TITLE: Bedtime Stories
ICON ARTIST: notimetothink
AUTHOR: Kuria Dalmatia
No beta. All mistakes are mine. Standard disclaimers. Wow. I have a lot of icons from nottimetothink.
"Nervous?" Dave's agent asked as she straightened his jacket collar.
He grinned smugly as he replied, "Sweetheart, I've been giving lectures to precincts in almost every state in the Union, not to mention Canada, and six European countries. The only reason why I don't mention Tokyo is because of that craptastic flight. This?" He nodded towards the gathering crowd who hadn't spotted him in the cafe just yet. "Piece of cake."
"Piece of cake?" she echoed and then laughed. "Oh, Davey, those were all to your peers. Fellow agents and cops. Those people out there? Fans. Every word your utter is gospel and every one of them, after reading your book, is going to think that they're expert profilers. Some will even tell you about the case they've been investigating. Usually their neighbor who fails to cut the lawn on a regular basis." She handed him the marked copy of his book, excerpts he was to read dutifully marked with colored sticky notes. "And don't you dare accept any offers for drinks or any other activities afterward. Capice?"
"Are you sure we're not married?"
"Absolutely. Positively." She grinned wickedly. "Once you're on the New York Times Top Ten? Then you can propose to me."
"I think your girlfriend would have some issues with that."
"Marie? Heavens no. We need a cook."
They heard the bookstore manager's opening spiel, concluding with, "...ladies and gentlemen, Girardi's Books is pleased to welcome retired FBI Supervisory Special Agent David Rossi."
The claps were frantic. There were even a few whistles.
Retired, rung in David's mind like a curse word. He forced a smile, he ran his thumb long the spine of the book, and he stood. He made his way to the table they had set up for him, choosing to sit on the edge of the table instead of the chair behind it. First rule of giving a briefing: nothing should be between you and your audience.
Old habits died hard.
David shook hands with the manager, acknowledged the crowd, and then began.
He ignored the little voice inside his head whispering, Look at Little Davey Rossi. Reading bedtime stories to all the stupid sheep.