6 months after Sherry and Jake part…..

Sherry woke up screaming, she was lying in bed covered in sweat. It had been six months since she had seen or heard from him, yet she hadn't stopped thinking about him since leaving China. Ever since returning her world had felt empty and upside down. On top of her usual nightmares she had been having a reoccurring dream about losing Jake. The dream was always the same. She was standing in a dark room holding his hand when he would suddenly let go of her and turn and walk into the darkness. She always chased after him but always got lost in the darkness and would start screaming his name. Then she would wake to herself screaming in her bed. Turning over for what felt like the hundredth time that night.

"Ugh! Why can't I stop thinking about him?"

Sherry looked over at her alarm clock. It was 3:23 a.m. and she had to be signed in at HQ by 7. Since coming back they had stuck her behind a desk doing office work.

Hoping to clear her mind, Sherry got out of bed to catch some air and get a drink of water.

She walked down the hallway to her kitchen. Her apartment wasn't anything fancy but she liked it well enough. It was better than living in the windowless four walled room they had kept her confined to after being rescued from Raccoon City. She had her room and a guest room, a nice size bathroom. Her living room was a little on the small size but she had a small balcony that was nice to set on in the morning.

She pulled a glass out of the cabinet and filled it with water from the tap. After downing the water and taking a deep breath she turned to head back to bed. Her eye caught on a picture she had setting on her counter, it was of her and Jake. HQ had instructed her to destroy all evidence of her mission to protect Jake and his identity, as she was going through the file she had come across it. It was a rash decision that could cost her but she could bring herself to destroy that last piece of her and him together. It was a picture that had been captured of them in China by a reporter that was caught in the City. They were standing facing each other. Jake was holding her hand and looking at something in the distance with a fierce protective look on his face. And she was looking up at him with worry.

She had been sent on the mission to protect him, but in the end he had ended up protecting her and kept her from falling apart when things felt hopeless. She had felt so safe with Jake; he made her feel whole instead of an empty shell. She had loved him for it and still loved him now.

Sherry reached up to wipe away the tear that had started to run down her cheek.

She picked up the picture and carried it back to her room and got back into bed. She propped the picture up on her night stand next to her. Laying her head down and taking a soft quivering breath she closed her eyes and whispered…

"Goodnight Jake"

Morning came way too soon. Sherry sat up, feeling the beginnings of a head ach already starting to set in. She got up and went straight to her shower, maybe a hot shower will help wash the night away and get her woke up enough to function. After her shower Sherry dressed in her work clothes, a plain tan skirt and a quarter sleeve white button up shirt. She put on a little touch of mascara and a swipe of lip gloss and brushed her hair into order. She gave herself a sad smile in the mirror and turned to head for work. Slipping on her black heals and grabbing her purse she headed out the door.

Sherry walked into HQ heading straight for her desk. After getting all her paper work set out for the day she got up to go get a cup of coffee. While pouring some coffee into her cup, Claire walked up…

"Good morning Sherry"

"Oh, good morning Claire" She smiled and reached to give her dear friend a hug

Claire leaned back to look Sherry in the face.

"You look a little run down Sherry, everything alright?"

Sherry knew that Claire would notice the dark circles under her eyes. Claire was like a big sister to her and was the closest person she had to family. Sherry loved her and Claire was the only person in the world who she had confided in about her feelings for Jake.

"Yea, I'm fine. Just not getting much sleep lately"

Claire gave her a sad knowing smile "You're still missing him aren't you?"

Sherry could feel her eyes start to prick with the unshed tears she was holding in from last night.

"Yea, I just can't seem to get my mind off of him….I've thought about trying to contact him but I'm afraid of how he would react to it. I'm scared he would reject me."

Claire gave her a hug "well I bet he misses you to, you should call him and just throw it all out in the open. And if he turns you down then he is the idiot and doesn't deserve you."

Sherry smiled and shook her head "you're right, maybe I will do that tonight"

Claire smiled "Well remember if you ever need to talk, you can talk to me anytime"

"Thanks Claire you're the best."

Sherry and Claire waved at each other "Well I better get in there and get started or I'm going to be buried in paperwork"

"OK, talk to you later Sherry"

Sherry sat down to get started with her work. Time crawled by and she kept catching herself thinking about Jake instead of doing her work. She thought about how he used to always have a witty smartass response when she asked him questions. And how he always gave her a sexy lop sided smile after doing or saying something to get her flustered. She thought about his mouth….

"Sherry?"

Startled, she jumped and accidently knocked over the stack of files she was supposed to be working on. Great she thought, this is going to set me back at least an hour trying to reorganize everything into the right folder. Blushing she bent over to pick the papers up off the floor.

"Yes? Mrs. Hunnigan. How can I help you?"

"Oh, Sherry I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to startle you!?"

Giving a little laugh "That's OK, I guess I was just concentrating so hard that I didn't hear you come in"

Hunnigan gave her a smile and a nod. "I just wanted to let you know that I need to see you in my office after lunch"

Hearing that caught Sherry's attention and made her feel a little uneasy "Is there something wrong?"

"Oh no, nothing wrong but you might be needed for a mission. I will give you the details after lunch"

Smiling Mrs. Hunnigan left her office to head to lunch.

Sherry looked up at the clock, it was already 12:00 "Jeez I didn't even realize how long I had been sitting here"

Sherry got up to go to the vending machines in the break room to grab something to eat. She was also going to need a refill on her coffee if she was even going to get close to finishing her work today.

She tried to push thoughts of Jake into the back of her mind. "Come on Birkin, need to pull yourself together here" She said quietly to herself.

People are going to start noticing how weird she had been acting. And she absolutely did not want to try and explain how she had fallen for Jake Muller and couldn't get him off her mind even though she barely knew the man. But god she missed him and the more time that passed the harder it was to not think about him. The emptiness she felt was starting to grow unbearable.

After grabbing a sandwich and refilling her coffee Sherry headed back to her desk to eat in privacy. She didn't feel like socializing in the break room and pretending to be interested in everyone else's everyday lives when her thoughts were in such a mess.

Finishing the last bite of her food Sherry stood up and threw her trash in the garbage can and headed for Hunnigan's office. She was feeling excited and nervous at the possibility of going on a new mission. It would be nice to get away from her desk for awhile and be out in the world trying to change it for the better.

Turning the knob to open Hunnigan's office she thought to herself. Maybe this is exactly what I need to get my mind off of missing Jake.