Disclaimer: I don't own Elizabeth or any of the other characters. I just wanted to try seeing through her eyes for a while.
I'll try to add some more chapters to this, with more from Elizabeth's perspective on things, as the show goes along.
"It was nice to see you, Mrs. Suit."
I had to smile at that. No matter how many times I coaxed Mozzie into calling me Elizabeth or El, in the end he always slipped back to Mrs. Suit.
I didn't mind, really. Actually, I liked it. Coming from Mozzie, somehow it felt right.
After the door closed behind him, I took a deep breath, got up from the sofa, and headed resolutely toward the kitchen to wash out the wineglasses, Satchmo padding at my heels. It wouldn't do to sit in there dwelling on Peter's whereabouts, even if for the moment Mozzie had him safely hidden away. (Safe with Mozzie! What a concept.) I had learned that a long time ago.
Mrs. Suit was still echoing in my mind as I turned on the water. Yes, I liked the title. Even though it came with its share of headaches, heartaches, and just plain exasperation.
"You're married to an FBI agent? What's that like?" How often had I faced that question from curious colleagues, clients, neighbors, and acquaintances? Often enough to toss off a practiced smile and a light answer. It wasn't as if they really wanted to know—not the real answers. Or would believe any of it if I told them.
Oh, they might have liked some of the stories. The ones about desperate hunted criminals hiding out in my kitchen, or my husband smashing a bug planted in our cable box. They'd like that kind of thing if it were made into an exciting anecdote. Not if they were actually there, living through it, seeing the stress and anxiety on Neal's face, or the frustration in Peter's eyes and the tight lines around his mouth. (Or to feel the embarrassment of having been the one to let the fake cable guy in—and given him coffee!) These incidents always sound so much more glamorous in the telling.
Even this evening's story, of coming in the door all excited for date night and finding nothing but a kitchen full of smoke and a pot roast turned to charcoal. . . . Even that one couldn't be turned into just another annoying-husband punchline to laugh over with the girls. Maybe I had thought so just at first, while dumping the blackened lump in the sink and waving the smoke out the window. But—no, not really. Even in the midst of my annoyance, I knew, down in the pit of my stomach, that there was more to it.
You always know.
Slowly, I finished wiping the last glass and set it on the counter. With nothing to do, my hands found themselves gripping the edge of the sink as I closed my eyes, feeling the familiar prickle of fear in my spine. Deep breath. Another one.
He's fine. Azaleas. He's fine.
I repeated it like a mantra until, very gradually, the tension began to ease. I opened my eyes, pulled myself together, and reached for the dish towel again.
And there's another one they'd never believe, I thought wryly, turning to hang it up. Having a safe word for your husband. A sudden grin came unbidden to my face. And they'd REALLY never believe it if I told them why it's "azaleas."
Not even Mozzie would believe that story. Not even Neal would believe that story. Which was why I'd never tell. Not them; not anyone.
That one was just for me and the Suit.