The room was eerily silent to the point of being beyond uncomfortable.
We all sat anxious filled with nervous tension radiating about what was going on, our minds running away with millions of crazy thoughts and questions. The first of those questions being, why exactly we'd all been called into work at 6am on Saturday morning?
I pushed my pen along the desk fidgeting as I gazed around the brightly lit room. We were all dressed in our uniforms, the normal attire for a working day here. Of course it was expected to have drama in this occupation, but not generally on a Saturday morning when you hadn't been roosted on. Especially not for me considering I was particularly low in the hierarchy of the job, this kind of stuff was only for the elite and experienced.
What was my job?
Putting it simply, we were the crime fighters, also known as the most hated people in the world if you were a teenager drug dealer.
I was a cop, an officer in New York City.
It was my first year out of the police academy, following my brothers and dad's footsteps. I honestly thought this job would be crazy, guns, drugs, crimes and police chases but I was so wrong. I'd done nothing as of yet except push paper around for the higher ranking guys, drove the squad car around the block a few times and consumed far too many coffees and donuts. So basically to me this was exciting, this was why I'd signed up to be a cop…
As I gazed around me though I noticed it was a random bunch of people who were present, all of them qualified just like me from a range of ages and different areas. The only real thing we had in common was the fact we were here, apart from that and working for the same force nothing seemed to stand out to any of us about why we'd been chosen to be at this meeting.
"Maybe we're getting fired?"
I turned and looked at my older brother, whom I tried to avoid at all costs but often had no such luck, it didn't help we lived together. He'd also been asked to attend this meeting much to my disappointed, thankfully Kevin our oldest brother hadn't been or we might as well made this meeting a Jonas family affair,
I twisted my head to the respondent gazing as Demi, my best friend who had her chair balanced on two legs leaning back casually. "They want cops at the moment, shortage across the state. I reckon this is pretty serious, I mean look how many of us have been called in here on a weekend…"
"How serious?" Selena asked,
"High priority I reckon," I added looking at the girls,
Selena rolled her eyes as I opened my mouth to retort to her immaturity only for Demi to glare at me. Selena and me had a history, the two-week kind, I didn't exactly commit easily and we'd ended on very bad terms to say the least,
"Well hopefully we find out soon, I have things to do." Joe proclaimed.
He just turned raising his eyebrows, "Wouldn't you like to know little brother?"
Demi instantly giggled as I spun sending her an intrigued look as she instantly shut up, since when did she find my brother so amusing?
"Actually I do, I'm reorganizing the partner programs." Joe announced his voice deflating, "Due to the fact there is an odd number of officers at present on the field, we have one left over-"
"Me." I responded dismally.
"Forever alone." I heard Selena mutter as I chose to ignore her,
"So I've been put in charge of trying to find somebody willing to go out onto the field from the present office staff," Joe continued looking at me, "So far no one has taken the bait, you may be stuck with no one for the rest of the year Nick,"
"Fantastic." I replied sarcastically,
"Means you won't lead anyone else on at least." Selena stated smirking.
I huffed crossing my arms opening my mouth only for Demi to jab her fingers into my ribs just as the door opened. Instantly we all turned out heads, only for an individual's presence to consume all of us. It was like the opposite of a domino effect everyone quickly ascending to his or her feet and moved our hands to form a salute as I stared at the man everyone knew but hardly anyone spoke to at our level anyway. The Commissioner of the New York Police department walked in with a purpose not even acknowledging the fact thirty people were saluting him, instead seemingly lost in another place of concentration.
"Please sit all of you."
His eyes didn't even glance at us as he spoke yet we all fell into our seats staring at him deadly silent. "Right I don't have much time to explain," He looked up for the first time and snapped his fingers, "So you all need to pay attention, I will take questions at the end."
It was then I noted a Detective quickly had sprung into action handing out manila folders, the room remaining silent until each of us had our individually named folder.
"Okay as you know we do many undercover operations here,"
My eyes instantly widened as the Commissioner stood up,
"Undercover?" Joe voices whispered in delight,
The Commissioner glanced at Joe frowning before continuing, "We have been undertaking one for the past year, a huge drug ring that we've been watching for decades and only just infiltrated recently."
He pointed at the folders and motioned to open them, "Inside those you will find information, all thirty of you will need to read them, memorize and use the intel tonight when you all go in to arrest the figures pictured." He continued as I opened the folder with the rest of the room, "It's a nightclub in a warehouse, fifteen targets in total one for every two officers, you will all be hooked up with mics and hearing devices so you can inconspicuously talk to one another and…"
He stopped leaning down pulling out a photo, he turned pushing it up against a whiteboard pointing at the young female. Instantly a light bulb flashed in my ming as I realized...I knew her?
"Miley?" Demi asked just as shocked.
"Yes," The Commissioner responded looking at Demi disgruntled "It is Miley who I'm sure a lot of you would have encountered, and who you all believe dropped out of the academy in her final year."
"Wait she didn't?" Selena asked loudly,
"No, she's been undercover for the past year."
My eyes widened as I stared at the woman that no one really got to know. I was her partner for target practice and through the entire year all I managed to learn was that her name was Miley. She never made friends, never made enemies and she was essentially a loner that no one messed with because all of us knew she was a freak when it came to everything. She was the perfect cop, and when she didn't turn up after summer break well we were all pretty damn confused,
"She has no weapon and needs to be clearly out of the way when you make the arrests." He continued ignoring all of the first years shocked expression because we hadn't expected this turn of events, "You…over there you…Jonas is it?"
I looked up realizing I was being addressed and everyone was now staring at me,
"Yes Sir?" I asked quietly,
"Buy a pink drink, any preferable at the club put it on the table. Miley will correspond with you, and you only understand?" I felt my mouth open and a lump form in my throat as I just nodded.
The Commissioner gazed at his watch and then out the window staring at the rain huffing,
"I have to go, read you reports discuss with one another and good luck, I expect this to run without a hitch."
He turned and left slamming the door in the process leaving the whole room in a complete state of shock and confusion…
I liked it best when it was raining just at dusk.
I only ever visited them when the tears fell from heaven. Why? Because no one else would be here, well not like during a sunny day anyway. I liked the memorial, I appreciated what they'd done for the families, how they'd handled the whole thing, but I still hated it. I hated the waterfalls, the trees, the names imbedded on the slate.
I hated all of it because it wasn't supposed to happen.
It never should have occurred.
I smiled weakly dumping my bag into a plastic container as the security guy called Jay grabbed it, "How you doing today? I heard you're going to be a cop! Gonna be the big boss one day like your uncle?"
I gave a small chuckle shrugging my shoulders, "Maybe, if he ever lets me take over! How are you, the wife and kids?"
I walked through the x-ray machine and held my arms up letting it scan me.
Jay smiled and nodded for me to walk through, "A handful like always, including the wife! I'm good been busy here the last couple of days with all the sunshine! Really brought all the tourists out."
My smiled dropped as I grabbed my bag, "That's why I came now,"
"I know," Jay murmured, "You always come when it rains."
I nodded and moved past him, "Bye Jay,"
"Bye Miley, be safe okay?"
I waved my umbrella shedding the droplets off it as I pushed it up once again starting the journey I always faced alone. It was a quick short walk from security as I entered the memorial site lit up almost a little blindingly,
Relief flowed through me as I noted the lack of people. That's why I liked it when the rain fell.
The memorial was a tourist attraction, something that made me angry. That's why I came here when it was raining, because I knew the tourists would be reluctant to come here, rather instead watch a show on Broadway than get their little feet wet. It was better like this, I didn't have to stand with people who had no connection to this place like I did. I wanted to be with my parents alone not with these people who never knew anyone in the buildings.
I walked quickly over to the South tower listening to the droplets hit my umbrella as I trailed around the side gazing at the waterfall. It was beautiful, even if I hated it, I couldn't deny the fact that this was perfect to honour the lives lost. I turned and stopped looking down,
Leticia Jean Stewart
Billy Ray Stewart
I ran my fingers over my parent's names as I closed my eyes clutching the umbrella tightly.
I always stood here and the first thought was always exactly the same…
What if they were still alive?
Would they be proud of me? Happy I got into college? Mad I decided not to go? Concerned by the fact I was living alone in our old apartment? Upset that I had never been to their graves? Did they still miss me, like I missed them? Were they worried that I would one day forget them? And my job, surely they would be concerned that I'd skipped Ivy League to follow in their footsteps in becoming a cop?
"Are you a family member?" An accented voice asked me,
I turned looking at the man in his mid forties, camera around his neck and a map in hand. I put on a smile, and did what I always did when asked this question. I looked at the man and I responded with a lie,
"No," I shook my head, "No I'm not,"
He just nodded looking slightly disappointment and moved away as I quickly removed my hand. I let out a small sigh, I felt mad at all the tourists who came to this site, but I couldn't blame them. They were here to pay their respects, just like I was. However unlike them, this was more personal.
"Stupid tourists…" A male voice announced.
I frowned and turned my head noting another umbrella a few feet away, a man underneath in the shadows of it's cover. "Always wanting a personal story to retell their family back in the homeland, never caring about the feelings of the victims right?"
I kept my lips sealed and tried to ignore the man's comment, but his voice was familiar to me. I knew exactly who it was and honestly I wasn't surprised, he liked having privacy with his dead brother just as much as I did. It was why he was here that confused me, he preferred to come here only for the large gathering on the day of the attacks, rather visiting the graves for personal moments with his lost big brother and sister in law.
"Sometimes it's easier to lie, to pretend you don't know anyone here." He trailed off slowly, I nodded, "It makes it hurt less anyway, right Destiny?"
I grimaced at the name I'd grown to hate but nodded regardless,
"It does I suppose,"
We both fell silent as I shifted my weight phased by his presence beside me,
"I suppose you're wondering why I'm here?" He asked after a moment.
"You're assumption is correct."
"Where do they think you are?"
"Getting food, I just needed to clear my head."
"What if you were followed here-"
"I wasn't okay, I doubt they even visit this side of town." I retorted truthfully,
"You need to know Miley, not just assume. The drug ring they're-"
"Dangerous, I know Jase."
I opened my eyes to see the same color eyes as mine glaring back at me. His features were softer than my dad's but still the same in a way that often hurt to acknowledge. He was clean-shaven, wearing a normal suit with his superior vibe falling over me. My uncle had become the man my father was supposed to be, he'd taken his spot as not only the male role model in my life but the career position my dad had been expected to achieve if he'd survived that day. My Uncle was New York Police Department's head in charge, the Commissioner.
"Look this isn't a game Miley!" He spat frustrated, "I agreed to let you do this only if you took precautions."
"I am I just- How did you even know I'd be here?"
My attempt to change the topic away from a dangerous screaming match was successful as my uncle sighed deflating a little. "I didn't," He murmured turning his head, "Amy thought you might be here,"
The reference to my aunt made shiver, "How is she?" I whispered.
"She misses you,"
"I miss her too, I miss both of you."
He looked at me for a moment to see if I was telling the truth and nodded when he found I was, "Well that's about to change," He stated as I frowned intrigued, "It ends tonight Miley, you've given us enough information and evidence to take the drug ring down. Tonight you'll be able to sleep in your own bed, in the apartment where I know you're safe."
"Tonight?" I whispered.
A folder was pushed towards me as I instantly looked around examining every single person surrounding us, while my uncle did the same. There were no wandering eyes as I opened the folder gazing down, "Those are the cops that are going in tonight undercover, there is thirty of them, mostly officers and a few sergeants."
"Wait these are-"
"First year officers, you were a cadet with them yes?"
I looked at the photos and nodded, seeing some vaguely familiar faces. I'd only been a cadet for a year when my high marks, perfect target practice and good one on one combat caught the eyes of a few. I was removed and asked to go undercover by a panel, which included my reluctant uncle who decided I'd been the best for the position. It should have been a job for an older officer but they needed a female, with an attractive appearance and brains. Therefore I never actually graduated from the academy instead I spent the last year of my life moving up the ranks of a drug ring, instead of the police force. It was dangerous and I was scared constantly, so to hear this could all be over after tonight felt like a heavy weight was about to be lifted from the burdens I already had there.
"You're nervous about this," My uncle announced,
It wasn't a question it was a statement so I nodded truthfully,
"You don't have to be there, this is happening with or without you."
"No," I murmured, "I have to be there."
I turned and stared at my uncle, "They'll get suspicious if I'm not there Jase, and when things get nasty what if one of them gets away? They'll know it was me who was undercover, if I'm there I won't arouse any thoughts that something is up." I announced seriously,
"You clearly do not have faith in the force if you think we'll let anyone get away."
I looked at him and frowned, "Jase you haven't met them, they're…slippery."
He gave a laugh, "Wow interesting choice of words."
Jase's smile faded as he stared at the water rushing down the sides of the memorials concrete walls. "Your dad said that too when he was investigating the ring twenty years ago," He murmured looking at me, "He said they were slippery, even though we had them in our clutches so many times they still managed to get away because they're smart."
I raised my eyebrows twisting my head back to my parent's names,
"I know that, I just hope you don't get caught up tonight."
"Depends, what do you want me to do?"
My uncle shook his head, "Nothing Miley, all you need to do is tell the rest of the team that everyone on the wanted list is in the room. You will not take a gun, knife or any other weapon and you will get the hell out of there when we take them down."
I instantly opened my mouth to protest only to see Jase's pleading expression,
"Miley please, don't do anything stupid."
"I won't, I just want to make this right and-"
"And I won't risk your life," Jason announced shaking his head, "You mean too much to me, you're the last thing Amy and me have of Billy and Tish and I made a promise to myself that I would look after you Miley. I don't want you die serving like they did okay?"
I knew I couldn't fight with him so I nodded instead,
"The rest of the instructions are in there, read over them and then throw the folder out so it can't be found."
Jason sighed as I felt his hand rest on my back looking down, "Let's hope they've got your back tonight." He announced as I saw a flicker of emotion that Jase generally hid behind a mask, "Be careful Miley, I want you back in your bed at our apartment okay? Just for tonight and maybe tomorrow, Amy is making your favorite dinner tomorrow, she even bought a cake."
I couldn't help but smile as his hand dropped,
"Good luck Miley."
"I don't need it."
"Yes," He announced staring at the names again, "You do, you always have."
Uncle Jase moved away from me his feet stepping in a few puddle in the progress, leaving me completely alone to order my thoughts. I looked down at the names one last time before letting my hand slip away. I followed him toward the exit leaving behind the parents that would be forever just a distant memory in my young mind, a constant reminder of how my life was wrong.
A/N: Hey guys thanks for the positive feedback, I know this is touchy topic and therefore I'm not going to mention anything but the facts and the emotions tied to them, no hating in otherwords on anyone, I just wanted to make that clear that this story isn't about that. Anyway hope you enjoyed the chapter and the story makes sense, if not it will in the coming chapters hopefully :)