a little more regard for this team as a whole and stop thinking about your own selfish motives and your pride. You should've listened to Lucy, even though you didn't want too."

"Thanks," Amy smiled warmly at the younger D.E.B, expressing her gratitude for sticking up for her as she usually did where Max was concerned.

"Yes Janet, thank you very much for your unwanted opinion." Max scowled before turning her attention back to the blonde D.E.B. "And you," she pointed at Amy, "just because you want to play lapdog to your new girlfriend, doesn't mean I have to. She wants to pull me from the race then whatever, you just make sure I get back on."

"How is that my problem Max?" Amy yelled.

"It's not Bradshaw, it's our problem…we're a team remember? And now as team leader, you need to figure out a way to get me back on with Team Diamond since you're the reason we've gotten this far." Max said as she crossed her arms smugly across her chest.

Max's sarcasm wasn't lost on Amy and she rubbed a hand roughly across her brow. Just how the hell was she going to do that? She didn't even know if she was still apart of "Team Diamond" with the way things were left between her and Lucy this morning. She shook her head at the situation; she would simply just have to wait to see if Lucy would call. If not, there was no rule about her not being able to call her. Surely this cold attitude Lucy had adopted towards her was per her usual bipolarity, something Amy figured she'd be used to by now considering Lucy had been hot and cold with her since day one.

"All this still doesn't change the fact that you should have checked in with one of us before you took off," Max insisted hotly, not wanting all the blame lying on her.

"Like I told Ms. Petrie, there wasn't time. Lucy was upset and she was bolting. I couldn't just let her leave!"

"And you couldn't even call? We're partner's Amy we have to stick together in this and not just going running off all half-cocked and without any notice. Seriously? What if something had happened to you?"

Amy heard the genuine concern in her friend's tone; it was a rarity so it was easy to spot when she heard it. She sighed knowing she possibly would've been concerned if the situations were reversed and it was Max or Janet that had left with no word. "Look Max I'm sorry okay, but it's like I said, there wasn't a chance to call you before Lucy and I went to bed."

Max glared at her partner, letting Amy know that the moment of caring was over. "Oh yeah, and about that. You're sleeping with her now?"

"Yes…I mean no, not like that." Amy blushed, flustered. "We shared a bed, but nothing happened." Amy thought she heard what sounded like a disbelieving snort coming from Janet and shot a glare in the smaller girl's direction.

"Nothing happened?" Max questioned, clearly not believing the blonde.

Amy shook her head. "No, nothing happened."

Max scoffed. "I find that hard to believe."

Amy bristled at her partner's attitude. "Look Max this was mainly your idea, so you can't exactly get pissed off now that it seems to be working."

"The plan was to lead her on, spark her interest, not to sleep with her! We're federal agents not prostitutes."

Amy fought every instinct in her body to lash out physically at her partner. One, the last thing she needed was to escalate this into something the two of them couldn't move past, and two, she was pretty sure Max would kick her ass.

"I told you nothing happened," Amy repeated while stressing the last two words since it appeared her partner just wasn't getting it.

"And how long do you think that is going to last?" Max challenged. "Especially now that you've pretty much been given permission, encouraged even to put out for her."

"I don't know," Amy shrugged, "but Lucy isn't like that."

"Like what? The kind that wants to have sex? Because if the encounter with Riley that we walked in on when we met Lucy in her office is anything to go by, I'd say she's exactly like that," Max chided.

"That's not what I meant," Amy bristled, not wanting to be reminded of that little indiscretion. "What I'm saying is she's respectful and wouldn't force me to do anything I don't want. She doesn't mind waiting."

"Well isn't she sweet," Max replied disdainfully and crossed her arms over her chest.

"Look Max, all I know is that right now we're moving forward and making progress… progress that Ms. Petrie is happy with. Like she said, sometimes you have to bend the rules a little bit and step out from behind the safety of the rule book if you want to make things happen," Amy tried explaining.

"Well the next time you decide to bend the rules Bradshaw, I'd like a little heads up, but oh wait," Max held up a hand as if she was just remembering something, "You're team leader now, you don't have to consult with me, you can just do whatever the hell you want."

"Isn't that always how you saw it?" Janet asked snidely under her breath and then immediately stood and headed towards the kitchen as Max fixed her with another deadly glare. "I'll just go and um…do…uh some reporting," she said ramble off and disappeared into the kitchen.

Thinking that an escape sounded far better right now than continuing with a discussion that they had already had, and one that she was sure was just going to rehash the same old ground, Amy sighed heavily and ran a frustrated hand over her face. She'd just dodged a proverbial bullet with her superior and she really wasn't in the mood for this.

She had bigger problems to figure out right now, like why her pretend girlfriend of less than twenty-four hours was acting like anything but when she'd dropped her off. So with another heavy sigh and one last look to the last girl standing in the room, Amy turned and made her way towards her bedroom.

Short of stepping inside of her bedroom door, Amy stopped and turned around, "And for the record," she stated getting the attention of her hotheaded partner, "I don't even want to be team leader!" That said, Amy walked into her room and slammed her door.


Taking up her usual position, Riley sat with her feet propped on her desk. She had one arm lying against it as she rhythmically tapped a finger against the hand crafted wood while the other was resting against the arm of the chair and her hand gripped the cushion. To an onlooker the brunette appeared to be the picture of calmness, but contrary to her outer appearance, that was not the case.

Her aunt had called earlier that day and announced that she would be arriving in L.A. to discuss 'family matters' with her. Aside from the occasional phone call, Riley had little contact with the older woman, and normally a visit from her aunt under any circumstance would be met with great enthusiasm from her. However, her deciding to make an actual appearance now was extremely alarming for the youngest Schaffer.

There were only a few occasions that Riley could think of that would warrant a visit from her elusive aunt. No one had died and she knew she didn't have any legal matters pending, so knowing that her aunt kept an eye on the books, it was more than obvious that the family's less than stellar end of second quarter portfolio had something to do with it.

The last thing Riley wanted right now was her aunt scrutinizing the choices she had made or more accurately, the ones she had fail to make since becoming head of the family. She was well aware that she didn't have the vast academic and world knowledge that her aunt likely possessed, but although she was still young, Riley was not inexperienced when it came to the inner workings of the criminal underworld.

Her father, Quinton Schaffer, albeit a very callous and ruthless man, had made it a point to soften his stance when it came to his only daughter. He had thoroughly taught Riley the ins and outs of the syndicate to ensure his successor wouldn't be a willing target for anyone, especially the Reynolds.

Much like her father had, Riley ruled with a fierce hand and a stern disposition. In the aftermath of the bloody Reynolds/Schaffer feud and during her short time as family head, Riley had managed to keep her family afoot in the extremely volatile and competitive environment. When businesses and profits were lost in one area, Riley made sure to compensate by assuming control and increasing revenue in others.

Under Quinton's rule, the Schaffer's had always maintained the number two status, and here today, as leader, Riley found herself in the same position. Even though it was a respectable position it still made her a susceptible target for a takeover. Her only option was to capitalize on the fact that Lorenzo Reynolds was now deceased and focus her attention on surpassing the family with the number one spot now that his successor, the notorious Lucy Diamond was missing in action.

Riley saw an opportunity and exerted her family's position and went in and took control over some of the more attractive, albeit smaller business's on the ocean front that neither she or the Reynolds controlled. Water front property was always a good source of income and controlling the waterway and the area around it was a guaranteed gold mine for the holding family. Plus, it allowed her to keep an eye on the timing of the comings and goings of the other family's shipments. It was a good set up for the Schaffer's and proved lucrative for everyone involved.

One variable Riley didn't count on was for Lucy to return. There had been some speculation that the Reynolds heir would stay in Japan where she was more than embraced by the Yakuza and have her American holdings dismantled and distributed between the remaining families. It would've made no difference to Riley which piece of the pie she got, her goal was to end up with it all anyway.

However, when Lucy had indeed decided to prove them all wrong and take her place back in L.A. as well as keeping her foreign relations to the Japanese mafia intact, Riley knew that wouldn't bode well for her plans to overtake L.A. Not only was the Reynolds the largest syndicate in North America with their headquarters stationed in Riley's own back yard, she also had the support of the largest syndicate in the Eastern hemisphere backing her.

Her only options were to either lay low, which in the business she was in, wasn't really an option at all or to ally herself with a few of the smaller surrounding families. The goal was to gain enough support from them to make a move on the Reynolds and overthrow and then dismantle them, which would leave the Schaffer's in a position to acquire all the more desirable fronts and strategically issue out the others as she saw financially fit.

That had been the only option until Riley got the idea to cut everyone else out altogether and go straight to the source. Lucy. The offer had been almost immediately shut down by Riley's ex-lover and no matter how she dangled the prospect of a merger between the two families, Lucy just wasn't biting. In fact, it seemed Lucy had taken every opportunity to thwart any move forward that she had made, thus sending her three steps backwards and into a financial rut.

Over the course of a few weeks, the Reynolds had managed to restore control over the holdings that it had taken her months to acquire, and to add insult to injury, Lucy had given them back to the original owners instead of monopolizing. Other than making a fool out of her, Riley wasn't clear on Lucy's motives seeing as her ex-girlfriend refused to take any conversation she tried to have about business seriously, but what she did know was that she was done falling in line for Lucy Reynolds, professionally as well as romantically. Some changes definitely had to be made.

"Deep in thought dear?" Riley's attention was broken and her gaze shifted to the feminine figure walking through the door, followed by her right hand, Frank.

"Without deep reflection, one knows from daily life that one exists for other people," Riley quoted then smirked satisfactorily when she saw a small smile and an impressed look cross her aunt's features.

"Ah very good, it appears you were able to retain some of the knowledge I tried to instill in you even if it wasn't proper etiquette," the older woman replied as she stood behind the desk and look glaringly at Riley's booted feet that were still atop of the desk before she looked disapprovingly at her niece.

Riley remained in position and raised an amused brow at her aunt as she crossed her arms over her chest defiantly. She held the icy gaze that stared back at her, determined to be victorious in the staring contest she and her aunt were locked in. After all, it was her desk and this was her office where she did as she pleased, and if she wanted to put her feet on every raised surface in it, she would.

"Remove your feet from the desk Riley and let's get started shall we?" Her aunt commanded and sat her briefcase on the desk and took the offered seat that Frank had pulled out for her.

Resisting the urge to roll her eyes, Riley swung her feet off the desk and planted them heavily on the floor. Even though she wanted to protest further and exert her position as head Schaffer in the room, there was always something about her aunt that demanded respect and caused her to yield to her requests. One day however, Riley was determined to prevail in one of their battle of wills.

Shooting an evil glare at Frank, her right hand man, who had remained at her aunt's side, she positioned herself properly behind the desk. "What no pleasantries, Auntie? Just straight to the point then I see."

"This is a matter that requires some sense of urgency Riley, and although I wish I were here under more pleasant circumstances, we cannot entertain pleasantries right now. Now shall we get down to why I'm here or do you want to continue throwing youthful tantrums? It's really of no difference to me; I get paid by the hour."

"Funny, I don't recall asking for any assistance," the younger girl replied and placed her arms onto the desk smiling sweetly at her aunt.

"I am the eldest member of this family and I also serve as Consigliere so I am well within my rights to assert my position on both counts when it comes to how you're running this organization. This means I do not need permission to engage in family matter, Riley."

"No ma'am…I don't suppose you do," Riley said as she sat up straighter. "Now what brings you all the way from…," the brunette paused and made a gesture with her hand, "wherever it is you came from?"

Ever since she was a child, Riley didn't know a particular location that her aunt resided. She always assumed New York, but she could neither confirm nor deny the location considering she had never visited or had been privy to knowing where she called home. Riley didn't find this particular thing odd seeing as her aunt was sent away by her own father when she was a teenager to receive a higher education in law.

He even went as far as to change her surname to that of his mother's maiden name. This served as a way to keep her protected and better position her outside of the organization as to help the family when needed, and needless to say, she did her job exceptionally well seeing as the Schaffer's were never in any real trouble with the law.

The aunt reached over to open her briefcase and pulled out a pair of glasses and then slide them on before pulling out a folder. She began thumbing through it while sounding off with a series of disapproving murmurs before peering over the rim of her glasses at her niece. "You are aware of the receding quarterly gross profit margin?"

It came out as a question but Riley knew she wasn't being asked but rather being told. This time Riley did roll her eyes because of course she was aware of their financial situation as of late, but she knew that it was her aunt's way of chiding her for an explanation.

"Yes, I'm well aware of the dismissal outcome of our end of second quarter Auntie, it's my job to know after all," Riley stated bitterly.

"And do you have an explanation for this? It's seems like a sudden change in direction for the profit margin, so surely there has to be a reason for such a dramatic decrease," her aunt asked as she continued to glare at Riley condescendingly.

Riley's eyes darted to Frank, who only stood motionless with his arms folded across his chest. She should've known the big lug would be of no assistance where her aunt was concerned. She couldn't quite place her finger on it, but it was something that she noticed whenever he would look at her aunt or talk about her.

She shuddered to think that they were romantically involved, besides, that seemed nearly impossible seeing as her aunt was never around and Frank always was. However, stranger things have happened with her family, especially where romantic involvements were concerned. Whatever it was, Riley surely was going to have to have a talk with him about loyalties. Even though they were all on the same side, she still expected him to stand by her side literally and figuratively, no matter what.

The young brunette sighed deeply and clasped her hands together in a calming manner before placing them on top of her desk. "Well as I told you when we spoke before, Lucy's back in town and it seems she's not all that pleased with the way I've been running things."

Riley's aunt raised a curious brow, apparently expecting more of an explanation, but when Riley failed to continue she placed the folder down on the desk and removed her glasses.

"Is that all you have to say for yourself young lady?"

"What more do you want me to say?" Riley threw her hands up in frustration and sat back in her chair heavily.

"I want you to tell me how you allowed this to happen?"

"How I…are you kidding me?" Riley bristled. "I didn't allow anything to happen…Lucy went in and offered control back to the owners with no obligation required to the Reynolds family. Not only that but she offered the added protection from her family so that no one is able to go back in and try to take control. I'm sure what she's offering sounded a lot more appealing than what I or any other family have offered."

"Yes, I can see how a proposition of that nature would be agreeable for them. However, I'm sure it's not as simple as that. Lucinda is a smart and resourceful girl, surely she has ulterior motives." The eldest Schaffer added.

"Oh I'm sure she does," Riley agreed, "the Reynolds still control the docks, and as charitable as Lucy may want to portray herself to be I know the agreements made won't be without consequence. I'm sure she'll call in the occasional favor."

"So what are you planning to do?" The aunt asked calmly as she sat back in her chair, crossed her legs and rested her clasped hands in her lap.

Riley pressed her lips together tightly and rubbed roughly at her brow as she thought over the million dollar question. Just what was she going to do?

"Well the Reynolds have everything at the dock on lockdown, other than using lethal force there's not much I can do about the property loss that won't have some type of equally lethal backlash, something I'm trying to avoid. However, I have a few angles that I'm in the process of working out." She finally responded and glanced briefly at her aunt to gauge her reaction. Truth was, she really had no clue what she was going to do, but there was no way she was going to tell her aunt that.

"Does one of these angles happen to include your little racing hobby?" The aunt asked as she reached for the folder she'd previously placed on the desk and once again began to thumb through it. "Because I can assure you that losing five million dollars in a single race isn't a process we can afford to keep considering."

Riley's gaze shifted icily to Frank. She opened her mouth to berate him but her aunt held up a hand to stop her rant.

"Now now Riley, don't go blaming Franklin. You should know that I have access to all accounts and I checked them often. I also know that you've invested quite a hefty amount in this upcoming race that is held in Las Vegas every year."

"It's the buy in price for a spot," Riley explained.

"Yes dear, I am well aware of the specifics of the race and I've never been particularly fond of this type of business pursuit for our family. I do however understand that it has been something you've enjoyed since your teenage years, but as head of this family I expect you to act as such and I encourage that you put away such childish endeavors and act accordingly so that you're able to make sound and profitable business decisions."

"This childish endeavor has enabled me to rake in millions over the past seven years!" Riley yelled and slammed her hand down against the desk. She'd had enough of her aunt's condescending manner. "You're watching the books, you should know that! Or did you think Daddy just pulled 20 million dollars out of his ass every year?"

"There's really no need to be crude Riley, you were raised better than that."

Riley stared incredulously at her aunt. Here she was at her boiling point and there the other woman sat, cool as a cucumber and wearing the slightest of smirks on her face.

"Just like everything else you've managed to accomplish in her absence, Lucinda Reynolds' has thwarted every attempt at progress you've made since she has returned. What makes you think she won't take this racing dream of yours away as well?"

This was the very reason Riley was dreading this visit. Although she and her aunt generally got along, albeit at a distance, Riley knew she was tough and spoke her mind. Her father had complained about her being a thorn in his side on many occasions, but being that her aunt never spoke about business with her and was the one that kept the secret about hers and Lucy's relationship, Riley never saw the callous side of her. In a matter of a few short minutes, her aunt had managed to make her feel incompetent and unfit as a leader. Riley now knew what it was her father had been complaining about.

Riley took a calming breath before she spoke again. Even though her aunt was grating on her last nerve, she really didn't want to prove her right and portray herself in a childlike manner. "Lucy can't control or manipulate any of the variables of this race Auntie, so I'm quite confident that what I have planned will guarantee my victory."

"If she can't control them, what makes you think you can?"

"Because I have a driver in mind that I'm willing to bet every dime I have will annihilate the competition. They simply won't be beaten by mere drag racers." Riley explained.

"That's your plan? You're staking millions on a driver that you think is unbeatable?" The aunt asked dubiously.

"I am," Riley simply stated. "And I would appreciate it if you'd instill a little confidence that I know what I'm doing."

"Riley, I know how much racing means to you and I know you're good at it, I just don't want you to put all your faith in this and be disappointed if Lucinda once again proves to be better at what she does than you. However, I do wish you the best of luck at your race dear."

Riley scoffed at the insincere words of her aunt. It was what adults did to children to placate them and shut them up, but she knew she couldn't let her aunt shatter her confidence over the upcoming race; it was something she couldn't afford to lose.

"Now back to primary business and what we're going to do about the Reynolds…,"

"What we're going to do?" Riley questioned as she sat up straighter in her chair.

"Yes, we…like I said, I am a part of this family and I will not simply just sit back and watch what my father built dwindle away at the hands of a Reynolds or anyone else for that matter."

"You should listen to her Riley. Trust me, she's knows what she's doing and has never failed to pulled this family out of a bind," Frank finally spoke up from his position.

"It speaks!" Riley threw her hands up and yelled a little more enthusiastically than necessary, but she was pissed. "You finally decide to add your two cents in Frank and it's to agree with my aunt. Go figure."

"Franklin knows just like I do what it takes to keep a business such as ours running Riley. It would be better of you to show a little respect and listen to what we have to say."

"Fine Auntie…I'm all ears," Riley waved her hand in a 'go ahead' gesture towards her aunt but not before sending a malicious look in Frank's direction.

"Thank you," the aunt smiled warmly at her niece and once again opened her briefcase and pulled out a second folder and considered it before handing it to Riley.

Riley took the folder and opened it and began skimming through the pages. She peered over her desk and watched as her aunt and Frank began going through a folder of their own. She narrowed her eyes when she saw Frank leaned down to point something to her aunt and she laughed heartily at whatever it was he'd said.

"Where'd you get these?" She finally asked when she realized she was looking at the quarterly reports of businesses that were not there's. There was the legal business reporting that was public knowledge, but then there was the not so legal numbers that never should be made public or owned by your enemies. What they all held in her hands was an IRS agent's dream come true. Her aunt had about a dozen dossiers that belonged to families in the area as well as the surrounding area.

"Where I got them is of no concern Riley," her aunt replied, "Just what they imply."

Riley narrowed her eyes at her aunt and once again bit her tongue against lashing out at her. With an exasperated sigh she turned her attention back to the reports in front of her and read over them carefully. With a slight frown she noted the timeframe in which each report was generated and saw that each was not long after Lucy had returned. In looking at the numbers, Riley realized that each of the families along with hers had something in common.

"So all of these other families have suffered a loss within the past few weeks as well?" Riley stated more than questioned. "Looks like Lucy's been a busy girl. I can't imagine what she's gaining out of all of this aside from making us all look like fools," she mused to herself.

"It's not a matter of what she has to gain Riley; it's a matter of control. Just as her father was, Lucinda is extremely narcissistic and has absolutely no concern for others."

Riley's frown deepened at her aunt's words. She didn't want to believe that Lucy was anything like her father, but there was the fact that Riley didn't actually know the man. The secrecy of hers and Lucy's relationship didn't allow for meeting or having family dinners with the parents. All that she did know was second hand, mainly passed on by her own family, which didn't leave a good impression.

On one hand, if Lucy was indeed like her father, Riley couldn't help but think that Lorenzo Reynolds was nothing but a loving and sincere man, after all, that was what the girl she'd fallen in love with was like. But on the other, Lucy obviously wasn't a 'girl' anymore nor was she the girl she'd fallen for all those years ago. Her actions of late were nothing but that of a cold and deceptive business woman, a woman she knew nothing at all about.

"Now, our only chance at regaining what we've lost is to increase our numbers, form alliances in as well as outside of the area. That said, I've taken the liberty to speak with a few of the family heads that we have profiled here…," the elder started.

"You've taken the liberty?" Riley's head shot up and she bristled at her aunt setting up meetings that she didn't consult with her about. It was this type of blatant disrespect for her position as family head she would not continue to tolerate.

"Yes Riley, while you've been out chasing pipe dreams of a merger with the Reynolds, I've been trying to figure out ways to counteract them. What we're dealing with here is a matter of numbers, and it's quite simple, the Reynolds have more. So what I've come up with is a strategy to increase our manpower and have a fighting chance at bringing them down a notch…or for good."

Riley jumped up hastily and slammed her hand down on her desk. "Whatever it is you're planning, you should've come to me first!"

"Now hold on Riley, don't be upset with your aunt about this okay?" Frank's raucous voice sounded off for a second time as he rounded the desk an approached the younger girl. "It was me who told her about your idea to bring in some of the other families and she thought it was a good idea too. It was your original plan after all."

Riley knew Frank was right. It was indeed her original plan to have a sit down with the other families and discuss joining forces to overthrow the Reynolds when Lucy didn't immediately return. However, she had abandoned that idea as soon as she'd laid eyes on her former lover and formulated the plan to get her to join forces instead. Lucy's constant denial of her offer, coupled with her lack of romantic interest was now forcing Riley to rethink her strategy once again. Plus, it was the fact that her aunt had overstepped her boundary as merely a legal counselor and put the plan into action that had Riley's feathers so ruffled.

"That's not the point Frank! I have a right to know about any deals or moves being made on behalf of this family!" Riley yelled and shot Frank a look of pure malice.

"And now you know," the older woman stated matter-of-factly, disregarding Riley's tantrum. "Now sit down dear, if you keep throwing fits we're never going to get through this."

"I will not be overlooked!" The younger girl yelled again as her gazed shifted between her aunt and her right hand mad.

"And no one is overlooking you Riley. This is why we're all here, to figure this out…together," Frank soothed as he laid a gentle hand on Riley's shoulder.

Riley's head snapped in his direction and she glared icily at him. Her jaw began clenching and unclenching, causing her prominent dimples to appear and then disappear in her cheeks. "Fine," she finally rasped through clenched teeth, "I'll hear you guys out, but you and I are going to have a serious talk when this is over," she pointed to Frank.

"Understood," Frank acknowledged and then gave a nod of his head.

Riley then took her seat and folded her hands calmly on her desk and looked to her aunt. "Continue," she simply demanded.

"I've spoken privately with a handful of the family heads that are laid out in the profiles you've just read, and whereas some of them are not immediately onboard, I do have resources readily available that I can utilize."

"And exactly where or what do these resources consist of?" Riley curiously asked.

"They lie within the Faustino family," the elder woman provided.

"The Faustino's? From Vegas?" Riley asked and then snorted at hearing the name.

Her aunt shot her a disapproving look but continue. "Yes, of course…they've proven very valuable to our family in the past and share a hatred for the Reynolds that run just as deep as ours does…," the aunt tried to explain but was cut off.

"No," Riley simply state before her aunt could continue.

"Riley you have haven't even heard the plan," Frank interjected.

"It doesn't matter…if it involves the Faustino's then it's no deal," Riley asserted. The night of the hangar party the Reynolds' hosted not soon after Lucy's return, she had seen Angelo Faustino enter Lucy's private quarters. Riley knew that when a representative of another family asked for a private meeting with a family head, it's either to ask for a favor, or to collect on one.

Seeing as it was unlikely that the Reynolds owed the lowly Vegas family anything, she knew that it was Angelo doing the groveling. After hearing her aunt say that the Faustino's hated the Reynolds almost as much as the Schaffer's did was a bit concerning to her. If Angelo hates the Reynolds, then why would he be making an effort to try to gain favor with them? She wasn't sure of exactly what was going on, but she was sure it was something.

What she was uncertain of was Lucy's acceptance of whatever he was asking for. However, whether she accepted or not, it meant that the Faustino's were double dealing, which meant they were disloyal and couldn't be trusted. She wasn't sure how resourceful the Vegas clan had been to her family in the past, but what she was sure about was she wanted nothing to do with them now.

"Riley dear, we've already spoken with the Mendoza cartel and a deal has been brokered. They've agreed upon a shipment to the port of Miami, assuring us that Harbor Patrol will not be an issue. It is up to us to take it from there."

"Well un-broker it," the young brunette seethed, "and this is the plan the two of you have conjured up for us? Drugs? Even if I were to go along with this cockamamie scheme, you both know that the treaty doesn't allow for drugs to be dealt in the region."

"It is the only thing that the Reynolds' do not have a hand in. With so many local gangs out there now, it's easy to distribute and it provides quick revenue. And this treaty that you speak of, it was made by men, half of whom don't even exist anymore, and it wasn't unanimous, it was only passed by a majority. So I can assure you it will be well received now. These men just need someone to lead them, show them a different way," her aunt explained.

"And that someone is this family?" Riley watched her aunt and Frank both nod in agreement. Not wanting to hear anymore, she shook her head, pushed her chair back and stood. "Well Auntie, you're just going to have to go back and tell the Faustino's and the Mendoza's that the answer is no…and as head of this family and as the only vote that counts, that's my final answer." With that said, Riley waltzed confidently out the door.

The older woman slowly gathered the papers she had reviewed and tucked them back into her satchel. Standing smoothly she turned to face a frowning Frank.

"You assured me that she wouldn't put up a fight on this Franklin, we simply cannot afford to have her not on board. It doesn't look good if our very own family unit isn't cohesive."

Frank's frown increased in intensity. "She's just been under a lot of stress lately; she'll come around."

"She had better, we can't afford to have infighting in the family when there is a much better target for our energies. You know how costly internal dissent can be."

Frank rubbed absently at the scar on his throat and nodded his head. "She'll come around, I'm sure of it."


Lucy's hand slammed into the door, effectively pushing it open as she strode through. Eyeing the tray of bagels sitting on Scud's desk, she headed straight for them. "Okay what's this big news you wanted to talk to me about?"

Startled by the sudden and annoyingly noisy entrance of their leader, Scud and Dominique shot each other wary glances.

Noticing the looks she was getting, Lucy cocked her hip against the side and shrugged slightly and took a large bite out of her bagel. "What?" she asked around a mouthful of bread and turned back to the tray to pour herself a glass of orange juice and took a healthy gulp.

"Someone has an appetite this morning," Dominique noted with a grin and sent a wink Scud's way as she sat lazily in her chair smoking a cigarette.

"It's one bagel, that hardly constitutes an appetite," Lucy defended as she took another bite.

"Yeah but you don't eat breakfast, in fact the only time you do is the day of a heist, for some reason you think you may need the extra caloric intake for energy." Scud thought about his owns words and his face fell. "Do you have something planned?" he asked as he scrambled from behind his desk and stood in the center of the room with his head bobbing back and forth between Lucy and Dominique. "Because if you do, I don't know about it, and I can't stress just how so not cool that would be right now!"

Lucy and Dom shared an exasperated look. "Relax Scud," Lucy told him. "We don't have anything planned today. I just skipped dinner last night, that's all…no big deal, right?" she explained and took another bite.

"Ah because you were too busy being dinner for your little project is that it?" Even though it was sordid to think about, Scud beamed at the possibility that Lucy had finally accomplished her mission and the blonde D.E.B. would finally be out of his hair.

"Seriously Scud, I wish you would refrain from commenting on or asking me about my sex life," Lucy told him with a disgusted look.

"Oh but it's okay for Dom to question you down to the slightest detail?" he asked offended.

"See there's the thing, Dom actually has a sex life I can questioned her back about, so it's not all one sided. You see the common factor here buddy?" She looked at him questioningly and smiled brightly when he grumbled something inaudible. "That's right Scud, when you actually get a sex life then come to us and we'll talk about it."

"Well unlike some people in this room I don't have a fetish for government agents," Scud griped.

Lucy frowned, her brows furrowing. "What's that supposed to mean?"

Scud sent the brunette a disbelieving look. "The person you were suspicious of last night? You know, the cute blonde hanging around the bar? You didn't think that it might have been helpful for me to know she was a D.E.B?"

"Oh," Lucy laughed, remembering her attempt to set Scud up. "You mean Janet."

"Yes Janet," Scud reprimanded.

"Well you just admitted that she was cute, and you enjoyed her company, right?" Lucy stated more than asked. "So no harm, no foul."

"Yeah Scud, what's the big deal? You did exchange emails with her didn't you?" Dominique piped in as blew out a plume of smoke.

"I…she…we," Scud started, but couldn't think of a reasonable excuse. "Well it was only so I could further keep an eye on them. You know kind of like what Lucy's doing only without the sleeping together part."

"Good because sex via webcam probably doesn't have the same affect, plus I have to draw the line somewhere and the actual details of my brother's non-existent sex life happen to be it," she said with a disgusted shake of her head before she added, "unfortunately I've already had the displeasure of seeing a dog hump a person's leg, so I know how you'll likely handle the deed."

"There is something deeply disturbing about you," Scud commented seriously, shooting his sister a displeased glare.

"Must be in the gene pool."

"You forget we only share a father," he announced with a smirk.

"Fortunately, because unlike you, it's not where I get my looks," Dominique said with a grin.

Scud held up a finger and opened his mouth to comment, but he didn't have a witty comeback to hit Dom with so he dropped his hand and cleared his throat instead.

"Right, shall we move on?" Not getting an answer, he shared a concerned look with his sister when they both noticed the silence that had suddenly fallen upon their leader and that she seemed to be lost in thought.

Lucy thought back to earlier that morning and how distant she had been to Amy. It made her feel like the biggest scum on the planet, along with a whole range of other emotions, but more importantly, it made her heart ache that she had to let the blonde agent go. If only things could have been different. If only Amy wasn't a part of one of the government's elite paramilitary institutions and was just a normal girl trying to find her place in life. If only she hadn't been born into a life of crime and that was all she knew. If only…oh who was she kidding, if only pigs fucking flew and granted wishes Lucy thought disdainfully, which was never going to happen.

She knew she couldn't continue to second guess her decision, well, any more than she already had of course. It had to be done for her safety as well as that of her family and those she employed. Amy was there to do a job, which meant the blonde was damn good at what she did if her strategy was to get the enemy to fall for her. As protector, Lucy knew she had to do whatever it took to ensure the success of her empire, and no matter how good of an agent Amy proved to be, Lucy knew she had to be better.

From now on, there would be no more consorting with the enemy, she needed to get serious about her leading her organization and not allow herself to get sidetracked by the first hot blonde that happened into her path. She was done with the secret agent once and for all.

With a sigh she snapped out of her contemplative thoughts to see the brother and sister duo staring at her. "What?" She snapped as she looked between the two.

"Nothing," both Dom and Scud replied, sheepish from being caught staring. They couldn't help themselves though; the faraway look in Lucy's eyes had them worried. The only other time she'd spaced out and donned that look was the last time she had gotten her heart broken. For the two, it was not a good look to see on her once again.

"Well alright then, let's get down to business," Lucy said as she stood. "First off, Dom…I need you to do something for me." Seeing Dominique nod in accordance, she continued. "I need you to get the D.E.B.S. blacklisted on the racing circuit…in and out of the city. We don't take their calls and they are not to enter this compound ever again."

"Done," Dominique concerted.

"Scud," she addressed the technical genius next, who she saw was sporting a large grin. "Find something to do about that surveillance center they're fronting as a café and garage. I don't care what you do. Pay some of the local gangs to burn it or dump some rats in their kitchen or something then get the health inspectors to shut it down."

"You do realize it's a government front?" he asked.

"Doesn't matter, they're serving food to the public which means they still have to abide by the health codes. Plus you could always get the media involved; put some attention on the building. I'm sure that'd keep them busy. The last thing they can afford is close scrutiny."

"Wow, she must've been horrible in bed?" Scud joked, but Lucy failed to see the humor in it and resisted the urge to tear into her number two's ass at such a crass statement regarding her girlfriend. Ex-girlfriend Lucy corrected herself, but instead of defending the D.E.B.'s honor, Lucy choose to ignore him.

"Okay Scud, tell me why you interrupted my morning," she asked, wanting to throw herself into her work and forget that slowly and painfully, her heart was breaking.

"For starters," Scud began, "word has it some of the lower families have been meeting. I don't have anything concrete, they simply could be getting together for a friendly game of bingo for all I know, it could be nothing, but I do think we need to keep our eyes and ears open." Scud looked between the pair and saw them nod their agreement. "So that means I'm going to double your security and there will be no dumping them," he lectured causing both girls to roll their eyes.

"Now," he reached over and tapped a few keys on his keyboard and the holographic screen came to life. He tapped a few more commands and live feed of a military compound illuminated the screen. "The new arsenal of weapons that was developed strictly for the military you had me check out a few weeks ago?" Lucy nodded, remembering that the info on that particular deal was given to them by a lowly informant. "Well, they're in and are being held right in our own backyard."

"Where exactly?" Lucy asked as she narrowed her eyes at the screen.

"They're located at NAS Fallon Navy Base, it's in the western part of Nevada and they've been tested and ready for distribution," Scud explained. "I have the layout of the base as well as the location of where the weapons are being stored. And since the military is a creature of habit, I also have their rotation schedule as well the date and times of any deliveries that are going in and out."

"Okay, so we have a timeframe of maybe a week before the vultures start to move in," Dom added and stood to snub out her cigarette in the ashtray that sat on the edge of the desk and walked closer to the screen to get a better look at the layout.

"Yeah, if even that because I'm sure Nicolas the rat didn't just pass this info on to us. How old is this intel?" Lucy asked, trying to put a lock on exactly how much time they had before another family moved in on the shipment.

"Zeta just sent it over this morning, so a couple of hours give or take," Scud provided.

"Okay, so we're looking at what? Seven days max for someone to have a solid plan of action and move on this," Dominique mused as she continued to memorize the base's layout.

"Well I'm sure they don't have my stellar satellite hacking skills or a live view of the base," Scud bragged.

"Let's not make any assumptions," Lucy finally stood and walked over to stand next to Dominique to get a better look at the base as well. "You never know who has a technical geek among their ranks. So this means if it'll take someone seven days to do it the hard way, we have to be prepared to do it in five."

"Right," Dom agreed. "Do we know if there are any security cameras on ground?"

"That is the one factor I can't be sure about," Scud said as he changed the feed to different angles of the base. "There's nothing I can see with the naked eye and I can't ping anything on their network but that doesn't mean they aren't there, and without being able to do an aerial sweep of my own I can't say for sure. It's possible they just haven't hooked them into their network, which is why I can't detect them. For planning purposes we have to assume they are not only there but monitored regularly."

"Well that limits us on infiltration," Lucy contemplated as she turned and absently walked the length of the room deep in thought.

"What are you thinking?" Dominique asked her.

"Scud, you said you had delivery date and times of everything coming and going right?" Lucy asked.

"Yep."

"Okay then, do we have anything going in within this five day window?"

"Hmm," he contemplated as he typed furiously against the keyboard. "Looks like there is some construction going on at the base, private contractors are all over the place, they arrive in the morning and are there til' evening."

"Looks like we have our in," Lucy grinned as she walked over and patted Scud on the back. "It should be simple and hassle-free to create a company with reputable credentials that I could get through those gates right? The rest will be up to the crew."

Scud sent his boss a disbelieving look. "Simple? To set up a new company, with the adequate military clearances to get on base, hack into their systems, make them the primary vendor for the job, in the next…four days?"

Lucy smirked at Scud. "Can you do it?"

Scud huffed. "Well of course I can do it. But it's not exactly simple," the sandy-haired man grumbled. "Plus getting clearance to the base is only one of the issues."

"So what's the other issue?"

"Well you do know that every law enforcement agency on the globe has been watching you like a hawk since you stepped off that jet right? There is no way you aren't going to have a tail, and trying to get you and Dom on a truck and on the base without being spotted will be extremely difficult. Even trying to pull an ole bait and switch with the amount of heat we have on us won't guarantee that it works," Scud reasoned.

"Good point," Lucy nodded as she let the information sink in, knowing Scud was right. The number of agencies she had watching her no matter what country she settled in was the very reason she had to give up her number one love of diamond theft. Although she was a master at it, with all the attention she was attracting, she knew she had to be practical and lay low for a while. Unfortunately for Lucy though, her other not so law abiding business ventures also gained her notoriety. Luckily, no one had ever been able to prove anything.

"So what do we do?" Dominique queried. Lucy could tell she was just as disappointed as she was that they were going to have sit this one out.

"We go ahead as planned…Scud you get the business set up," Lucy ordered, "Dom, we'll just have to put our heads together and see who's going to be the best alternatives if we won't be able to do this ourselves." The pair nodded in agreement and Lucy walked over and sat down once again. "Anything else?"

"Yes," Scud answered as he got up and walked behind the monitor. Lucy could hear him shuffling around before he reappeared carrying a small box in his arms. "I think I may have found out some new information about your dad's death."

That news got both girls attention, Lucy sat up straighter in her chair and Dominique walked around the desk and sat against the edge with her eyes glued to the box Scud had sat on the table.

"What do you know?" Lucy asked in an authoritative tone. She was starting to become bitter about the fact that her father's killer was still out there somewhere. The fact that it was possibly someone in her own organization made things worse because she didn't know if she was shaking hands and trusting her own life to the very person that wanted to take it away.

"So, I've been wracking my brain about how someone was able to pull this off within the confines of the compound, and from what I've deduced it wasn't someone within the organization," Scud began to explain.

"How can you be so sure now? I mean at first it was the only logical explanation, now you're ruling it out. What proof do you have?" Dominique asked the questioned that had run through Lucy's mind. At this point, without any concrete proof, she wasn't willing to rule anyone out.

"Well I've gone over the surveillance of every camera that day, everything was normal and no one was in or out of this compound or that garage that wasn't supposed to be there. So naturally the selected few that did have access to the garage were questioned repeatedly accompanied by a lie detector test that was administered. That entire garage was swept and nothing came up…," he rambled on.

"Okay, okay…I get it Scud, you didn't find anything. We've gone over this already, this isn't news. I thought you said you had something," Lucy fumed and wondered why Scud was relaying to her what they already knew; which was absolutely nothing.

"I do!" he squawked and reached in the box and pulled out a series of photos, laying them out on the table.

"Are these…," Lucy's voiced trailed off as she stood up and looked down at photos that Scud had laid out.

"They are," he confirmed.

"What's the point in showing us this?" Dominique bristled at her brother's lack of sense.

"I have a point, just hear me out okay?"

"You damn well better," Lucy said venomously as she stared down at the photos of the remaining wreckage that was her father's blown up car.

"Okay, so I said this wasn't an inside job. Firstly, if it was I would've flushed this person out by now. Generally speaking, someone pulling an inside job normally will lead you right to them. The likely scenario is that someone was paid to do this. Now that being said, someone being paid to do this would have likely left the state, possibly the country already. If it was an employee, their guilt or the risk at being caught would have made them flee already. No one in the staff has left; we still have the same guys and gal working for us."

"You're still only working on theories here Scud, I need you to get to the fucking point," Lucy seethed; she was tired of him going in circles.

"Right…sorry. Okay so the one piece I was missing in all this, the most important piece I might add was the car. So I made a call down to the precinct and found out that the car was still being held in P&E. I made a few calls and was able to get back and view the actual car." Scud leaned over and tapped on his keyboard and brought up an image of the damaged vehicle. He grabbed his laser point and drew and imaginary circle around the focal point.

"This is the blast area and as you can see it's off to the side of the vehicle, something not associated with a bomb that would be planted underneath the car, which is where someone doing an inside job would generally stick it to keep it out of sight," Scud went on to explain.

"Okay, then what are we dealing with here?"

On his drawing pad, Scud drew circles around objects that at a glance, appeared to be part of the wreckage. "It's hard to see with how damaged the car is but what we have here is shrapnel," he said in way of explanation. "This is what they put in Improvised Explosive Devices, commonly known as IED's or a roadside bomb. If the blast itself doesn't kill the target, they put things in them that can cause secondary blast injuries that can kill or cause some serious damage."

"However, considering the condition of the body, I'm pretty sure it was the blast itself that killed him. Which means those bombs packed a serious punch."

"Bombs? As in more than one," Dom curiously questioned.

"Yes, I think there had to at least have been a second explosion." He added.

"You think?"

"Yes," Scud nodded and once again changed the screen's image and a diagram of a car appeared. "Lorenzo had all of the vehicles reinforced with steel and the gas tanks were wrapped in protective foam to keep them from exploding. So I think the first explosion served to weaken the car and make it more vulnerable for the second." Scud watched as both girls nodded and remained silent.

"Another thing," he said cautiously, knowing that what he was about to throw out there was going to be a shocker. "Only someone who knew that he would take such an extra precaution would be that prepared as to plant a second device. As you know your dad was very careful to keep the details of your mom's death tightly under wraps. Very few people knew that Lorenzo had the cars reinforced after your mother's death, so I think it's possible that the person who's responsible is also responsible for the bomb that killed your mother. Plus there would have been much easier ways to take out your dad, mirroring your mother's death had to have been a message."

Lucy's eyes widened at Scud's revelation. Never in a million years did she think that the two incidents could be related, after all that was more than fourteen years ago that a car bomb had killed her mother. With an aggrieved sigh, Lucy dropped her head in her hands and shook her head.

"How is this possible," she mumbled and looked up. "That explosion happened in the compound, how is that possible that the same person did this? And doesn't that greatly narrow our list of possible suspects?"

Scud grimaced. "I wish I could say yes, unfortunately your dad was no more successful in finding your mom's killer than we have been in finding his."

Lucy sighed again, "Okay…well, anything else?"

Scud brought up two plots of land on his screen and pointed with his laser. "The property has two exits; it was deliberately built that way for the purpose of an ambush. Enemies get in and they have limited room for escape and get boxed in, unfortunately this worked against us as well seeing as it gave us limited means of escape, which is why the underground tunnels were added. However, two exits meant when driving Lorenzo only had two ways to get to anywhere he was going. Meaning whomever set this trap probably had bombs set in both locations seeing as they didn't know which road he'd travel. This also means there had to have been a triggerman…two to be precise."

"Was the other route swept for bombs?" Dom asked.

"No, at least not immediately…so whoever set them had plenty of time to get rid of it. Since then, I've extended our level of security and set up surveillance that goes as far as the main roads. No one gets within 300 yards of this place and me not know it."

"Well it's a little late for that now isn't it," Lucy spat bitterly. "Why was such an obvious weak spot allowed to remain until something like this happened?" Lucy demanded.

Scud opened and closed his mouth soundlessly, not able to think of anything to defend himself.

"Do we at least know who these triggermen were?" Lucy asked wanting to get down to the specifics of the specifics, and move past her accusation.

Scud sighed heavily, "Unfortunately no, and what's even worse is that any material used in making an IED is easy to find, meaning it's pretty much untraceable. Any Joe blow on the street with access to the internet can make one of these things, which is why I think they were used. IED's are low class and cheap to make but as we all know…deadly."

"Okay, so that means I can stop looking over my shoulder when I'm sitting down in my TV room watching Saturday morning cartoons. Scud, that still doesn't tell me who killed my father," Lucy groused, disappointed that they were no closer to finding her father's killer than they were at day one. "So "I need you to stop screwing around and get me a name! Otherwise, calling these little meetings only to tell me you have nothing is…it's just too hard to deal with," Lucy huffed, got up and stormed out.


Hearing the slight creak as the door swung open, Lucy groaned audible and raised her head from where it had been laying on her desk to see Dominique walking in. "I know, I know…I was out of line."

"Well as long as you know that," the younger girl replied with a slight smile as she walked further into the room and took a seat in one of the chairs placed in from of the desk.

"I didn't mean to snap at him, it's just that I'm sick of the not knowing," Lucy grumbled. "I need someone to be angry at, someone to fight, someone to…" Lucy trailed off and shrugged in frustration as she fought for the words to say.

"To kill?" Dominique finished for her. Lucy nodded slightly as she locked eyes with her friend. "Well at least we can kind of breathe easy now that we know it's not likely someone in the organization, I mean his theories on why it couldn't be are sound to me, so if Scud believes it, then so do I."

"Yeah, it does make it a little easier to know I don't have to worry about finding razor blades in my cereal box," Lucy half joked.

"He is trying though, he barely eats, he sleeps even less than he normally does and he doesn't go out…okay, so he never went out, but you get what I'm trying to say."

Lucy laughed slightly, "Yeah I get it. I'll talk to him; he's no use to anyone if he can barely function." Lucy watched as Dom nodded and then continued to stare at her. She narrowed her brows but was only met with a raised brow. "What?" She asked annoyed.

"So you want to tell me what's going on with you?" Dominique asked as she reached in her case and pulled out a cigarette and went to light it.

Lucy narrowed her eyes at her. "We've talked about that," she told her and motioned to the unlit cigarette.

Dominique rolled her eyes and removed it and returned it back to its case. "Fine," she grumbled, "but don't change the subject."

"I'm not and there's nothing going on with me," Lucy insisted.

"Does it have anything to do with you telling me to blacklist the D.E.B.S?"

"No, because I just told you there was nothing going on, and even if there was, what makes you think she has anything to do with it. This was the plan right?"

"It was, only you didn't sleep with her," Dom goaded.

Lucy narrowed her eye and blew her bangs out of her face. She knew if anyone was able to see through that particular lie, it would be her sex addict friend.

"But then again, it's not like I actually expected you too anyway," the younger girl added.

"And what the hell is that supposed to mean?" The brunette asked annoyed.

"Well it just isn't the way you were made. You're just too damn sensitive," Dominique stated with a nonchalant shrug like she'd just said what should've been obvious to anyone.

"I am not sensitive," Lucy griped and sat up straighter.

"Oh yes you are," Dominique stated, amusement could be heard in her tone. "Even when you're trying to be casual you still end up in what looks like a relationship; you always end up giving a damn."

"And who says I give a damn?"

"This does," Dom made a hand gesture towards Lucy, "this little attitude you have going on right now. You've fallen for her and you're mad because you knew you had to let her go, which is why you didn't sleep with her, because you knew you probably wouldn't be able to."

"And who the hell are you supposed to be? Doctor Phil?"

Dominique laughed at her longtime friend, "No, but I do know you well enough to see that you're crazy about this girl."

"Not that I'm admitting that I am or anything, but even if I were it doesn't matter…she wants to lock me up and throw away the key."

"Oh I don't know if that's exactly true, I think she really likes you."

Lucy rolled her eyes. "She's an undercover agent, you're supposed to think that."

"Yeah but I see the way she looks at you and there's no faking that, she adores you."

"Really?" Lucy asked and flopped back against her chair, unable to help the love-sick smile that formed on her lips. The smile was short lived though, because as if she was shaking herself out of a stupor, the thief grew serious again. "No…with the way I've been acting I seriously doubt she thinks anything of me other than that I'm a freaking head case."

"You are," Dom deadpanned, which earned her a glare from her boss. "Oh c'mon, we all are. Look at who we are and what we do…normal people don't do the things we do. But then again, normal is boring, being badass is way more fun."

Lucy laughed, "Yeah, we are pretty badass."

The two girls fell into a comfortable silence, both seemingly lost in their own thoughts. It was Lucy who finally broke the silence.

"So aside from the whole I want to handcuff you and not in the good way thing, you really think she's into me?" The self-proclaimed badass asked hopeful.

"I do. Plus it's been weeks, has she actually done anything to indicate that she's working so hard to bust you?"

"Well she's kind of been grilling me, trying to get me to talk about what I do. It's really annoying."

Dom rolled her eyes at her friend. "It's called dating Lucy, it's what people do. Ask questions about your past, what you do, what you like."

"Yeah but we know where her questioning me can lead and that's straight to a prison cell. You know prison orange is so not my color," the mastermind replied playfully, but truthfully.

"You know that whole 'what you say can be used against you in a court of law' is bullshit and she has to know that too. It's all a bunch of legal jargon that means nothing unless there's some physical proof to back it up."

"So now you're a lawyer?" Lucy raised an amused brow.

"No, but I've watched enough Ally McBeal to know I'm right. Besides, unless she's wearing a wire, and I hope you have at least gotten far enough to know that she's not, there's no way to even prove what you've said to her anyway."

Lucy smirked at the comment and then ran a frustrated hand through her long hair. "Why are you telling me all of this? I mean you're actually sitting here giving me advice about a D.E.B. no less and it sounds like you're encouraging me."

"I'm not giving you advice nor am I encouraging you, I'm giving you my observations on the matter. I actually don't condone you falling for a D.E.B because even if by some weird twist of fate the two of you did end up together, could you really be able to trust one another after this? I just don't want you ending up being hurt by all of this Luce."

Lucy sighed heavily as she let everything best friend was telling her sink in. Not that any of it mattered anyway because that blue plaid ship had sailed and there was no turning back, because without even having to think about it, she knew that she could never fully trust Amy.

"None of this matters anyway, the D.E.B.S are out of the picture for good," Lucy assured.

"Well you may want to rethink that," Dominique replied cryptically. Lucy raised a curious brow which prompted her to continue. "The gun heist. If we already have eyes on us, we may as well make sure we have all eyes watching us. Our other shipment we're picking up at the docks is long overdue. We could just have it sent earlier than we planned to correspond with the heist and then have the D.E.B.S tag along when we retrieve it. The word will spread like wildfire through the government that Lucy Diamond has something going down at the docks and like little ant foot soldiers, they'll all fall in line leaving the navy base to fend for itself."

"So you want to plan a decoy mission?" Lucy asked rhetorically, knowing exactly what her other number two was saying. Even though what she was suggesting was a brilliant idea, she couldn't get past the fact that she'd have to see Amy again to pull this off. It was a temptation she wasn't sure she could afford to entertain because seeing the blonde agent under any circumstance was sure to make her forget about any ideas she had of letting her go.

"I'm not saying no, but I think we need to do a little more thinking and planning before we resolve to anything just yet," Lucy said as she stood and rounded her desk. "Now, I'm going to find Scud and do a little ego stroking."

Dominique stood as well and folded her arms across her chest as she prepared to leave as well, she really needed a smoke. A sly grin crossed her face, "Well, it is the only stroking he's use too from a woman."

Lucy laughed genuinely as she headed towards the door, "Scud was right, you are disturbing."

"Maybe…but I'm still a badass," came the reply, causing both girls to laugh as they headed out.