This is a story requested
by Lia. ^_^ Enjoy!
The buzzing sound is what woke him up. Neal reluctantly pulled the covers aside long enough to feel around for his cell phone on the nightstand and push it to his ear.
"Peter, this better be important." Neal slunk back under the blankets, cell with him.
"Ok... so I can come in late? Thanks... Later." The beep of the cell phone hanging up woke him up more as he reached out from under the covers and put the item back on the nightstand. Neal went back to sleep almost immediately.
Neal sat on the terrace in his favorite pair of silk pajamas. They had a classic look to them with maroon and purple stripes and a warm robe that matched. The wind gently whipped at his hair and clothes as he sipped at coffee from a small cup and read the paper. He looked relaxed as he glanced up at the sound of a quiet knock. It was June.
"Neal, you're still here? Isn't Peter coming to pick you up?" Neal shook his head, a sleepy yawn escaping his lips.
"No, he has to give an orientation to a new agent coming in to help on a case and said I could come in late. I tried to go back to sleep but I was already awake." She nodded, walking over with a small tray of food.
"Well I was just coming up with a quick breakfast for you." He nodded and smiled, standing up to help her. She shooed him away but he insisted, removing things from the tray as she placed it on the table. Everything looked so good. He bent over and kissed her on the cheek. June blushed and smiled back coyly.
"Now what was that for, young man?" He winked back with a broad grin.
"For treating me so well." She just smiled and hugged him gently as she sat down to eat with him.
Neal finished breakfast, helped June put the stuff away although she tried to shoo him again, then jumped in the shower and dressed for work. He put on one of the suits June so kindly provided him and looked at himself in the full-length mirror in his room. In these clothes he looked like a normal charming young man, not a con. Nobody would know what he was until they asked, saw his records or they saw the anklet and figured it out. He was to most, just an ordinary person who worked as a consultant for the FBI. Nothing else. Neal liked the way he looked, smiled and tossed his favorite fedora onto his head cockily. Nothing less than the best,he thought.
He made his way out of the room and took the stairs cheerily two at a time down to the large foyer below. June was waiting for him, dressed in a two piece suit dress. She must be going to a committee meeting.
"Meeting today?" June nodded, grabbing up a colorful shawl and draping it over her shoulders as she picked up her purse.
"I'm taking the Bentley if you need a ride to work." Neal blinked and nodded with a broad grin, taking her arm in his as they headed out.
"June, if I didn't know you better, I'd think you planned this." He smiled down at her and she winked.
Neal waved to June as she drove off down the street. He straightened up his collar and jacket in the reflection outside the FBI offices and confidently strode into the building. He made his way to the elevator and saw a young woman give him a second glance. He smiled at her confidently, making her blush as he entered the elevator. She continued to peer at him shyly as the doors closed making him grin. He still had it. After a few minutes the elevator opened up at his floor and he made his way towards the glass doors to his right and walked into the lobby of the offices he worked in. Jones turned and waved at him, Neal smiling back as he reached his desk near the entrance and dropped his hat down on top. He peered up at the small landing in the back and saw Peter in his office talking to someone. Must be the new guy. Neal was curious who it was but figured for once he should just leave it be considering his partner let him sleep in.
He didn't have long to wait as he heard voices coming from upstairs, among them Hughes. Neal peered around again only turning away when Jones walked over.
"Peter and Hughes were talking to the new guy about the current case." Neal nodded to Jones as they bumped fists in greeting.
"Case? Who are we chasing this time?" Jones pointed at a case file sitting on Neal's desk that the young man had failed to notice. He blinked and nodded, picking up the manila folder and popping it open.
"Art thieves who like to not only steal the art but tend to rob the patrons as well since most of their scores are auctions and charitable balls with art on display." Neal whistled through his teeth as he read the file, listening to Jones' take on it and looked at the details. His brow furrowed suddenly into a frown.
"June has a few committee events with art auctions coming up." He looked worried, Jones putting a hand on his shoulder and patting it gently.
"I'm sure she'll be ok but let Peter know. We need every lead we can get to a possible next target." Neal nodded, his attention now on the idea of June getting robbed by these cons and less on the case at hand. He didn't notice Jones had moved away and someone else now stood by his desk. Neal looked up as a shadow crossed his path.
The man that stood there was between 25 and 30 years of age with chestnut brown hair, a square chin and a small goatee. He wore a dark brown suit cut in a newer style that made Neal take a second look. In his opinion, most of the agents seemed to shop at the same boring store although Peter had a style all his own. This guy's suit was nice. Green eyes glanced down at Neal curiously, followed by a slight smirk as they seemed to be trying to size him up. They both just stared at each other a moment before Peter showed up and patted the stranger on the shoulder, looking at Neal.
"I see you guys have met. Neal Caffrey, this is Agent Brennan Taylor. He's going to be helping us with the current case." Peter looked at Neal a moment before the young man stood slowly and held out a hand.
"Hi." Neal was brief, realizing Taylor was still checking him out for some reason. The agent had a strong handshake.
"So you're an FBI consultant, not an agent?" Taylor just kept staring at Neal which started to make him uncomfortable after a moment. Neal nodded, removing his hand.
"Yes, I'm a consultant. Not an agent." He looked at Peter a moment for some help but he didn't seem to notice anything odd about the agent's questions.
"Must be interesting work. We don't have too many consultants at our offices. Like the hat." Neal blinked and looked down at it and back at the agent again.
"Thanks. So Peter… I read the file and was thinking... June has some art auctions coming up for her committee." Peter looked at him and blinked, scratching at his chin.
"Really? You think she could be targeted?" Neal shrugged but he obviously was worried about it. Peter patted his arm.
"We'll look into it but maybe... well let's talk about it in the office. Bring the file with you." Neal nodded and walked around the desk to follow Peter, Taylor in tow. Neal felt the hair on the back of his neck standing on end and turned briefly to find the agent still staring at him curiously.
Neal entered June's and locked the door behind him as he walked down the long hallway towards the stairs looking rather thoughtful. He dropped his hat on the wooden banister at the foot and started up. He heard June calling him and paused.
"Long day at work?" Neal gave a slight nod of the head, his face furrowing into a frown as he thought about something. June seemed to sense his trepidation.
"Want to talk about it over a glass of wine? I got a new bottle from a friend's vineyard." Neal heard the coy flirt of her voice knowing he couldn't pass up a glass of great wine. He nodded turning around with a smile.
They sat in the large dining room laden with a small plate of sandwiches and fruit, the bottle chilling in the middle as they sipped at the wine. Neal looked happy although his brow still furrowed slightly in thought. June placed a sandwich on his plate drawing his attention back to where he was.
"Sorry, just thinking about things." June smiled in her understanding way and put her hand on his.
"I've already told the committee members what you told me about the art thieves. If they are approached by anyone suspicious, they'll call Peter. But that's not what's worrying you, is it?" Neal tried to avoid the conversation but couldn't find a way to lie about what was bugging him.
"No..." He sipped his wine again before putting the glass down and sitting up straight, looking directly at June.
"Do you see anything odd about me? Anything that just screams "criminal?" She blinked at him a moment as if really surprised by his question but shook her head. He didn't seem to believe her, his face still furrowed with a slight frown as he sipped at his wine again.
"You're the same charming young man I remember meeting at the thrift store. Someone who needed a second chance." She paused, moving her chair closer to his.
"Did something happen at work today? Peter..." He shook his head and sighed.
"Not Peter. New guy. He gives me the creeps. Keeps looking at me like I have something growing out of my head. Peter doesn't seem to notice." June patted him on the shoulder, giving him a little hug.
"Maybe he's just nervous. New place. New people." Neal nodded but didn't seem to believe it.
"I suppose... but he just kept staring at me. He didn't act the same with anyone else that I noticed." He looked down as his now empty glass. June made to refill it but he held up his hand.
"I think I might go take a little nap. I almost forgot, Peter invited me for dinner." Neal looked apologetic at June who just smiled.
"No problem. Let me know if you need anything. I could find a bottle for you to take to them?" He looked at her and grinned with a small nod.
"Thank you, June." He hugged her tight before letting go. She just looked up at him and grinned.
"Now go rest. I'll wake you up in an hour?" Neal nodded and trotted up the stairs.