03 – Kiss My Blarney Stone

Elle blazes into the office and barely acknowledges the security guard. When she steps into the elevator, Lewis manages to slide in just as the doors close.

He has a black eye and is holding two cups of coffee. “Mornin’, partner,” he says with a smile. “Brought you coffee.” He offers her one of the cups.

“Thanks,” she mutters.

“Awe, what’s got you so glum this fine day?”

“Nothing. I’m fine.” She sips the coffee to avoid elaborating.

Lewis leans in and bumps her shoulder. “Come on, talk to me. We’re supposed to be partners.” He can’t help the smug smile dancing on his lips at having gotten a rise out of Wolfe last night.

“Did you change the detail on the Santa Case?” She’s irritated as he damn well knows she and Joe fought yesterday. He was there. She purposely changes the topic to avoid any personal life conversations with Lewis.

“No, ma’am. You and Frank have been all over that case like bees to honey.” He holds his coffee cup up in surrender.

Elle leans back against the wall and stares at Lewis. She can’t stand his arrogance. He knows he’s damn good looking, and a smooth talker, but the last guy she hooked up with at work drugged and kidnapped her. Had it not been for Gideon, Lewis would have a fighting chance.

He’s tall, wiry, with thick, wavy brown hair, and hazel eyes. His smile reveals his dimples, and his voice is smooth like butter. Today he’s in a sharp black suit, and it only adds to his allure. Not to mention, how hard he’s trying to cheer her up.

He’s not Joe though. Joe’s got the broad shoulders, and impish grin. He’s the bad boy wrapped in a hero complex. Joe’s everything her mother hates for her and knows exactly what she likes. Even if he’s an insufferable pig who expects her to fall in line with his traditional picket-fence life. Thinking of Joe makes her death grip her coffee and tense her shoulders.

She knew Joe and Shannon had a thing during the case, but seeing her at his place this morning confirmed her suspicion that he wasn’t truly interested in a relationship.

Her brother warned her. He said her Joe Wolfe only liked the chase, and once he caught his prey he moved on.

Elle chews against the inside of her lip as she frowns and thinks about this morning. She was too angry to listen to Joe’s excuses and stormed off like a jealous girlfriend. With the news she got, she’s even more devastated at finding him with another woman.

When Joe came barreling into her office yesterday, she was arriving late from the doctor. Not wanting to spill all her secrets to everyone she works with, she tried to ask him to wait until they could be alone to talk. Of course, Lewis had to chime in that they had places to be and draped an arm over her shoulder.

Elle narrows her eyes at Lewis, realizing he is fucking with Joe on a level of alpha male bullshit that even makes Rambo look like a pansy. He’ll lose the game going up against Wolfe. Lewis may be pretty, and smooth, but Joe is one tenacious bastard who doesn’t know how to give up.

“You’re a dick,” she blurts.

Lewis brings his hand up to his chest and feigns dramatic offense. “Guilty, as charged.”

“Who gave you the black eye?”

“Some unruly drunk at the bar last night,” he says with a shrug and a devilish grin.

The elevator dings, freeing her from the confines of Lewis’s presence. She heads straight for Frank’s office, not even bothering to knock.

“Agent Harris,” he quirks a brow, looking up from his morning brief.

“Shannon Mallory’s detail. Did you authorize a change?”

Both of his bushy eyebrows raise and Elle imagines his mustache would too if possible. “No, why?”

“She’s not at the hotel. She’s with Joe Wolfe.”

Frank picks up the phone and waits patiently while it rings. When no one answers he calmly hangs up and dials another number, which is answered immediately. “Yeah, it’s Frank. Can you do me a favor? Provide me log activities for agents Barr and Carol.”

Elle crosses her arms, still holding the cup of coffee, while she waits. Something isn’t right with this whole situation. Shannon Mallory is the linchpin to the entire case. If she’s on the run, it could prove disastrous. With how many officials there are involved in this case as defendants, they had to bring in a special prosecutor. He’s been months building the case, and they have spared no expense in keeping Shannon Mallory safe.

“I see,” Frank grumbles. “Thanks, Janine. Say hi to that lug of a husband for me.” He gently places the phone back on the receiver. “It would appear someone at the DA’s office requested the change. Barr and Carol logged handover at six this morning. New agents are Wright and Bowles.”

“I’ll head over there and see what’s going on.”

“Take Lewis with you. Bring him up to speed.”


“I didn’t stutter, Harris. He’s your partner and as much as I like Wolfe, you two and your cowboy bullshit damn near cost us the case.”

Elle shakes her head and huffs like a petulant child. “Fine. I’ll take pretty boy with me.”

“Close the door behind you on the way out.”

Elle pulls the door to after exiting his office and heads to her desk, trying to ignore Lewis flirting with Karen at the copier.

Lewis is leaning against the copier while Karen does whatever she does at the machine. Elle rolls her eyes as Karen giggles and flips her hair over her shoulder each time Lewis says something.

She needs a minute to sit down. Try as she might to push through, her injuries from Christmas are still slowing her down. Frank had her on desk duty until a few weeks ago, and she’ll be damned if she lets a few aches and pains ruin her career.

She enjoys the little bit of coffee with her cream and sugar as her computer boots up. Peeking over the riser of her desk she turns bright red when he catches her looking at him.

Lewis smirks and gracefully extracts himself from Karen’s clutches. “What are we working on today?”

“Need to check out these two agents that took over a detail on the Santa Case. Witness isn’t where she’s supposed to be.”

“The Santa Case? You mean the one with all the big-wigs and the death matches?”

“One and the same.”

“What do you need me to do?” he asks with all hints of flirting gone from his voice.

“You start with Bowles. I’ll take Wright. I want to know everything. Money, connections, cases, records. If there is anything, and I mean anything, out of the ordinary, flag it.”

“Alright?” He frowns at Elle as he flicks on his computer. “Why are we investigating fellow agents?”

“Because they were assigned to a case that had special rules and weren’t vetted by the people trusted to handle the case.”

“Fair. What about the witness?”

“Witness is safe for now.”

“Wait. She’s not with the detail?”

Elle pauses and gives Lewis a critical once-over, assessing how trustworthy he is. “She’s safe. Until we vet these two, I’m not letting anything jeopardize this case.”