Disclaimer: Early Edition, its characters
and some situations are the property of
CBS Productions and Sony/Tri-Star.
Possible spoiler: Don't Walk Away Renee

Dinner and a Movie

by Candace Waters
July 21, 2010 (Originally written in 2002)

"Do you want to drive?" She asked as they stepped out of Mcginty's into the night. A light sprinkle of rain showered them as they headed quickly towards her little
blue Volkswagon Beetle parked along the curb.

Gary held the door open and waited until she was comfortably inside before he closed it, then scurried around to the driver's side. She leaned over unlocking the door for him and he hopped in. Brushing the water from his coat he glanced over at her.

"You alright?" he asked softly.

"Yeah," she smiled.

He thought she was looking exceptionally beautiful tonight-wearing a form-fitting light gray dress embroidered with silver flowers and patterns. Her blond tresses free from the bun she usually wore, spilled down her back now like golden silk. Not usually one to fall
for a pretty face, he was pleasantly taken when she walked into the bar to pick him up for
their date, it was all he could do to peel his eyes away from her to bid his parents good-night.

He was already feeling nervous about their date, but the suggestive glances from his parents didn't help matters. Irritated, he assured them quickly that he was only taking her out for dinner and then a movie and would be returning home that night.

Reluctantly he released the paper into their care then ushered her hurriedly
out of the bar. She smiled finding his bashful nature and the situation rather amusing

Unfortunately, the evening he had been nervously anticipating was unexpectedly interrupted when he was put on the spot with a barrage of questions she had for him-obviously more than a little curious how he had known in advance about certain events that had occurred during the past couple of weeks.

"Um, Gary?" Her voice soft and curious beside him.

Placing the key into the ignition, he paused to glance over at her.

"There's one thing that's still...bothering me."

Not sure where she was going with her questioning, he stared blankly at her waiting for her to continue.

"The explosion at the warehouse?" she questioned. "How did you know about it?"

Caught off guard, Gary stammered, "Well...uh...".

"And then there's your... parents abduction, and my mugging at the park," she paused briefly to eye him suspiciously. "You know something I don't?"

Gary shook his head slightly and glanced off, trying quickly to think of an explanation he could give to her without revealing the paper. Telling anyone about the paper was the last thing he had been thinking about tonight.

He glanced back over at her. Pretty blue eyes stared back, eyebrows raised curiously awaiting an answer. His heart fluttered.

Oh boy.

He could not deny the attraction he had been feeling for her over the past few weeks. The two of them had grown up together in the same town of Hickory, Indiana, but he had never paid much attention to her then. Not really. Too busy playing hockey or baseball with his friends to truly notice her. He did remember that her face was always buried in books. She was constantly reading. He remembered her yellow hair tied up in blue ribbons and her skinny legs with the knobby knees. And then there were the Girl scout cookies she peddled that his mom always bought from her whenever she came by. Math girl is what the kids called her and while the rest of the fourth grade class struggled through basic multiplication and division, she was already enrolled in college courses of Algebra and Trigonometry. Looking at her now, it was hard for him to believe this was the same girl.

She had changed.

They had spent a lot of time together during the past few weeks, and
it had brought them together in a way Gary would never have expected.
During that time, he had never considered telling her what he really did
everyday. But he found out the hard way what she did, and it almost
got them killed.

A mathematical genius working for the government, her work involved complicated research, programming computers to help predict weather pattern formations. Her dream was to help people by one day putting an end to famine throughout the world. Her research dealt with mind-boggling mathematical formulas that even the most high tech computer could not decipher. That is-not without the code- which was what she was working on. So far, she was closer than anyone else in the world with a breakthrough.

But, her findings had gotten her into trouble. She discovered that her boss had been secretly keeping her research to use for his own credit and personal gain. Working quickly, she copied all of her work onto a separate disk, then deleted the main file keeping the original copy. Ufortunately her boss found out what she had done. He wanted the disk back and would have done ANYTHING to get it back. Including commit murder.

On the run with the disk, she bumped into Gary and with his help they were able to elude her captors for a short time. Eventually she was found and had no choice but
to turn over the disk. Unbeknownist to her boss, she replaced the real disk with
a fake one before handing it over. For the time being, she was safe.

She was different from any women Gary had ever dated before. Highly intellectual, self-assured and witty-not to mention a black belt in Karate. All of these qualities came wrapped in a beautiful package. Gary found himself smitten.

Maybe it was the fact that they had been through so much together was the reason he decided to tell her his little secret. Maybe it was because they had relied so much on each other during their time on the run, he knew that he could trust her. Or could it have been that both of them shared a common desire-the desire to help people by predicting the future. Whatever the reason he shifted in his seat to face her.

"What if I told you," he began nervously, "That I get tomorrow's newspaper today? And that it's delivered everyday on my doorstop...with a cat? You see that's how I'm able to predict the...future."

An uneasy silence followed as the word "future" hovered mockingly in the air. Suddenly, telling her didn't seem like such a good idea after all. What if she thought he was making fun of the work that she did? What if she thought he was some kind of nut! But it was too late to take the story back now. In the darkened shadows of the car, he studied her face, her lovely features contorted in thought as she pondered the story she had just been told.

Predicting the future, a magical newspaper and a cat.

Her eyes slid back over to eye him suspiciously. After a moment, her frown transformed slowly, spreading into a beautiful smile.

"You almost had me there!" she laughed. "Ex-cept for the cat. Had you said a dog? Ohh-I would have been all yours!"

Gary chuckled then joined her in laughter-probably with a little more enthusiasm than was necessary hoping to assure her that his revelation held nothing resembling truth. She hadn't taken him seriously and he was relieved. With all she had been through during the past couple of weeks and now the fake disk she had handed over to her boss, he was certain the government agency wasn't through dealing with her. She didn't need any more complications-especially the kind a future-divining newspaper would sure to bring and he certainly didn't need any government agency breathing down his neck. Tonight, all he wanted was to be himself with a woman whose company he found he enjoyed.

The muffled sound of laughter could be heard coming from within the little blue car as it started up and pulled off slowly in the drizzling rain.

No Paper, no disks, no world-saving.

Dinner and a movie.