Annie and Auggie were out enjoying drinks at the tavern when she got the phone call. The dinging and beeping of her cell had made her jump out of her seat. Auggie, more used to abrupt sounds, simply leaned back in his chair, bringing his glass up to his mouth to hide the smirk that he knew was forming. He heard her digging her cell out of her pocket, tilting his head to listen more intently as she answered it.
"Annie Walker," Annie said in a professional tone. She had barely finished speaking when the voice on the other side interrupted.
"You need to get out of there." The voice was low, rough, unfamiliar.
Annie paused. "Who is this? How did you get this number?"
Auggie leaned forward. There was too much noise in the tavern for him to hear what the person on the other side was saying, but he could hear Annie's responses, and from what he could tell, something bad was happening.
"Trust me." The voice continued. "You need to get out of there."
Annie was about to say something else, when the man swiftly hung up.
"Annie?" Auggie questioned. "What did they say?"
Annie turned to him. "Auggie, I think it's time to go." She stood, placed some cash on their table, and then grabbed Auggie's arm, dragging him up. She leaned close to him so that she could whisper in his ear. "I was just warned to leave." They walked up a couple of steps forward. "I think something's going to happen."
Auggie and Annie quickly made their way out of the tavern using the back door. Annie pulled her hood up, and Auggie put his sunglasses on. She pulled Auggie close to her again as they rounded the corner to the front entrance of the bar. "Let's wait a bit near the front to figure out what's going on."
Annie had her arm looped around Auggie's, and now she leaned her head against his shoulder as they continued their walk across the entrance. It was easy to act like she and Auggie were in a relationship when they needed to go undercover. "Let's go across the street… there's a vendor sending hotdogs…. We'll buy one and then go and sit at a bench near the entrance." Annie led him across the street.
Auggie bought a hotdog while Annie kept watch on the entrance. The two made their way to the bench seated near the front entrance of the tavern and waited for a couple of minutes.
Auggie placed an arm around Annie's shoulder, holding the hotdog in the other. He had already taken two bites out of it. He held the hotdog in front of Annie. "Would you like some, honey?"
Annie glanced again at the entrance. Someone was coming out. "Sure…" She took a bite as Auggie held the hotdog. "Hmmmm, thanks." She leaned closer to him.
The man exiting the tavern spoke angrily into his cell. "She's not here." He violently placed a baseball hat on his head, shoving it down so that its shadow covered most of his face. Annie didn't get a chance to see it. "I don't know. Someone must have tipped her off."
Annie tilted her head up so her mouth brushed Auggie's ear. "At your ten o'clock. He's talking on his phone. Do you hear him?"
Auggie nodded his head, cocking it slightly.
The man continued. "I'll try again later. Maybe she hasn't arrived yet." He paused. "I'll let you know." He sped up his walk, closing his phone. As he passed the couple, Auggie heard him mutter, "Damn. I was sure Walker came here after work."
When he had disappeared around the corner, Auggie and Annie stood up, Auggie keeping his arm around her shoulder. What was rest of the hotdog was tossed into the nearest trashcan, and then Auggie pulled out his phone. "I'm going to call Joan to let her know what's going on."
Annie nodded. "Okay. We're almost to the car."
When they were both in, seated, and on their way to Auggie's apartment, Auggie placed his call.
"Joan? This is Auggie. It appears sweet Annie has a stalker. We don't know yet what he wants." Auggie paused to allow her to respond.
"Are you still with her? Stay with her. Come to work. I want to discuss this in person."
Auggie grunted. "Got it."
He ended the call. "Change of plans, Annie. Joan wants us in."
Annie glanced at him, and then pulled a sudden u-turn. She reached for her phone. "I need to call Danielle to tell her I can't make it to tonight's dinner."
She was just about to dial the number when Auggie's had intercepted her, taking the phone away. "You better use mine." He placed his in her hand. That man who had called her had known her cell number. Her work cell number. Auggie was going to have to program a new phone for her.
"Oh. Right." She smiled at him. "Thanks."
She dialed the number, holding his phone up to her ear. She heard someone pick up. "Hello?" they asked.
"Danielle. This is Annie." Annie said as she turned into the parking lot of their building. "I'm really sorry, but I can't make it to dinner tonight."
"Really, Annie? I promise this guy isn't as bad as the one from last week!" Danielle protested.
Annie didn't get a chance to respond. Auggie had taken the phone from her. "Danielle? This is Auggie, a friend of Annie's from work. I'm afraid I won a bet, and now she owes me some drinks… she won't be home in time for dinner. Can you forgive her?"
"Oh!" came Danielle's flabbergasted response. "Put Annie back on, would you?"
Auggie handed the phone back to Annie as they exited the car. She had just put it up to her ear when Danielle hissed, "I want details when you get back, missy. How come you haven't mentioned this Auggie before?" She spoke louder. "Have a good time!" And then she hung up.
As Annie hooked her arm around Auggie's, she sent him a glare. "Thanks a lot, Auggie. Now she'll probably want to meet you."
Auggie grinned at her. "I have no problem with that whatsoever."
The second they entered their work space, Joan flagged them down. Annie looked around. "Wow. This place is pretty busy for seven o'clock on a Thursday night."
Joan led them to the conference room. Jai was already inside, along with several other familiar faces. Annie sat down next to Auggie. Joan walked up front. "Annie, Auggie, if you could explain what happened after you left work today."
Annie quickly went over the phone call. She described the voice as best she could, and then her decision to leave the tavern. She described the man who had left the tavern less than ten minutes after her. "He had a German accent. He was about two inches taller than me, about 150 pounds. I didn't get to see his face or hair."
Auggie cut in. "But we know he was there for Annie. As he was walking away he mumbled how he was sure Annie came to the tavern on Thursday nights." He leaned back in his seat, crossing his arms. "What we don't know is how he knew that she would be there. Or what he wanted. And how the man who warned Annie got Annie's cell number."
Jai turned to Joan. "What do you want us to do?" Auggie almost growled. Already Jai assumed that he would be in on Annie's safety.
Joan waited until she had everyone's attention before she began. "Okay. Annie, I want you to stay with Auggie for the time being. Auggie, I want you to get Annie a new cell as well as a new number. But keep the old one in case he calls again. Jai." She turned to the handsome young man. "You are going to be their lookout. This man that wants Annie will be back again. He seems to have memorized her daily pattern." She closed her eyes and brought a hand to her forehead. When she opened them again, she became super aware of the several pairs of eyes staring at her, one doing so unconsciously. "We'll figure something else out tomorrow morning."
Auggie grinned with the news. As everyone stood up to leave, he said, "Looks like we're going to have a sleepover, Annie."
He heard Annie smile, and then her murmured reply back. "You know you've always wanted to have one with me. And don't worry. I know the best games." Auggie smiled at her, and then laughed at the choking he heard behind him.
"Jai. I assume you know where I live?"
Jai walked around so that he stood in front of Auggie. His voice was smoother as he spoke. "Yes. I'll call you when I get into position."
"Great." Auggie's hand found Annie's arm so that he could latch onto her elbow. "Annie. You'll need to wait while I get you a new phone and a number. Wait in my office." He took his electronic can from his pocket, switching it on, and then let go of Annie's arm. "I'll be back for the hour is up."
Annie watched him go with a smile on her face. She nodded to Jai before turning to leave the conference room.
Once she entered Auggie's office, she allowed herself a small grin. She could sit in Auggie's super comfy chair! She plunged for the chair, sending it spinning after she had seated herself. When it has slowed to a stop in front of his computer, she leaned forward, placing her hands on his Braille keyboard. Closing her eyes, she tried to imagine herself as Auggie. She ran her fingers over the raised keyboard, frowning. None of this made any sense to her. How did Auggie learn to read this so fast? He must have really sensitive fingers.
She had only a second's warning when Auggie appeared in his office doorway. She quickly composed herself. "So, did you get it?"
Auggie tossed the cell towards her. Annie caught it, and then ran her hands over it. She frowned. "Auggie, this is just like my old phone."
Auggie smirked. "No, it's not."
Annie started to argue, her voice rising just a tad. "Yes, it is. How am I supposed to be able to tell them apart?"
Annie did so, gasping as the background on her phone. It was a picture of Auggie. On her old phone, she had never bothered choosing a background, simply using the default. "You are kind of narcissistic, aren't you?"
Auggie grinned at her. "You know you love me for it." He turned around. "Come let's go. We'll put a sticker on your old phone to label it when we get home."
Annie stuck her tongue out at him. "You're sticking your tongue out at me."
Annie got up, and marched over to his side. She leaned close to his head, "You wish," before grabbing his arm. "We're stopping by my desk first. I have another set of clothes there I can wear for tomorrow."
The ride to Auggie's apartment was filled with their banter. It wasn't until they walked inside Auggie's place that she remembered the last time she had been here with him. She remembered his bed had been a mess, and she had found a stocking on his couch.
He dropped his arm when he walked into his home, proceeding forward without any help. "You can take the bed. I'll sleep on the couch."
Imagining what his bed must look like, she almost yelled when she said suddenly, "No!" Annie calmed herself. "I mean, I'll be more comfortable on the couch." She turned an untrusting eye to the couch.
Auggie sighed, slipping off his jacket and laying it across the arm of a chair. "Fine. We'll figure it out later. And Annie," he turned to her. "You should know that Liza and I are done now. I turned it over to Joan two weeks ago."
Annie stared at him, feeling her gaze soften. "Okay. Thanks for telling me."
They were interrupted from what would have become a very sweet moment by the ringing of Auggie's phone. He reached for it. "Yeah?"
"Auggie, Jai here. I'm in position. No one will be getting in tonight."
Auggie would have rolled his eyes if he could. "Great. Thanks, Jai." He hung up promptly.
He turned to Annie again. "I'm guessing you're hungry." He gave a cricked grin. "After all, that hotdog could hardly be called a dinner."
Annie shrugged. "Yeah, I could eat." She walked towards him. "Why, are you going to cook for me?"
Auggie walked towards his kitchen. "Well, I know I have eggs… and cheese. I could whip us up some omelets?" He opened his fridge, immediately pulling out the eggs, milk, and cheese.
Annie watched him from her position leaning against his counter. "You know exactly where everything is."
"Of course. I do live here." He placed his items on the counter next to him. "There's bread in the cupboard over there," he said, gesturing, "if you want to toast some. Just be sure to put it back where you found it."
And so the next twenty minutes or so found them comfortably working next to each other as they fixed that night's dinner.
Annie smiled, savoring the last of her omelet. She hadn't been paying attention to Auggie much while he had made it, but he must have added something, because that omelet was the best in her life, beating even her sister's cooking.
Auggie listened to her from his position across the table. "Good, right?"
Annie glanced at him. "Yeah. What did you add?"
Auggie smirked. "No, no, no." he said in an effeminate voice, swinging his finger back and forth in front of him. "A good chef never reveals his secrets."
Annie was silent for all of two seconds before bursting out laughing. "That was a good one, Auggie."
"Whatever pleases you," he replied.
The rest of the night followed in much the same manner, until Annie was yawning every five minutes. She and Auggie were sitting on his couch, playing I Spy. Now Annie knew this game wasn't technically fair, seeing as Auggie was blind and all, but Auggie was the one who suggested it. He knew his apartment front and back. Annie thought she would have had a huge advantage over him, but he guessed right long before she did.
Auggie waited. It was her turn to spy something. When he didn't hear her voice, he got a little worried. He knew she was still with him. Sometime during the game, she had leaned over so that she rested against his side, his arm around her shoulder. "Annie?" He listened intently, and finally he determined that she had fallen asleep.
Auggie didn't have the heart to wake her up, and then have a little argument about who slept where. He closed his eyes. This was just as comfy as his bed. He clapped his hands lightly to turn off the light, and then turned to nuzzle the top of Annie's head. He fell asleep surrounded by the scent of grapefruit.