The light of the rising sun began to creep it's way across the floor of the room and over the bed. As the light came to Sarah's face, her eyes closed tighter, as if that could stop the morning from coming. She stretched her arms over her head and pointed her toes and felt them push against something. For a few seconds she frantically searched for her gun before remembering where she was. Sitting up she saw Jack asleep across the end of the bed, papers scattered on the floor. Looking at the clock she made it completely to her feet with the next jump. It was almost seven. They had fallen asleep going over the files. A knock on the door brought her head whipping around as a secret service agent walked in.
"Congressman, time to get--" the
rest of the sentence was cut off as he saw Sarah standing by the side of
the bed. His face never changed, he didn't even blink. "Ma'am."
Sarah gave him a cold look.
"Whatever idea is forming in your head, it's wrong." she said. The agent turned to leave.
"No idea what you are talking about ma'am." he said as he stepped
outside and closed the door behind him. Sarah glared at the door and
then at Jack's still sleeping form. Picking up a pillow she brought it
down hard on his head.
"What the hell!" he yelled, grabbing
the pillow from her hands and launching himself to his feet looking
around. When he saw her, his body relaxed and he tossed the pillow back
on the bed. "Not a good idea Sarah." he said. She snorted and pulled
her hair from the pony tail that had gone askew in the night.
"Please, I could take you anytime. In fact, I already have." she
said as she used her fingers to brush her hair and quickly tied it up in
a hasty bun.
"You caught be off guard. And if I hadn't
had half my hip blown off, you never would have been able to do that."
he said. He looked at his watch and sighed. He was late. Picking up
the papers that had fallen off the bed he handed them back to Sarah.
She took them and shuffled them, unwilling to look him in the eyes.
Sighing he walked away a few steps to think. Nothing. There had been
no real leads in the papers or in his memories. If Brian Kirland was
working for someone again, he didn't know who. The IRA was gone for
years. The organization that ran those cells torn apart and scattered.
He watched Sarah look through the papers one last time before closing
the folder. She looked at him almost defiantly. Daring him to say what
he knew had to be said. He opened his mouth to say it but couldn't.
He couldn't bring himself to look her in the eye and tell her she was
"We'll figure it out Sarah. Somehow." Sarah
nodded and reached for her purse on the bed. Putting it on her shoulder
she walked past him towards the door. She paused with her hand on the
knob. Without looking at him she took a deep breath and let it out
"I'm not stopping Jack." She opened the door and
walked out. As the door closed behind her Jack sat down on the bed with
his hands on his knees and his head down. He would make a few calls
today to old friends who owed him but he honestly didn't think anything
would come of it.
* * *
Sarah walked back into her house and looked around. Something was
different but she couldn't put her finger on what. Shrugging it off she
walked back to the kitchen and tensed up when she someone standing by
the window. A moment later she relaxed when the person turned around
and she saw it was Emily.
"How did you get in here?" she asked walking over and accepting the offered cup of coffee from her friend.
"Back door was unlocked. Seriously Sarah, you would think with this
beautiful house you would have more security." Emily said, settling
down on a stool by they island. Sarah shrugged.
"Everything is insured and this place is so far off the road, I think
most people don't even know there is a house back here." Emily watched
her over the rim of her mug for a moment. Sarah looked exhausted, and
maybe a little bit defeated. Setting her mug down, Emily reached for a
tinfoil covered plate on the counter and handed it to her friend.
"I actually came last night, around ten. I made cookies, your
favorite. I assumed correctly that you wouldn't have any food in
here." Sarah smiled and pulled a cookie out from under the tin foil.
"Breakfast of champions. Orange chocolate chip cookies and coffee."
Sarah popped the cookie in her mouth and laughed at the grimace Emily
made. "Did you sleep here last night then? It's a bit of a hike for
you to come out here twice."
"I did. Spent a comfy night on a couch in...well, one of your many rooms."
"Why not a bedroom? I have close to a dozen of them." Emily rolled her eyes.
"Have you been in any of them lately? There is more dust in them then
anywhere else. No thanks. Have you ever considered getting some help
to keep this place clean? Or maybe sell it?"
wandered over the the french doors that let out onto the terrace. She
closed her eyes and could almost clearly see in her mind's eye Sharon
running across the stones, waving a doll above her head. Her Aunt and
Uncle were sitting watching the two girls play. She shook her head and
opened her eyes.
"I can't sell this place Em. Too
many memories." She turned back to her friend and gave her a small
smile. "But someone to keep this place clean, that's not a bad idea."
Sitting on the stool next to Emily, Sarah put her coffee down and folded
her arms on the island top. "So what brought you here?"
"You mean other then wanting to make sure my friend is staying
nourished even if it is only with cookies? Ok, you got me. I have
this." She pulled a small manilla envelope from her purse and handed it
over. Sarah opened it and pulled out a hand full of black and white
photographs. She looked at the top one and her heart starting beating
faster along with her breathing. It was a side angle and the hair was
darker, but that was Sharon!
couldn't get full sentences out as she flipped through the pictures, all
showing Sarah. She was dressed in a dark coat and scarf and in a few
she was wearing sunglasses but it was Sharon!
"The General has been having me scan cameras for her face this whole
time. Last night, I found her. She was at IAD, just off a plane from
England." Sarah's head jerked up.
did she get out of the country? Were you able to get anything from
Heathrow? Do we know what name she was traveling under? Was she
traveling with anyone else?" Emily put her hands up slightly, trying to
calm her friend.
"Slow down. I'm working on that. I
left some people back tracing her. I wasn't able to track her from the
airport. I lost her after she went through customs."
"You lost her! How?" Sarah demanded, continuing to poor over the
images. She was older, obviously, and thinner. But not unhealthy
thin. Emily gently pulled the pictures away from Sarah who only
reluctantly gave them up."
"Lets head in to the
office. Maybe they've found something by now. I was hoping to have
this to you last night but you weren't answering your phone. Where were
you?" she asked as she stood and gave Sharon's arm a tug. Sharon
blinked and stood.
"I was...with a friend." she
said. "Let me get changed and I'll meet you there." Emily looked at
her a moment, wondering what the hesitation was. Sarah had avoided all
relationships since Jack. And that couldn't have been classified as a
technical relationship since they both were sticklers for the rules.
But there had been something there. But now...Jack was on the campaign
trail, very much in the public eye. The exact opposite of where Sarah
would ever allow herself to be.
"Ok. I'll see you
there." Emily said after a moment and headed out. Sarah watched her go
and let her breath go slowly. She didn't want Emily to know she had
seen Jack. While she might not tell the General, Sarah preferred her
contact with him to remain quiet. Telling someone who spent their days
in people's heads was not a good idea, no matter how close a friend she
Sarah reached the front foyer as the front door closed and pulled our her phone as she went upstairs.
"Sam Howe here."
"Sam, she's here! In DC!" Sarah said as she got to her room and
started rumaging through her drawers for clean clothes. She would have
gone in what she had been wearing but she had wanted to call Sam and she
didn't want Emily to know she called anyone.
"What? Who? Sarah? This you?"
"Yes! yes it's me! I saw pictures of Sharon walking through Dulles
Airport yesterday! She's here in town Sam!" She heard Sam swear on the
other end under his breath and then loudly followed by apologies.
"Sorry ma'am, I'll--I'll clean that up. Are there any more details?"
"I'm going in to see. She left people working on a back trace."
"Let me know what you find out."
"I will. And Sam, I told you I would find her!" Hanging up the phone,
Sharon threw on clothes, grabbed her phone and purse and ran down the
stairs. As she jumped into her car she opened her phone one more time
and sent a one word text to Jack; Progress.