Thanks so much for the reviews! I sincerely appreciate all the reviews and comments. Also, thanks to readers who may not leave a review, but have still taken the time to read the story this far...
(NOTE: Chapter 9 is the penultimate chapter. Chapter 10 will be the finale!)
Warning this chapter contains SWEARING similar to the programme.
LOVE'S TERROR CELL
Saul shrugged and shook his head at the numbers scrolling across the computer screen. David Estes reckoned that they represented the encrypted files that were stored on the portable hard drive. It had been found in the black case, brought back from the Sports Centre by Carrie and Quinn.
The portable hard drive that had been intended for Hasad Osman. The likely heir to Abu Nazir's dangerous legacy.
"Galvez is good at getting into this sort of stuff. We should ring him NOW!" Saul announced it with a mixture of urgency and confidence.
Estes nodded as he turned towards the door. "Good idea. I'll be back when you have some news on this. Call me immediately."
Neither Carrie nor Quinn answered. They both fidgeted as they stared, as if hypnotised by the scrolling numbers on the screen.
Saul repeated his statement about ringing Galvez, but he was unheeded again. He wondered why Carrie was ignoring him. He had expected Carrie to come back to Langley in the car with Galvez. It had been their mission this afternoon, to collect the black case and it's contents.
Saul had thought Peter Quinn had taken the day off to attend to some personal matters.
"I'll ring Galvez myself then!" Saul became exasperated with the lack of response from Carrie and Quinn, as they drifted back to their desks.
Shortly afterwards Carrie got a glimpse of Danny Galvez plodding through the corridor, looking subdued. He didn't acknowledge or greet anyone, but went straight into the office with Saul. Quinn jumped up and headed to join them. Saul's office door banged loudly as Quinn slammed it behind him.
Carrie felt alone at her desk. She was desperate to join them, but her mind was jittery and she feared she may say something ridiculous and they would all laugh at her. She took a clozapine tablet to try and calm herself down.
She wasn't sure why, but in the middle of all the excitement about the mysterious portable hard drive, she decided to tidy her desk.
I might even clear it and never come back! She repeated it like a mantra over and over, as she rearranged her clutter.
After twenty minutes, Quinn left Saul's office and returned to Carrie. His eyes were wide as he looked at her.
Carrie interpreted Quinn's odd expression for concern. The sight of her manically rotating piles of colourful stationary around her desk.
"I'm OK, Peter. I'm not manic! I'm just tidying up this mess!" She strained a short laugh as she put a green pen on the pile, along with the other green things.
She tried to speak slowly and seriously. "Talking of messes Peter... I'm so, so sorry... I did something stupid when I kissed you... I'm sorry if I've messed with your head..."
"Don't apologise, Carrie." He growled. "Stop fucking apologising. Instead of apologising, why don't you start telling the truth?"
Carrie grimaced. She couldn't deny that she had some feelings for Quinn. However she was sure now that they were just occasional feelings of lust and temptation that surfaced in certain situations. Like having her head contorted an inch away from his Lycra-encased groin in a Yoga class.
"I love Danny Galvez, not you! Nothing has changed." She folded her arms tightly across her chest.
"Everything has changed. More than you know." Quinn was shaking his head. "Oh and Carrie. Not telling someone the truth about what you did, is just the same as lying."
She nodded her head. "I know that, but please believe me. I do love Galvez a lot. I don't want to lose him!"
"Then why did you shove you tongue down my throat?" Quinn edged dangerously close to Carrie's face.
Carrie gulped and stepped away. "I knew it'd shut you up! Stop your god-damn giggling ruining the mission today."
Quinn looked seriously pissed off.
"Perhaps my work here is done. For now." He hissed and grabbed his coat.
She breathed a sigh of relief as he departed.
Carrie headed towards Saul's office and opened the door quietly and carefully. Saul smiled at her as he glanced up from his newspaper. He was obviously leaving Galvez to the computer, which wasn't surprising, given Saul's incompetence for typing, as well as his universally acknowledged ineptitude for most things technological.
"Quinn says that hard drive thingy contains some good stuff!" Saul's broad smile virtually patted her on the back for a job well done.
Danny Galvez didn't look up or acknowledge Carrie in any way. He was either too engrossed in what he had found in the encrypted files, or he was deliberately ignoring her.
At the sight of Carrie's frown, Saul sensed an atmosphere between them and said he was going for a coffee.
Carrie was feeling calmer now. She tentatively rested her hands on Galvez's shoulders, whilst she watched him tapping at the computer. His shoulders tensed up instantaneously.
"What is it baby?" She nuzzled his ear and stroked her fingers through his dark hair.
Galvez didn't answer. He assertively shrugged off her hands.
Carrie crouched next to him and looked at his face. Only now did she notice the redness that was rimming his brown eyes.
"For fucks sake, Danny! Please! Tell me what's wrong?" She snatched his hand off the keyboard.
Galvez looked at her this time, as he withdrew his hand back slowly. His eyes scanned across her features like he was mentally photographing her whole face.
"I know." He said it sadly. "We both know the truth about what happened, Carrie..."
Carrie didn't know how to respond. She felt hollow and confused. She cringed inwardly. He was obviously talking about her kiss with Peter Quinn. Was Galvez dumping her? Quinn must have told him already!
She wanted to tell Galvez so many things, but instead she put her head in her hands and started to cry. She couldn't stop herself.
Galvez didn't reach out to her. He simply started tapping on the keyboard again.
Carrie glanced up tearfully from her wet hands, just as Saul and Quinn entered the office, each sipping a cup of coffee. She was shocked to see Quinn back already. He was still wearing his coat from his earlier exit. She had hoped that he had left the premises completely, so she could have some privacy with Galvez to talk things through, once her weeping had stopped.
Galvez stood up angrily and said he was going for a coffee himself now.
Quinn coldly surveyed Carrie's watery-eyes, before shouting to Galvez that he was coming with him.
Saul put his arm round Carrie and begged her not to cry. "You've done so well!" He told her again. "According to Quinn that portable hard drive is full of important information!"
Carrie pushed Saul away and darted out of his office. She headed down the corridor where Galvez and Quinn had just gone.
She stopped in her tracks. She could hear them talking around the corner. She peeped cautiously.
It was obvious that Quinn was apologising profusely to Galvez.
"I saw your car in the Sports Centre car park, so I grabbed Carrie's hand to try and make you jealous. It was a stupid childish thing I did. Galvez, I'm sorry." Quinn was biting his lip as he shook his head.
Danny Galvez was staring the floor before he looked directly at Quinn. "Why did you do it?"
"I've never met anyone like Carrie before. I've been pursuing her, but I swear it was all one-sided. She's not interested in me, Galvez. It's you!" Quinn explained, through tight lips. "She loves you, not me!"
Galvez looked away. "I think deep down she has feelings for you too. I saw the way she was laughing with you!"
Quinn shook his head. "We'd just been hiding. It was hilarious. Listening to Hasad knocking one out in the shower, before we could grab that case. It was one of those moments... although I guess you had to be there really. To appreciate how funny it was..."
Galvez threw his arms up angrily. "Why were you there at all, Peter? What possessed you to gate-crash Carrie's Yoga class mission today?"
Quinn exhaled and shrugged. "I just wanted to protect her from that greasy man. Fucking Hasad Osman. I couldn't bear the thought of another Terrorist mauling her."
Galvez threw his head back and laughed. "Quinn! It's her job. Carrie can handle it!"
"I can't handle it though, Galvez! I can't handle other men using Carrie." Quinn's eyes suddenly pierced him like a knife and his voice was equally cutting. "I'm right aren't I? That's how it started? You used Carrie to try and manipulate Roya into confessing all she knows about Al-Qaeda. You tried to convince Roya that you were in a relationship with Carrie, so that you could pretend to be intercepting her hunches? Pretend Al-Qaeda could safely progress with all their plans in the US, because top CIA Agent Carrie Mathison was too busy being fucked by you, to be aware of anything else. But it backfired didn't it? You fell in love with her!"
"Quinn you're an idiot!" Galvez laughed at him again. "Me and Carrie were fuck buddies long before Roya suggested anything! It was just a coincidence that Roya came up with that stupid plan. A very convenient coincidence. I never used Carrie! I just carried on screwing her! Like we'd been doing anyway. The only difference was that Roya knew a little bit about it. You already know I was feeding Roya a pack of lies about stopping Carrie doing her job properly!"
"Is that all Carrie is to you? A fuck buddy?" Quinn punched the wall, close to where Galvez's ear had been, before he had promptly ducked.
"How we feel about each other..." Galvez trailed off before correcting himself purposefully. He jabbed Quinn firmly on the shoulder with his index finger. "How I felt about Carrie is none of your fucking business."
"She's in love with you, Galvez!" Quinn swallowed.
Galvez shrugged dismissively. "The only thing I want is a safe way out of this set up with Roya Hammad and her other goons that I still have to send bullshit to. I don't want to pretend I'm a double agent for Al-Qaeda any more!"
Quinn shook his head. "Too risky at the moment! I don't know what Al-Qaeda might do. If it goes wrong, you might pay with your life and I don't want Carrie to go through that!"
"I don't care! I'm leaving tonight. Especially now I know the truth about Carrie..." Galvez suddenly sounded distraught as he started walking down the corridor.
"You're over-reacting! Give her a chance to explain!" Quinn begged as he followed him.
Galvez shook his head. "I can't face Carrie. Not now I know about her behaviour. Goodbye Quinn."
Carrie heard the finality in Galvez's voice and panicked. She clawed her fingernails down the wall. As they walked further down the corridor, she could only vaguely hear the voice of Peter Quinn. He was begging Galvez to stay, or at least take Carrie with him.
Carrie turned and ran back to Saul's office in a daze. She didn't know what to do. She did not doubt that she loved Galvez, but he was walking out over what... her being seen running and laughing with Quinn? She thought that even if he knew about their brief kiss he was over-reacting. He was being ridiculous.
"Screw Danny fucking Galvez!" She yelled to a confused Saul.
Carrie sat down purposefully in front of the computer. She decided to see what all the fuss was about.
What is this great information on the portable hard drive that Quinn and Galvez were so excited about?
"Wow!" she exclaimed wide-eyed. The screen was full of folders labelled in Arabic. As she clicked a few she realised that they had probably been recovered from Abu Nazir's hard drive. The files contained detailed information about terror plots. Past, present and future terror plots. It hit her that there was probably enough information on there to track down and convict hundreds of terrorists.
Carrie shivered abruptly at the sight of a folder named Walden's pacemaker. She remembered what Brody had done. She hoped she could delete that one before anyone else had a chance to read it.
Carrie suddenly felt Quinn's palms on her shoulders before he gripped her firmly. She twitched guiltily as she moved her finger that was hovering over the DELETE key.
Quinn leant down and whispered to Carrie quietly and carefully, so Saul would not hear him. "Galvez and I have already read the contents of that particular folder, Carrie. Unlike Galvez, I'm still here for you. Unlike Galvez, I can handle the truth about you."
He brushed a strand of long blonde hair away from her ear as he breathed in closer. "Saul and Estes know nothing of that folder yet and I'm guessing you'd like to keep it that way?"
Her mind froze. She nodded submissively. She knew that he had some power over her now.
Peter Quinn's breath was hot on her neck and she could feel his heartbeat becoming more rapid, as his solid muscular chest pressed against her slim back.
His lips grazed her ear as he whispered again. "Galvez is not here to protect you from me any longer. I'm going to do things to you, Carrie. Things I should have done to you three years ago, when I had the chance. You're going to let me have my way now. You're not going to reject me or push me away."
She nodded again. Her knees suddenly turned to jelly at the mixture of arousal and anticipation that was in his voice.