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Caleb Holmes
Marginal Improvement
Tue Mar 15, 2005 21:30

Lucy laughed at him.

Well, that was all right. He was used to that sort of response anymore. Just a big frickin’ joke to everyone, right? Yeah, right. Caleb sat there, waiting for the manic giggles to cease and the talk to begin. Thankfully it didn’t take long for the girl to sit back up, somewhat calmer and subdued. And then… she began stripping him? Quirking a brow, he helped with the last half of the shirt, willing to indulge her with this tangent for a while. Shirt tossed aside, glasses set on the bedside table, and by that time he was feeling a pair of lips against his lower back. The scar.

“I know everyone thinks I’m this cold, heartless bitch… thing.” Well, that was a fair enough assessment. A lot of people that knew Luciana Avellino thought that. “But I'm not like that all the time. Honest. But ... I'm going to ask a self-centered question. Let's pretend I believe this Medici nonsense. Why would anyone want me because of—” Because of what? It would be too much to hope that she believed him, so he wasn’t expecting her pale visage to greet him when he turned toward her. Hand holding her stomach, Lucy didn’t look like she was feeling all that good.

“Because… because I’m a goddamned prize.” And a light shined from the heavens as understanding dawned upon the girl! Well, not really, but it was nice to think. “You’re still with the CIA?” Giving a dubious nod, Caleb watched Lucy think all of the facts he had given her through. “So if I left… it’d be your job to follow or come with, right?”

“Oh no you don’t Lucy!” he murmured urgently, leaning forward as she inched between his thighs, not liking any of this at all. But she wasn’t going to listen to him; he had seen her get the determined look in her eye before, biting down on her tongue in thought. Shit, he was screwed.

“I want out of here. I want sun and not as much snow and things to do… and I don't want to you get shot again.” Pulled into a hug, he sighed, trying not to give in to Lucy. “I want Robert’s number… he’s too clever not to give it to you.” That glare wasn’t going to work, even if Caleb could feel some part of him crumble away inside.

Uh oh. She had brought out the big guns.

Yes, civilization!

“I need to head back to New York at the end of the week, so this bullshit has to get wrapped up before then, all right?” It was our favorite man; Agent Jackass! Caleb was in some sort of twisted get-to-know-you meeting for the new analyst, Simon Halifax. It was the worst name he’d had in a long time, but wasn’t going to say anything. “Now, are there any questions about your assignments?” Nope, no one had any for the big bad guy that they were apprehensive about. Apparently Simon had been relocated to the area to be their supervisor, which had the lot quaking in their boots and worrying over their careers. Oooh, he got to play hardass now!

“All right then folks! Simon, if you’d stay behind?” The – surprise! – dark haired agent nodded his assent, somehow feeling like he had hit rock bottom here. Now he wasn’t all too sure any of this was a good idea. Gray eyes studying those that left, only one bothered looking back before scurrying out, which he wasn’t exactly pleased about. Adjust the cuffs of his suit, Caleb sighed and waited for some sort of diatribe to begin. “How are things at home?”


“Fine, I suppose.” He wasn’t fond of the Maine accent, but at least it wasn’t as screw as Rob’s thick Boston accent! “Alexandra has settled in nicely, even if she has been quiet as of late.” Still no singing from the nightingale, which was beyond worrisome anymore. Caleb was downright terrified of that. He hadn’t even believed it would happen!

“And your back?” Simon Halifax had been injured on duty out east, shuffled around during his downtime, eventually sprouting up on the west coast as a director at the regional branch. Supposedly the agency had used it as an excuse to bump the fictional man up the corporate ladder a few years early. Caleb didn’t care about the back story, which was surprisingly similar to his own.

“Better. Was there anything we really needed to discuss?” He had become marginally respectful, just because he knew his ass had been in a sling when Lucy had decided to call Rob. God, she had even found the number in his wallet, behind the license and underneath the lining! The girl was almost too smart for his own good; sometimes he was tempted to see if she wanted to work for the agency on her own. But then he’d worry too much, so the notion was dismissed.

“Not especially. Just wanted to check up on you.” A few items later, and some random talk, Caleb was ready to go home! The first half of the day had been nothing but paperwork, tours, meeting people, and all the nonsense that had come with it. Then there was that ungodly long meeting that he had no choice but to sit through, being the ‘new guy’ and all. A lunch of bad Chinese takeout in between and a bout of indigestions, and he wanted out of the pen. Was this what Rob went through day in and out?

The drive to and from lasted a half-hour each way, which didn’t make life any easier. Rush hour traffic and bitchy drivers, he was nearing his wit’s end once he finally pulled into the allotted parking space at the apartment complex. Santa Fe wasn’t such a horrible city, not when they weren’t too far from the square, and you were in a decent apartment complex. Practically leaping out of the Volvo with briefcase in tow, he gave a smile at Lucy standing there waiting for him. She really must have been bored out of her mind to actually stand out here in the heat and do that!

Great leaping ladies, Batman! Or something like that.

“Welcome home,” Lucy managed after laying one hell of a kiss on him. The suitcase had been dropped in favor of the girl, and he crouched down – still with her wrapped about his waist – to snatch up the suitcase and wander inside with her.

“C’mon hippie! We need to get some shoes on you if we’re going out tonight.” Out? Since when were they going out? Up some stairs and into the apartment, he all but tossed her into the small walk-in closet that they shared. “I don’t think they’ll let you in without shoes, ragamuffin.” He didn’t know about the dress code either, but how strict could it really be? Wandering out into the living room, he tossed the briefcase on a table nearby the door, exchanging it for the mail. Bill, bill, home mortgage loan offer, something about brand new siding, bill… Eh, nothing fun. And why hadn’t the Playboy come in yet?! Hmph.

The idea for tonight was something that he had toyed with for a few days, since Lucy had become progressively quieter as time passed them by. So a reservation had been made at a halfway decent restaurant, and then tickets procured for the latest production at the theater in town. Screw the opera; ever since Carlotta, the idea frightened him. But he wasn’t about to tell the girl any of this! She could deal with not knowing until they showed up at each location.

“Aren’t you ready? It’s only a pair of shoes!” Okay, so he couldn’t resist teasing Lucy the slightest about being a female. Eyeing the apartment, Caleb realized he wasn’t especially used to the place yet. It looked a great deal like Gino Maurizio’s old apartment; modern and comfortable. The bedroom was a mish-mash of new age and hippie, which was frightening in its own fashion. But hell, Lucy had wanted to decorate something in her own style, and that was the safest place. Who else was going to be in there but them? And no more futon, yes!

Finally, she was ready! And he didn’t even notice if she had changed clothes. What sort of analyst was he, anyhow?

Off to the theater!

  • Kiss From a Desert RoseLucy Avellino, Tue Mar 15 15:58
    There used to be a greying tower alone on the sea You, became the light on the dark side of me Love remains, a drug that's the high and not the pill But did you know that when it snows My eyes become ... more
    • Marginal Improvement — Caleb Holmes, Tue Mar 15 21:30
      • Improved ActionsLucy Avellino, Wed Mar 16 13:52
        “C’mon hippie! We need to get some shoes on you if we’re going out tonight.” Out? She let him cart her into the apartment, refusing to let go until he had to dump her in their closet before attending ... more
        • Sneaky WaysCaleb Holmes, Wed Mar 16 16:38
          Caleb was ready to throttle Lucy. “I just don’t want you to get hurt again!” Hurt? Hurt? She had no fricking idea how it felt! Frankly it was a self-centered reason, and idiotic all the same. It had... more
          • Mysterious WaysLucy Avellino, Thu Mar 17 16:22
            “Next! Simon Halifax.” Lucy barely had time to catch her breath before Caleb moved past her, the cutest little smirk on his face. He was auditioning too? Twisting around, she leaned against the wall, ... more
            • Surprises AboundCaleb Holmes, Fri Mar 18 02:27
              “Look down, look down… Don’t look ‘em in the eye… Look down, look down… You’re here until you die…” Ooh, chain gang! All right, so they weren’t going to be in costume yet, but apparently these men... more
              • Lock, Stock and BarrelLucy Avellino, Fri Mar 18 13:01
                "I'm what?!" Lucy stared at the doctor, rather expecting him to grow another head. The idea that she could .. could .. it was inconcievable! You had to be married to ... to ... "You are pregnant,... more
                • Fruity by NatureCaleb Holmes, Fri Mar 18 15:10
                  “Hi…” She was so cute when she squeaked! “I’m Lucy, and I’ll be your pregnant girlfriend for the next six months or so.” Six months? She was already going into the second trimester?! “Or… I’ll be... more
                  • Fruit of the WombLucy Avellino, Sat Mar 19 01:05
                    Contrary to all outward appearances, Lucy felt pretty fatalistic -- at least after the first few hours of sheer terror faded away. Funny how the body reacted to stressful situations. Some people... more
                    • Secrets and FerretsCaleb Holmes, Sat Mar 19 04:02
                      “And… and… I’m pregnant.” That was the first intelligible thing that Lucy had said through her sobbing rant. Sighing, Caleb watched from his perch at the foot of the bed, knowing better than to... more
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