Greer wasn’t the least bit surprised by what he saw - the cool, calm, calculating Root and her cool, but less tolerant, threatening partner. The military theme did, however, catch his attention.
“Congratulations on your promotion,” he smiled at Root when he saw the jacket.
“I was wondering when you’d crawl out from under the rock,” Root said matter of factly.
“I don’t think we got your new address,” Shaw snarled. “Would love to drop off a house warming gift.”
“Your humor is always so refreshing, Ms. Shaw,” Greer sneered and Root could feel her wife tense alongside her as she sat at her desk. “I see you’ve been reduced to training the animals for BEAR.”
He was desperately trying to prick at Shaw’s temper, but the only thing he was succeeding at was... just being a prick.
Root and Shaw both knew what he was doing. “How’s that virus doing?” Shaw asked.
“We’ve managed to clear all our hardware of it. Thank you for asking,” Greer said.
“Is there a reason for your call?” Root hurried him along.
“Oh, yes, I almost forgot. I’m retracting my offer to work together, Ms. Groves,” Greer said as if this were a business meeting.
“I don’t remember that offer,” Root pondered.
“Oh?” Greer replied as if he were truly surprised. “Perhaps you didn’t give Mr. Lambert the chance to tell you.”
“He was a little slow on things,” Shaw retorted, smiling at the old man. “I see you’re all choked up about him.”
“I am a man of great practicality, Ms. Shaw. I will feel much the same way at your demise,” Greer countered.
“Listen to me, Greer,” Root barked and he smiled. He had pressed on her tender spot and he knew it; the thin smile of his face conveyed that.
“No need to waste your energy threatening me, Ms. Groves. This was a courtesy call; to remind you not to count me out. As you can see, even as I rebuild, getting into your private emergency number was child’s play,” Greer reminded them.
“I am really going to enjoy kicking your scrawny little ass,” Shaw answered back in a calm voice.
“I do enjoy our little chats,” the older man said as he signed off.
Shaw started to pace immediately, because she saw this as a failure of security. Root knew that a man of Greer’s caliber would figure out how to get to her without too much trouble.
“I really hate that guy,” Shaw said when Root closed her laptop. “How the hell did he get through…?”
“Dangers of wireless transmissions and cameras, I bet,” Root suggested. “I think we need to revisit our plan for the machine. We have to be ready for whatever his next move might be.”
“I’m going to kick his ass when we find him,” Shaw said again.
The joviality of the office luncheon was soon replaced by the serious tone of John Reese as he instructed his team on the latest news. Root’s IT team began a complete scan of their operations as the couple went to visit the only person who could help them with the machine; Shaw’s mother.
“It is good to see you,” she said when Alystair showed the newlyweds into the living room at her brownstone residence. “I take it the honeymoon was enjoyable?”
“After the first leap out of the plane,” Shaw said and didn’t say anything to explain it. “Greer is back.”
“He hacked into my private line,” Root explained.
“And congratulated me on training the new dog,” Shaw pointed out.
“You have a new dog?” her mother asked.
“Long story, but yes,” Shaw answered.
“He wants you to know he’s watching you,” Azar pointed out.
“How do we know he doesn’t have our places bugged?” Shaw asked and looked around at her mother’s place.
“Ayala does a sweep every day,” Azar relayed.
“I think it would be wise to increase security while he’s trying to reemerge,” Root suggested. “Especially, at ….”
She didn’t need to say the machine’s location. “I’ll have Ayala come with me today and we’ll check everything out.”
“We can go,” Shaw said.
“He’s watching you two; he made that clear,” her mother reminded them.
Root thanked her newly minted mother-in-law, and the couple returned home. There was a warning tone in Shaw’s voice when she reminded Alystair to keep her eye on her mother. He assured her he would.
If there was any doubt about the need for upgrading, it was made perfectly clear when Root and Shaw arrived home. There, in the middle of the entry way on the table was a large gift box. Isabelle had carefully placed it down when the doorman brought it up. She apologized for not being able to quiet the two dogs, who were obviously aware of the menace contained within.
“Do we know where that came from?” Shaw asked.
“The doorman brought it up,” Isabelle explained. It was policy for large deliveries to be brought up to the apartment.
“The regular doorman?” Shaw asked.
“Now that you mention it, I think Michael is on vacation, because it was someone filling in for him,” Isabelle recalled because she asked. The usual doorman was indeed on duty when Root and Shaw arrived.
“Maybe they didn’t come through the front door,” Shaw suggested.
Bear barked at Root. ‘It was here when we got back from our walk,” he said.
“It’s okay, Bear. Good boy,” Root said because the dog knew it was unsafe. Bear would have alerted them had it contained any explosive, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t something else in there. They called Martine and the removal team.
“He’s finding every crack in the system,” Root noted as they waited in the kitchen as they contained the box and removed it.
“And he’s doing it without haste. He certainly has replaced his army of nut-jobs quickly,” Shaw pointed out.
“All clear,” Martine said when she told them the box was gone. “Good boy,” she said to Bear and played with him – just the way he liked.
‘Hey!’ Shadow barked, wanting to get in on the action. Martine was happy to oblige. “Greer?” she asked as the dogs went to survey the premises again.
“That guy is really getting on my nerves,” Shaw admitted.
“He wants us to know he’s back,” Root confirmed.
“Well, you let me know if there’s anything else I can do,” Martine said before leaving. “I can stay if you want,” she said to Shaw as she walked her out.
“Thanks, keep an eye on my sister, would you?” Shaw asked.
But that wasn’t the person Martine thought she should be watching. She had an unsettled feeling of late, and now was the time to check out whether or not she was right.