Here's the *revised* chapter seven.. thanks Maggie! xoxo

With a sigh laced in her frustrations, Regina crossed the short distance of the suite's study and over to the sleek marble hearth of the fireplace. She leaned on it as she gazed numbingly into the dancing orange flames, her fingers tracing the shape of them. "When do we have to leave?" She asked suddenly, quietly.

After a moment's contemplation, Dr. Kirk answered her. "The drive will take a little over three-days; I wish to leave no later than tomorrow night. I don't particularly want your organization looking for you in your brief absence, so you should tell your supervisor tomorrow that you have taken ill and will not be able to attend work."

"I have never called in sick-"

Dr. Kirk clucked his tongue, "well my dear, I suppose they do say there is a first time for everything," he muttered rather unenthusiastically. His attention was elsewhere now, Regina noted.

I guess this would be a good time to leave, I've had enough of this fucker for one day.

Grabbing her keys, Regina made hastily for the door, her red hair, lengthened several inches since her escape from Edward City, streaming behind her. She all but flung open the door but reeled back suddenly, her hand flying to her heart in surprise as a uniformed young girl starred back at her, holding a tray of cheese and wine – her eyes wide and her hand trembling as if she had been caught with it deep in the cookie jar.

"What is it?" The doctor called out from the study, clearly having heard Regina's gasp.

"How long have you been listening?" Regina bit out coolly.

"Um... I..."

"'Um' is not an answer," she snapped. "How. long. have you been listening?" Regina repeated, firmly, and although Regina could not see it, a faint smile lifted one side of Dr. Kirk's mouth, one of wry amusement...and perhaps grudging approval.

The girl didn't respond – whether it be from nerves or because she had been instructed not to was unclear, but as Dr. Kirk came up behind the agent she shoved the tray hastily into Regina's arms. Kirk reached out just as the wine bottle was about to topple over and steadied it. "On behalf of the hotel management, we would li-like to th-thank you for your patronage." The girl curtseyed and hurried down the hall.

"Well, well, frightening away the lovely young ladies already, Miss Regina?" He teased, narrowing his eyes in mock glare but could not stifle the chuckle as he took the tray from her.

"They suspect something."

"Or they are thanking me for the thousands I have spent here thus far. It would not be the first time I received complimentary room service."

"She was listening."

Dr. Kirk gave a noncommittal shrug. "Perhaps."

"Why are you so unconcerned?"

"Because those who have not yet witnessed the power of the Third Energy for themselves could not begin to fathom its potential. She would have thought I was mad, and that your naiveté is unrivaled for believing a word I said."

She frowned at him, "people are looking for you."

"Yes, and if these people really wanted to find me and were placing an adequate effort into doing so, they would have found me by now. But they have not."

"Sure, whatever-"

Dr. Kirk's eyes became dark, "do not 'whatever' me, little girl," he hissed at her. "I have no need for the company of a whining teenaged brat."

"Fine. Do whatever the fuck it is you want Kirk, I don't care anymore. I'm leaving-"she spotted the wine and grabbed the bottle, "and I'm taking this."

"Be my guest."

And the door slammed shut.

"Gail, I need to speak with you for a moment please, sir."

"A minute is all I have, Regina. What is it?"

"I need to request a short leave of absence." She was fully expecting her supervisor to ask 'why', but the question never came. "I'll need about a week; maybe a few days more."

Instead the conversation went into an entirely different direction, and Regina mentally chastised herself for not expecting it. "We've had to temporarily suspend Elise, turns out she had unauthorized access into the library room," Gail turned around, meeting Regina's eyes with his steely glare.

"I know," she said.

"As a result, the third energy disk is missing."

"That's a shame," she offered half-heartedly.

"Yes, it is. However," he paced back to his desk and sat down in the large leather chair, motioning for Regina to take the other one. "What is an even bigger shame is – I don't think she is the one responsible for taking it." He leaned in closer, and Regina crossed her legs and her arms – it was barely all she could due to hide her discomfort. "I believe..." he continued, "she was framed."

Her heart was racing like a wild horse and her mouth suddenly went dry.

"Regina... is there anything you would like to tell me?"

There it was. Her chance to come clean about everything. It would be so easy right now to admit she had helped Dr. Kirk escape, to tell Gail where he was hiding and hope that the only reprimand she would receive is her discharge and termination. And she'd do it, if only... if only it'd bring Lieutenant Morton back.

But it wouldn't.

She'd already requested for the government to look into the case on numerous occasions. And the answer was always the same – no.

Regina shook her head. "No."

It was late at night when the knock sounded from the other side of the door. Regina looked up from the leather couch she had thrown herself across, and muttered at having to get up. She tossed the coverlet to the ground, and shuffled lazily towards the door, glass of wine in hand.

Perhaps I'll throw it in his face.

The knocking continued after a moment, and Regina rolled her eyes as she finished off that glass of the pricey chardonnay before reluctantly unlocking the door. She nearly stumbled away as Dr. Kirk let himself in. No greetings were exchanged but a mere, "do you have your things together?"

She nodded, gesturing to the two bags by the door.

"Good," Dr. Kirk tossed them both over his shoulder, and turned back to Regina, who evidently had other things on her mind than making haste. "What are you doing?"

"I'm fucking up everything Dr. Kirk. I am throwing everything I have worked for away because of a man, or maybe because of two men and I don't know why or if any of this is worth it," she was cut off when he pressed his index finger to her lips and smiled... she didn't know why, but there was something about the way he was looking at her... it was almost as if he already knew.

"Everything is going to be okay, Regina... you will save the young lieutenant and everything else will find a way to piece itself back together." It was an incredibly brief, but tender moment as he moved his hand up to wipe away the single crystalline tear that had glistened down her cheek. He contemplated her, his eyes flickering to her lips.

But the moment passed as quickly as she could blink and he seized her arm. "Come, it's time to go."