Disclaimer: I do not own Person of Interest. Written for enjoyment purposes only.
AN: It is unclear how old Zoe really is in the show. In real life Page Turco is 47, but I'm making her a tad younger as Zoe. I'm putting her at around early-40'ish for the purpose of my series of fics. Thanks to those who are still reading.
AN2: Thanks to those faithful readers of this series! Please Read and Review. Let me know if there is something you would love to see these two get into. . .
Ethan Cummings made his way through the busy streets, walking rapidly and silently, glancing over his shoulder almost as often as he looked ahead. Although he moved unobtrusively, efficiently, and evenly, his heart beat rapidly in his chest as adrenaline coursed through him. He wove his way around buildings, ducking between cars and people and finally slipping into an alley. The smell of day old Chinese food and rotting trash permeated the air but hardly registered; all he could see were two men following him.
Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted the muzzle of a gun, that's when he broke out into a full on sprint. The two men gave chase as Ethan's feet pounded against the street. Relief ran through him when he encountered a crowd into which he could disappear.
Ethan lost himself in the crowd, people and noise swirling around him, as he quickly made his way into another alley, towards his rental car. He seemed to be outmaneuvering his pursuers as he almost made it to his rental car. All Ethan could hear was his heart beating, keeping time with the heavy footfalls gaining on him. He momentarily panicked when he distinctly heard feet pounding from two different directions. He felt a thud as he was tackled to the ground; then heard the distinctive pop, pop, of multiple guns being shot. The weight on top of him shifted as he heard two more pops.
"What the hell," Ethan exclaimed as he realized that his pursuers were temporarily immobilized. He looked at the man who tackled him. The man was an inch or two over six feet, dark hair, piercing blue eyes and the posture of a trained assassin. He had a thought that this might be it for him.
"My name is John. I'm here to help you," the man said as he started to lead Ethan away from the alley and out towards the busy street.
"Mr. Reese, are you heading to the safe house with Mr. Cummings?" Finch asked through the ear bud.
"Yes, I need you to dig deeper into Mr. Cummings. I have a feeling he isn't what we thought he was."
"What makes you say that?"
"He pulled a gun on me after I took care of the problem. The way he carries himself isn't just Executive VP of an investment company material. I'm thinking Ethan Cummings is a cover of some sort. Check your law enforcement databases, police, FBI, CIA, DEA. I don't think he's military, but if you strike out on the law enforcement databases, you can check military."
"How did you convince him to go with you?" Finch queried.
"With great difficulty . . ." John looked over at the now unconscious Ethan Cummings. John may have been a little overzealous in disarming Ethan Cummings; overzealous enough that he rendered him unconscious with a knee to the head. John didn't like it when he is on the other end of a gun.
"I'll get back to you Mr. Reese."
Opening the door slowly, John looked inside. He found Ethan sitting up on the edge of the bed. His eyes snapped up to John's when he sensed someone else in the room and gave him an icy glare.
"John," the man stated his voice low and almost menacing. "What the hell is this?" Ethan stated as he shook his handcuffed wrist; the other end of the handcuff was attached to the headboard.
"It was the only way I could get you to the safe house," John stated as he stepped closer.
"Where's my gun?" Ethan demanded.
"You don't need it. We're safe enough here. Whoever was coming after you won't find this place."
"And where, exactly, is here?" Ethan sighed.
"We're at a safe house." John repeated.
Finch's voice interrupted, "Mr. Reese, Ethan Cummings used to be Evan West. As far as I can tell, he used to be a DEA Agent based out of Florida. Fifteen years ago, he ceased to be Evan West and re-emerged as Ethan Cummings. I have confirmed that he is here to pick up his eight-year old son Jacob. Jacob's mother passed away two months ago. Ethan Cummings was divorced from Janice in oh-seven. She moved to New York last year. The little boy is with neighbors, Arthur and Leah Peterson, until Mr. Cummings can come get him. That is all I have right now. I'll keep searching. In the meantime, try to get him to talk."
"Easier said than done, Finch," John replied as he flicked his ear bud off.
"Who the hell are you talking to . . . an imaginary friend?" Ethan or rather Evan West asked. Funny, John thought, Zoe used to call Finch his imaginary friend.
"My partner, DEA agents have partners too don't they Evan?"
"I'm here to pick up my son, that's it. Once I get him, I'll be able to take him back home with me," Evan said, evading the question.
"We know that you used to be a DEA agent, and fifteen years ago, you died and became Ethan Cummings. We know that as Ethan Cummings you lived the rest of your life as an investment executive, married then divorced Janice your wife who recently passed. Those men wanted you dead. You don't have time to deny who you were. You need to figure this out before your son is put in danger."
Evan sighed. "In my messenger bag, there's an envelope that has the information I kept when I left the DEA. I don't even know why I brought it with me. I just kept thinking there was something I was missing."
John walked to Evan's bag and pulled out a large envelope. He took out a several photos and flipped through them, some were what appeared to be official police forensic photos, and the others looked like regular snap shots. The commonality between the photos though was unmistakable. All the dead victims were young men and women in their early to late teens. Some of them looked younger. Each had drug paraphernalia scattered by their bodies.
"The man responsible for those . . ." he said as he held up the pictures of the dead teens. ". . . is Aldo Sandoval. He has ties to the Moreno drug Cartel out of Columbia. I had infiltrated the group they had working out of SouthBeach. In ninety-six I was sent with Sandoval here, but no matter what I did, I could never get any further than I started. It always seemed as if there was someone else involved. Someone I couldn't get to, someone untouchable. And then just like that, my cover was blown."
John nodded. "I know someone that can help us. She knows this city inside and out."
Zoe walked into her apartment glad to have another day behind her. She had had one unusually hectic and stressful day and was looking forward to some peace and quite. She remembered when she first moved into this particular apartment. Her hard work had finally paid off and she had been able to afford this modest yet homey apartment all on her own. It felt liberating to be able to pay cash and not have a mortgage hanging over her head. This was her refuge; her place away from the day to day grind.
Kicking off her heels, she went to the kitchen to pour herself a drink. As she fiddled with the beads on her necklace with one hand and the drink in the other, she settled onto the couch and tried as best she could to relax.
Taking a sip of scotch, she chided herself silently. She could never truly let her guard down. As much as she tried, she did not like leaving herself vulnerable for others to take advantage of. For the longest time, she hid behind this façade of ice and control. No one knew or saw who she was or what she was made of. And that was the way she liked it, until . . . John.
John with his quiet ways and intense stare worked his magic on her. Zoe wasn't an easy person to get to know and neither was John. In spite of that he had wormed his way into her once flash frozen heart. She knew without a doubt that there wasn't anything he wouldn't do for her. And she felt the same way about him. She would do anything if he asked her to. And oddly enough, instead of scaring her, it made her smile.
For the first time in a very long time, Zoe felt happy and content. So why did she have this feeling of impending upheaval? She hadn't been able to shake the feeling and it in fact intensified day by day.
The shrill of her cell phone interrupted her thoughts. She smiled as she looked at the display.
She answered her phone with a voice worthy of any 900 number. "Well hello lover, would you care to play some truth or dare?"
At the half coughed, half snorted response, Zoe laughed.
"Zoe," John said patiently as he finally recovered from her unexpected greeting.
"Let me guess, you need me to be ready in five minutes so you can ravish me at your leisure."
Silence and a sigh was the only response she received.
"No? How about, let me know where you are and you be ready in five minutes and I can ravish you at my leisure?"
"Zoe, I'm working," was his strangled response.
"Oh fine. I guess you need me for something and by the sound of it, it's not going to be any fun," she said as she play-pouted. Then realized it was wasted when he couldn't see her.
"I need your help with some information . . ."
The time to play was over. Zoe Morgan switched gears to fixer mode. "Fine, do you want to meet at the same bar that you and Maxine met me at a few months ago?"
"No, we need to be even more discreet than that. . ."
Zoe clicked off the phone. As she put her shoes back on the sense of impending upheaval returned in full force.