Thoughts of Deception

Takes place around the time of All In

Chapter 1

Federal agents do not cry. Men do not cry either. At least from Peter Burke's viewpoint. So he was vastly relieved that the room in which he was imprisoned was dark and completely empty. No one would witness his wet cheeks or the disgrace he personally felt. He couldn't even hide the evidence of his personal shame. With his arms tightly held by the handcuffs behind his back he was prevented in wiping the moisture off his face.

He shivered in the cold and surveyed his surroundings in the eerie stillness of a late afternoon. It was a barren concrete room that he occupied. Completely devoid of any furnishings. The only light coming from the sole window positioned high up the wall. The window, originally completely boarded up, now leaked daylight from a few warped boards.

Peter tried to control his racing thoughts. The pain from the bullet wound in his shoulder intruded in a cyclical manner. He felt extreme fatigue invade his body. He was weak from blood loss and dehydration. He sat slumped against the cold wall and feared that if he slid completely to the floor he wouldn't be able to rise on his own again. He chuckled at himself at the irony. Peter Burke, senior agent of the White Collar unit, totally immobilized by his own handcuffs.

How had this happened? Arrogance, foolhardiness, misplaced trust? His actions hadn't seemed reckless to himself yesterday. How was he to know he was walking into a trap? Edward White, a man he sent to prison, would hold a grudge for years and plan retribution. How was Peter to know that Neal Caffrey would believe the man's lies and turn on him? Had he ever really known his felon consultant? Really known him! Peter had trusted his inner instincts believing that Neal was a worthwhile human being. Beneath all that conman manipulation, alleged felonies, and intelligence, his partner possessed the ability to change. To make a difference for the right side of the law. He had believed Caffrey was, at heart, a good man. Someone who had taken the wrong bend in the road early in life. Peter had tried to show Neal a different way to live his life. He respected Neal's innate intelligence, lighthearted philosophy and even his overwhelming charm. Peter enjoyed working with Neal, being his partner, solving crimes together.

For months Peter had disregarded the advice, scorn and perceptions of his fellow agents in regard to Caffrey. He had personally put his career on the line to make this mentoring of a convicted felon work. He knew that some of his peers had been won over. Most, however, held the opinions of Agent Ruiz in Organized Crime, and were not hesitant to let Peter know he was letting the agency down by employing a felon. Sure his boss, Hughes, sanctioned the "experiment" but the whole deal teetered on the reliability and commitment of Caffrey. That is why Peter Burke had not hesitated to continually monitor all of Neal's activities. Daily without fail, reviewing his monitor tracking device, following Neal's contacts and never believing the entire content of his consultant's dialogues. Using Caffrey as a consultant for the FBI was a win/win situation, both for the bureau and for Neal's redemption. At least, that is what Peter had believed until today…..