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Category: L/Vignette/Angst
Rating: PG-13

Spoilers: Up to Inner Sense

Summary: Beware of Secret Admirers

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters and am just playing around with them.

"Those who play the game do not see it as clearly as those who watch."

- Chinese Proverb


By Madame Estrella

“Hello? Can I help you?” She asked, smiling a little as she entered the room.

I had been half glancing out of the second story office window and half waiting. She was wearing a white blouse with a floral print and a well-fitting black skirt that hung about her knees. I knew she would be. I saw her dressing this morning.

“Ah, yes, I was looking for Emily?” I replied sounding unsure but knowing it was she.

She blushed a little and averted her gaze from mine as she approached her desk. Her language was shy. She was a shy person; one would be after spending the years she did away from others in the loft of a barn.

“I am Emily.” She said and chuckled nervously. She returned her gaze to mine and smiled a little more confidently this time. She placed the file she’d been holding on her desk and grasped her hands in front of her, interlacing her fingers.

“How can I help you?” She asked. Her voice spoke volumes. Her smile suggested an interest she would later regret.

I’ve always been very thorough in my work. Right down to the little details. I knew who she was of course. I had been keeping an eye on her for years, in one way or another.

These past few weeks had been exhilarating. It always was when I was on the proverbial hunt. It had been exciting, she had been exciting. Watching her watching him. Following her, following him.

It was sad that it all had to end this way. She was smart, too smart. One project interfering with another. We couldn’t have that, no the Centre didn’t leave loose ends. Still, it was a shame. I liked this one.

“I heard you were working on a story about a troubled young man.” I replied.

Her eyes went to the folder and she placed a hand on it.

Ethan. Mirage. They were one in the same and right now he was very important. Raines had big plans for this young man. We had plans for him as well. Ethan was going to help us tie up several loose ends, one way or another.

She returned her gaze to mine and then looked over as if she noticed for the first time that I was resting my hand on the sill of her opened office window. I smiled and looked outside.

“I was just admiring the view.” I said and then looked at her once more. She looked out the window and cocked her head slightly. While she did, I took the opportunity to admire this view once more.

She was beautiful. Her slender form shaped and curved in just the right ways and filled out her attire in a very desirable way. Watching her, it had been wonderful.

In the evenings she would eat out alone. She had that sad, yet lovely look on her face. She would gaze longingly out the diner windows while she ate. She always chose window seats in the corner.

Then, maybe a drink. Alone again, as I suppose we all are in some fashion or another. She made little talk with the other patrons and a little more with the bartender never the wiser that I watched from mere feet away.

“It’s not much of a view.” She said and looked back at me. She looked oddly puzzled as I regained my thoughts and smiled back at her.

“It’s a better view than you would have if you didn’t have this.” I said tapping on the glass gently. She smiled and nodded thoughtfully.

“I have to wonder what being locked up somewhere without a window would do to a person.” She said.

“I imagine it would be maddening.” I replied as something recoiled within. I pushed the window open a little more, feeling slightly Closter phobic.

“It would probably be awful.” She said. “I suppose I should be thankful for this, even as it is.”

She left her curtains open in her apartment, which was fine for my purposes. She would return home from the bar and go to her bedroom. There she always undressed, starting with her blouse, unbuttoning from top to bottom. My pulse would always race as she slid it over her soft, white shoulders and let it drop to the floor. Next was her skirt, or pants. Then her stockings.

My favorite part was next. With one hand she reached back and effortlessly unhooked her bra and let it fall to the floor. She was perfect.

She would slide on a pair of cotton pajamas and then go to her kitchen where she made herself a cup of tea. She let it steep for seven minutes and always stirred in two spoonfuls of honey.

She would then go to her living room and sit before the fireplace, sipping her tea and looking over the information she’d gathered.

She would have been an excellent pretender. But she was interfering now. She thought Ethan was Jarod. One of her long lost brothers. I imagine she didn’t get a very good look at Jarod in Boston a few years back and that may be the cause of her confusion now.

But she’d found him. That was not good for the Centre and terrible for poor, sweet Emily.

“So, what’s the story?” I asked. She looked up as if being recalled from a trance of some sort.

“This man has problems. He hears voices.” She said mostly to herself.

Ah, the voices. The blessing and curse of the Jameson bloodline. Mom had it, Miss Parker has is, Ethan has it, I hate it sometimes. Especially with Parker. Not that I can complain, it does come in very useful, but some days I wish I could turn it off.

Especially when she’s lamenting about him! God! It’s bad enough when I have the two of them playing me for a fool on the occasion they do, but to hear her, and feel that! One of these days I’m going to say the wrong thing, or the right thing. I would love to throw that in her face. Yeah, I know how she feels!

“Where are you from?” She asked curiously. She stepped a little closer, stood a little more confidently. She absently brushed her hair over her shoulder as her soft, brown eyes gazed into mine.

She was something else. Too bad.

“I’m from an organization called the Centre.” I replied. Her face fell. She straightened her stance and before she could say anything I had already gotten around the other side of the desk.

“The Centre.” She gasped. I closed her office door and snapped the lock closed. I turned around and nodded at her. Her eyes were filled with fear. I liked that.

“W-what do you want?” She stammered. That confidence that had crossed her face moments before was a distant memory. She now bore the expression that many before her had. She was afraid. She knew no good would come of this situation.

“Who are you?” She asked weakly.

“Mr. Lyle.” I replied. She shook her head and took a step back against the wall. I smiled at her before dropping my expression to a neutral one. They hated that, it always scared them.

She drew a breath and watched me. She was waiting for me to move. She looked at the window, out the window. Would she jump? They usually didn’t. Given the fall, they usually tried to plead their way out of the situation before taking the dive.

I took a step toward her, catching her gaze. I took two more steps, slowly. She waited until I was on my fourth before she bolted around the desk the opposite way toward the door. They did that sometimes.

I quickly grabbed her about the waist as she pulled the handle, forgetting it was locked like they do. I pulled her away from the door and she cried out in fear and frustration.

“No!” She screamed. “Why are you doing this?”

I pushed her toward the desk. She hit it with her hip and then grasped the edge to keep from falling. She looked up at me and her eyes pleaded as I drew my gun.

“No, please, no!” She cried, her eyes pleading to mine.

I approached her and she held up her hands and tears rolled out of her eyes. I aimed the gun at her face and she shook her head and whimpered.

“No, I’ll do anything! Please, don’t!” She cried.

She was too beautiful to end her this way. I holstered the gun and approached her slowly. She sniffed and shrank back against her desk. Once I reached her I held out my hand. She looked at it in abject terror when she saw it was missing a thumb. Always a crowd pleaser.

“I’ll tell you what. I won’t shoot you.” I said taking her arm gently. She looked at me, frightened and wary. I pulled her away from the desk, she came away weakly.

“No?” She asked breathlessly.

“No.” I replied. “I killed your brother that way.” I smiled and that look filled her eyes. That look of terror and certainty. I love that expression. I yanked her over to the window and shoved her against the sill.

She fought me then. I admired her spirit. She tried to push and kick at me but when it comes down to it, a little woman like that has little chance against someone like me.

I shoved her against the sill again and easily scooped an arm under her legs and brought them up as I pushed on her. She went over and out and I heard her cry as she fell.

I saw her impact the pavement. Spread eagle, as some of them did. Her cries stopped then and I chanced a momentary gaze of my work, admiring it if anything. She was easy.

I unlocked the door and quickly headed down the rear stairs of the Philadelphia Examiner. I pushed through the back doors and cautiously made my way around the side. I saw the gathering crowd outside and couldn’t resist. It was a cheap thrill, but she was worth it.

I nonchalantly walked to the edge of the crowd and peered around some of the spectators. Ambulance sirens pierced the background and then I heard a man shouting. I recognized the voice.

I saw Jarod pushing through on the other side of the crowd and took a few steps back. He called her name and she lay there, semi-conscious and most certainly at the end.

How ironic that Jarod should be there as I sent yet another of his kin to the great beyond. Crouching over her as he had Kyle. Pleading with her and telling her that everything would be all right. So sweet. I decided not to call in the sweeper team.

I wished I could stay, but I had some tidying up to do at her place before the authorities arrived.

The following morning I had been alarmed that she had survived.

“You try to kill them with kindness.” I said annoyed and disappointed and the sweeper Willie looked at me with disdain as he usually does. I get that a lot around here.

We arrived too late, of course. Or maybe on time, sometimes it was difficult to tell when Jarod was involved.

She was alive, and that left a loose end that would unravel a great deal. So much potential in this one. She is smart, funny, beautiful and resilient. I’ll have to watch longer.

The End

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