Tangled Agendas (3/?)

By Carol M.

See first part for details

Sorry this part took so long guys. Hopefully the next part will come quicker. Enjoy!

"Time to wake up, sleepy head," said Haley the next morning. She ran her hand down Ed's chest, letting it come to rest against his belly.

Ed stirred and gave her a tired glance. "Hey," he whispered in a groggy morning voice.

Haley started tickling his stomach. "Come on, up and at em'," she said in a firm voice.

Ed squirmed out of her reach. "But it's Sunday. I always sleep in on Sundays," he whined.

Haley sighed heavily. "Fine, have it your way. I guess I'll be eating a nice home cooked breakfast all by myself then."

Ed's stomach growled loudly. "Breakfast?"

Haley nodded. "That's right. Pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, oran…

"Okay, I'm up," interrupted Ed as he sat up dramatically in the bed.

Haley smiled and pulled him in for a kiss. "I guess the old adage 'The way to a man's heart is through his stomach' is dead on," she said with amusement. "Which reminds me…how the hell are you so thin? You eat like a horse," she said as she glanced at his slender waist.

"Fast metabolism," responded Ed.

Haley shrugged. "Either that or excessive brain power. Your mind alone probably burns the same amount of calories as a twenty mile jog."

Ed smiled and got out of bed. Haley gave him a small shove. "Go, take a shower, breakfast will be ready and waiting when you get out."

"Yes ma'am," said Ed as he staggered off into the bathroom.

Forty five minutes later, Ed had eaten his way through three pancakes, two eggs, three pieces of bacon, a sausage and three glasses of orange juice. Haley was still working on her second egg.

"So I was thinking about lunch," said Ed in a slightly eager tone.

Haley raised an eyebrow incredulously. "Ed, we're still eating breakfast."

Ed shook his head. "No, that's not what I mean. I want you to meet Sloan. You know, the friend I always talk about."

"The other woman?" said Haley jokingly.

"No, I'm serious. I really want you to meet her. Please?" he asked, shining his puppy dog eyes in her direction.

Haley smiled and nodded. "Sure. Sounds like fun."

Ed's face lit up. "Great! I'm going to call her right now and see if she's free," he said as he got up and went to the phone.

Haley was about to get to work on some bacon when her cell phone rang. She picked it up from the table and quickly answered it. "Haley Sumner."

"I want a progress report," said a man's voice on the other side of the line.

Haley glanced over at Ed, who was busying laughing and chatting on the phone. "Now is not good time," she whispered into the phone.

"Too bad. We're stepping things up. I need you to meet you today. One o'clock, usual place. Bring everything you've gotten so far," said the man.

"Fine," said Haley in an angry tone.

"Don't be late," said the man.

"Okay," answered Haley. Then the line went dead. She hung up her phone and glanced at Ed, who was still on his phone.

"Yeah, yeah, okay. I'll see you then," he said into the phone. "Bye." Ed hung up the phone and glanced at Haley. "One thirty at Billy's Bistro. How does that sound?" he asked as he began clearing away some of the dirty dishes.

Haley sighed dramatically. "Actually, my editor just called and he wants to meet with me at one. A source fell through and he's kind of in a jam," she responded. "How about I meet you there?"

"Want me to come with you? I can call Sloan back and push up lunch," offered Ed.

Haley violently shook her head. "No, no, no, you'd be bored to tears. I won't be long, I promise. Besides, I really want to meet the famous Ms. Parker," she said as she began eating a piece of bacon.

"Okay," said Ed. He looked at her with a shy expression on his face. "Thanks for making breakfast," he said softly.

Haley stood up and walked over to Ed, wrapping her arms around his waist. "You're welcome. Just trying to do my part to fatten you up."

Ed laughed and turned around, kissing the top of her head. "I've never had anyone make me breakfast like this before. Well…you know, besides my mom. It was nice," he whispered in her ear.

"Well maybe if you're a good boy, I'll do it again some time," she said as she pulled away from him. "I've got to take a shower. Want to look my best to meet Sloan."

"You're going to love her," said Ed as he turned on the faucet and began to wash the dishes.

Haley nodded slightly and then disappeared into the bathroom.

**

"Tomorrow?" yelled Haley incredulously. "You want me to take out everybody tomorrow? Jake, that's not enough time and you know it," she said in a furious tone as she stared down the crowded Santa Monica Pier where she had met her contact.

The pale skinned blonde man smiled coldly. "Actually, it's more than enough time, Haley. We've determined that Lewis is untouchable in his current location and that he won't be moved anytime soon due to a few choice words from Dr. Attwood." Jake laughed slightly. "The U.S. government actually listened to the fool."

Haley stared at Jake with an incredulous look on her face. "Wait a minute? You know where Lewis is?" asked Haley.

"We've always known, Haley," answered Jake.

"Then went the hell have I been doing for the last two weeks?" asked Haley.

"Getting close, getting inside and giving us valuable information on how to kill and manipulate the Homo Sapiens," he said as he pulled out the disk she had given him. "The stuff they're developing to use on us, we can develop to use on them."

Haley shook her head in confusion. "I still don't understand about Lewis."

"It's quite simple really. I managed to pull up an old e-mail on the disk that you gave me detailing Lewis' location. They'll realize that we know his location and they'll move him. And that's when we get him, in transit," said Jake.

"So you used me? You knew where he was all along," said Haley.

Jake shook his head. "No, we manipulated you for their reaction. Big difference. You're going to be a hero to our kind, Haley."

Haley sighed heavily. "So what do I do now?"

"You let them find out who you are and let Dr. Attwood report to his superiors. Then eliminate them," instructed Jake.

Haley stared off at the ocean for a minute and then turned her attention back to Jake. "What about Ed? He's a genius. We could use him for something," she said softly.

Jake shook his head. "Take him out along with everyone else. Those people are too much of a threat to us," said Jake firmly. "Do you understand?"

Haley nodded.

"Good. You're species is counting on you," said Jake as he walked back down the pier.

Haley leaned against the railing and closed her eyes, smelling the ocean scents in the air. It reminded her of Ed. With a heavy sigh, she pushed back from the railing and followed Jake back down the pier.

**

"Oh good, you're here," said Ed excitedly as Haley came up to his and Sloan's table at the bistro. He stood up and pulled out the empty chair next to him. Haley promptly sat down and gave Sloan

a large grin. "You must be Sloan. I've heard a lot about you," she said warmly.

Sloan returned the smile and nodded. "It's so nice to meet you, Haley. Ed's told me all about you."

Haley nudged Ed's shoulder. "Oh, so you were gossiping about me?" she said in amusement.

Ed grinned in embarrassment and looked down. "Well…"

"He's too shy for his own good," said Sloan. "Been that way for years," she added.

"Hopefully, I can bring him out of his shell," said Haley.

Sloan glanced at Ed and laughed. "I'd say you've already done that. I've never seen him so happy."

"Guys, come on now, enough about me," interrupted Ed.

"Oh all right," said Sloan. She looked over at Haley curiously. "So Ed tells me you're a reporter."

Haley nodded. "Yep. I cover entertainment news for the LA Times. Fashion, food and drink of the stars."

"Wow," said Sloan. "Sometimes I wish our job was that glamorous."

"Well from what Ed has told me, you guys get your share of headlines," said Haley.

"Unfortunately, yes," said Sloan.

"So how did you…" Haley was interrupted by the sound of Sloan's cell phone ringing.

"Sorry," said Sloan as she reached into her purse and pulled out her phone, answering it. "Sloan Parker…what…when?" she said with concern.

Ed glanced at her with a serious expression on his face.

"Yeah, we'll be right there. Bye Walter," said Sloan as she hung up the phone.

"What's going on?" asked Ed.

"Someone broke into the lab and copied the hard drives of several of our computers," answered Sloan grimly.

"What?" asked Ed.

"Walter was checking the log this morning and found that someone had accessed all our files," she said as stood up. "We should get over there, this could be serious."

"Yeah," said Ed. He glanced over at Haley with an apologetic look on his face. "I really need to get to the lab."

Haley nodded in understanding. "Go, duty calls."

"I'll come by your place later, okay," said Ed as he stood up.

"Sure," said Haley as she took hold of his hand and kissed it.

Sloan stuck out her hand in Haley's direction. "It was nice to meet you. We'll have to get together again."

Haley shook Sloan's hand and nodded. "Definitely."

Ed smiled slightly in Haley's direction. "I'll see you later, Haley."

"Bye," said Haley as Ed and Sloan quickly walked out of the restaurant.

**

Ed and Sloan found Walter looking at the data on Ed's computer when they entered the lab. "What did they copy?" asked Ed with concern as he glanced over Walter's shoulder to look at the computer screen.

"Everything. Experiments, test, raw data…Lewis' location," said Walter grimly.

"What?" asked Sloan in surprise.

"They intercepted an email addressed to me regarding Lewis' location that somehow got mixed in with the scientific data. Which means they know where Lewis is," said Walter.

"Well we've got to move him," said Sloan.

"I've already informed them," said Walter. "I made the call fifteen minutes ago. Lewis will be transported early tomorrow morning. It's risky, but it's better then him being a sitting duck, so to speak, in his current location."

Ed sat down on his desk and gazed at Walter and Sloan with a look of bewilderment on his face. "Who could have done this?"

"We'll know in a few minutes. Security is looking at the tapes from last night at the time the copying was done according to the computer log," answered Walter.

"Wait a minute, you've got cameras in here?" asked Ed.

"Yes," said Walter as he stepped away from Ed's computer. "After Tom went under Lewis' control and tried to kill us, I decided a security system wouldn't be such a bad idea. They were installed several months ago when we were also installing a new air conditioning system. No one knew except for me and the guy who installed the cameras," said Walter.

"What about Tom?" asked Sloan.

"I contacted Tom and he's trying to track down the dominants who might be behind all of this," answered Walter.

A tall, pimply-faced kid of about twenty walked into the office. "Sir, I've got something."

"Perfect," said Walter as he stepped out the door. He motioned for Sloan and Ed to follow. They all walked into Walter's office where a television had been set up. Ed gasped when he saw the freeze-framed image of Haley on the television screen. "No," he whispered softly.

The boy unfroze the image and Ed watched in horror as Haley systematically copied the computer files and looked through his drawers.

"I take it you know this woman, Ed," said Walter.

"Her name's Haley Sumner," answered Sloan.

"Who is she?" asked Walter.

"She's my girlfriend," whispered Ed as he swallowed the huge lump that was forming in his throat.

"She's one of them, isn't she?" asked Sloan.

Ed shook his head. "No, she's…look, she's a reporter, maybe she was trying to do a story," he said a little too desperately.

"How did you meet her, Ed? Who initialized the contact?" asked Walter.

Ed sunk down in a chair. "She did."

"Could she have gotten your security badge and key?" asked Walter.

Ed nodded without saying a word.

"We have to call Tom," said Sloan.

"No," said Ed as he stood up. "I'll take care of it."

"Ed…" said Sloan.

"Look, it's probably just a misunderstanding, okay," he yelled in a harsher tone then he intended. "She's just a reporter."

"We'll need a sample of her blood," said Sloan.

"No, we won't need a sample of her blood. She's not one of them. She's my girlfriend, not a dominant," said Ed.

"Ed, she used you to get inside," said Walter.

Ed shook his head. "No she didn't. This is all a mistake," he said as he started for the door.

"Ed, wait, it could be dangerous. If she is a dominant, we don't know what her plans are," said Sloan.

Ed opened the door and then slammed it shut again. He turned around with a betrayed look in his eye. "So it's okay for you to run around with the new species, but not me. Is that what you're saying?"

"Don't you think Tom and mine's situation is a little bit different?" countered Sloan. "Besides Ed, why didn't she tell you who she really was?"

Ed snorted. "I can't wait until this blows up in your faces. She's not one of them and she's not helping them. She's just a reporter looking for a story." And with that, Ed walked out the door and slammed it harshly behind him.

Walter gave Sloan a concerned look. "What was that all about?"

Sloan shook her head sadly. "He's fallen for her, Walter. His heart's broken."

"We need to get her in here and question her, see if she can tell us what the dominants are planning. Call Tom and track this woman. Watch out for yourselves and for Ed, you may be in danger," said Walter grimly.

Sloan nodded and quickly walked out of his office, already dialing Tom's number on her cell phone.

TBC