(Thanks to demonchilde!)


Jack let the cigarette butt drop to the ground. He stomped on it to extinguish the dying flame for good. He was on his way to check the surveillance footage again, but had made a detour to accommodate for this. A chance to see his Sam again.

He had to admit that he was getting impatient to contact her again. He wished he could call her. But no, the bastard Malone had done a better job than he'd expected at hiding and withholding Sam's current cell phone and landline numbers. It looked like an old dog could learn new tricks, after all.

So, he was reduced to waiting outside crime scenes and social events to see a glimpse of his beloved. Luckily, the security measures for the daughter weren't as strict, and he could easily follow the activities of the girl's hobby places, for instance.

Sometimes, he allowed himself to ponder whether or not Sam would miss the girl once they were together, but everytime, he abandoned the thought quickly. The daughter wouldn't matter. Not once they were reunited.

He opened the door and sidled into his car, then slid down the seat to make himself as invisible as possible. He figured that the recital would be nearing its end. He'd only arrived once the recital was taking place. No use in making himself stand out while the merry families milled about in the vicinity of the ballet studio.

He'd taken a little stroll around the block, so he knew where Sam's car was parked. They would walk past him – on the other side of the road, of course.

Jack eased lower on the driver's seat. He closed his eyes, resting them for the upcoming labour of watching the footage all night long.

He needed to look into motels in Chicago. He wanted to keep tabs on Sam while she was on her mandatory training weekend. Maybe it was time he contacted her again. After all, it had been months since he'd last reached out to her.

He snapped out of his musings when he heard laughter and cheerful chatter. Families were starting to file out of the ballet studio. He observed them, feeling nothing but vague indifference in the face of their joy. They meant nothing.

Parents with their rug rats got into their cars and started driving off. He adjusted his position a little when he spied Angel coming out of the building and heading to the car. He cursed quietly; he wouldn't get to see Sam as up close as he'd thought.

Jack's night got another black mark when he noticed Sam coming out with Chloe and Malone, the man carrying the girl. The agent had been at the recital. The thought made him grit his teeth. He hadn't figured on that.

He watched as the three of them discussed something animatedly. Sam had a few bags in her arms and a... bouquet of yellow flowers, daffodils, peeking out of one bag.

Angel drove the car from behind him and pulled up in front of him, three cars ahead. He lowered his position, congratulating himself on having parked in a space in between street lights. Sam, Chloe and Malone noticed Angel's arrival and headed to the car, taking care when crossing the street. Malone was still carrying the girl.

They made it safely across the road. Malone kissed the girl on the cheek and set her down on the ground. Sam opened the back seat door, put her bags on the seat and then made sure Chloe had buckled her seat belt.

She closed the back seat door, said a few words to Malone after which they kissed one another on the cheek. Jack pressed his fists into the seat, cushioning the force of disgust, absording it. Thankfully, the contact didn't last long.

Sam turned away and slid into the passenger seat. Malone closed the door behind her, gave a wave and watched the three women drive off. Then, he started walking in the same direction. Jack started his car and drove into the sparse traffic along the street.

He kept the velocity at a crawl, trailing Malone and keeping his eye on the man. The agent walked at a brisk pace, oblivious to the fact that his most-wanted criminal was fifty feet behind him. Jack could put a bullet in him right now and he'd never see it coming.

Malone reached a street corner and turned to the right. Jack reached the intersection, watched out for other traffic and then drove straight on, casting one final look at the agent walking under the shadow of trees.

Malone hadn't had a clue. The thought brought a twisted smile to his face.