It was cold in the conference room and the rain hitting the windows seemed to make it colder. She rubbed her hands up and down her arms as an uncomfortable feeling blossomed in her stomach. She could tell by the hushed voices outside of the doors behind her something wasn't quite right. One voice was disappointed and worried; the other was sympathetic but firm.
"Peter there has to be someone else who is better suited for this." the disappointed voice said so softly that she had to strain her ears to hear.
"Neal I understand how you feel, but she is in a unique position to help." said the sympathetic voice said.
"How is getting a gun pointed at your head considered a 'unique position'? Peter she can't do this."
"It's up to her Neal; if she doesn't want to do it then she doesn't have to. You have to let her decide." The glass doors behind her opened and she stiffened. Agent Peter Burke entered the room closely followed by her very handsome, blue eyed boyfriend, Neal Caffrey. She smiled when she caught Neal's eye and felt her heart skip a beat. "Ms. Roberts, how are you?" Agent Burke asked as he sat down across from her a blue case file in his hands.
"I'm fine, thank you." Eleanor Roberts said with a polite smile. Neal sat down next to her, his finger tips brushing her thigh sending a shiver up her spine that had nothing to do with the cold.
"I'm sure you can guess why I asked you here." Agent Burke said opening the case file in front of him. Eleanor sighed as she caught a glimpse of what was in the file. There was a picture of her being held by a hulk of a man who was pointing a gun at her head. Her uneasiness was confirmed, this was about the Sampson gallery.
About two weeks ago at her work's charity party, she was held at gun point as four masked men cut priceless paintings from their frames. Agent Burke and the FBI had shown up in the nick of time before any really harm came to her. Unfortunately, the thieves got away and she was left on the gallery floor, shaken and dazed. Eleanor had vaguely been kept in the loop, getting random reports here and there, always saying the same thing, 'we're looking into a lead' or 'we're doing the best we can'. But that was it, until now.
"Did you catch them?" she asked breathlessly as Neal's hand found hers. Her heart began to pound at the thought of finally getting the justice she deserved. She wanted those creeps behind bars where they belonged.
"Not exactly." Agent Burke said carefully. "We still don't have an I.D. on 'Dr. Carmichael' but we do have a name for the man who attacked you."
"Who is he?" Eleanor asked squeezing Neal's hand.
"Ricky Kensington. He served one year in the military before getting a dishonorable discharge for larceny and assault on a commanding officer. He also did five years in a state penitentiary before being released on parole for 'good behavior'."
"Are you going to bring him in?"
"Well that's part of the reason why I asked you here. It seems like Kensington and 'Dr. Carmichael' are changing their M.O. They are stepping up their game, becoming more sophisticated. We think they are looking to expand their crew."
"I don't understand. If you know who he is then why don't you bring him in?" Eleanor asked. "So what if the others are changing their M.O. what does that have to do with anything?"
"If we bring Kensington in now, it will spook Carmichael and we might lose him and his crew."
"So you're just going to let him go?" Eleanor asked enraged.
"No, we have a plan that will not only take down Kensington but also Carmichael and his whole operation." Agent Burke said proudly.
"Well what is it?" Eleanor asked.
"I want to send you undercover." He said clasping his hands together. Neal stiffened beside her.
"Excuse me?" Eleanor blinked. He couldn't be serious could he? But the look on the Agents face was far from joking. "You want to send me undercover?"
"You have a unique relationship to the case that I think can be beneficial."
"That Kensington man held a gun to my head and threatened to kill me. How is that beneficial?" Eleanor asked still not fully comprehending what Agent Burke was telling her.
"They don't know that you have an association with the FBI. As far as they are concerned you just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time."
"But I was at the wrong place at the wrong time."
"That maybe true, but we can use that to our advantage." Agent Burke said with a hint of a smile on his face.
"I don't follow."
"I'd send you in as a perspective hire."
"But they know who I am."
"They think they know who you are. You'd tell them that you were at the charity party casing the gallery for a heist you were planning and that you accidentally got caught up in all the action."
"You think they'll believe it?"
"We can set you up with the perfect cover." Agent Burke said. "And once you have become a member of his crew, we can get evidence on them we need and take them down for good."
"Don't get me wrong Agent Burke, it sounds like a great plan and trust me I would do anything to take these guys down, but I don't have any training. I'm not an agent."
"Finally, a voice of reason!" Neal said speaking up for the first time. "I told you Peter, this isn't the job for her."
"I know you don't have any training." Agent Burke said giving Neal a stern look. "So that's why I'll be sending Neal undercover with you, as your partner."
"I would go undercover with Neal?" Eleanor asked again just to be sure she heard him right.
"Yes. Now I know there are some risks but I think you can handle it. We'll have surveillance on you at all times when you meet with Carmichael, the second something goes wrong, we'll be there. So what do you say?" Eleanor bit her lip looking from Agent Burke to Neal's pleading face. Her mind was whirling. This was her chance to get justice, to get back at those who hurt her, and she would be doing it with Neal. In its own twisted way it sounded kinda fun, like she was going to be in a sexy James Bond movie. She would get to see Neal in action, in his true element and that excited her.
"You don't have to do this Ellie." Neal whispered softly. "We can always get someone else to do it; it doesn't have to be you."
"I'll do it." Eleanor said firmly, much to Agent Burke's excitement and Neal's horror. "I want to take these bastards down."
A/n: Hello again! At the end of Gone Baby Gone I asked what kind of story I should do next and I got just about an even amount of input for a kidnapping story and an undercover story. So I had this crazy thought (a HUGE thanks to puellascribit5...you know why) and mashed them up together, thus the birth of Bella Notte. I hope it will live up to your standards! Tell me what you think so far!