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Black Rose

Chapter Text

The wind was cool for being September as the Black 2013 Lincoln MKX manoeuvred it's way down the back streets of Washington DC as it came to a stop in a alley behind the Smithsonian Institute. A soft glow from a street light that hung on a adjacent building was the only light source that the mysterious figure needed as he stepped out of the SUV.


The man was tall about 5'8” 1/2 with Jet Black hair and Green eyes that could stop anybody: Female or Male, in their tracks. With the feline grace of a black panther, he slid out of the SUV, straightened his black leather jacket and then calmly walked to the back of the car and began his night. He lightly touched the two piece radio in his ear that connected him to his team.


“Alright boys, set your stop watches because this is going to be a quickie.” He said with a chuckle. If only his team could see his sly grin.


“You wish it was a quickie dude! This is not some beautiful woman that you can slip in between her legs and then slip out again and say you're done, this the Smithsonian! This is going to take more then a quickie!” The voice said in his ear, a little adjudicated.


“Oh ye of little faith Aidan! You know there is no way in hell that I'm in and out when comes to a beautiful woman. They need to be wined and dined first and then it's All Night Long! As for the Smithsonian, what if I told you that I could be in and out as you say in 15 minutes?” The man asked as he leaned against his SUV, muscled arms crossed his wide chest and toned legs crossed at the ankles with a cocky grin on his handsome face.


“15 minutes?! I would say how much you've had to drink Boss.” There was a pause for a beat which was followed by a loud slap on the back of the head.


“Ow, geeze Diego, it was a joke. I didn't actually mean that he was drunk. This is the Boss we're talking about; he would never get drunk on a Op unless the situation called for it. Diego why must you always do that to me?” Aidan whined through the radio. The man could picture the glare that the abused party was sending to his cousin in the back of the surveillance van.


“Firstly Aidan: I will stop that when you stop blanking up! And secondly: Cuz, you know how I hate to agree with anything The Brain says but in this case I think he's right. You can't get in and out in 15 minutes, it's just not possible.” Diego stated firmly while Aidan looked at him in shock.


“My dear Cousin, it might not be possible but it will work just the same. Think for a minute mano; why would I willingly break into the Smithsonian, steal a painting and get out again all in less than 15 minutes if wasn't for our favorite but certain Female FBI Special Agent?!” He explained calmly as he turned back towards the back of the SUV, stripped of his leather jacket and then reached into his black bag and pulled out a pair of black leather gloves and strapped on his climbing gear.


There was a long pause on the radio that lasted about 9 minutes exactly which caused the man to let out a roar of laughter that caused his green eyes to sparkle with mischief.


“Gentlemen, it really shouldn't be that difficult. And it shouldn't really be that hard to figure out.” The man laughed as he walked towards the back entrance of the museum and pulled out his tool kit and began to break coded lock encryption.


“Oh, oh, Holy Shit! Dam, I forgot about her! Her hacking skills alone were freaking sweet. I forgot it's been almost a year.” Aidan said with a cheeky grin.


“Cuz, you'll think this will work? That if you pull this little stunt off, she'll come back and land straight into your hand again?” Diego asked with a cheeky grin of his own.


“Boys, if I know my girl like I think I do, this is one robbery that she just will not stay away from. And that's what I'm hoping for.” He said as the coded lock clicked and he swung the door and then left it slightly ajar so he could go out the same way he came.


“Alright Hermano's, I'm in. Set your watches for exactly 15 minutes.” He said as made his way towards the electrical panel, pulled off the cover and then found the section that controlled the cameras, the laser grid and silent alarm in the section where his painting is.


That's when he got to work. He placed a time delay device that would control the cameras which would send a false security image to the front security desk out front, then activated the secondary switch that temporarily knocked out both silent alarm and the laser grid.


But he wasn't going to take any chances in this. He wanted this to go right. So he moved to the back stairs that lead towards the catwalk that extended through out the Smithsonian. He carefully walked towards the many art gallery's that were in the building and propelled himself down towards the exact painting he needed.


He grinned as he reverently ran his gloved fingers over the Jackson Pollock as he lifted off the wall. He set it gently on the floor as he pulled out a large painting bag that could strap to his shoulders so he could carry it out, without being seen. He walked back towards the rope as he strapped the painting on his back and propelled himself back up to the catwalk.


He packed his harness and rope back into his tool bag as he slowly made his way back the way he came. He made his way down the stair, back towards electrical panel and began to remove the time delay device so that everything went back to normal. He crept back to the door that lead to the alley, stepped outside, and silently shut the door so the coded alarm could reactivate.


He made his way back towards his SUV and let out a sigh relief and then let out another roaring laugh.


“Well boys, read and weep! Still don't think this won't get her attention now?!” He said as stored his tool bag and the painting in the back of his car.


“OH MY Mother Fucking God! 10 minutes dead even! I am so never doubting you again Boss.” Aidan exclaimed excitedly. Diego chuckled and placed a calming hand on his right shoulder.

“Brilliant as always Cuz.” Diego said with a grin that stretched from ear to ear.


“Thank you Gentlemen!” The man said with a mock bow. “I'm on the way back. I should be at our usual place in 5 minutes. That means pack it up and move out Hermano's.”


He took out his two-way ear device and place it in his bag with the rest of tools and placed his leather gloves with them and closed it up. He gave a contented sigh as pulled his Black Leather jacket out and slipped it over broad shoulders and then adjusted the collar of the black shirt he wore.


He closed the back of the SUV and then began to make his way towards the front of the car when he was jumped from behind. He fought back, managed to kick one of his attackers in the face but the struggle was in vain when a needle was jabbed into the side of his neck.


He slowly sank to his knees as the drug to affect. The last thing he remembered was a man with strawberry blond hair and blazing blue eyes, cock a fist and swung. That was last he seen or heard when the Lights Went Out In Georgia and he lost consciousness. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


An hour later, the Smithsonian and the surrounding back alley's of the building were cordon off within a 10 mile radius of the robbery. Lights and sirens from the FBI and the DCPD flashed periodically. Various agents and police officers were running back and forth from the Smithsonian back entrance and the 2013 Lincoln MKX. Doors opened, agents checking it from top to bottom.


All of a sudden, a new siren and flash lights could be heard when a Black Chevy Tahoe pulled up. A lone female stepped out and flashed her badge from the chain around her neck. She was dressed down in a Black Parent Advisory jean jacket, a white and black Skull tank top, a pair tight holey blue jeans and red and black DC skate sneakers.


A lone male head popped out of the Lincoln MKX to see who arrived at the crime scene and gave a cheeky grin as he went back to work.


“Catch you at a bad time Charlie? Was this booty call night?” The man asked with a mischievous laugh.


“First Denton: if it were 'Booty Call' night, you wouldn't be the first to know. Secondly: you know that I was making dinner for my sister.” Charlie responded with razor sharp wit but her Storm Blue eyes sparkled and gave Denton a sly wink.


“I digress to your powerful dating prowess my Queen. As for this bad boy, it's clean except for this wallet in the glove-compartment.” Denton said as he took the wallet and made his over to where Charlie was standing.


“Your learning Andy, I was just going to ask if you had something, so let's see what we have here.” Charlie said with pride as she slipped on a white glove, and took the wallet from Denton's hands to look a the name.


There was a pause before Charlie loudly swore. She ran a hand through her long wavy Honey Brown hair in frustration.


“It's Mateo De La Vega's car. That son of a bitch! If his car is here, where the hell is he?” Charlie yelled as she looked at adjacent buildings and roof tops, hoping that Mateo would show himself.


“I want this 10 mile radius extended and I want every build and basement searched until we find him. Three years of investigation and Intel work and a year of undercover work is about go down the tubes, I want that Rat Bastard found.” Charlie screamed. Agents, police officers, crime scene techs and even Special Agent Andy Denton jumped and scrambled to begin the pain-staking search of finding Mateo De La Vega and bring him for questioning.


“Where did you go Mateo?' Charlie asked herself as she followed her own orders and began to lead the search to find Mateo 'The Viper' De La Vega and question his skinny little ass from dawn until dusk, if she didn't punch him first for making her go on this wild goose chase to find him.


Chapter Text

“5 weeks, Agent Scott! 5 weeks of searching, digging and more searching and all for nothing! Four and half years of work which included: investigation and Intel and undercover work that you did.” The man yelled at Charlie as he paced back and forth behind his desk.


Special Agent Charlotte 'Charlie' Scott stood in front of her boss's desk staring straight a head at the wall in front her, listening to the dressing down that her boss was giving her. Not many things could piss off Charlie's boss of the Robbery and Homicide division: Assistant Director James Barnett.


“How in the hell did we loose the number one suspect in our criminal investigation? Did we break a mirror or did you misplace him, Agent Scott?” AD Barnett proclaimed as he continued to pace.


“No sir, not that I'm aware of.” She said. Her hands were clutched in tight fists as they were crossed behind her back.


“Well then, you tell me how that Jackass managed to avoid not only you but the entire FBI and DCPD?!” Barnett screamed as rounded to the front of his desk and got in Charlie's face.


“I honestly can't tell you sir. But you can rest assured that I will get to the bottom of it.” Charlie said. Her storm blue eyes grew darker with determination.


“You had better Agent Scott. Because next time I call you into this office is for you to tell me that we have found Mateo De La Vega and that he's in custody and a thorough explanation on how we lost him in the first place. As of right now and until further notice, you are confined to your desk and you are hear by suspended pending a full investigation into this matter Special Agent Scott.” Barnett said deathly calm, his usually warm brown eyes were almost black from barely contained anger.


“Yes sir.” Charlie said through gritted teeth.


“Good. Now get out of my sight.” Barnett said as he pulled his chair from under his desk and sat down. Then without so much as a backward glance to Charlie, he absently pointed to his door as he went over the latest Intel on De La Vega's whereabouts.


Charlie gave a nod as she heaved a sigh to control her ever growing temper as she spun on her heel and walked calmly as you please towards the door and then with resounding BANG, she slammed it behind her.


As she made her way back toward her office, Charlie had plenty of time to cool down and think. She couldn't believe that she got suspended! How was it her fault that Mateo De La Vega disappeared off the face of the earth? She wasn't his keeper was she? The last time the Charlie checked, she hadn't walked down the isle and said I Do or lived with him for over a year.


This was just one of the many reasons that Charlie hated Mateo De La Vega some days; he always somehow managed to make her life a living hell even if he was drop dead gorgeous when he did it. Charlie stopped walking and gave her head a slight shake. Now was not the time or the place to have such thoughts. Especially about a suspect.


She resumed walking to he office, but she was brought out her ever drifting thoughts by Special Agent Andy Denton walking toward. As Charlie got a good look at him she noticed that his face held a look of both determination and excitement. She never seen his hazel eyes sparkle so excitedly before in the four and half years that she knew him. It was a look that couldn't help but make Charlie smile back.


“Please tell that look is good news that we found Mateo and Barnett can stop riding my ass and take me off suspension!?” Charlie exclaimed with a wide grin as she stopped in the middle of the hallway with her arms spread wide.


“I haven't found Mateo yet but were one step closer to finding him.” Andy said a huge grin spread from ear to ear, then he paused for a minute. “Wait a second, did you just say that you got suspended?”


“Yup, pending a investigation. I'm still allowed to work this case but from curiosity of my desk.” Charlie said with a small sigh. “But what was this about you finding something that could bring us closer to finding Mateo?”


“Oh yea, kind of forgot there for a moment. Last year there was a new FBI agent that joined our team. Now myself and others didn't think much about it at the time because we were so focused on you undercover assignment to pay him much notice.” Andy began.


“When he was here a lot of things didn't add up: missing recordings from your wire sessions with Mateo, evidence from the various locations around Miami when you were there for the Op went missing, shipment catalogues disappeared, and the list goes on and on. We couldn't figure out who was doing it,” Andy stopped for dramatic affect, with huge grin.


“Until now!” Charlie finished with a huge grin of her own, following Andy's chain of thought.


“Until now!” Andy repeated with excitement in his voice.


Charlie's grin got bigger as she patted Andy on his shoulder, proud of his initiative. But something didn't sit right with her with what Andy said. Her brow furrowed in deep thought. She turned her confused gaze towards Andy which caught his attention.


“What?” Andy asked as he looked up from the file in his hands towards her intense but confused look.


“You just said 'Was here', he isn't any more?” Charlie asked.


“Oh yea. He was here but he left, and wait for it, 5 weeks ago! Nobody asked any questions and he never said why he was leaving. He just cleaned out his desk and computer and left. No forwarding address, nada.” Andy explained as he went through the papers in the open file in his hand.


“Please tell me you got the name of this son of a bitch who tried to sabotage my case?” Charlie all about growled as she grabbed the file from Andy's hands and started to peruse file for herself.


“Have I ever left you displeased in any way?” Andy asked with a sly grin and seductive wink.


“Oh Andrew, you always leave me fully satisfied.” Charlie teased sassily. “So what have you got?”


“Well this is where it gets hinky. The name he used was an alias, which he registered under the name as John Nounymez, but oddly enough I was able to get a hit from facial recognition from the photo they took here so that he could his photo id. His real name is Special Agent Jason Boyd.” Andy said with wide grin as he held up the photo of Agent Boyd.


“John Anonymous, how very original. So Mr. Boyd I have you now! Andy I want you to use all your witchy juju to track this Rat Bastard down. I want know where I can find this Son of a Bitch so I can put him in traction. I need to know where he is Andy, and I WANT IT TODAY!” Charlie exclaimed as she yelled at the photo in hand then thrusted the picture back into Andy's chest.


“On it!” Andy said as turned and raced back to his office to begin tracking Jason Boyd.


Charlie turned on her heel and began to speed walk towards her office with an anger that no one in the last four and half years had seen. As she reached her office, she stormed inside and slammed the door. She tried with all her might to curb her temper, but it was no use.


She turned towards a tacky vase that was on a side table on her right, she picked it up and pitched it towards the far wall with a loud scream as it shattered. Charlie's chest began heave up and down from all the anger that she built up.


Charlie shook her head as she walked towards her desk stared for about a minute at her murder board that she kept beside it. She growled and started to pace the length of her desk, trying cool her temper. It wasn't just Special Agent Boyd that she angry at, but it was also: her boss- AD Barnett who was blaming her for Mateo's disappearance.


But the truly main person that really pissed her of in all of this was Mateo De La Vega. This was all his fault. In her mind, he couldn't have stayed in one place so they could located him. Her temper flared again at the thought of Mateo, she turned and kicked her desk hard with her right foot.

She heaved a sigh and gripped the edges of her desk in white knuckled grip as she turned to her right towards the murder board and stared at it. Charlie stood straight and walked towards the board. She paced back and forth in front of it, trying to get some reading on the man in the centre photo and his whereabouts.


“Okay Guapa, talk to me! I know you didn't just vanish into into thin air. Your not that good of a magician/illusionist Mateo, so tell me how in the hell did you disappear after the museum heist? How did you vanish on me De La Vega?!” Charlie growled as she began to pace the length of her office in front of the board that showed the crime scene of the Smithsonian heist from 5 weeks ago.


Agent Charlotte 'Charlie' Scott had been given her first big case fresh out of Quantico and had been assigned the Robbery/Homicide division of the FBI. Her case was number 5 of the FBI's most wanted list: Mateo “the Viper” De La Vega- protege to the legendary Thomas Crown.


When Thomas Crown finally got out of the business and married the insurance investigator for the museum that Crown supposedly stole the painting from. He flew into the sunset with his soulmate and left Mateo his company.


With Mateo at the reigns as CEO of Crown INC, Mateo changed it from Crown INC to Viper Crown INC and turned into not only a legit business but also a syndicate as well. Dealing from: money laundering, arms dealing, selling of stolen goods, drug dealing and escort services.


With every lap that she that she made of her office, with every sigh that she heaved, the murder board was still not giving her the answers she needed. At one point, Charlie tried to close her eyes and reopen them again only to have the same answer- nothing!


She gave another big sigh as she turned away from the board, walked towards her desk, leaned against it and crossed her arms. Charlie made an even bigger show when she crossed her left leg over her right and just stared at Mateo's picture. She could easily see why, in every surveillance photo he appeared in, he always had his favorite flavor of the month.


To say that the famous Viper Crown Inc. CEO/suspected thief and the FBI's number 5 most wanted man in the world- Mateo De La Vega was handsome was an understatement. He was tall, about 5'8” 1/2, with jet black hair and the most gorgeous green eyes that she ever seen.


The first time Charlie seen a picture of Mateo; she did what every woman around the Globe had done before her, she sighed! The type of sigh that every teenage girl would give if they were at a movie theatre watching their favorite actor on screen. For Charlie, it just wasn't Mateo's green eyes that did it for her! When she had seen another surveillance photo of the Viper on his private beach in Miami, swimming and surfing, she couldn't believe the body he had been hiding under those expensive three piece Italian suits he always wore.


She honestly couldn't believe how much of a Greek god this man was. In Charlie's mind, she secretly found her Ares: The God of War. But than again, she thought that four and half years ago as well, so the thought trailed to that if he was her Ares than she was his Xena: the Warrior Princess.


'Those wash board abs! I wonder what tequila and chocolate would taste like being licked off of them?' Charlie thought with another sigh. She realized where she was doing and shook her head.


Even though her Greek God theory was sound and very hot, it was just wishful thinking on her part, her over active imagination and not enough sex. The last two parts brought a mischievous grin to Charlie's lips. Mateo De La Vega was Cuban American, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York on October 24, 1970.


And she know all these things when she went undercover to catch him, but what she didn't expect to happen was to fall in love him, just like the insurance investigator did with Mateo's mentor. The only difference was that when time came for them to admit their feelings, Mateo had changed.


He turned her away and threatened to kill her when she came to his office the same time as always. He said his feelings for her were all a lie and that they didn't mean anything. Charlie had held her tears at bay but she had felt her heart break.

Before Charlie left, she went to his house one last time with his favorite bottle of scotch to talk some sense into him. She walked upstairs and made her to the master bedroom like she did as always. As she drew closer to the bedroom, she heard sound of a head board being pounded into the wall followed by a loud female moan and a grunt from a male.


She hurried her steps and shoulder opened the door only to find the most heart breaking site. Mateo was in bed with another woman fucking her from behind, without a care in the world it would seem, because he would have noticed that she was in room or not, but it seemed the woman did.


The red haired woman gave her the most malicious smirk as she arched her back and let out a louder scream.


Ah, fuck yes, right there Mateo darling.” She screamed and then turned back towards Charlie and gave her the most vindictive wink.


Charlie saw red. Right before she left for good that night she decided to make a statement. She threw the bottle of scotch in her hand at the woman's head which shocked the couple. Taking the couple's pause, she rushed towards the bed, grabbed a long shard of glass and stabbed it into Mateo's shoulder with as much force as she could manage.


That was last time Charlie saw the son of a bitch, rat bastard as she like to refer to Mateo every time her baby sister Lizzie would bring him up. When she came back out of the field after her cover was blown, she did some digging on the woman he was in bed with. And she found out that Mateo De La Vega was fucking non other than Madeline Pratt, said bitch had been rumoured to be connected both professionally and intimately with Raymond 'Red' Reddington. She paused for a moment then burst out laughing.


As she slowly withdrew from the fond memory with a chuckle, Charlie's desk phone rang. She gave a long sigh as she reached over and picked it up. Charlie crossed her fingers and hoped it was AD Barnett so she could tell him off.


“Agent Scott.” Charlie growled calmly. She was ready for anything AD Barnett had to say.

“Wow, now that's a voice of authority!” The voice on the other end of the line teased. Charlie held a confused look for a moment before it morphed into look comprehension.


“Elizabeth. I'm sorry I thought you were someone else. So how are you and what's his name?” Charlie asked sarcastically.


Lizzie giggle. “When are you going to start calling Tom by his name?”


“I will when I come around to it, if the mood strikes my fancy.” Charlie teased. Lizzie giggled again.


“Well I got some good news for you. First, I got a job with the FBI and have my interview this morning. I'm in process at getting Tom's lunch ready, but my other good news is that Tom and I are adopting a baby.” Lizzie paused to let her news sink in.


Charlie paused. She went into a long awaited shock. She knew that Lizzie always wanted a baby but she believed the doctors when they said she wouldn't be able to get pregnant, which Charlie didn't believe at all. She knew that Lizzie was in perfect health, her gut told her that someone paid or put the doctors up into saying that.


“Oh My God! Oh congratulations Lizzie I'm so proud of you. You deserve to be a mother.” Charlie gushed with a huge grin.


“I know but so do you Charlie. You deserved it most of all, especially with a certain number 5 FBI most wanted man.” Lizzie said, a sad expression passed over across her face.


“Yea I know that to. But it's been over four and half years Lizzie he's probably moved on and forgotten all about me. I mean at the time, I would have loved to have Mateo's little black haired babies. But he got what he wished when he threatened to kill me if he saw me again and fucked that Red Haired Bitch!” Charlie growled. Why did her sister keep bringing up that jackass?


All of a sudden there was a knock on her door and Andy stuck his head inside with an excited expression but quickly turned to leave when he saw her on the phone. She looked up and waved Andy back inside. Andy went to shut the door when AD Barnett stepped inside as well.


“Lizzie I got to go, duty calls. Give me call sometime this week and we can go to dinner.” Charlie said as stood.


“Okay. I've got to got to work too see you later. I love you Big sister.” Lizzie said as she started packing sandwiches in both paper bags for her and Tom.


“I love you too, Baby sister.” Charlie said with a grin and then hung up the phone and then turned towards the door to face both Andy and AD Barnett.


After sharing a quick look with AD Barnett, Charlie squared her shoulders back and made her way towards her office door. She gave one last sigh as she prepared for battle.


“You are going to love me.” Andy exclaimed with a cheeky grin as Charlie got closer and she smiled a grin of her own.


“I already love you Andy, so what have you got for me?” Charlie asked with a flirty smile.


“I found the jackass that was our mole here.” Andy began and then saw the quick look she shot AD Barnett. “Oh AD Barnett already knows, I told him a few minutes ago. So I found Special Agent Boyd, he's an undercover field operative that is currently employed in one of the FBI blacksites and there just happens to be one here DC. You go there, and you'll find Jason Boyd.”


Charlie let out a whoop of joy and threw her arms around Andy and twirled him around in a circle. She shot AD Barnett a quick glance and for a fleeting moment she could have sworn that Barnett flashed a quick grin and then quickly as it came it was gone.


“That's why I came here Scott. It looks like you have an invitation to one of blacksite's right now. Courtesy of Deputy Director Harold Cooper. Do us proud Scott and be on you best behavior.” AD Barnett said as she nodded to agents that came with him.


Charlie went to her desk and strapped on her gun and put on her black leather jacket. She then turned back towards the door and followed the agents out. She sighed a contented sigh, she finally going to get to the bottom of who caused her case to almost fall apart.


Heaven help Special Agent Jason Boyd and then man who gave the order, because she going to make damn good and sure that their heads will roll and be on silver platters by the time she was done with them.


Chapter Text

The sheer silence of one of the FBI's many Blacksite's gave way to an eerie quiet that could only be described as that of a haunted house or horror movie. The kind of quiet that would only be broken by the killer after the female protagonist just before she was killed.


To say that Elizabeth Keen wasn't intimidated would be an understatement. Her morning started out like any other; she woke up in a good mood, with pleasant dreams even if her libido left something to be desired. It wasn't that she loved her husband Tom, she did, it just felt like the sex wasn't there anymore and that Tom and her were hanging on to their marriage by a thread.


There were times that Lizzie felt Tom pull away, but she thought that they could get back what they once had if they adopted a child. Now it sounded strange to bring a child, a baby even, into that that type of a volatile situation, but Lizzie was desperate to her husband back.


She hadn't wanted to dwell on the signs that were causing Tom to pull away. She even tried ignore the one main sign that stuck out above the rest, but she built a huge great wall over the direction that her gut and mind were steering her to.


She blindly refused to believe that Tom was seeing someone else on the side, but it was hard for her not to deny it when Tom came home late some nights and his shirts smelled of a floral perfume that she didn't wear. Lizzie was going lock those feelings and signs in a mental box in her mind for later.


Lizzie decided to concentrate on that morning and her routine. Well she changed up her morning routine for a special. Adopting. Lizzie and Tom agreed, well Tom had decided and Lizzie went along with it, that in order for them to get back to each other a baby would help them along the way.


She got an early start to her morning routine by going on 15 mile run instead of her usual 10 mile. She showered and dressed before Tom woke up, she went down stairs and started breakfast and make lunches for two of them. While she did that, Lizzie pulled out her cell phone to call her older sister Charlie to tell her her great news.


It had been so long since she spoke to Charlie and an 8 minute conversation to tell her that she was adopting a baby was good enough for her but then again it wasn't. Lizzie had a feeling that Charlie was some what happy for her but didn't think she and Tom were ready to have children just yet.


“Tom hurry up or we're going to be late!” Lizzie yelled as she pulled herself out of thoughts. Sometimes she wonder how husband got out of bed in the mornings.


There was a sound of boots padding across the floor upstairs then the sound got louder as a pair of boots thumped down the stairs and made their way towards the kitchen and her.


Lizzie jumped suddenly and then relaxed when two arms snaked around her waist and then sighed as she tilted her head slightly when felt her husband's lips on her neck and glowed with please as he inhaled her scent. Lizzie let the pleasure envelope her as she felt Tom's lips and tongue sweep over her neck and collar bone.


As she took a deep breath to inhale Tom's scent, she smelt something off.

She took another deep breath and the scent was stronger this time than a few seconds ago. It was a strong floral scent that she never wore, but the scent radiated off of Tom's shirt. She sighed mentally.


This was not what Lizzie wanted to think about, and she most certainly wasn't going to tell her sister that maybe her suspensions were right. Charlie's ego didn't need a boost right now! For one moment of Lizzie thought was pure pleasure, she had let her wall barriers down. Now she was trying with all her might to repair the crack so she could keep her doubts locked in the metal box she made in her mind when she erected a great wall around it.


But it was getting harder and harder with each passing minute. She managed to calm herself down some what and not let Tom see the doubts written all over her face. This was suppose to be a happy day for he and Tom. They were going to adopt a baby. Her doubts about Tom possibly having an affair, were going to have to wait.


“So Special Agent Keen, how's it feel to be an agent?” Tom asked as he kept his arms around Lizzie's waist and rocked her from side to side, humming an off key tune in her ear.


“Great. I just got to go through one last interview then I get my new credentials and then I'm a official profiler with the FBI.” Lizzie said with a grin as she pulled away from him and busied herself with the rest of their lunches and breakfast ready.


“Well I'm proud of you non the less. Special Agent Elizabeth Keen! This job will be something that we will get to tell our future grandchildren about when we're sitting around the fire in rocking chairs, talking about the good old days.” Tom said with a grin that he flashed behind Lizzie's back. A grin that didn't quite reach his eyes.


“Tom, we need to have children first before we have grandchildren.” Lizzie replied with a slight laugh as she handed Tom his breakfast and then took hers to the kitchen table and began to eat.


Breakfast between the two was silent after that. Their minds drifting into different places; making the silence unbearable for the both of them. And with in that silence, Lizzie's mind couldn't help but drift to all the things that just weren't adding up with Tom in her mind at all.


She honestly didn't want to think that Tom was having an affair but how she could she not. The timing was perfect; with her out of the house, it would a perfect time for Tom to sleep around. Between her sister's gut feeling that told Charlie not to trust Tom and her own feelings, Lizzie couldn't help but think that there was more to it.


As she cleared away their breakfast dishes and gathered her things for work. Maybe she wasn't ready to believe that her sister might be right. Maybe she wanted to continue to drift on the unknown plane that her husband wasn't hiding anything from her and that he was faithful.


She wanted to still believe, that at end of the day, Tom and her were going to going to adopt a baby boy or girl and finally be parents.

“Have a great day at work babe. And remember that we have to meet the adoption agency at 3pm for our final interview to find out if we finally get our baby.” Tom said with a wide grin as he gave Lizzie a hug and one last kiss.


“Wow, I'm surrounded by interviews today!” Lizzie teased.


Her mind and gut began to work over time again when she felt Tom hug and kiss her. She felt that they were both forced. If you loved someone as much as you say you do, why would you feel the need to force a kiss and hug on someone you love?


She couldn't think about that right now, she needed to concentrate on her new job and possibly working with her older sister on cases where she would need a profiler.


When Lizzie stepped onto her front stoop, she was jarred out of her thoughts to sounds of helicopters and sirens. It was a shock of of her life! Her neighbours began to stare at her as if she was a criminal. All Lizzie could do was stare. She was to shocked to either speak or move right away.


Her shock was short lived when a black Chevy SUV, with flashing lights and a siren blaring so loud that you could hear it two blocks over, pulled up right in front of Lizzie's stoop and stopped directly in front of her. All Lizzie could to was stop and stare as a tall Strawberry Blond, blue eyed male stepped out of the car and made his way purposely towards her.


“Special Agent Elizabeth Keen, FBI, you need to come with me.” Her fellow agent said as he took hold of her arm and lead her to the backseat of the SUV.


For 15 long, stifling minutes, Lizzie sat in the backseat of the SUV with tinted windows drove her across town. The agent who was bringing her in, a man named Special Agent Donald Ressler, didn't seem to happy to be driving her any where at all.


When they pulled up to an unmarked, condemned building that saw better days and had probably belonged to the mob at some point and had probably been used as one of Al Capone's safe houses from the Roaring Twenties or Thirties! Elizabeth was pulled from the vehicle and lead inside towards an elevator. The silence in the elevator alone was deafening as she travelled under ground toward the main floor. From there, Lizzie was lead down a series of hallways until she was lead into a control room.


She had to take a moment at the sheer awe she was experiencing just by being in a room that held an enormous amount of computers and technology alone that would make her older sister sieve with envy or faint as if it the best sexual experience that she had in her life.


The last part caused Elizabeth's mouth to form a large mischievous smirk spread across her face that caused her blue eyes to twinkle just right in the with a spark of her inner mischief.


Charlie had once told her that there were only two things in this world that could be described or lay claim to be being the best sexual experience. The First was Hacking! She said that there was something about the Dark Web that just made her all tingly from the top head all the way down to her toes. Elizabeth shook her head at the that.


The second and final and in Charlie's mild mannered opinion was the most important: it had been the whole year that Charlie went undercover in Mateo De La Vega's organization. All she would tell Lizzie was that Mateo had blew her mind and he had most defiantly ruined her for any other man, not that Charlie wanted another man after Mateo anyway.


She gave a slight chuckle as she was brought out of her thoughts at what Charlie's expression would be to that train of thought. Lizzie managed to morph her face into business mode as she stepped up to the man in front her.


“Special Agent Keen, thank you for coming in on such short notice. I'm Deputy Director Harold Cooper.” He said with a kind smile as he held out his hand for her to shake.


Elizabeth gave the Deputy Director a kind smile in return as she returned his hand shake which gave her the opportunity to give the man standing tall in front of her, a good once over.

Harold Cooper was tall about 6'4” - 6'5”, with warm chocolate brown eyes and caramel coloured skin that seemed to glow even under the florescent lights of the control room. His grip was strong which added to his air of authority but not so much that it made cocky. Harold Cooper was a man that took his job very seriously.


He could be your new best friend or in the next exact same moment, he could be you worst enemy that you most defiantly didn't want to cross. But to Lizzie or anybody else that was on his team or just in his presence, there was a feeling of a familial aura that seemed to encircle everyone that hung in the air.


It was like he had renowned ability to make people feel like they talking to not just their boss but their father as well. He made you feel safe and protected all in one breath.


There was only one other person who made Lizzie feel that way and that was her adopted father Sam Scott. And if Lizzie was honest with herself, Charlie would feel the same way as well. It was then that Lizzie snapped out of her profiling mode when she felt the hairs on the back her neck stand on end when she became aware of a presence move up to directly behind her.


“Thank you for having me sir. I was under the impression that I had no choice given the circumstances.” Liz said as she shook Director Cooper's hand, her lips forming into a tiny grin as she took glance over her right shoulder at the agent standing behind her.


“Well if we weren't so strapped for time, you and another special guest would have been vetted through numerous channels that could have taken months for you two to even be here,” Cooper began with a sigh as he scrubbed both hands up and down in front of his face.


“I don't know what strings he pulled to get you and his other guest here but he did. And he would only talk to you! And 'You', I mean specifically you Agent Keen. Raymond 'Red' Reddington will only talk to you! And since you have profiling skills that might help in our favour to know exactly what the hell he wants.” Cooper stated at last.


“Let me get this straight: Raymond 'Red' Reddington requested me and wants to talk nobody but me, meanwhile you want me to go down there and talk to The FBI's Number 4 Most Wanted man in the world all the while subtly profile him for Intel. Is that effectively what you're saying sir?” Liz asked with genuine confused look.


“That's effectively what I'm saying Agent Keen. I know it's sudden and I also know that we haven't given you enough time to get your bearings and prepare yourself enough to interview Red Reddington but we need what Intel he has and if he can give it you, then I know it was the right call.” Cooper said as he placed a gentle hand on Liz's shoulder.


Liz heaved a small sigh and shifted back and forth on one foot then the other like a little kid who was forced to attend something that his or her parents wanted them to go.


“I'll do it. If it's me he wants, then I'll see how good his information is. I hope this will be worth it.” Liz stated with a firm nod to Director Cooper as she passed him.


As she made her way towards the control room door that led to the bunker below, she could feel a heated glare on her back. A glare that was present when she was talking to Director Cooper that only intensified as she made the decision to talk to Red Reddington.


Just before Liz made it out the door she took glance back at the agent that was standing behind her a minute ago and the look she got made her want to drill her fist into his face and knock his teeth down his throat. Very rarely did Liz lose her temper at somebody she just met, that was her sister's job! But this tall Strawberry Blond, just got on her last nerve. She let out a frustrated sigh as she stepped out onto the platform and firmly closed the door shut.


Director Cooper watch the looks pass between both agents and sighed. If the intense look that Agent Keen gave Special Agent Donald Ressler was any indication on that relationship going to go, god help help Ressler himself and his poor nerves when Ressler met Agent Keen's older sister.


He just hoped that insurance would cover the hoopla that would follow when Agents Scoot and Ressler finally met face to face. 'Oh God, give me strength!' Cooper thought. From what Barnett had told him about Special Agent Charlie Scott, the perfect word to describe her mode would be pissed! Not that Cooper could blame her. It was just another long list of things that Cooper needed to discuss with Ressler on how he handled this case.


“I feel it prudent to remind you once again sir, that I'm strongly against having Keen here when she's not been vetted. We don't know if she knows Reddington in any capacity. She could be secretly working for Reddington in his organization and we wouldn't know because she wasn't vetted.” Ressler growled. He stared at Cooper head on, never batted an eyelash.


He broke contact for just a minute to turn his frustrated, intense glare at the monitor as he watched the box open to allow Keen to have her chat with Reddington. As if he knew he was being watched, Reddington's head turned towards the camera and gave Ressler a cocky and mischievous grin.


“I'll make a note of your 'Highly' regarded opinion Agent Ressler. It wasn't your call to make, it was mine. And last time I checked it said Deputy Director Harold Cooper on the door and not Deputy Director Donald Ressler.” Cooper firmly stated with a withering glare that caused Ressler to take step back and swallow hard as Cooper picked up the walkie talkie.


“Alpha leader,” Cooper spoke with an air of authority.


“Yes Sir!” The HRT Alpha leader said as he pressed the walkie on his shoulder.


“You can bring in the other package with out a blindfold this time and cuff him to the chair that as been provided.” Cooper instructed as he shot a quick glance at Ressler.


“Yes sir!” The leader said. Alpha leader turned and pointed two of his squad members and silently waved his hand for them to follow him back down to the cells.


Ressler took a quick glance at the second monitor to see his prey. Within moments his queries cell door opened and he watched the HRT members enter the cell, walk up behind his query, pull his arms behind his back and handcuff him. He felt Cooper slip beside him, he to watching to see what their other prisoner would.


Just before he was led out of his cell and into his seat in the main area, Ressler's prey looked up into the camera, as if he knew Ressler was watching, like both him and Reddington had a six sense, he gave the camera a cheeky, mischievous grin and a slow sensuous wink. And just for good measure, he blew a quick kiss to the camera as he was led away.


Ressler turned away from the monitor with a growl as he started to pace the control room like a caged tiger. To add to his ever growing ire was the deep baritone laugh of Director Cooper.


“Well say anything you want about the man, but he does get his point across.” Cooper said as another laugh burst through his chest which caused Ressler to growl once more.


“I hate Reddington and De La Vega!” Ressler growled again.


“Well they're not the only ones that you will have to deal with. And that's one thing that we need to hash out, because quite frankly Agent Ressler, you really over stepped the bounds protocol.” Cooper stated, all trace of humour faded to give way to the stern authoritarian figure that he was.


“Sir,” Ressler began to speak but was interrupted by the glare that Cooper sent his way. A glare that meant certain death if he opened his mouth once more.


“Agent Ressler I have been very lenient with you because have got me the results I need, but for you to side step your way into not only another Agent's investigation but another division's case is something that I won't stand for.” Cooper said sternly. Ressler had the good sense to know that he was getting his ass chewed out.


“Sir, we were running out of time,” Ressler tried again and again he was interrupted.


“I don't care Agent Ressler. If I had my way I would love to let our next guest go two rounds with you right here and right now, but the equipment in this room alone is worth millions of dollars and if any one of these computers are broke it would be coming out of your pay cheque, not the tax payers, yours!” Cooper proclaimed and exaggerated his point by pointing his index finger in Ressler's chest.


For his part, Ressler gave another aggravated sigh. This really wasn't his day.


“Sir, are you telling me that you're allowing Agent Keen's sister in here without being vetted as well?!” Ressler exclaimed with wide eyes. “Do you have any idea what she'll do to me?!”


“Yes I do. She is well within her rights to extract her revenge on you and I'm inclined to look the other way. Which is why that I think would be best if you would wait in the squad room until I'm ready to let you see her.” Cooper stated as he pointed towards the door.


Ressler knew it wouldn't be wise for him to open his mouth and argue any more than he already had. With a sigh indignation, Ressler turned on his on his heel and went towards without a word. And just for what he thought was good measure on his part, he slammed the door shut.


Out in the hallway, he turned left and walked the short way towards the backstairs that led as a short cut towards the squad room.


He had no sooner made down the stairs out of sight, that the clap-clap sound of boot heels made their down the hall towards the control room. The look of sheer determination on the young woman's caused others in her wake to jump out of her way.


Meanwhile in the receiving area for the box, Liz was getting her first look at Raymond 'Red' Reddington. The rumour's she hear, the hear say, the articles she had couldn't have prepared her the intense feelings she getting from him, just by looking at him alone.


The heat radiating off him alone was enough to bring Lizzie to her knees and for her to feel it in core and spread all over body.

'The man radiates sensuality just by sitting and being hand cuffed to a chair.' Lizzie thought as gasped. It felt like she had the wind knocked out of her from the intense stare he sent her way. The power alone that shone in his green eyes, followed her like she was his prey.


She held on to that feeling as it spread through out her body, adding to the ever growing feelings that she had never felt before. Lizzie was quite certain that these feelings, the way every part of her body called out to Red, was never present when she met her husband.


The force of that realization caused Lizzie to gasp again and caused her the grip the railing as she made her way toward where Red was sitting. The pictures in the media and his wanted poster, didn't really do the man justice.


From his vantage point, Red could see and feel Lizzie's reaction towards him. The trickster grin that formed on his face because he was the cause of Lizzie's reaction, sent a power serge through his body. It gave him an ego that really didn't need. Some people would say he was Man-Whore, which wasn't far from the truth because he loved his women.


He had enjoyed playing the field, trading sex as way to close his deals with some of the most beautiful women on the planet including Madeline Pratt. There was no doubt that the woman was beautiful but she was shallow and cared only for herself. The last time he saw Madeline, they talked and she all but convinced him to go to Florence with her. But that's all it was just talk.


He tired of meaningless sex, he wanted something more substantial, more meaningful. He knew he wouldn't get that from Madeline or any other woman.


Over the years, he had followed Elizabeth Keen's life, he had watched her blossom into a beautiful woman from a far, her and her older sister. Seeing how much a beautiful woman she had become, took his breath away, her picture really didn't do her the justice she deserved.


And if Lizzie was beautiful and gorgeous as she appeared to be than her sister Charlie would also exceed his expectations. Not to mention, if his hunch was correct, Mateo's mind would be completely blown away when he saw Charlie again. They had been kept apart for over a year, and he was partly to blame for that. He just hoped that he could help Mateo repair his relationship with Charlie.


He decided to put that on that back burner and concentrate on the gorgeous, beautiful woman making her way towards him. Red had to shift positions in his chair ever so slightly as he watched her gorgeous, 5'4” athletic body as she took each step towards him.


“Hello Lizzie. It's so good to see you, to finally meet you at last. You change your hair. I love it. So much better than the highlights you had.” Red began with a smile that cause a woman's heart stop. And his smile grew when he heard Lizzie's heart skip a beat.

Chapter Text

'Oh My God! That voice! How am I suppose to concentrate on this interview?! How is anyone suppose to concentrate in his presence, especially of the female persuasion?' Liz thought as she made her way down the stairs and onto the flat concrete floor. She held her head up with a confidence that allowed her to hide her emotions from the one man, in the entire world, who could read them.


Her confidence shattered however, when she heard Red's voice. She always applauded herself for never missing a step in her life! But again, that was until she had stepped into Raymond “Red” Reddington's presence; her mind sending mixed signals to her body. Signals that she really didn't know she had til now.


Signals that had never, in her life, been present when she met Tom. Liz shook her head. This was something that she didn't want to think about now, and couldn't think about now. But just from being in Red's presence for three minutes, he had her thinking about it.


His voice, sent goose pimples up and down her body. It was a sensation that started to the top of her head, all the way down to her girl parts. Her sister would say “Pussy” and would be totally shocked that she actually had one in the first place.


At the rate that Red's voice was making her whole body feel, Liz was about two seconds away from actually blurting out “Pussy”, which would probably not make a good impression on her part; but with the way she saw Red's eyes travel up and down her and blatantly stared at her with a desire that just in this moment alone, caused all of the air to be sucked out of the building, only to be replaced with the red hot lust and attraction that was radiating off Red's body.


If Liz quickly closed her eyes, she would pick up a scent that sent her body into Red Alert! A scent that was so distinctly Red. It was a mix of Gunpowder, Musk, Sandalwood, Pine and Giorgio Armani: Armani Code!


She had tried to keep her footing but it faltered yet again. Either from his voice or his unique smell, she wasn't sure. But deep inside Lizzie felt embarrassed for missing a simple step towards the chair provided for her, in front of the Great Red Reddington.


“No need to be shy Lizzie, the body is a very beautiful thing. It has a unique way of 'Expressing' the way it feels around certain 'Things', but 'Certain People' can be drawn towards them 'Like A Moth To A Flame'!” Red said as he leaned back casually in his chair.


The laid back persona that Red perceived had Lizzie following his body movements with her eyes. Those beautiful Baby Blue eyes that had in fact ' Drew ' him in from the first picture he saw of her. He knew he had to meet her, even if it meant drawing unwanted attention. Red was not only very intelligent but very highly perceptive.


And it was his perceptiveness that lead him to digging something ' Highly ' entrusting. It was entrusting yes, but it also made him extremely pissed off! So pissed off in fact, that Red ended up destroying an entire penthouse suite in Rio De Janeiro. Nothing that a few cases of the most expensive scotch, his best stock by the way, and $100,000 to the hotel manager couldn't fix. In fact the penthouse suite that had been all but destroyed, was to become his permanent residence when ever he was visiting Rio on business or other ' Personal ' endeavors that would occupy his time while he was there. Which would be none.


Red was never one to loose his temper, his silence could be just fierce and just as deadly! The reason for Red being back in the states, in the FBI's ' Gracious ' care, and not in Florence with ever beautiful yet spiteful Madeline Pratt, who blackmailed him to go in the first place just so she could have him between her legs, Red felt used and not in a good way. She always wanted more then he could give. His soul and heart just weren't in it with Maddie but even he would admit that she was a good fuck. That was about all she was good at or for.


And he had almost been tempted to pick up his cell phone, call the airport to ready his jet then call his personal pilot and notify him that he was personally flying him to Florence, but those plans changed at the last minute and for the better when he got an urgent and panicked phone call from Lizzie and Charlie's adopted father, Sam Scott.


It was in that moment, in that one phone conversation with Sam, that the cold dread and fear had hit him like a title wave. The one thing that Red wanted to protect both Lizzie and Charlie from, had somehow wormed it's way into their lives and both girls didn't know. Both Sam and Red had taken every precaution to make sure that the one disastrous and dreadful moment of their past never touched both girls. But the people they were trying to keep both girls from, had found out about them anyway.


So Red went into lock down mode and started to plan. His first order of business was to put 'His' people on trying to locate and possibly find the object that he had promised he would keep safe and not let it fall into the wrong hands, it was also the same object that Lizzie's biological mother die for.


Then there was his second order of business and it would probably be the most painful, not just for him but for both parties involved. Red's contacts had notified him last year that Charlie had been undercover inside Mateo's organization to investigate and find evidence on his 'Supposed' crimes. So Red had flew to Miami and met Mateo personally to discuss the circumstances over a business dinner. Red always valued honesty and Mateo was the same way. So Red told him the whole truth, about his connection to Lizzie and Charlie, about Charlie's involvement with Red's past, and about Red's friendship with their adopted father Sam, everything was on the table.


To say Mateo was in shock was an understatement but it also gave him a moment a clarity and opened his eyes more to what Charlie's life was like and made him love her more. And Red saw all that just from the way his eyes changed when the light hit them just right and the way his body position shifted. And that's what made Red ask Mateo to do next so hard, he knew Mateo knew that Charlie was undercover for FBI, so he told him under no circumstances was Charlie to stay in Miami or with him, he had to make sure that Charlie left Miami. So he told Mateo to use any means necessary and that if some time in the future, if it was safe for the two of them, Red would make sure personally that he and Charlie would be together.


Six months later, within that year, he had received word that not only did Charlie leave Mateo and was safe back in Washington, but it was how Mateo got her leave that caused him to laugh. His sources had told that Charlie had found Mateo in bed with another woman before she left and not just any woman, the one and only Madeline Pratt. But it was the full half moon scar that Charlie left on the back of his left shoulder that caused him to laugh even more, even if it was Mateo's expense. The old saying that he heard his father say over and over again still reign to his ears: “Hell Hath No Fury, Like A Woman Scorned!”


But in this case, he was partly to blame for why Charlie and Mateo weren't together. Sam had even gave him hell for making his eldest daughter cry but he understood.


So it was another phone call, around the same time he was struggling with the idea of following Madeline to Florence, that Sam called him panicked. They had found his girls and for the life of him, Sam couldn't figure out how they managed it. And then Sam started to get threatening messages about where the 'Fulcrum' was and that he and Red had better find it unless Sam wanted to see both of his daughters lying on the floor in a pool of their own blood.


That spurred Red into action. There was no way in Hell, that he was going to let anything happen to Lizzie and Charlie. Not on his watch! When Sam asked him who could have possibly known, and at first he couldn't give his friend an answer because he wasn't sure himself. But he had some idea and since he returned to the States and was reconnected with his people, the pieces started to fall into place.


And there was only one man that could have the ability and means to find out about the 'Fulcrum', about his connection and friendship with Sam, and about his connection to Charlie and Lizzie, especially Lizzie.


It was the same man that he had hired personally as Lizzie's personal bodyguard without her knowledge, the same man that for 6 months in the first year he had hired him, reported everything that Lizzie did to him, every little detail, big or small, every relationship that Lizzie had, that included the times she had sex with her partner and in what position.


Red enjoyed the last part. He never knew that his 'Little' Lizzie was so damn flexible, he was certainly going to enjoy that tidbit in the future.

Then 6 months turned into a year, a year turned into 2 and then finally 2 turned into 3. 3 years in the dark! 3 years of not a word from his guy. After 3 years of being in the dark, he decided to pay a personal visit to the man who the boss of the man he hired. The Major. Through the whole meeting with the man, Red's bullshit detector was on full force. He could tell, just by looking at the so called Major, that the man was lying right to his face.


And if there was one thing that Red hated more, it was being lied to. He made a mental note that the revenge on the Major would be just as sweet and by the time he was done with him, he would find out exactly why the Major was hiding and all his other secrets as well.


So when Red was safely tucked away in one his many safe houses in DC, he made a personal phone call to his private investigator and had her put a rush on it with the all the information he gave her. Not 5 minutes later, she called him back with the answers he needed.


And those answers were met with some disastrous results on his part. A whole bottle of Macallan single malt 1902 was smashed against he wall, not to mention the rest of the night was spent in drowning his sorrows into: 2 bottles of Jack Daniels, 21/2 bottles of tequila and numerous amounts of homemade moonshine. Needless to say, when Red woke up the next morning, he felt the after effects of his self pity splurge.


His self pity splurge aside, Red needed a plan. With his private investigator's information in hand, he knew he had to bide his time. To find the perfect moment to strike. He knew one thing was for sure and certain, this Son Of A Bitch wasn't coming out of this alive or Red would die trying.


So he would sit back and truly bide his time. Because there was one person that was closely connected with this whole situation that this could backfire on, and there was most defiantly no way in Hell that he was going to let this fall back on Lizzie. She was an innocent in all of this. He would have to bring Charlie on board to help him ease the blow and the hurt she was going to feel when Red broke the news to Lizzie about her 'Ever Loving Husband'.


Tom Keen! Which Red knew was absolutely not his real name, just saying the name of the man who betrayed him in his head, left a bitter taste in his mouth. Somehow, along the way, Tom and his boss The Major betrayed him and sold him out for the highest bidder. He would find out how all in good time and he would make sure Tom would rot and burn in Hell for not only betraying him but also betraying Lizzie and their wedding vows.


Red began to slowly drift out of his thoughts from the last 3 years to about recently. He decided that he wouldn't dread, think about or mention the name of 'Tom Keen', any where in Lizzie's presence.


His decision was a simple one, he 'decided' that he was going to sit back in his seat, which he couldn't really do much of anything else sense he was strapped and handcuffed to his seat anyway, he made a note to have a conversation about Ressler's BDSM fetish. Red chuckled when he pictured the look on the Special-Agent-In-Charge's face.


With the little room that he was allowed to move around in his seat, Red sat back with a little swagger lean, as he began to watch 'Poetry In Motion' walk towards him. His eyes moved up and down her body like a hungry wolf starving for their last meal. It was like the adage was personified through him, 'Whose afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?'


Every step that Lizzie made towards him, his eyes followed her. The natural sexy sway of her hips as she walked, the way her thighs flexed as her muscles worked with her hips.


Red's mind drifted ever so slightly as he pictured himself and Lizzie in hotel room, the room perfumed with the smell of sex. He was taking in everything his mind was showing him, like a film reel to an old movie, Red seemed to have Lizzie in every position; he had her on the floor, up against the rail of their walk out deck, on the desk, in the desk chair, the couch, the table, he fucked her against the wall, numerous positions in the California King in their suite, the shower, the bathtub, the swimming pool and hot tub, and of course the walk-in sauna.


As he drifted out that little day dream into reality, Red's eyes took in the most magnificent sight that he could ever behold, it was the sight of Lizzie's 32c breasts swaying in perfect time with her. Then as she got closer, he got the most exquisite, Lizzie had bent over ever so slightly so she could sit in the seat in front of him and flashed a little bit of her cleavage, just a tease that he hoped he would see in previews. Red closed his eyes and let out a sensual groan that he even bother to hide from Lizzie.


“I don't know if anyone has ever told you this, but Lizzie you are absolutely gorgeous in person.” Red said, his voice dipping ever so slightly. He grinned as Lizzie, trying not to make it obvious, as she shifted in her seat and crossed one leg over the other.


“Not in so many words no, if I'm being completely honest here, nobody as ever said that to me, not even my own husband. Accept my dad, but that really doesn't count. And I can't believe I just said that to you.” Lizzie blushed and dipped her head in embarrassment. She couldn't understand why she suddenly opened up to the FBI's Number 4 Most Wanted Man in the world.


“Every woman should be told at least once that they are beautiful! A strong and beautiful woman is just the balance that a Hardened man needs in their life. It's their strength that helped them continue and not give up.” Red's deep voice vibrated around which caused Liz to shift in her seat once again.


“Pretty words, if I had a nickel for every time a man said that to me.” Lizzie said sarcastically. Tom had used pretty words as well when they first met. Mateo had used pretty words to ensnare Charlie too, but he to had broken her heart in the end.


“A special woman like yourself, needs pretty words Lizzie. It makes you feel loved.” Red said, his green eyes hooded over just a tad to give the effect of lustful desire.


“Pfft!” She snorted. “There's nothing special about me!” Lizzie said as she laid her left hand, wrist up, on her crossed legs and absently began to rub the scar on her left wrist. For reasons she couldn't quite understand herself, she seem to not want to hide her scar with Red like she did with everyone else, even Tom.


“I think you're very special. All I'm asking for is a chance, and if anyone can give me a second chance, it's you Lizzie!” Red said, his voice at deepen, sensual purr.


That deep, sensual voice caused tiny vibrations to shoot up and down Lizzie's body. She even felt it between it her legs. She made a mental note that if she was agreeing to working close together with Red, she would most definitely need a change of cloths and underwear at all times.


As those words were spoken through the monitor, the entire control room went completely silent. There was not a pin drop that could be heard. It was like a deserted ghost town but without the town or ghosts. And then a lone sigh broke the overbearing silence, which blanketed them once again.


Harold Cooper had the look of shock. 'Could it really be that simple?' He thought. But it couldn't. Not from where Harold was standing. But in a way, this was Raymond 'Red' Reddington he was thinking about. And he never did anything the simple way. Harold had knew Red for years and had chased him a quarter of it, but there was always a small voice in the back of his mind that had told him that Red had been innocent.


The sound of a door slamming shut and fast rapid sound of feet approaching, caused Harold to pull out of his thoughts and turn towards the sound. As he tuned, he noticed that every males head in the room turned and gave the woman who them an appreciative glance as she walked by.


Even Harold was not ashamed to admit that the woman in front of him was beautiful, gorgeous even. Harold always joked that he and Christine had a look, don't touch policy but he had never strayed.


“Damn! I have read every article, watched every documentary and news piece and seen every picture, and not one of them have done this man justice. He's Gorgeous! And his voice, he has the ability to be every woman's dream or make their panties drop!” The Honey Brown haired woman said. She was so serious that it caused Harold to chuckle.


“Well beauty is in the eye of the beholder as they say,” Harold stated with his right hand extended towards the woman in front of. “Deputy Director Harold Cooper.”


“Special Agent Charlotte 'Charlie' Scott. But I prefer Charlie.” Charlie said with a huge grin as she proudly shook Deputy Director Cooper's hand. Her storm blue eyes sparkled with just a hint of impish mischief.


Harold returned her grin ten fold. With Charlie around, if she decided to join the task-force along with her sister, it would never be dull around the black, he would especially get the immaculate pleasure of watching Charlie trying to pull that hard stick that was wedged so far up Special-Agent-In-Charge Donald Ressler's ass. Which would be a task all it's own, Harold thought with another chuckle.


“How was the drive Agent Scott?” Harold asked with a slight grin, he some how knew what her answer would be from the impish gleam in her storm blue eyes, but her answer was still shocking to say the least.


“Well I was pretty bummed when the car picked me up; I had my hopes set on finally riding in the FBI Chopper!” Charlie said with a slight pout, like a child whose favorite toy was taken away. There was a slight pause before Harold burst out laughing.


“I'll make sure to make a note for in the future that Special Agent Scott wishes to ride in the Chopper!” Harold gasped in between breaths.


Just by standing in Charlie's presence alone for the first few minutes of meeting her, Harold felt the pressure and the stress of the his job lift off his shoulders. He had tears running down his face and his sides hurt but in a goodway.


“My sister seems so relaxed around Reddington and they probably only just met a few minutes ago. She's never this relaxed with her husband Tom, I sometimes have to give her a gentle push just to spend five minutes with him.” Charlie said quietly, thinking that no one heard her.


Harold stared at the young woman in front of him with a slight frown of his face. He made a mental note to ask Charlie what her sister's home life with her husband 'Tom Keen' was like. His hackers in the FBI did extensive background check on the man and they got nothing.


It was like the man known as 'Tom Keen' never existed in this reality but Agent Elizabeth Keen nee Scott had been married to the man for almost 3 years. Something was not adding up.


“Your sister was the only person who Raymond would speak to. He wouldn't think of speaking to anyone else. It kind of pissed our Senior Agent on the investigation off; I think that's what he did it for. Some how he knew the our Senior Agent was watching.” Harold said with a deep chuckle.


“Oh My Mother Fucking God!” Charlie said as she burst out laughing and literary doubled over. “Payback, but he's oh so suttle about it. Classic!”


“I take it you approve?” Harold asked, amused.


“Do I ever. This man is a God with the sarcastic. What I wouldn't give to be his student at that ability.” Charlie said. She turned to Harold and gave him a slight sad smile. “I'm not going to lie Deputy Cooper, I have met Red Reddington before. I had quick lay-over in Istanbul, Turkey before meeting up with a special task force that I was asked to join in Japan. It was 5 years ago, I was fresh out of the academy, all I can think about was this handsome, green eyed man, who talk any woman out of her panties; asked me for coffee and wanted to know more about me and my sister, while giving me the bedroom eye look. The only thing I took out of that, was that Red was one smooth talker.”


Harold gave a quick chuckle which was contagious and had Charlie joining along with him. “So you can say, you're a girl that has seen the world in the short time you've been in the FBI Special Agent Scott.”


She nodded and gave a contented sigh as she happily watch her baby sister and Red have an almost intimate conversation that should really be illegal. That's when things went from peaceful and contented to worse. The voice that came through the speakers was living on borrowed time.


In one instant, Charlie looked like she could pose as one of those female serial killers on the posters the hung on the wall.


“Look fella's, have I money! I will give you $10,000, if one of you will please go get me a double bacon cheeseburger hold the pickle with a large fries. I've been craving it since you stupid idiots brought me to this place 5 weeks ago. At least you people can do is have half descent meals in this place for future 'Suppose' criminals.” The peevish voice said through the speakers as he was brought into the containment room with Red and Elizabeth.


It was like it all happened in slow motion. Harold Cooper, Deputy Director, always known as a hard ass, winced and gave a slight grimace as heard the door to the observation room bang open and then just as quickly was slammed shut.


“This going to be a very long day. May God have mercy on Mateo's soul because he;s going to need it!” Harold said with a dark chuckle at the hilarity this situation possessed.


The alpha team that was responsible for bringing in Mateo De La Vega to containment room, were at their wits end. If looks could kill, Alpha leader would killed Mateo right about now and their boss wouldn't have to worry about having another criminal on premises.


“Ese's, all I'm asking is for a quick burger run. The Carbron who put me never bothered to check to see if i needed proper meals. Your Deputy Director, good man, great man even, manged to over ride the Carbron's orders to not give me food. I'll make it worth your while if can get me so Burger King!” Mateo practically begged.


It happened so fast that Mateo didn't have time to react. The team that was bringing him in, suddenly stopped and the Alpha leader forced Mateo to look him in eye and in a voice that was deadly calm. “If you don't shut up Sir, I will be forced and within my rights to restrain you in ways you couldn't hope to understand.”


“Whoa, whoa, whoa buddy! Back it up just a tad! You may want me and want to restrain this gorgeous body of mine, but I ain't swinging to that side of the plate if you know what I mean!” Mateo said with slight wink, which caused some of the team to snicker.


“If you don't get moving De La Vega, I will beat your ass that will bring a certain joy to my heart.” The Alpha Leader growled as he shoved Mateo forward.


“Wait, whoa, wait! He want's to do what with my gorgeous ass?!” Mateo exclaimed pretend shock, adding a fake squeal at the end for good measure.


Mateo took the time to glance both left and right and saw the various team members of Alpha Team in fits of laughter; some were openly snickering, while others were laughing so hard silently, that their shoulders were shaking and moving up and down from the uncontrollable motion.


“So, old building,” Mateo started with a grin, effectively and swiftly changing the subject. “A real FBI blacksite! Which I thought was urban legend by the way, like the CIA's. I've never not get to actually see one up close, so this is a real first for me. But some how this building does not scream FBI to me.”


At first, the Alpha Leaders grunt was his only answer as Mateo spun in a circle as he walked to take the whole structure in. This most definitely did not scream FBI in anyway, shape or form.


“You're right Mr. De La Vega. This building is very old and you're also correct in assuming that this building doesn't have an FBI vibe to it.” Ryan, Alpha Leaders second in command said. “The FBI bought it at an auction, dirty cheap.”


Mateo's eyes widen as he stared at Ryan with shock and awe. “Am I correct in assuming also, that this building was used in the days of prohibition. And this very building is or was one of Al Capone's many liquor warehouses?!”


“How could you possibly know that sir? That isn't public knowledge.” Ryan said with respect and awe in his voice.


“I'm a avid history buff Agent Ryan. I just love old buildings and their history behind them.” Mateo said with a gleam in his eye that was reminiscent of a child. “So it's a charming place indeed, I must get the name of Donny boy's decorator.”


There was another round of snickers and even The Alpha Leader Matt Briggs, had to keep the amusement off his face and he forced his lips into a serious straight line. But when a person was around Mateo De La Vega, that was easier said than done.


Mateo walked the rest of the way toward Red, in a comfortable silence. As he approached his designated seat, he gave Elizabeth nod and flirtatious wink. Out of the corner of his eye, as he lifted his hands up for Agent Ryan to remove handcuffs, Red's jaw ticked with pure unadulterated jealousy. Much Mateo's amusement.


“Mateo, stop flirting with Elizabeth. Your future significant other wouldn't appreciate it.” Red drolled out, looking extremely bored than he was.


Mateo slowly turned his head towards his long time friend. He gave him a grin that didn't quite reach his eyes. Red gave involuntary shiver as watched the green eyes of his friend blaze with an emerald fire that he never seen before and his voice was deadly clam as he spoke. “My 'Significant Other' as you say, wouldn't have had to spend the last 4 years thinking that I didn't love her and that the only thing I was capable of doing to her, other than breaking what was left of her heart by fucking YOUR MISTRESS/WHORE, was kill her which I threatened to do because YOU said it was the only way to save her life. But I see you didn't waste time with yours.”


With that, Mateo sat back in seat with a sigh as he crossed his arms over his well divined chest, the muscles could be seen as his black shirt clung to his chest. Just add incentive, he crossed right leg over his left. Red had the decency to look ashamed, while Elizabeth was momentarily confused.


“I truly am really sorry Mateo. For you and her. But you and I both know that it had to be done. 'The girls are still in danger and if the Kabal find out about them, they'll be in even more then were before!'” Red said as he called Mateo over and whispered the last thought in Mateo's ear. Mateo gave sigh of reluctance and then nodded at him.


“If you have any hope left Mateo, the people we love never really leave you. They will always find the way back to you in the end!” Red said softly, his eyes never leaving Lizzie's as his voice dropped an octave.

Lizzie let loose an involuntary shiver that ran down her spine and reached around to her core. If she was having a difficult time sitting just by having a simple conversation with the man, she would have said no sweat; but just by hearing his voice alone, that deep sensual purr that he possessed, she was struggling to find a comfortable spot on her seat.


There was no way in HELL, that she was going to let Raymond 'Red' Reddington know that he managed to do in the 10 minutes that she had what so many high school boys, college one-night stands and even her own 'Husband' hadn't managed to do and that was make her so wet that literary soaked her pants.


She really didn't want to think what Red would do if he got her alone. Which was too late to that thought back because she just made herself wetter at that thought alone.


'Reddington must be so warlock! He had to be in order to make her feel this way in just their first meeting and managed to make her forget about the man she was married to. It was either that, or he was sort of Voodoo King!' Lizzie thought with a contented sigh as turned back to the conversation that Red and Mateo were having.


“I have plenty of Hope Red, more than enough for her and me, but I can't help but think in the very back of my mind that she's given up hope and moved on. And that somehow that's my own fault.” Mateo said with a sigh, his expression looked like a kicked puppy.


“There's a very good saying to this situation my friend: 'Good things come to those who wait!' I know waiting was never your strong suit Viper, but I have a very good feeling in my gut, that your lovely lady will be back with you and you two will be stronger than ever.” Red said with an impish grin and sent a flirtatious wink Lizzie's way.


“Your optimism is very reassuring Red. But you know and I know how God Damn stubborn she can be.” Mateo sighed frustratingly.


Lizzie looked back and forth between Red and Mateo as she sighed with frustration because she absolutely no clue as to who these two fine, specimen of men sitting before her.

“Ahhmen, uh, guys, I'm sorry to interrupt this lovely reunion between the two of you, but who are you are you talking about?” Elizabeth asked as she ducked her head shyly, refusing to look Red in eye because she knew from just one look, Red would turn her on an axis.


“I'm so sorry my dear. How rude of me. We, as in Mateo and myself, were just having a lovely little conversation about your older sister.” Red said as he adjusted himself in his seat and gave Lizzie a slight grin. Lizzie's head shot up in shock.


“My sister?! Wait, wait, Mateo De La Vega! Charlie told me about you, and even though it's been a year, she still hasn't stop talking about you. Some good things, some not so good things. The first couple of months, there was a lot of cursing and her wanting to shoot you just to send you to hell,” Lizzie began with a slight wince that Mateo noticed and he sighed.


“I deserve that. I fucked up, I'll admit it. But I can't walk away from her Liz. For a whole year, she was my world, and she still is. I'm going to do everything in my power to get back in her good graces again. I lost her once..” Mateo shared a look with Red that meant he too had to work his way back into Mateo's good graces as well. “I'm not loosing her again if i can help it.”


“I say, your well on your way.” Lizzie said with grin. “But you have a long ways to go. You need to prove yourself to Charlie again. It's going to take time because she's still holding a slight grudge against you. But if you show her that she has nothing to way about, she'll be putty her your hand, trust me.”


“I'll keep that in mind, I hope for my sake that your right.” Mateo said as he Lizzie a slight smile that didn't quite reach his eyes. Lizzie nodded and reach over and gave his hand a reassuring pat.


“Well, since the depressing shit is out of the way, we can segue into those pesky little Grudges that you seem to incur.” Red said with an impish grin. A change of subject was what was needed.


“What do you mean the 'Little Grudges that I Incur?!' If that were the case we would talking about you. You have accumulated a lot of enemies over the years Reddy boy!” Mateo said with slightly putout expression. “And my I point out, that some of those grudges have to do with the Feminine variety.”


Red growled and with a huff, sat back in his seat, giving a grinning and cocky Mateo a glare that would send normal people to run screaming for the hills. All of a sudden, he heard a faint snort, followed by a giggle. Red snapped towards Lizzie, whose shoulders were shaking with silent laughter.


“Lizzie, your laughing at me!? Say it ain't so..” Red said with a wounded expression. Lizzie's shoulders were shaking even more “My dear, you keep this up, and Bad Girls like yourself, will get Punished!”


“What are going to do Red, Spank me?! Because last time I checked Baby, your all tied up in a pretty package.” There was silence. Lizzie put her hands towards her mouth in wide eyes shock. She couldn't believe she just flirted back with Raymond 'Red' Reddington- FBI's #4 most wanted criminal in the world.


Mateo suppressed a shit-eating grin that was about to form on his but he couldn't stop the impish glint that formed in his green eyes as he watched Red and Lizzie interact. Red turning up the heat and Lizzie looked like she didn't know if turn up the heat or sit back and curl up into herself. “Okay people, before this boils down to Harold having to either bringing in a California King for you two or have to hose you two down, why don't we segue into the Grudges that Red says I have.”


Red rolled his eyes at Mateo. “Baby girl, you just wait. When I'm out of this predicament, I'll make sure to show you what Tied-Up really means.” Red's voice dropped to a dark, velvety purr with a slow sensual wink. Lizzie visibly shivered which caused Red to a wear a shit-eating grin. “Now Matty boy, don't get your boxers in a twist, uncurl them and let your balls breath for Christ sake.”


“You wish that my boxers were twisted!” Mateo snorted and gave another eye roll. “So what's this grudge? Some us don't have the luxury of aging gracefully like fine wine like you do my friend.”


“More like a fine single malt scotch!” Red said as his eyes rolled back into his. He could almost taste the scotch on his tongue. “But the grudge that you desperately want to know, I have one word for you: Francis!”


“Francis, Francis Holbrook! Why would that idjit be holding a grudge against me?!” Mateo exclaimed in complete shock. He didn't do anything to torture him lately, at least he didn't think he did.


“He thought you say that! He said to tell you: 'Caracas'!” Red said with a slight grin which caused two things to happen: 1.) Lizzie raised her eyebrow at Red in confusion and 2.) Mateo's mouth dropped in shock again. He had to shake his head in amusement.


“Caracas, Venezuela! He's blaming for that. That incident wasn't my fault. I wasn't the one that him to get drunk on 3 bottles of straight Tequila and 5 bottles of Vodka, then to had salt into the wounds, dance on top of said bar and do a strip tease which lands him in arms and in the lap of the mistress to General Jose Miguel Arrios- general to the ever growing gorilla army in the Amazon.” Mateo said with a full blown grin. Red paused for a minute then he burst out laughing in a full blown gut wrenching laugh. It was contagious because Lizzie was joining in as well even if she didn't know what she was laughing at.


“Let me get this straight. You and Francis go to Caracas for a 'Business Deal' and the both of you end up in some bar..” Red started with pause as watched Mateo nod in confirmation. “While at said bar after the deal went through with flying colours, Francis gets drunk, which in turn leads him to strip teasing and dancing on top of said bar, which in turn leads to fall into the lap and arms of General Arrios' Mistress, is that what you're telling me?”


“That is exactly what I'm telling you and that's not even the best part.” Mateo said with impish, cheeky grin.


Red returned the grin with a twinkle in his green eyes and other laugh. “There's more? Oh this better be good.”


“Oh it is trust me.” Mateo smirked. “While under the little predicament of General Arrios' gun, Francis grabs hold of the General's face and kisses him”


Red choked on his spit as burst out laughing again. “Dammit! I had to be in Germany that week and miss it.” Mateo got of his seat and gently patted Red's shaking shoulders.


“Don't worry about it Red, I got you covered. I have Blackmail pictures of the said incident if Frankie boy pisses me off.” Mateo said with another grin. “Speaking of Francis, does he know you're here? That you turned yourself in? Does he think you are crazy as I do for doing it?”


“Yes he does and stop with the questions already. When we are in a suitable location where the walls don't have ears, then we can discuss this.” Red said as his expression turned serious for a moment then he quickly turn his head back towards the stairs. “In the mean time, Mateo my friend, prepare yourself.”


Mateo gave a very confused look until he looked up to see not what but who coming towards him at a full speed pace even for walking. Even after a year, she was still beautiful maybe even more so. Charlie looked like force to be reckon with, still so feisty! Her honey brown long hair, swayed down her back like halo of avenging Valkyrie. And her hips, they had a cha-cha rhythm going on the fast she walked towards him.


The whole entire time, Charlie made her way towards Mateo, she wanted to kill him but then she heard the conversation between him and Red as she was making her way down the stairs towards the very man who broke her heart a year ago. Maybe, just maybe they could sit down and discuss what happened.


As she made her way to the centre of the room, she touched the back of her sister's chair and gave a shoulder a quick affectionate squeeze. Then turn towards Red a nod and an impish grin at the man that was pivotal part of her childhood. “Red. Fancy meeting you here. How did you manage to bribe yourself in here?!”


“I didn't have to Sweetheart, I just literary walked through the front door. I know for a fact that if your father had been here, he would've had a coronary.” Red said with a full blown grin as he sent an impish wink Charlie's way. “You're looking good Charlie. FBI life has really done wonders for you, as it will for Lizzie here once she gets into the swing of things.”


“She'll come into her own, there's no doubt in my mind!” Charlie said with a full blown grin, storm blue eyes full of pride as she gazed at her sister.


Red, ever so slightly shook his head no at Mateo as he saw him start to stand up from his seat. He wasn't thinking clearing, but then again he never did where Charlie was concerned. He would make sure that these two would be together again and stronger then ever. He would keep this promise, this vow he had made to Mateo and he would not break it.


And maybe just maybe through all of this, something could come fruition between Lizzie himself. He felt it, that spark that seemed in ignite inside him and shoot through every pleasure point, every nook and cranny, from the top of his head all the way to tips of his toes. And somehow in the back of his mind, Red knew that Lizzie felt it to.


“Carina! You haven't changed a bit. Your still as beautiful as ever, even more so.” Mateo said with a huge grin as he stood with his arms wide open. Red and Lizzie turned to each other and shared a look. They rolled their eyes at each other and groaned because they knew what was coming.


Charlie growled. She closed her eyes to reel in her temper when she heard his voice, then she felt the familiar tingling that started in her core and spread to every part of her body that she wished it wouldn't do. She didn't want to hear his voice, she didn't wait what his voice did to her and she most definitely didn't want Mateo looking at her like a man was drowning of pure desire.


So did the only thing she could do. She squared her shoulders her shoulders back, set a determined look on her face, turned on her heel and made her way towards Mateo. She gave him the most sensuous smile, followed by and even more lustful wink to match.


She then cocked back her right fist and sent the meanest right hook into the left side of Mateo's face. The force of the blow, sent Mateo sprawling over the chair he was sitting in and on to his back on the floor.


“Boy, tell me how you really feel baby.” Mateo grinned and returned her wink “Feisty! God Charlie you know how to turn a Chico on.”


“Oh please! Get up from the damn floor Mateo before step on your nuts you Rat Bastard!” Charlie growled, inside thought, that feeling from before intensified.


“Now that mutual pissing contest is over, can we focus on the job at hand and the reason we brought Red and Mateo here in the first place.” Harold said through the speaker, ever the peace keeper.


“I will be more then happy follow Harold, but there is still the ever slight present problem of me being handcuffed to this chair. I think we have established that if i was going to kill you Harold, and everyone here, I would have done so already. So if you be 'Ever' so kind.” Red drooled in a deadpanned voice while holding hands up as far as the chair would allow.


Lizzie had to turn her head, but Red saw her shoulders silent shaking from hidden laughter, he grinned inside, this was going to fun in more ways then one. He was going to enjoy out her different emotions that she kept hidden, especially her lust.


The quintet trudged through the long corridor in comfortable silence. But not so comfortable, that you didn't feel claustrophobic as you walked done the hallway that either lead to a certain heaven or a certain hell in Charlie's mind. The whole walk she was forced to walk beside Mateo, the feelings he was stirring, she wanted to lock back up in her minds box.


But he somehow broke the chain and released them 10 fold. It was just like Pandora's Box; except it wasn't demons, plagues or the end world that was being released, it was just her emotions.


Mateo was a smart man, some of the time Red would say, but when it came to women, he knew when they were pissed, because 9 times out of 10 they were pissed at him. And when they were pissed at him, he knew better then to talk to them. So he he turned to Red and allowed Charlie the space to bring emotions back under control and refocus.

“Red I want the truth man. What's the real reason that you get yourself arrested? Because I sure as Hell know it wasn't for me.” Mateo said as they continued their way down the long hall, the sudden sound of a phone ringing broke the silence which caused Red to sigh.


“Mateo my friend, we have much to discuss that can't be explained here for two very important reasons to my left,” Red began as he allowed his eyes and head slightly turn towards Charlie and Lizzie. Mateo followed his gaze and head and looked at the girls in slight confusion for a moment and then it dawn on him, he quickly swung his back to for confirmation and Red nodded.


“Now you see why we can't discuss this here. I want to keep them both safe for as I can, if that means keeping them in the dark for however long that takes then so be it. And the other most important thing Matty, these walls in this FBI building have ears to the wrong people and I can't risk this getting out.” Red said with strong determination in his voice.


Mateo nodded. He squared his shoulders back and gave Red a look that meant business. “Everything you need is at your disposal in my organization, it's yours brother.” Mateo slapped Red's hand and pulled him into a bro hug.


“There's another question that's bugging me: does Francis know you're here? Or has he turned on you because of this?” Mateo asked, curious about the answer.


Red stared at Mateo for a moment, his green blinked one and then twice. Until finally he burst out laughing in gut wrenching laughter. “Oh Mateo, your loyalty astounds me sometimes. Francis most certainly knows that I'm here and that I've turned myself in. He knows why I'm doing this,and I men he KNOWS EVERYTHING!” Red began. “He tried to talk me out of this, said that I was stupid and that needed my head examined. But after I explained I was doing this, he was all for it.”


And then a sour look appeared on Red's face. “I owe him four case of Chateau du Methot 1945 and four cases of my best single malt scotch, to appease his nerves while in the 'Clink' he said. That man can be damn melodramatic.”

Mateo burst out laughing so loud that Charlie, Lizzie and Harold turned towards Red and Mateo to see what all the commotion was about. Harold finished his conversation on the phone, hung up and make his way toward Red with a sigh.


“Red, you know that name that you gave us, Ramni Zanko?!” Harold started with a slightly down expression as he watched Red nod. “Well it turns out the man has been dead for 6 years.”


“That can't be right Harold, your information is wrong. Run it again Harold.” Red's ever present gleeful expression seemed to disappear into the serious expression that now graced his gorgeous face. Just hearing the seriousness of his tone, sent a lustful shiver down Lizzie's spine.


“We have Red, 5 times and each time it's come back that Zanko has been dead for 6 years. Your contact is wrong.” Harold said, getting frustrated.


“Calm down Harold before you give yourself a coronary. All this extra pressure and work can't be good for your health.” Red said cheekily. “And my information is correct. If my info was wrong, then you tell me how a 'Supposed' dead-man stepped off a plane at 10:30 am this morning at JFK.”


That's when everything went in slow motion. In the instant that Red had told Harold about the Zanko sighting at JFK airport, Harold was back on the phone and all but sprinting down the hall towards the squad, Lizzie, Red and others were forced to run behind him to keep up.


When Harold and his wayward band of gypsies, squad room looked like a scene from a horror movie or a car wreck. Everyone was rushing around. At one point both Lizzie and Charlie were hit from behind in the ensuing running around, causing them both to loose their balance and stumble forward.


If no due to the quick thinking of both Mateo and Red, who did his best to catch Lizzie with his hand's handcuffed, both girls would have face planted in front of everyone.


“What do we have?” Harold stated with authority as he made his way to 6'0” tall, strawberry blond male standing in the middle of the room.


When he turned, Charlie got a sense familiarity when she saw the man's electric blue eyes. It was like his face was in the back of her mind, she just couldn't quite put a name to his face.


“We're still looking sir. But I would like to point out that once again we could be hitting another dead end. If he is alive, why would Zanko fake his own death and stay dead for 6 years?” The strawberry blond haired asked with a skeptical look on his face.


“I don't know. You're the Special-Agent-In-Charge, you tell me!” Harold said sarcastically, which made the other Agent look like he swallowed a lemon.


Special-Agent-In-Charge?!” Charlie muttered to herself. It was pieces of the puzzle were starting to fall into place. Mateo watched her with raised eye brow.


“Well I never claimed to be a know it all!” The agent exclaimed while placing his hands on his hips. “You expect me to keep tract of every dead man that suddenly raises from the dead?! Do I look like Rick Grimes or Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead to you?!”


Harold knew he shouldn't do it but it was just to easy. And Senior Agent was asking for it. But before he say anything, a familiar female voice spoke up. “No, that wouldn't do you any good. See they're both gorgeous and you're, well not!”


The silence was loud in the squad room, you hear a pin drop. The silence was broke a snicker. Charlie looked to her right and saw her sister's shoulders shaking. But when Lizzie took a quick glance at Charlie, she lost it. And that started a domino effect.


Everyone in the squad room started laughing. At one point Harold had to take his glasses off and wipe his eyes, The Blacksite technical analyst Aram Mojtabai was doubled over clutching the table of his work station, while both Mateo and Red were actively trying to hold each other up.


“Yeah, yeah! Laugh it up you clowns.” The agent said with a growl, a scowl present on his face.


“What's a matter Ressler, can't take the heat!” Another spoke as he walked into the room. A voice that Charlie knew all to well. The dark glare that was present on her face cause Lizzie to jump back into Red. “I finally found the Zanko file you were looking for.”


“Ressler?” Charlie asked “RESSLER?!”


Her yelled echoed through the entire room. The anger that radiated off of Charlie's body, caused a cold chill to run down Harold's spine as he watched her spin and face the agent that was approaching them


'That means, he is Special Agent Jason Boyd.' Charlie spoke softly but loud enough for Red and Mateo to here. She look back towards the stairwell and spotted a janitor's mope.


Charlie quietly snuck away from the group without being seen and made her way towards the mope. She snapped the handle off and then stealthily made her way towards Special Agent Boyd coming up behind him as quiet as possible.


Harold winced as Charlie swung the mope handle back and then swung it forward like a baseball swing, catching Boyd in the back of the head, knocking him unconscious. She knelt beside her prey and not to gently hit Boyd on the head with hand. “Remember that headache tomorrow. Then you'll learn not to cross others people investigation's if you don't want to piss them off.”


Then as slowly as she got down, Charlie ever so slowly began to raise from the floor like sleek panther. When she fully rose, she turned towards her other prey. The very man that sent Boyd undercover in her investigation in the first place.


“Hey. Who the hell do you think you are? You can't just come in here and knock my agents out for no reason.” Ressler said, asserting his authority.


“Last time I checked, he was my Agent, Special Agent Ressler. I didn't know you were made Director.” Harold said firmly.

Charlie made her way towards Ressler, slowly spinning the mope handle in hand, giving him a grin that didn't quite meet her storm blue eyes. The closer she got to Ressler, darker they got with each determined step. Ressler suddenly didn't know what to do.


“You always couldn't handle not being in Charge, could Ressler.” Charlie said softly as she made her way towards him. “Do you remember me Ressie boy?”


When Charlie was close enough, and before Ressler could get word in edge wise, Charlie swung the mope handle into Ressler's stomach, catching him off guard. She didn't give him a moment to recover, she was on him like bat out of hell.


Kicks were swung, followed by left's and right's, until a right hook caught Ressler in the side of his face causing him to be knocked into one of the metal tables behind him. Before he could react again, Charlie was on him. She grabbed the back of his strawberry blond hair and smashed his face into the table, effectively breaking Ressler's nose. Which had Red and Mateo ohhing and ahhing at her handy work.


Charlie turned her head slightly to the right, glancing at Red and Mateo. They weren't taking their eyes off of her. So as not to let two men in question know one of her secrets just yet, she leaned down and whispered into Ressler's ear. “I'm not going to be one to tell those two what went down in Japan. But that secret won't stay one forever. Then you better pray those two don't kill you for what happened to me. And Director Cooper won't know the coward you really are.


Ressler's widen in fear as he glanced quickly over at both Red and Mateo.

He looked back at her and nodded his head. Charlie felt satisfied, but she not to gently slapped Ressler on his back.


“That was beautiful,” Mateo began.


“Magnificent,” Red said with a sense of pride in his voice.


“I couldn't have done it better myself.” They said together. “I want her!”


It was then both Red and Mateo snapped their heads towards each other and glared. “Oh no you don't. I saw her first.” Lizzie and everyone in looked on in amusement.


“Boys, boys, boys! Trust me, the both of you couldn't afford me!” Charlie said with cheeky grin and sly wink at each man as she wrapped both her arms around their broads shoulders.


Bogart really did say it best, “This is going to be the start of a beautiful friendship!




Chapter Text

Chapter 4: Sister Explosion

“BOOM!” That sound! It was the most death-defying, earth-shattering experience that Charlie ever had in her life. It was like the world and earth were moving in slow motion while she felt like she was moving in real time. That's when she felt motion sickness from the feeling of being airborne.

She couldn't see the driver but she took a quick glance over at Ressler and watched as an array of emotions crossed his face. As he turned his head quickly towards her, she saw the electric blue eyes widen and saw and felt the sheer fear and panic on his face and in his eyes, which didn't help with him sporting a bandaged broken nose and two black eyes.

In that instant, Charlie spun her head to her right and looked towards her sister. Lizzie's facial was expression came off as calm and cool but it was eyes that gave it away. Panic, fear! It was the first time that Charlie ever saw her baby actually afraid of something in her life. Lizzie was the type to always rush into something when they were younger, unafraid of the consequences.

But that all seemed to change the very minute Tom Keen waltzed into her life. Right before her eyes, she changed and not the good way either. Even their father noticed the change. From the very beginning, her father Sam hated Tom. She always wondered if he had met Mateo, would he have liked him or hated him?

Then the slow motion intensified has both Lizzie and Charlie felt SUV flip to its slide in mid-air. They shared a look at the little girls head that sat between them. At the same, they reached over and shielded the girl any broken glass that flew between.

“CHARLIE, ELIZABETH, WHAT'S GOING ON? WHAT'S HAPPENING?” The angel voice of the sweet girl between them screamed through all the noise.

“EVERYTHING'S GOING TO BE JUST FINE BETH.” They said in unison. Their voices calm so as not to frighten and panic the child. “JUST STAY DOWN BETHY AND TRY TO BRACE YOURSELF OKAY. NOTHING'S GOING TO HAPPEN TO YOU ON OUR WATCH.”

Those were the last audible words that could be spoken by Charlie, Lizzie and Beth Ryker as their SUV made it's final landing to earth with a resounding crash. The last thing Charlie felt before a black hole temporarily in-roved her mind, was the utter feeling of rolling along the bridge like a cinnamon roll before coming to a complete stop.

That's when her mind began to shift to the night before, when Red, Lizzie, Mateo and herself were in Montreal, from the boys told her sister and her, it was for a simple dinner.

~ 24 hours earlier ~

“Now that the major Brouhaha is out of the way and in my squad room no less,” Harold began and gave Charlie a mock stern glare which caused her return an impish grin of her own. “If we have established that Ranko Zamani is alive and somewhat well, how do we nail down who he's in Washington for?”

“Well, we first must establish what happened in his past than work our way up from there,” Red said as walked towards the murder board with a swagger that made him prowl like a sleek panther that he was.

Lizzie couldn't help but let her eyes travel down to Red's hips. She never noticed until now, now that he was standing right in front of her as opposed to him sitting like before, that Red's pants were tight.

Now that she got a good look at him the pants were tight enough to show off his well-defined thighs and his VERY, very firm ass. Lizzie began to flush as her thoughts drifted to a deserted Island with just Red and her. Images shifted of Lizzie and Red on the beach, their bodies naked from their midnight swim, the only form of light was given off from the moon and the glow of the fire on the beach.

She could almost feel Red's hands moving up and down her body, exploring every nook and cranny, and Lizzie did the same with Red. Taking in every inch of his well-defined body, a body sculpted like Apollo himself. From Lizzie research of Red for her thesis at the Academy, she found out that Red had blond hair when he was younger, and the pictures she saw of him then, made her associate him with Apollo.

And then the image shifted again, this time Red's Apollo sculpted body was moving inside, it honestly felt her body was figuratively and literary trying force his body into her own, like the legend of Bilquis- the famous Queen of Sheba, she couldn't get enough of him, she couldn't breathe. The more he thrust, the more she reached to pull him into her.

It was then she watched as her own hands reached grabbed what she wanted most! On their own accord, Lizzie's hands ran down the plains of Red's body, taking in every muscle and every scar until she reached for Red's sculpted, well defined, hard ass! She squeezed.

In her mind's eye, she gave a loud groan, that quickly turned itself into both a moan and whimper as she heard Red's sensual dark voice growl. “Lizzie!”

As her dream self-brought her hands up to Red's back and dug her nails in, there was both pain and pleasure for Red that she almost heard him growl as she dug her nails further into his back. But then the memory/dream was shattered by a loud voice that seemed to get closer and closer.

“Lizzie,” “Lizzie,” “Liz,” There was a long pause before Lizzie was shaken out of her dream by a sudden yell in her ear. “ELIZABETH!”

“WHAT!?” Lizzie screamed back. Her baby blue eyes blinked as she turned towards that sound of the yelling. She looked to her left to find her sister's shoulders shaking with silent laughter. She watched Charlie walk towards her. Still chuckling, Charlie gently tapped the center of Lizzie's forehead.

“Got stuck in your own again Baby Sister.” Charlie teased with a knowing grin. “But the real question is not 'The What' that caused you to be stuck in your own head, but 'Who'.”

Lizzie gave Charlie a temporarily confused look as she followed her sister's eyes towards the main reason she had an outer-body experience in the first place, and somehow Red knew that Lizzie's eyes were on him because he had been doing the exact same thing.

She rolled her eyes at Charlie's shit-eating grinning face and playfully slapped her hand away from her face.

“You would just soooo, like to know the 'Who' don't you?” Lizzie asked with a mock glare.

“Oh baby sister, I already know who the 'Who' is and I know that he's been staring at you since you had your little dreamscape. He was alright until you gave that sexy little groan and then it was downhill from there.” Charlie said a laugh.

“At one point, his eyes started to roam your body, and then his look went from calm and serene to wanting to bend you over that metal table and without a care in the world, fuck you into an oblivion.” Charlie watched her sister's expression with a grin. “I don't want to see that! Your my sister for Christ's sake! I thought I had to hose the horndog down at one point.”

Shocked! That was the only thing that came to Lizzie's mind. Was Red attracted to her? Couldn't Red take his eyes off of her? But that couldn't be right, it just couldn't. Red Reddington could have his choice of any number of girls, and he did on daily bases. From what she read, heard and seen, he had a girl in every country, around the globe.

She scoffed at that. 'He probably had some that were bottle blond and with fake breasts and even faker attitude.' Lizzie shook her head at the thought. There was probably one of every flavor in every country. She got a little self-conscience then as she looked down at her chest. Lizzie always thought was good size: 36c cup, whereas her sister was a 32d cup.

Charlie and her had always said their breasts were good hand holders for a man's hands. But every boyfriend she had had including her husband Tom, had told her that her chest was too big and that she needed a breast reduction.

Then Lizzie had a reality check or a dose of reality. Tom. She was married, happily married or so she thought. Tom and her were in the process of adopting a baby, so that had to account for some sort of happiness right? But, and there was a big but, did the kind of happiness that she and Tom had right now, was it good enough to bring in a baby?

A baby that Lizzie so desperately wanted and longed for, that she was ready, willing and able to sacrifice her own happiness, just bring in a child, a little baby into a home that to anybody else was more toxic than anything. And Charlie could see that some of the people in Lizzie's neighborhood could see it.

If Charlie were able to question Red on the matter and pick his genius brain, there's no doubt in her mind, that Red would somehow know and have the knowledge that Lizzie's marriage and home life was not all Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows!

She somehow hoped that Lizzie realized that too, but quickly realized that her baby sister was just to close to the situation to see it. Tom could do no wrong in her eyes. But something just didn't sit well with Charlie when it came to 'Tom'. She could feel it in her gut.

“Um-hmm!” Lizzie nervously cleared her throat as she turned her attention back towards Aram. “Have you got anything new Aram? Anything that connects Zamani with the reason he's here?”

“There's nothing Agent Keen, absolutely nothing!” Aram completely looked like he was on the verge of pulling his hair out. Lizzie reached over the table and gave his hand a sympathetic squeeze, while Charlie walked around the table and gave Aram a one arm hug.

“Oh no, that can't be it,” Ressler demanded with a growl. “You're just not looking hard enough. Look again. Look deeper. There has to be something there.”

“Special Agent Ressler I know that you're frustrated. I have done all those things and more, and I'm telling you there's nothing there.” Aram pointed out seriously.

“If you can't get me what I want Agent Mojtabai, then I'll guess I'm just going to have to find myself another hacker that can,” Ressler said. His electric blue eyes were held in a stare down with Aram. Before he could speak, another voice broke through the den.

“Wow Donny Boy, you just proved to everyone here that your nothing but a spoiled bully. Aram said there was nothing there. I would take his word for it.” Charlie said in a voice that broke no argument.

“Good luck trying to find another hacker with my skills that can put up with all your complaining and Bull Shit, without wanting to shoot you,” Aram said confidently. Since Charlie and Lizzie had shown up, they had done wonders for his confidence.

“Tut, tut, tut! My dear Donald, must you piss off the one woman in this room who has the means to bankrupt and then kill you where they won't find your body?” Red clicked his tongue and shook his head in amusement. “Agent Mojtabai, are you absolutely positive that you can't find anything connected to Zamani in the database?”

Aram took a deep breath. He never did well under pressure. So, this was a lot to put on his shoulders, especially in the presence of both Raymond 'Red' Reddington- The Concierge of Crime and Mateo Cruz De La Vega aka 'The Viper'. Aram admired them. He too had done a lot of research on them both.

He knew that both men had prestigious military careers from the Navy, while Red had been a career Naval Officer who was being groomed for the promotion to Admiral in Naval Intelligence, Mateo had been a Naval Aviator who was transferred to the Navy Seals and worked his way up the ranks to the rank of Commander and in charge of his own unit when he was honourably discharged. 

The nickname 'Viper' that the FBI gave him, wasn't just a nickname. It had been his call-sign as an aviator and in the Navy Seals. He looked at both man in question and gave another deep breath.

“I checked everywhere Mr. Reddington. The file that is connected to Ranko Zamani, has literary disappeared. It was like he was never being investigated or connected to FBI in any way.” Aram said grimly.

“And you are absolutely sure that you can't find any connection to him on the dark web as well? No file, nothing?” Mateo pressed, trying to gage Aram's reaction to more pressure.

“I'm positive Mr. De La Vega. I have looked under every nook and cranny, in literary every hotspot and have run every permutation that I could possibly think of and there was nothing. It's like listening to a radio station and hearing nothing but dead air.” Aram explained. He let out a sigh of relief, pressure and public speaking were never, ever his strong suits.

“Well, there goes our shot. If the FBI doesn't have anything and the web isn't coming up with anything, then we have squat and we're right back to square God Damn one!” Lizzie frustratingly growled as she ran her hands through her brown hair, trying not to pull it out.

Red gave Lizzie a sympathetic smile as he walked over to her and with gentle hands, gently pulled them out and gave them a pat. “Now, now sweetheart! Have a little faith because I might have something to solve this little problem.” When Red spoke, his voice dropped to deep sensual purr as he let his fingers curl around a piece of Lizzie's hair and put it behind her ear.

“I'm almost afraid of asking how you are going to solve this little problem.” Ressler growled. Red gave Ressler a glare that would make anyone in his organization run for another country, which Ressler had the good sense to look abashed.

The smirk that graced Red's face told Lizzie all she needed to know that Red had put some of the fear of God into the Senior Agent. Then in a split second, Red turned his head towards Mateo and both men shared a knowing look.

“I know of someone who can help clear things up, a contact if you will. And the only way to meet him is to travel to Montreal.” Red said as he turned his head towards Lizzie ever so slightly and gave her an adorable puppy eye look. “What do you say, Lizzie?”

Just from his look alone, Lizzie couldn't suppress the shiver that traveled up and down her body. Those green eyes of Red's had a way of cutting through to your soul.

“Okay! Will see where this little adventure takes us, but this is not a 'Date' Reddington! This is for Intel only.” Lizzie stated firmly.

“Oh Lizzie, when you can tell that you are being 'Dated' by me, you'll know. And I'll make sure that you are very well 'Pleasured' and 'Screaming' before the night is even over.” Red said with a dark, sensuous purr that caused his green eyes to darken ever so slightly. Lizzie gasp and could only stare as she felt the wind exit her lungs.

Charlie looked at her sister and Red in amusement. She shook her head at Red's antics. But secretly in her mind, she rubbed her hands gleefully because she knew at this rate, Red was going to make Tom a very bad memory and decision. For she knew, that her sister would come to realize that somehow Fate had set Red on her course.

She was abruptly brought out her thoughts when she felt a very hard body sidle up close to her. Charlie didn't even have to turn her head, she knew who it was. Which caused her to roll her eyes, but silently she was amused by Mateo's antics. You would think he would learn to let subtle little looks, glances and sensual touches just fade but she wasn't so sure she wanted it to.

If she had been honest with herself, Charlie would have forgiven Mateo for what happened the year before, but she wanted to test him. Test his resolve. She wanted to make him work for it, make him earn it. When she thought she had tested his resolve enough, only them would Mateo be back in her good graces but she still loved to see him try.

“What do you say, Corina?” Mateo asked, his breath against her ear made shiver which brought a grin to his face to know he still caused that reaction in her. “Want to have dinner in Montreal, the Canadian City of Love?”

“Alright Mateo, I'll have dinner with you. But it's just dinner! That means: No pawing, no footsy under the table and most importantly Mateo Cruz De La Vega, you will keep your hands to yourself at all times.” Charlie finished in a serious tone. “No te equivoque conmigo?”- Make no mistake about me

“Very well Carlota,” Mateo acquiescence to Charlie's request, which caused Charlie to roll her eyes in amusement at his use of her name in Spanish. It was funny, it had always been Mateo who had used her Spanish name as sort of a pet name. But as she stared into Mateo's green eyes, they had darkened to almost emerald at the seriousness of his voice.

“Pero se esto, voy a dejar que intente ocultar sus sentimientos por moi, es mi culpa de todos modos que etamos en este impasse, lo respeto. Puedes tenar tus pequenos juegos, pero no me ire. Voy a ganar su Corazon de Vuelta! Y tu mi alma, mi corazon, mi lobo y mi pequena luna, estaran a mi lado una vez mas y nuca te dejare ir. Entender?” - But Know this, I will let you try and hide your feelings for me, it's my fault anyway that we are at this standoff, I respect that. You can have your little games, but I will not walk away. I WILL win your heart back! And you my soul, my heart, my wolf and my little moon, will be by my side once again and I will never let you go. Understand?

Charlie could only stare at Mateo with a kayaking sense of shock. She already knew in her hearts of hearts that Mateo was her end game, but to him put into words what her own heartfelt, and in Spanish no doubt, well that was enough. But she wasn't ready to forgive him just yet. She wanted him to earn it first.

She had to turn away from Mateo's intense stare. She couldn't suppress the shiver at how deep his voice sounded. Charlie fanned herself, it was a long way to Montreal, and it was going even longer and HOTTER trip with the way Mateo was turning up the Cuban heat.

~ end of Flashback ~

If only she had known and seen the antics that Red and Mateo would resort too, Lizzie and her would never have agreed to be the ones to pick Beth. She was holding out hope that Red and Mateo never had anything to do with this attack or hadn't set them up on this path.

The constant ringing in her ears gave way to the urgency that was boiling in her stomach. Why did this have to happen now? She quickly turned her head towards her sister, only to have her stomach roll at the sudden move. Lizzie, sensing her sister's urgency, gave Charlie's hand a quick and reassuring squeeze.

If only Mateo and Red could see the of them now? At this very moment! Their reaction would be between laughter, anger, urgency or all of the above. She really didn't want to know their reactions, she didn't think she could handle them right now.

Thinking back to a day ago in Montreal, Red and Mateo's hilarious antics were a way to sort of stick it to Ressler for being a giant pain in the ass, and he had a stick shoved so far up there, that you wondered if his brain had exploded some point.

Charlie chuckled a little bit. It was hilarious to watch Ressler run around like a chicken with his head chopped off. Of course, both Red and Mateo hadn't helped the situation, as usual.

~ 24 hours earlier, Montreal ~

When they left JFK in Red's personal jet, Charlie begged any god or deity listening to make their flight longer, but it was really wishful thinking. Of course Red was a diabolical mastermind which didn't help Charlie what so ever when you added her sister Lizzie into the mix.

The whole car ride to the airport, Charlie had watched her sister and Red whispering back and forth, occasionally glancing over at not only her but Mateo. Mateo for his part tried to gage her attention but she wouldn't have any of it and continued to stare out the car window at the scenery as it drove by.

The silence between the two of them was unbearable. At one point, Red wanted to beat their heads together to get them to see sense, but he knew from Charlie's reaction to seeing Mateo again after a year apart, that was his fault.

He wanted to fix this, but he needed to fix it most of all. He was going to force them together when they got on his plane. Just lock the both of them in the back room of his personal jet and let them fuck it out of their system until he looked towards 'His' Lizzie. She read him like a book, her inner profiler was coming out, and he would be a fool if he didn't. She calmly shook her head no.

By the time they made to JFK and to Red's plane, Red and Lizzie had managed to have Charlie and Mateo sit together and endure each other's presence for the rest of the flight.

“So what did King Ressler have to say?” Charlie asked with a cheeky grin which caused her sister to shake her head in amusement.
“He said would be 2 minutes late. Apparently, his flight was delayed due to a mechanical issue to his plane.” Lizzie said amused as she turned towards Red.

“What?” The man in question asked with mock-serious tone. “Is it my fault that the man child's plane was delayed? I ask you, my dear madam, do I look like the type of man that would be vicious enough to delay Ressler's plane like that? Does this look like a face of a man that would stoop so low, madam?”

Lizzie couldn't help it, she tried so hard to stop the laugh that bubbling up from her diaphragm and out of her mouth. This was the hardest she had laughed in 3 years. All she could do at this point was nod her head, yes to answer his question, she was laughing so hard.

“Now you're laughing at me? Madam have you no shame?!” Red said with a Cheshire cat grin, which caused Lizzie to laugh harder.

To Red, Lizzie's laughter was music to his ears. Her laughter was like the sound of silver bells that began to pierce his once cold, dead heart that seemed to begin to beat once again just being in Lizzie's presence.

“I thought you invented the term 'No Shame' Red?” Charlie teased. “I heard through the grapevine when I was undercover at Mateo's company, that you and he REALLY had no shame! Especially when it came to the ladies.”

“My dear Charlie, Shame is a word that can be taken and twisted to one's benefit,” Red said with a sly smirk as he leaned back into his seat and stretched his arm around so that it laid on the back of Lizzie's. To a biased person, it looked like Red had his arm around her.

Charlie threw back her head and burst out laughing. “So was it for your guy's benefit or mine, when I walked in on you two having an orgy in Mateo's conference room and fucking two blonde escorts on the large table in the center of the room for everyone to see?!”

“That was for much your benefit as it was ours! Mateo wanted to shock you into his bed, so what better way to accomplish that then fuck two meaningless blonde escorts that didn't mean anything, just a way to take the edge off.” Red explained. At the corner of his eye, he could see Lizzie's angered expression on her face. He could sense that he made his Little Lizzie jealous. “And it worked didn't it?!”

Lizzie chose at that moment to turn her head towards the jet's window and stare out into the abyss. She honestly didn't know why she had a sudden surge of jealousy but it was there. She couldn't feel jealousy for Red, could she? She just met the man but at the mere mention of Red fucking some nameless Blonde, in front of Mateo, she felt her stomach twist into knots.

What was wrong with her? How could she be having these bouts of jealousy and lust for a man that she just met, literary, a couple of hours earlier? There was no logical explanation for it but there it was. Sitting right in front of face with green eyes that could pierce your soul.

And every time Red looked at her, it was like she could feel him looking into her very soul. If Red were a vampire like Bela Lugosi, all he had to do was put her in a thrall, make her get between his legs and suck his cock and she would do it. It sounded crude, even to her own thoughts but she had a feeling she would do anything he wanted and she wouldn't say no.

After they landed in Montreal, Canada, the couples each took separate cars. Red and Lizzie were in a silver sedan, while Mateo and Charlie proceeded them in a sleek black Cadillac.

Silence had become a recurring theme for Mateo and Charlie but now it seemed to envelop Red and Lizzie as well. But it was a silence that was calming, never changing but calming none the less. Mateo looked at his companion, sitting beside him every once in a while.

“Are going to continue to ignore me the whole time we're here? Or am I going to have to beg you to look at me throughout dinner?” Mateo asked seriously.

Charlie sighed. She wanted to look at him, just get last in his endless green eyes, but she had to be strong for herself and hold on to her resolve. As much as she wanted to curl herself around him, Mateo had hurt her and that was going take a little bit to forgive. “I have a job to do De La Vega, which means I have figure out what information Red's contact can provide us with Zamani. I'm sorry if that spoils your plans to get me back into your bed.”

Mateo let out a frustrating growl as Charlie exited the vehicle and slammed the door in his face. Mateo's frustration boiled over and caused him to pound his fist into the seat the Charlie just vacated. When he calmed down some, he exited the car in a huff.

He straightened his light grey Armani silk suit with a black silk shirt underneath. Mateo could only sigh and rub his hands through his black hair in frustration. It wasn't just situation that he found himself in, that he could handle, it was seeing the woman of his affection and dreams standing right in front of him and he could do nothing about it.

Especially when she stood 10 feet in front of him in the sexiest dress he had ever seen her in. Charlie was dressed in a Hidden Talent backless sage green lace dress with a red oval ruby/gold necklace, red belt, and 3-inch red Christian Louboutin heels.

His frustration was more sexual than anything else. Charlie had the unique way of getting under his skin.

While Mateo and Charlie were waiting for their other party to make their appearance, Red and Lizzie were having a little discussion of their own. The two combatants in the backseat were an intense stare down, neither one was willing to back down. If Red harbored any frustration, sexual or otherwise, what so ever; the man never showed it.

“Are you absolutely sure your contact has the information we need to find Zamani?” Lizzie asked. Being stuck in the backseat with a man that was an enigma, was stressful for her.

Especially since she had to keep her hands to herself and somehow, Red had figured that part out and every once in a while, Lizzie found him absently brushing his hand up her arm or placing it on her upper thigh and began to rub up and down. Or he would find some small way to sidle up close to her.

It was like, Raymond 'Red' Reddington had no concept of the word 'Personal Space'. Not that she minded in the least.

“My dear Elizabeth, I'm beginning to think that you don't trust me!” Red teased, getting into her personal space more. “I'll have you know that my contract is froth of information and he has what we need.”

Lizzie cleared her throat as he got closer still. “And you realize that this just business right? That means hands to yourself, no flirting and we keep it professional.”

“Understood,” Red stated and quickly glanced at his watch. “But it's dinner time and I'm starving. So why don't we table any discussion about our case until after we have something to eat. I'm hungry, you hungry?”

All Lizzie could do was stare at Red's back in shock. Pure shock! The shock that he was able to jump from one extreme to another. One minute they were talking about the case and the next Red bringing up food. Did the gorgeous man who exited the car, who wore a tailored made like he was poured into it, have OCD?

She was so focused on her thoughts that she never heard the man in question open her side of the car. When the door flew open, Lizzie clutched her heart in fright.

“May I escort you to dinner, my lady?” The man in question stuck is hand in and helped her out of the car.

Lizzie turned her head and stared at Red's green eyes, the light of the street lamp hitting them just right. She could get lost in those green orbs if she weren't careful.

“You may good sir!” She dazzled him with a cheeky grin, her hand fitting Reds perfectly. “But let's be clear on the rules again, this is just business, not personal! There is no romance to be had. Because this dinner isn't leading me to your bed Reddington!”

“Business got it!” Red's proclaimed. Then his green eyes darken to a gorgeous hunter green and he to dazzled Lizzie with a look of lust as his voice dropped too deep molten chocolate. “If this was personal, we would just skip dinner and go straight to hotel. But since it's Business and personal, talking shop at my favorite restaurant and not my bed is the next best thing. That is unless you can handle the personal side of this trip baby!”

If she had been shocked before, then Lizzie was in a whole lot of trouble as Red led her over to Mateo and Charlie. Though Lizzie was wearing a tight black button up mini dress with black Jimmy Choos. She had a hard time walking. The lust she had felt and heard from Red's words alone, had her panties or what looked like panties, wet.

She was having a hard time not throwing Red down on one of the tables in the restaurant and going to town. In front of everybody! She had never exhibitionist, but she could be one for Red. He had the ability to bring out her Fifty Shades of Grey side that she thought had been buried. Could someone, anyone, get her a phone book?

For the next 15 minutes, there was silence that surrounded each couple. Both Charlie and Lizzie could only watch as Mateo and Red did all the talking with the Maitre D' before they were seated, each at their respected tables. With both Red and Mateo each talking seats that sat them across from Lizzie and Charlie having them face the door.

As they took their seats, Red discreetly leaned into Lizzie and whispered in her ear. “If anyone asks, your my daughter from Baltimore.”

For a brief moment, Lizzie had an outer body experience. The gasp that expelled from her body alone, brought a cheeky grin to Red face, knowing that he could shock her once again. But it was brief. When his eyes met Lizzie's sparkling baby blues, the mischief he saw there, cause him to gasp with breath.

“Daughter!? No, no, no. I'm your girlfriend from Ann Arbour!” Lizzie teased. The shock value alone from that statement, caused Red to sink heavily into his seat and then winced when his knee hit the table hard. Lizzie couldn't help it, her laughter rang through the restaurant like silver bells.

“Oh, Lizzie! This is game of cat and mouse that you don't want to play with me Sweetheart,” Red purred, a deep growl caused his voice to deepen a notch. “Because it's a game you can't win. I play for keeps, and your not ready for that yet

“But the game is so much more fun to play when the feelings are mutual.” Lizzie flirted back easily. It was like Red was busting down the walls that she built around herself, she naturally felt safe and protected around this FBI's newest asset. She couldn't explain it.

It was the first time that Red could even remember, that he had to adjust his sitting position because he was that hard. Lizzie had that effect on him. If they kept up this conversation, Red was going to reach across the table and have his oh so wicked way with Ms. Elizabeth Keen.

“I'm thirsty! How about a drink?” The ease with which Red could switch the conversation from the harmless flirting fest they were having, to drinks, astounded Lizzie. 

The rest of their time was spent with Red asking Lizzie about profiling and her ability to use that skill in the criminal world. She said it was all about reading people, knowing their tells. That's when the conversation shifted to a somewhat playful/serious when Red asked her to read him.

Silence. It stretched to almost eternity. Green eyes met baby blue! They stared at one another, each not giving an inch. And then Lizzie began to speak. The words flowed from her rosy lips like the River Styx or like melted chocolate with caramel. Red couldn't look away.

It was listening to one of those newsreels from the 40's. She was the narrator of this story that was about him; but when she got to the part of the narrative when he found his family dead, the only sign of emotion he gave was the slight twitch in his jaw.

Lizzie had to clear her throat when she the almost dead look on the man's face who sat across from. She should be frightened. Should have run for the hills, most men in his organization would have when they saw that look, but not Lizzie. She found it hot! It was dark look that turned her on.

She subconsciously tried to cover her arousal by taking a deep gulp of the drink red got for her. Which coincidentally was a drink from the 60's that was popular with Stewardesses. She excused herself and went to bathroom.

Red look around the room and his eyes met Mateo's. During the course of his conversation with Lizzie, he had his ears open to Mateo and Charlie's discussion. If you could call it that. For the first 5 minutes, they had been perfectly civil to each other than all hell broke loose.

They spent an hour and a half bickering with one another. It was mostly about their whole situation. Red felt bad for the hell he put them through but it had to be done. It was for her safety alone that Charlie had to leave Miami.

But they wouldn't be this way for very long, he knew in his heart of hearts or his black heart as some people said he had, that they would be back together and stronger than ever. Fate would not be stopped. Sometimes her course could be redirected, but she always found a way to set you back on the right course.

That thought gave him pause. Maybe that's why he was here, an asset for the FBI and with Lizzie, Fate wanted them together. Maybe in Alpha Wolf terms, Red had found his mate. Maybe?

It was on that train of thought that his contact had made his move. He took his hat, precious Fedora, from the Maitre D and then thanked him. He shared a look with Mateo and then in perfect unison, they stood, each taking Charlie's arms and made their way towards the back.

“Where are we going?” Charlie asked, trying to keep with their longs legs even in 3-inch heels.

“Just trust us, Carina,” Mateo stated seriously, his green eyes darkening with each word. Charlie blinked her cerulean blues and then nodded her honey brown head.

So that's how Charlie found herself. Sort of on a mock run from Ressler and the rest of her team, with two criminals who she put her trust in without batting an eye. As they made their way towards the kitchen, Charlie was almost running. They slipped through without being noticed and then Red pulled the fire alarm.

Then they headed for the stairs that led to a back alleyway. Halfway down, Charlie wrenched Mateo to a stop, all but throwing him against the wall as she done so much to Red's amusement. He then watched in fascination as Charlie ripped off her Christian Louboutin's and ran down the stairs barefoot, practically dragging a sputtering Mateo behind her as she went.

Between her and her sister, they were feisty little things when they mad or driven there in Mateo's case. He began to wonder what His Lizzie would be like mad? Red grinned. He was going to enjoy finding out.

They made their way out the back-door, through the alley, out on the street and slipped past Ressler 'The Dick' and his merry band of elves and into the back of the surveillance truck right under his very nose.

By the time Lizzie made it back to the main restaurant, she found her sister, Mateo and Red were gone, people scattering and the alarm going off. Frustration would not be the word she would use in this moment, Pissed Off was more like it.

With her sister and two known criminals in the wind, someone was going to take the heat for this and if Ressler had his way, it was going to be her. She let out frustrated breath and turned towards the door.

'Speak of the Devil!' She thought with another sigh. This was not her night.

“Where are they?!” Ressler demanded with a growl.

“I have no idea. I went to the bathroom for 5 minutes, then I come back to find not Mateo and Red missing but my sister is nowhere to be found.” Lizzie explained, furrow of her brow was making her baby blues shoot daggers at the Special Agent In Charge as he growled again.

“You couldn't hold for 10 seconds Keen?” He growled again as he stomped his way back towards the doors and threw them open.

“The last time I checked, pissing in a restaurant was still a faux pas! Unless the rules have changed since the last time I've been there,” Lizzie began sarcastically. “Then no I couldn't hold it in Ressler.”

The cool fall breeze hit Lizzie's skin as they stepped outside and looked up and down the street, searching for their contraband. It was like they vanished. They were nowhere to be found, which put Lizzie's anxiety through the roof. And Ressler was certainly not helping the situation.

“I knew it was a mistake to bring you and your sister onboard with this case,” Ressler began as he made his way across the street towards the surveillance van. “But it was an even bigger mistake to rely on Red and De La Vega.”

“You can blame Red and Mateo all you want, but don't you dare for a moment put all this blame on my sister and me,” Lizzie growled, and just to get her point across, she grabbed him by the arm and spun him to face her. “Red and Mateo probably made contact with Red's informant and probably had only seconds to act and took my sister with them. Where ever they are, my sister is with them.”

Both sets of blue eyes stared at each other, each not backing down as they made their way to back of the van and threw open the door. When Donald Ressler got the shock of his life.

“Well, our entertainment portion of the evening has arrived.” The unmistakable deep voice said from inside the vehicle.

“Donald, I wonder when the fiber of the FBI would show his face. I'm sure we don't have all night.” Red said with a cheeky grin as he crossed his arms over his chest as he leaned back in his chair. “Shall we begin?”

Lizzie turned to a gaping-mouthed Ressler who stared at the occupants of the vehicle in somewhat a keying to shock. Her mouth turned into a full-blown grin, her baby blue eyes twinkling from the lights of the street lamps. This night was getting better and better.

~ end of Flashback ~

It was then that the reality of the situation had set in for both Charlie and Elizabeth. They knew there was no hope of either of them getting out of this alive if it came to a shootout. Plus they had little Bethany to worry about.

Both sisters turned towards each other and gave a slight shake of their head above Beth, who had no idea how bad their situation had gotten. Charlie moved very slowly and ever so slightly.

There was no need to spook their young charge, but the window was all but closed now. 'Ressler and his bright ideas!' Charlie thought with a growl.

Bethy wasn't getting out of this situation with their help. If anything they made it worse. They all but led Zamani's men straight to them. That when things got even more complicated for everyone involved.

It was the clang of the hydraulic claw of the jaws of life, ripping the door off its hinges, that caused all three occupants in the back seat to let out a small yell. Lizzie and Charlie, instinctively wrapped their arms around Beth, trying to shield her as much as they could.

Then the sound of a semi-automatic machine gun hammer being pulled down to load the weapon before being snapped back into place. Elizabeth and Charlie waited with baited breath for the enviable to happen and when it did, they each couldn't stop the shiver that rolled down their spines.

“Ladies, this going to real simple. Slowly, drop your guns to the floor and hand over the girl.” The armed gunman said in a calm voice. To calm in Charlie's opinion.

“Okay!” Elizabeth and Charlie said in unison. They slowly, so he could, reached behind their backs and pulled out their service weapons and slowly set the guns on the ground.

“Hurry up ladies! We haven't got all day. Shake the lead out.” He growled, moving the gun at each them.

“Okay, okay! Hold your horses!” Charlie yelled back. “Jesus, don't get your boxers in a twist. If you want kids, unwind them for Christ sake.”

“You kiss your Mama with that mouth baby girl?” The gunman asked in amusement.

“You should see what else I kiss!” She fired right back.

“You got spunk girly I'll give you that.” He said with a laugh. “But this ain't no time for pleasantries, so if you don't mind handing up the girl.”

Lizzie was the first one to jump to the task. She gently picked up Beth and handed her to man with the gun who would not hesitate to blow both her and Charlie away. She and Charlie had to steal their hearts to Beth's screams. Screaming their names, begging for help.

They for 15 seconds until they reached for their weapons and dove for the open door. When they came through what looked almost like a hatch out of submarine, they came up to nothing but daylight. There was nothing.

Nothing for miles that the eye can see. It was like they were looking at a ghost town. That was when Lizzie and Charlie shared a look, a dreaded look. They were in trouble! And all hell was about to break loose.

~ Post Office 15 Minutes Later ~

When they said all hell broke loose, it had. The number of people running back and forth was mind-blowing. While Charlie sat on one the stools and allowed the medic the wrap her left wrist, she placed a bag of ice on her head.

Mateo paced back and forth in front of her, every once in a while growling in anger and at Donald. She shook her head and rolled her eyes. “Viper would you stop it already! Ressler said he was sorry.”

“He could have gotten you killed, not to mention your sister as well, with stupidity!” Mateo proclaimed. “How can you sit there and have laid-back surfer attitude when you were nearly killed this afternoon?!”

“Because if I start thinking about it Mateo, I'm going to have a panic attack,” Charlie said quietly as she looked down at her feet. “I'm just trying focus on my job and not my near-death experience.”

Mateo sighed, stopped his pacing and took Charlie in his strong arms and gently rubbed her back, trying in vain to calm his racing heart.

“Give her sometime Mateo. She had a death-defying experience today.” Red said softly as he too rubbed Charlie back but to set his mind and heart at ease, he would love nothing more than to hold Lizzie in his arms.

“Why aren't these two in the box?” Ressler growled.

“Well given the fact that they have been on their best behavior and the fact the information was correct, I decided against it,” Cooper said with authority and then leveled the man who was his Special Agent In Charge with a stern glare. “And I wouldn't pout like a child Agent Ressler, you were given an alternate route to the safe house to safeguard this sort of situation.”

“Sir, the bridge was the fastest route-,” Ressler was stopped again with another glare from Cooper.

“And it also left you wide open and exposed.” Cooper paced. “This is the second time you have disobeyed a direct order from me. Do you have a death wish?!”

“Sir,” Ressler tried again, knowing that he had dug himself into a whole that he couldn't get out of.  

“Enough Agent Ressler! When this is all over, you and I are going to have a LONG discussion about protocol and who is in the chain of command.” Cooper finished, the glare he sent Ressler, spoke volumes that caused the Senior Agent to gulp.

Red burst out laughing at Ressler's expense; he shook his head, his green eyes dancing with mischief. “Oh now Harold, let's not be hasty. It's not your fault that the Dick has a problem with authority and gets a hard-on every morning thinking about being in charge! Even though the 'Little Prick' literary has a little prick!”

“Hey,” Ressler said with indignation.

“Yes hello, I see you there. My name is Raymond 'Red' Reddington, Concierge of Crime. What's yours?” The lilt of voice in the way Red talk down to Ressler just made the situation more hilarious. So much so, that Lizzie and Charlie shared a look that caused them to snort with laughter.

“Oh ha-ha! You're a real comedian aren't you?” Ressler growled, his blue eyes sparkled with the intent to want to strangle Red.

Before Red could open his mouth to answer with a quick-witted remark, another voice spoke through the din.

“Oh Ressie boy, you have no idea how quick-witted this man is. I once witnessed him talk his way out of an execution in Peru. We were with a Gorilla leader and I won't name names, but we had merchandise that he needed. But our supplier short change us. So here we were, in the backwaters of Peru, the sun scorching down on our heads, the Gorilla army screaming at us left and right. Their leader walks up to Red and demands us to hand over the rest of our sale or die. Well at this point I threw myself at the man and begged for mercy, which Red called me a pussy, but I wasn't going to die. I'm too gorgeous and handsome to die, and most assuredly DO NOT look good covered in bullet holes, I'm not Bugsy Segal! The leader forces Red on his knees and ask him if has any last words,” At this point Mateo pauses for dramatic effect, all the while ignoring the glare and rolling eyes that Red was shooting his way. Everyone was hanging on his every word, including Charlie and Elizabeth.

“Red not missing a beat turns to the leader and stares at him. This isn't wasn't a glare that Francis or I get on daily bases, we call that an Idiot glare or the glare Ressler gets for being a Dick. This was a glare that meant he was going to make your life a living, everlasting Hell! It sends people in his organization in the opposite direction. When he spoke, I still get the chills at how deep his voice got. 'Let's dispense with the threats, shall we. Because we both know, before you can even pull the trigger, you will be dead and I'll be finished fucking not only your wife but your mistress as well within the next 10 minutes before you even hit the ground. The person to blame for this little snafu is my supplier. You can try and kill me now and have a bullet and enjoy watching me fuck your women or you can do the sensible thing and allow me to rectify this situation and you can have your guns in the next 15 seconds and you go back to enjoying your women. But somehow, before this night is over, one of us will his dick cut off!' Needless to say, Red got the guns, the leader got his merchandise and nobody got their dick cut off.” Mateo finished with a shrug.

“Of course on that day I did all the work, while princess over,” Red turned and Mateo another glare. “He didn't want to get his hands dirty. Apparently, he was out having Mani-pedis done that day.”

Mateo, in turn, gave Red a glare of his own. “At least I didn't threaten to fuck the leader's wife and mistress, possibly at the same, just to get out of being dead!”

“Details, Amigo, details!” Red said as he waved his hand in the air like he was batting away a fly. “Sex can be a good method to get what you want, but it's often messy and meaningless. I try to avoid it if I can because it's bad for business.”

“Have you had meaningless sex?” Lizzie asked intrigued.

“Oh, my dear Lizzie, meaningless sex holds no meaning in it. You have a high when you are in the moment but when it's over, your left with nothing.” Red explained as he sidled closer to her. “And when sex is used as an interrogation technique or to get what you want, then the context is taken out of it entirely.”

Lizzie watched as Red had a faraway look in his eyes. “An occupational hazard I'm afraid.” Red chuckled.

It seemed contagious because a small chuckle escaped her rosy lips and then she sighed. “Well I don't know about anyone else, but it's been a busy and exhausting day so I'm going to head home, soak in a glorious bubble bath, open a glass of red wine and relax with my husband.”

Lizzie missed the dark look that spread across Red's features for split second before they vanished. “That sounds like a pleasant idea!” Red said with a content sigh as he turned to Cooper and gave him a determined look. “Did you get mine and Mateo's request filled out?”

“Everything's all set, Reddington.” Cooper placed his glasses on his nose and began to read the accommodations in his hand. “Red, you will be staying at your usual penthouse suite at the Park Hyatt with the needed security that you asked for and Mateo your room is at the Four Seasons.”

While everyone was hashing out the details to move both Red and Mateo to respective hotels, Elizabeth snuck out without being seen. Charlie waved her off, covering for her. After the day they both had, that bubble bath was calling her name.

~ Liz and Tom's House 10 minutes earlier ~

“Are you sure you all set with the plan?” Tom asked. For the past 10 minutes, he had been running around like a madman. Making everything was ready for when his 'Precious Wife' to come home.

“Yes, yes! You and your boss don't have to worry, I have everything under control. Why do you think I bought one-half of the Pavlovich Brothers? The other one is looking after my little hostage.” The accented voice said frustrated.

Tom sighed with relief. This was his only chance to get away from Liz could notify his Boss what his contact had confirmed this afternoon. Raymond 'Red' Reddington was back in Washington. And if that was the case, then he was a dead man walking. He needed a diversion to get away. This was why Zamani was here.

He was the key for Tom to make his escape. While Tom placed balloons and streamers at the front entrance, in the living room, leading towards the dining room. He made sure to hang a big 'It's A Girl' sign on the banister staircase as you walked in.

The plan was simple. Zamani would cuff him to a dining room chair, but not to tight that it would cut off the circulation in his hands. He wanted this to look real, not have his wrists broke. The only thing real; would be the stab wounds in his thigh and stomach.

Tom figured the only way he would slip away from Liz to meet his boss, was to look critically injured and being put in the hospital.

“Are you ready for this my friend?” Zamani asked. He was going to enjoy this, even though he was forbidden to kill him. He promised Red he would keep him alive. So he would do this Tom's way, he just hoped that Red would put a bullet in the little weasel soon.

“Yea. Let's do this!” Tom steeled himself for the blow. This was going to be fun.

By the time Elizabeth made it home to the shock that their adoption interview went through and they were adopting a little girl, Tom had been put through the ringer. They had to make this look real, Zamani just prayed that Red didn't kill him first when he found out what was going to happen next.

Liz never saw it coming. The shock of seeing Tom gagged and bound to a chair in their house, through her off. The fist came out of nowhere. She tried to fight back but shock of it all was too much for her. What shocked her even more, was the fact that Tom didn't yell.

Normally when the love of your life is having the shit beaten out of her right in front of you, you would scream and beg for her life. Granted the fact that Tom was gagged and couldn't really make a sound, but still, he could have struggled against his bounds for her, but he didn't. He just sat there.

Hell was breaking loose and she could nothing. But filed away Tom's reactions later for another date. Then Zamani came into focus. Telling her that she and the FBI wouldn't stop his revenge and that she and the bureaucrats in suits would never find the girl.

Then to Lizzie's horror, she watched as the son of bitch took the knife in his hand and began to stab Tom. He caught him first in the thigh. The scream was music to his ears and then he went for the stomach. 4 wounds in secession.

Even hearing Agent Keen screaming and begging for Tom's miserable life, sent a shock wave straight to his cock. There was just something about a woman begging that turned him on. His lust was through the roof. So much so that he couldn't hold back.

He leaned forward and perversely licked the side of Lizzie's face as a tear was rolling down her cheek. He chuckled when he watched her shudder with revulsion, even as he leaned down and whispered in her ear  “You might want to thank Reddington for allowing me to enjoy this country's hospitality. And for me to enjoy this evenings entertainment. Little one, I'm going to saver this moment for the rest of my life.”

With that, Zamani turned his men, gave them a quick nod and left as quickly as they came. Elizabeth tugged and struggled to get her bounds undone. Once she was free, she raced over to Tom, picked the locks of his cuffs and gently laid him on the floor, all the while applying pressure to stop the bleeding.

She reached into her back pocket, pulled out her phone and dialed 911. Praying that the ambulance would make in time. “Reddington better have some explaining to do!”

~ 2:30 am, The Four Seasons ~

Around 2:30, Charlie was startled awake from her sound sleep on the couch by her phone. She disoriented.  She didn't know where she was at first until she saw Mateo rush out of his room with her in hand.

“Mateo, how did you get my gun?” She asked, her voice husky from sleep.

“This,” He lifted up the weapon. “Oh, I took it off of you when you passed out at the dinner table when I invited you here for a late supper. As tired as you were, it didn't sit well with me to let you drive home. So I let you crash here.”

Charlie tiredly nodded her head, she pulled the blanket off of her and began to search for her phone. Only to have Mateo appear in front of her with the offending object.

“Thanks,” Charlie said as she hit the accept button and answered the phone. “Hello."

Charlie sprang awake instantly when she heard her baby sister on the other end, her voice was cracked with exhaustion and from crying.

“Slow down, what happened?” Charlie listened as her Lizzie explained what had transpired 3 hours ago. Mateo watched a wave of emotions spread across her face. They ranged from shock to concern, to anger. “Lizzie, Liz. Elizabeth! You stay right there. Don't move, don't do anything. I'll be there in 5 minutes.”

With that, Charlie hung up and dashed up from the couch and began to search for her boots and jacket. She began hopping up and down on each foot as she tried to hurry in putting on her boots. When she slipped her jacket on, she realized she didn't have her gun.

Just as she reached for her weapon in Mateo's hands, he gave a tug and pulled Charlie securely into his well-defined arms.

“Carina, Charlie baby look at me!” Mateo firmly asked and watched as her cerulean blues look up at him with akin to shock. “Talk to me, baby. Tell me what happened.”

“My, my sister was attacked 4 hours ago. She said the Zamani was in her house, they roughed her up pretty bad but it's Tom who got the most of it. He's in the hospital right now, it could be life and death.” Charlie stopped and took in a shaking breath. “I have to go Mateo.”

When she grabbed her Glock, Mateo wrapped his arms around her once and hugged her to his bare chest. Chest and abs. Charlie couldn't go there right now. She couldn't think about Mateo's broad shoulders, arms that the muscles popped and moved as he held her, his well-defined chest that stretched all the way down to his washboard abs.

She reluctantly pulled away from the confine's of Mateo's warm body and left. Mateo was coming up with a plan. There was no way that he was letting that woman walk away from again. If had to fight for her, then so be it!

~ 15 minutes later, DC General ~

It must have been a record. Charlie became a speed demon, sirens blaring. She must have broke record because she made it to DC General at record time. She threw her SUV into park and raced towards the emergency room doors and spotted her sister.

“Elizabeth!” Charlie exclaimed. She pulled Lizzie into her arms and held her.

“Their working on him now. They might have to take Tom to surgery. Zamani worked him over good.” Elizabeth became choked up and clung to her sister. “I don't know what I would do if he doesn't pull through.”

“Elizabeth,” Charlie gently took hold of her sister's arms, she forced her to look at her. “You need to think positively and objectively. Tom will pull through and he'll survive this with flying colors. The main thing you need to focus on is him.”

But somehow, Charlie got the nagging little feeling that her words weren't registering with her. Lizzie looked like she would collapse at any moment, the shock seemed to sink deep into her bones.

The only sign she got that her sister even understood her was when Lizzie's baby blue eyes looked at her with shock and sadness. “I, I have something to do right now. If I don't do it, I'll probably never will.”

“Could you stay here until I get back,” Lizzie all but begged. “If the nurse comes before I get back, tell her your family. This needs to be taken care of.”

“What are you going to do Lizzie?” Charlie asked, her eyes closed at that thought.

“Finding answers!” Lizzie said seriously, walking towards the doors with a determined stride.

~ Park Hyatt ~

After the lovely dinner he had, plus the cleansing massage, Red felt more rejuvenated then he had in years. It seemed the years of struggle, of war, seemed to peel off him in waves. He honestly looked younger than before he had entered the hotel this afternoon.

Even though he was rejuvenated, he couldn't seem to shut his brain off. And it always seemed to draw him back to Lizzie. The woman he watched from afar. The little girl he saved. That he watched sprout into a gorgeous woman.

The very woman that he wanted in his bed. She was probably home at her house with Her Husband, the very man that specifically stated not to get involved with in the first place. Tom 'Keen' was just using her as a means to an end.

If had his way, Red would have Lizzie in this very room right and have her on every available surface. But mostly his bed. Oh, the things him and Lizzie could get into that bed alone.

'BANG!' Red was startled out his pleasant thoughts about him making love to Lizzie when his door was forced open and the woman of his thoughts, stepped out of his dreams and was standing before him in all of her feisty sexy glory.

“Lizzie what a pleasant surprise.” Red gave a cheeky grin. “How are you this lovely evening or should I say morning?”

“Is it pleasant? Is it lovely? I suppose it's lovely for you.” Lizzie's voice sounded hollow to her own ears. “The Golden Man in his ever pleasant Golden Tower. How do you sleep at night?”

Red furrowed his brow. Something wasn't right. Something happened. “Lizzie are you alright? What happened?” Red immediately went into business mode.

“How do 'You' sleep at night Red? I would like to know.” Lizzie's voice darkened slightly.

“Lizzie tell me what happened? I can't help you unless you tell me.” Red said seriously, his crossword left forgotten on the table.

“You should know, you hired him. Brought him into the country. Was attacking Tom your way to make sure that I agree to be at your beck and call,” Lizzie began to pace, all the while her eyes never leaving Red.

“Elizabeth I think we can specify that I have no clue at what you are talking about.” Red's confusion shone in his voice. “Perhaps if you sit down, we can figure out exactly what happened.”

Lizzie immediately shook her head. “No, I won't sit down. Ranko Zamani. Know him? He sure as hell knows you. Said you brought him into the country. The very man who instigated the attack on the bridge that nearly killed my sister and I this afternoon. He told me to thank you. He said that he enjoyed the amenities of this country and it's 'entertainment' just before he licked the side of my face.”

Red's jaw ticked. Zamani would pay dearly for this oversight. “Elizabeth, yes I brought Zamani into this country but the last I saw of him was at Reagan. I had no idea-” Before Red could finish, there was a loud crash.


“Elizabeth,” Red began but stopped short and gasped. His hand immediately reached for the right side of his neck. He felt a long stem sticking out. His eyes went to the table and noticed his ballpoint pen was missing.

'Oh if I wasn't in dire need, this situation would merit me throwing Lizzie on the table and fucking her, slow and hot! Sex with an angry woman was enjoyable experience.' Red thought.

“How does it feel to have your life in my hands Red?” Lizzie asked sensually. She leaned down and roughly grabbed his left ear between her teeth and bit down hard causing Red to groan in both pain and pleasure.

“Think of this as a reminder. Because if Tom dies, you have won't have to worry about signing your deal. You'll be dead.” Lizzie sensually growled in his ear as she gave one last bite to his earlobe and then walked out of the room, swaying her hips sensually as she went.

Before Red past out from the pain and blood loss, he faintly heard Lizzie tell the security team that he needed a doctor or hospital. Zamani had a lot of explaining to do.

~  9:30 am, DC General ~

Charlie was exhausted. She had been wandering back and forth from the ICU to the Cafeteria all night long. Tom had made it through the surgery with flying colors, but something wasn't sitting right with her. It was something the doctor said.

The only major things that the surgical team had to fix was the wound of his right thigh which hit the femoral artery and they had to remove his spleen which had been perforated by one of his stab wounds.

She gently rubbed her hands on her neck to relieve some of the stiffness and watched her sister sleep. Lizzie needed all the sleep she could get because Tom was going to need her but for the life her she couldn't see why. Something about Tom's accident really didn't sit right with her.

Even his doctors had been puzzled, aside from the nick to his femoral artery and perforated spleen, Tom was mostly fine. Sure he needed a couple weeks to recover and a full recovery he would make, but it was how the wounds were spread out that left her and his doctors puzzled. Then there was her baby sister.

She had been gone for at least 2 and half hours and when she walked into Tom's ICU room, her hands were covered her hands were covered in blood. Lizzie didn't say anything and she didn't ask. And then her phone went off. Ressler called to notify her that Red had been attacked in his hotel room and was being rushed to DC General.

'What the hell was happening? Did somebody break a God Damn mirror!?' Charlie frustratingly thought.

She made sure her sister was asleep and then quietly slipped out of the room to track down Red.

It wasn't too hard to find which room Red's was, the heavily FBI guarded presence was a dead give away. She showed her credentials to the guard at the door and stepped inside. But she was greeted with a shocking discovery.

Raymond 'Red' Reddington, the notorious Concierge of Crime, was missing! Vanished out of thin air! Charlie rushed towards the open window, stuck her head outside and watched in disbelief as two men started walking across the parking lot. One about 5'10 wearing a fedora and a brown trench coat and the other about 5'8”-1/2 wearing a black leather biker jacket.

She leaned her elbow on the window and just watch with blatant amusement as the two men started to climb into a black Jaguar but stopped when they felt like they were being watched. They turned towards her, gave her cheeky grins and then saluted her. She watched in shock as they jumped into the Jag and sped off.

“Well played boys well played indeed. But this is one game of cat and mouse that I'm gonna enjoy playing.” Charlie said as she burst out laughing at the situation.

Ressler was not going to be a happy camper but at this point, she didn't care. She left the room and discreetly told the guard to contact Agent Ressler that their assets were in the wind. Charlie then made her way to the elevator, traveled down to main lobby and made her way outside.

She got into her Tahoe and sped out of the hospital parking lot to follow Mateo and Red. They were up to something. They really had some explaining to do!

~ 20 minutes later, Washington National Mall ~

Red sat on the bench, overlooking the water on the Mall, watching the tourists walk back and forth, admiring the various monuments and the river. Various people talking aimlessly or snapping pictures. Little girls who at every turn reminded him of his dead daughter Jennifer.

He absently reached up and rubbed the left side of his chest. Some say he didn't really have a heart. It was all black and covered with ice. Well, if it was, why did it still break everytime he brought up his daughter? His late ex-wife, not so much. Naomi and he were already legally separated by the time Jennifer and her died. He had only stayed for Jenny.

Even so deep in his thoughts, his fingers rolled the mall cylinder that contained his GPS tracker, which he had Mateo remove after they escaped the hospital. His thoughts had shifted from his dead family to Ranko Zamani.

He couldn't get the haunting words that Lizzie all but screamed at him, 'He was in my house, Raymond! He touched me!' That statement gave him pause. It was wasn't so much as Zamani breaking into Lizzie's house, it was the fact that Zamani touched His Lizzie.

'I can still feel his tongue on my cheek!' The very fact Zamani was able to touch her at all, sent a red-hot fire down his spine. Red's anger boiled in his got, liquid lava! At this point he didn't care about Zamani's revenge or the fact he brought him into this country to send a message to 'Tom Keen', Ranko was already dead to him.

The very moment he put his hands or Any part of himself on His Lizzie, he immediately forfeited his life.

“Francis will slow down for a minute a listen to me!” Mateo growled into the phone. “He's, will you, he's right her-Francis shut up and let me talk.”

He sighed. Just for one day, Red thought he would be free of Francis Holbrook's nagging for one day, sadly it wasn't meant to be. He felt a headache coming on as waved his hand for Mateo to give him the phone.

Raymond Jackson Reddington, you will explain to me why one of my associate's at the Park Hyatt informed me that you were put into the hospital because of a Little pen issue,” Francis paused for effect. “And the source of that Little pen issue, was none other than Elizabeth Keen. What the hell happened?"

“Oh good lord Francis, I just got a flashback to 1969, I'm 9 years old, and my mother catches me with my hand in the cookie jar before supper,” Red said in tired voice. “Last time I checked, you weren't my mother Francis. Never full name again.”

That would be only reserved for Lizzie, in the slight off chance that he somehow fucked up!

Why would Elizabeth stab you? From what you told me about her Red, she wouldn't have a reason to lash out and try to kill you. So, why would she do it now?” Francis scratched his head. Women were so confusing.

Red sighed. He knew this situation was going to come back and bite him in the ass. “There's a reason Francis. Lizzie's in shock; that would give any women a reason to lash out but I'm also responsible. I brought Ranko Zamani into the US and he attacked Lizzie and her 'Husband' in their own home.”

Wait, let me get this straight so I'm sure I'm hearing you right,” Francis paused which caused Red to heave a sigh. “You brought Ranko Zamani on US soil, what did you think was going to happen? Zamani is crazy! Like one way stop around the loony bend. I know you had a plan, but where that man is concerned, it's known to backfire. The man is a loose cannon. You're lucky Lizzie made it out at all.”

“Tom Keen has this unique way of fucking over with my life. I knew I shouldn't have brought him into Lizzie's.” Red said tiredly. “This son bitch is working for greater purpose. From what I've observed since I have been her, Charlie REALLY doesn't like him, at all.”

Greater Purpose!?” Francis asked. He could hear rustling coming from the other end of the phone. Red could almost hear the smile in Francis' voice. “My people did some checking into 'Tom Keen' and his boss the Major, Red you're not going to like this, but Tom and the Major stopped being employed by you 2 years ago.”

“2 years ago! That fucking bastard could take my money, but didn't feel inclined to tell me that he had been turned to the other side.” Red growled, he moved so fast that Mateo had to blink. Red sighed again and began to pace. “Did you narrow down who turned the Major and The Bastard?”

Not at this moment no, but I'm still looking. When I have something, you will be the first to know Red as always. In the mean tin, stay away from pens. They can be a nasty little bitch.” Francis said cheekily.

“Thank you for being a 'Little Prick' yourself Francis,” Red said with a sigh and rubbed his forehead as he hung up the phone and handed it back to Mateo.

Mateo looked down at the ground as he put his back into his leather jacket; he scuffed the tip of his boot as he looked back up at Red. “What do you want to do about the Bastard Red?”

Red sighed. For the first time in his 53 years on this earth, Raymond 'Red' Reddington was speechless but had no plan. “I don't know, Mateo. I just don't know!”

How did he move on from here? Lizzie was mad, wait mad was a mild word to use, Lizzie was pissed beyond belief and at this point, he couldn't blame her. It had been a stupid idea on his part, to bring Zamani into the States but he needed the fucker.

He had no idea that Zamani would go after Tom while Lizzie had been in the house, but something didn't feel right. This whole situation didn't feel right.

“Red, Red, Red!” The man shook his head. That voice caused Red to stop and stand rim-rod straight. A chill ran down his spine and curled around his belly and burned in his gut like molten fire. “What a precarious situation we find ourselves in.”

In a flash, that seemed to be the speed of light, Mateo was in front of Zamani with his gun drawn. This son of bitch touched his future sister-in-law, and that gave Mateo pause for a second. Was he ready to think him and Charlie would it that far to make it down the aisle? They will and they would if he had anything to about.

His hand never twitch or flinch. He should have made Zamani suffer like he did Lizzie, but something in his gut told him that wouldn't do because Charlie would need him on the outside instead of the inside.

“Want to call off your lap dog?” Zamani asked cockily as he pointed to Mateo.

“Want your head blown off? Because I never miss. Air or land!” Mateo growled, his finger itching to pull the trigger and put the world of its misery.

“Easy Mateo! Let's not cause a scene. But then again, flamboyancy was always your calling card Ranko.” Red gently pulled Mateo towards him and lowered his gun arm. “That Special forces Sargent that you got in St. Petersburg, he was unrecognizable.” Red glared. “I told you kind of jack shit wouldn't work in this situation. And I damn sure remember saying, that Elizabeth Keen was off LIMITS!”

Ranko had the gall to laugh. The utter audacity! The rat bastard enjoyed what he did. “You gave me a job. Track down Tom Keen for you, which I did. But didn't say that Tom Keen's wife was a gorgeous piece of ass.” He laughed again as he saw Red's jaw tick. “But I should tell you that your money was good, but I got an even 'Higher' incentive.”

Red's jaw ticked. 'I will not kill this man, I will not kill this man!' This became the mantra that ran through his brain over and over again. Mateo's stance shifted every once in a while. He was itching to kill this son bitch, but Charlie would never forgive him if he did.

With a fake smile plastered on his face, Red spread his arms wide and walked towards Ranko. He pulled him into a hug and leaned down close to his ear. “You're not scared, which tells me your not afraid of death my friend. But you seem to forget one thing, I abhor disloyalty! I always get my revenge. So neither Mateo or I have to pull the trigger.” With that said, Red reached into Ranko's pocket and placed the GPS locator.

When he pulled back Red placed his hands on Zamani's face and something reminiscent of the Godfather kissed him full on the lips hard.

“A kiss can be just as sweet but death's kisses can burn!” Red said, and with that, him and Mateo left the Mall and a shocked Zamani behind.

~ In the End ~

When it was all said and done, it had worked out in the end. The FBI got Zamani, curtsy of Ressler. But the guys he had hired in the raid on the bridge, the Pavlovich Brothers, were in the wind. Like slippery snakes, they had left Washington with being seen.

Then there was the return of little Bethany Ryker to her father. They had found at the Washington Zoo, sitting on a bench alone. With help of a bomb expert that owed Mateo and Red a favor, Charlie and Lizzie were able to distract Beth long enough for Red and Mateo's guy to get them off, with the stipulation that he could keep.

While Charlie just shook her head in amusement as Red and Mateo were handcuffed by Ressler and another agent. Before Mateo was cuffed he tossed Charlie the keys to his Jag and gave her a blatant wink. Charlie sarcastically held the keys to her heart.

Red, on the other hand, had been cuffed tight, so tight that he couldn't feel his hands. If he didn't know any better, he could have sworn that Ressler had a BDSM fetish. He turned to Lizzie and gave a slow, sensual wink as he walked up to her, dragging Ressler with him as he went.

“We're going to make a good team.” The deep vibrating voice sent shivers up her spine, the voice was like melted milk chocolate. And for the sheer shock value alone, Red planted a slow, sensual kiss on her lips and then he was dragged away.

Little did Lizzie or Charlie realize, that the shit was about to hit the fan. Lizzie's world was about to be turned upside down in more ways than one. And not just from Red's quick kiss either. 

Chapter Text

The house was deadly silent. A silence that seemed to permeate every hall and every room with every step you took. But there was also a smell! It was coppery but it was also mixed with death. That combined with the silence, gave a heavy feeling.

A faint sound cut through the silence like a dull knife. Every once in a while you could hear a sniffle which followed by a cry. For Elizabeth Keen, she should be happy and ecstatic that she was alive, but more importantly, that her husband Tom was alive and stable from surgery. But at this point, she could care less about her 'Husband'.

Her faithful dog Hudson made his way up to her as she sat on the stairs with head against the banister as she cried. He laid beside her, put his head on her lap and gave a mournful whimper as he let her rub his ears in comfort.

How could a man that claimed to love her and said as much in his wedding vows to her, just sit there while she was being attacked? Granted he was bounded and gagged, but still, he could have fought!

He could have screamed; he could have done something that just sat there. Lizzie felt her heartbreak.

Her heart and her mind were jumbled. She was so confused. Zamani's words still rang in her head. And of course, she lost it. To the point that she marched herself to Red's hotel room and attacked him. With a pen! A PEN! That was something that she couldn't get over.

That she so easily took a pen and stabbed him the carotid with it. And that's why she heart literary felt broken and that she couldn't think straight. The man who literary called himself the 'Concierge of Crime', stirred feelings inside of her that she honestly didn't know she had.

He made her feel more than Tom ever done. But for a niggling moment, it had honestly felt like he had lied to her. That he somehow instigated all that happened the night before, just like Zamani said he had.

What was she going to do? Did she believe Zamani? A known criminal who was now dead at the hands of the FBI? Or did she listen to Red and her heart? At this point, she felt like she is torn apart.

The only way that this was going to be solved, and her conscience clear, as if she talked to Red face to face. And ask him. But it would have to wait until she had a good night's sleep.

She and Hudson made their way towards her room. She flopped on the Queen size bed and then proceeded to throw Tom's pillows across the room. She couldn't stand the smell.

Lizzie closed her eyes and prayed that the night terrors would stay at bay until the morning. She had a lot of work to do tomorrow. She hoped that Charlie could help her; in more ways than one.

~ The Next Day ~

The morning sun streamed through the open gap between the curtains as it shone in her eyes. Lizzie groaned and rolled over buried her head in the pillows. Of course, this was a signal for Hudson to think it was time to play.

Ever time she would squeeze the pillow down over her head, Hudson would follow her, dig his way into her makeshift fort and try to lick her face. Lizzie couldn't help but giggle.

For a little dog, he was so persistent.

Eventually, Lizzie couldn't fight it anymore; she had to get up and face the day even if she didn't want to see this day come. It would mean that the whole thing that happened the day before wasn't a dream, it had been very real. Which meant her 'Husband' was still in the hospital.

'Husband'! The man she had married 3 years before hadn't been much of a husband in a long time. It seemed like every month or every couple of days, Tom was always going away for teachers conferences. Which made her start to think that something wasn't right.

From the research that she did, teacher conferences in DC were every 3 months. But she put it on the back burner. Decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. Decided to trust Tom. Then other things started to raise a red flag!

As she got out of bed and padded her way across the room to the bathroom to take a nice hot shower, she thought about all the red flags: the late-night meetings, the teacher conferences that he was away for. But the kicker was him coming home and smelling of honeysuckle and lavender! Whereas she smelled like apple blossom, honey, and strawberries.

She stripped and stepped into the shower stall and let hot water cascade down her body, washing her troubles away.

Because that was exactly what Lizzie had, troubles! Starting with the big one, you could basically say the elephant in the room: Raymond 'Red' Reddington!

There was going to be consequences for her she just knew it. Either Cooper was going to bring the hammer or Red was finally going to go through with his own personal punishment. Lizzie shivered! Just the thought of Red punishing her sent goosebumps up her arms which switched to shivers going down her back and all the way to her core.

Red had a Mr. Grey quality to him. But which Mr. Grey: The Secretary or Fifty Shades?

From the moment that she had met him, she had known that Red had a dark Alpha male quality, an intensity that drew him to her. Charlie would say it was that irrational side of her that forced her to lash out when she least expected it. But she knew that Red would somehow use this experience as a teaching lesson.

As the water began to cool, Lizzie stepped out of the stall and began to dry herself off. She then made her way towards the master bedroom, the sound of the front door opening and closing brought her out of her thoughts.

Lizzie, I'm here, are you up yet?” A voice yelled from downstairs.

“Yeah! I'll be right down.” Lizzie yelled back. Trust her older sister to be early and not late.

She quickly grabbed a pair of black panties but she didn't realize that it was a thong. Lizzie shrugged. It wouldn't matter anyway because nobody was going to see her underwear in any way, shape or form.

She slipped a sports bra on and then grabbed a pair of cut-off stone-wash jean short shorts and a baggy light green t-shirt. She tied her brown hair up in a messy ponytail and made her way barefoot, downstairs toward her sister.

When she reached the ground floor, she saw her sister in the kitchen making coffee. There were times she didn't know what she would do without Charlie and this was one those times.

“Good morning,” Charlie said brightly as she turned away from the coffee maker to greet her wayward sibling.

“Morning” Lizzie answered back, her voice husky from what little sleep she did get after she had come home.

As soon as she stepped up to the island, Charlie handed her cup of steaming hot coffee. She gladly took the dark ambrosia of the Gods and took a deep, long sip. Lizzie's eyes rolled back up into her head. It was like she was having a mini orgasm right in the middle of her kitchen.

She always felt that her older sister was either a mind reader or psychic.

Charlie knew that if it was a gentle normal day, she would have a cup of coffee: Colombian with cream and two sugars or a Mocha latte with two sugars and extra foam. But if her day was stressful, she had her coffee strong, black and two sugars.

“Did you get any sleep last night baby sister?” Charlie asked sympathetically.

“What little sleep I did get.” Lizzie sighed and sat down on the bar stool. “I couldn't shut my mind off. I couldn't stop thinking about what happened yesterday. Especially with..” Lizzie paused and shot her sister a look.

“What?!” Charlie exclaimed. Now her interest was peaked. Something happened and Tommy Boy had something to do with it. Her gut was churning and her storm blue eyes darken.

“It's nothing. My mind is just playing tricks on me.” Lizzie said with a forced smile. She was trying to convince herself more than her sister.

“Well those 'mind tricks' as you call them, they can mean something,” Charlie stated seriously. “Even if it's something small.”

Lizzie breathed out a sigh and while a smile graced her face, she reached across the island and squeezed Charlie's hand in a death grip. “It's probably nothing. All I want to do is clean up this place and get the smell of blood out.”

If Lizzie were honest with herself, she didn't want to think about what her mind was trying to show her and tell her. To truly think about the fact that while she was taking a beating, Tom just sat there and never said a word.

That was something she still couldn't get over and was one of the reason's she didn't get much sleep.

Her husband, the man that she rearranged her career for, the man she agreed to marry, the very man she vowed to spend the rest of her life with, just sat his skinny little ass in the chair and was silent. Silent! While she was getting the crap kicked out of her and molested by a pervert, he was silent!

Granted that he was tied to a chair but that was no excuse. He should have spoken up or done something. Or even maybe fought for her.

But no. He just sat there. She couldn't read his expression at the time but she could most definitely read the expression in his eyes. And she didn't understand it. It haunted her, even last night. Why would your husband that claimed to love you and wanted to start a family with you, show a look of malicious glee at the fact of you being assaulted?

Her morbid thoughts were shattered when her older sister gently tapped her arm.

“Hey. You were a million miles away.” Charlie said gently. “Let's get this show on the road because I know you want to go visit Tom in the hospital.”

“Yeah! Because Tom will 'Really' want to see me.” Lizzie gave another forced smile at her statement and stood up.

Charlie shook her head. Her cerulean blues eyes never missed a thing. “Lizzie if there is something wrong, you'll tell me, right? I don't want you to feel you have the need to lie to me. You can tell me.”

That was just the thing if Lizzie said anything, she knew a dime to a dozen that Charlie would kill Tom. So she kept her mouth shut. Because if anyone was going to have Tom's balls for breakfast was her.

“I will. Now let's see what this maid's business is all about.” Lizzie teased as she followed her sister into the living room.

That was one part of her sordid life that was solved. Now if she could just figure out her feelings for Red! The man was an enigma. He was a force of nature.

He could step into a room and the whole place will go silent. And the feelings that he stirred in her, Tom never did that. From the first meeting, Raymond 'Red' Reddington made her feel like an actual woman. When she first met Tom, if she were honest with herself again, she wanted to run in the opposite direction. But the very minute she met Red, she wanted to kick everyone out of the 'Whole' and have her wicked way with him.

She let a breath at the intense images that flashed through her mind of her and Red. She began to wonder what sex with Red would be like.

Her thoughts traveled to her showing Red just how flexible she could be as she and her sister worked in tandem grabbing streamers and balloons, ripping down the poster and tearing it up into tiny little pieces.

At that moment, she became pissed. Knowing that the 'Pervert' used what would be the happiest moment in her life as bait.

And she fell for it big time. This caused her to drift back to Tom.

This whole adoption experience made Lizzie stop and think. The whole time the meetings with their counselor and going through the meetings with the agency, she watched Tom. He hadn't seemed comfortable in those meetings at all. It was like he didn't want to be there.

That caused Lizzie to be pissed off even more. And that made her clean more.

If you didn't want to adopt a baby in the first place, why would you pressure the person you supposedly love to adopt as well?

Charlie glanced over at her sister and watched as she vigorously scrubbed the carpet where Tom had laid the night before and bled onto the floor. She realized that if she didn't stop her sister soon, Lizzie was going to scrub her hands raw trying to scrub the carpet.

“Okay, baby sister, okay,” Charlie said as she reached for her sister's shoulders and pulled her up. “Take a break, Lizzie.”

But Lizzie wouldn't be deterred and shoved Charlie's hands away. “I can't Charlotte, if I do..if I stop..” Lizzie stopped and took a deep breath.

Charlie sighed then let her sister go. Lizzie didn't stay long, she walked into the kitchen then came back a few minutes later with a box cutter. When she looked up again, her baby blues met her sister's cerulean blue.

“Are you going to stand there all day and stare at me or are you going to help me remove this half of the rug?” Lizzie sassed.

Charlie gave her sister a mock glare. “You keep it up and I'll put your tongue in traction!” The serious of her words caused Lizzie's eyes to widen. She almost believed that her older sister would do it.

Just seeing her baby sister try and dis-sway her from actually wrapping her tongue caused Charlie to smile inwardly.

'Maybe I should give this snip it to Red, he could use it to keep Lizzie in line.' Charlie thought. She almost laughed out loud at that thought. She knew without a shadow of a doubt that Red would never use that information against Lizzie.

Just from watching the both of them interact two days before when they met officially at the Post Office. Their interaction in the Box alone could have set off the sprinkler system. The interaction was explosive, it was raw and it was most definitely hot.

Charlie sighed as she got down on the floor beside her sister and in tandem, they began to pull up the blood-soaked piece of a once cream-colored rug.

They rolled up the piece and Charlie walked it out the front door along with the other bags of garbage to put out front for garbage pick up. As she walked, her mind drifted back to the Post Office. She had been so sure that Harold would have turned them on just to hose her sister and the man of her affection down.

She didn't get very far in her thoughts when a yell resounded from the townhouse, startled her.

“Charlotte, GET IN HERE NOW!” Her sister yelled.

The only time Lizzie yelled was when something startled her so bad her voice rose an octave or she was pissed.

At this point, Charlie couldn't judge if her sister was startled or pissed off.

When Charlie crashed through the front door, Hudson barking at her feet expecting that it was play time, it was the look that she saw on her sister's face that shook her to the core. More than the look of sheer terror that she saw the night before.

“What?” She asked trying to get her breath. “What happened?”

“Look.” Was all Lizzie said? Charlie fought to roll her eyes.

'Could you get any more cryptic?!' Charlie thought sardonically as she made her way towards where Lizzie was standing which caused her to do a double take.

There in plain view of where the caret used to be was a hidey hole. She knew all about them from her time in the Robbery/Homicide division. The question was why was there one at her sister's house?

“Did you find anything in it?” She asked Lizzie, immediately going into agent mode.

“Yeah, one locked strongbox and one locked toolbox,” Lizzie said quietly as she rubbed her hands over her face and the looked at her older sister.

“How did this get here Charlie? How was this even in my house and I didn't even know about it?” Lizzie growled. Now Mama Panther was out to play.

Charlie looked at the hidey hole again and then the items Lizzie pulled out on the table. “Was that all you found?” She asked as she made her towards the table and pulled the lock on the toolbox.

“No sis I also found a Culture Club LP, as well as a Billy Joel 'Longest Time' album along with some Twinkies.” When Lizzie was frustrated, it was like she had no sarcastic filter. “Of course that's all I found. I didn't know you needed a whole collection to be satisfied.”

“Have you ate today Lizzie, you sound awfully cranky this morning?” Charlie teased. She reached into her back pocket and pulled out her lock picking kit.

Lizzie growled again and swatted her sister. “I'm not cranky thank you very much. I'm just not that hungry that's all.” Lizzie pouted and then stared at Charlie.

This time it was Lizzie's turn to roll her eyes. “And of course you brought your toolkit!” Again Lizzie had no filter for her sarcasticness.             

“You know I don't leave my apartment without it,” Charlie said with a grin as she began to work on the locks. In no time she had the locks picked and turned back towards her sister. “I still got it.”

“And cocky as ever.” Lizzie teased with a grin of her own.

Charlie's happiness turned to dread as she opened both the tool and strong boxes. Laying inside each was currency from various counties as well as ids and passports. It was the passports and id's that drew her eye. They had Tom's picture.

“Liz,” Was all Charlie said as she handed one passport to her baby sister. Watching Lizzie, her strong, compassionate baby sister crumble into a chair and look like the rug had been pulled from underneath her was hard to take.

“How?” That one little word was all Lizzie got out as her emotions took over. As if her mind hadn't been all over the place where Tom was concerned but this was too much to take. Lizzie effectively looked like she was shutting down.

Charlie growled in frustration as she pushed off the table. Watching Lizzie drift into a catatonic state both scared her and broke her heart.

Checking to make sure Lizzie was okay, Charlie moved into the living room and pulled out her cell phone. She dialed the one number that her father Sam had her memorize over and over again. She prayed that it wasn't disconnected.

“Well, well this is a pleasant surprise.” The deep voice said over the phone. “I see Sam taught you well my dear. What do for you Charlie on this gorgeous morning?”

“Red did you get laid last night? Because you sound awfully chipper for a man who has now become my sister's asset.” Charlie teased.

“For you information Charlotte, I have been perfectly celibate. None of the fair sex to speak of.” Red said dramatically. “I just spent the evening with excellent room service, a good bottle of 1915 Merlot and Mozart. Some would say a very dull night. But that's not why you called me my dear. What's the problem?”

Leave it to Red to figure out that there was a method to her madness by calling him. How could she tell him that Lizzie was falling off the deep end?

“Your silence speaks volumes sweetheart! There's something you're not telling me!” Red said firmly. “Charlotte tell me! I'm going to find out anyway and I know you don't want me to do that. So tell me.” Red had a way to convince any person to do his bidding in his line of work.

Charlie sighed and ran her hand through her honey brown hair. She looked at her sister again then sighed once more. It was at this time that one of her father's favorite song's came to mind. 'Mama said there would be days like this, there would be days like this my Mama said!'

“Red I can't explain this over the phone. You need to get over here right now because..” Charlie stopped and took a deep breath.

Red knew there was something wrong when he heard Charlotte try to hold in a sob. He turned to his personal driver and pointed for the door. He quickly stood, held his cell to his ear with his shoulder as he slid his arms into his suit jacket and then slipped his blue windbreaker jacket over it. He then grabbed his signature fedora and his hotel room key and was out the door.

“Okay, Charlotte I need to breathe,” Red said as he breathed in and out. “Just sit tight and I'll be right there.”

Charlie felt her legs collapse underneath her wait as she slid to the floor. “Thank god! Just please hurry Red, because I think I may have lost my sister.” Charlie's choked voice said as she let the tears fall.

“Just sit tight sweetheart. I'll be there soon.” Then hung up. Charlie took in a shaky breath. She checked on Lizzie one more time then made her way out front to wait for Red to show up.

Charlie opened the front door stepped out on to the front step and shut the door behind her so that Hudson wouldn't get out. But he wouldn't leave anyway, knowing that Lizzie was so sad, Hudson had curled up by her feet for comfort.



She sat out there on the front step for what seemed like an eternity but it was more like 5 minutes. 5, long, exhausting minutes! She agonized over how she was going to help Lizzie when she spotted a silver town car, speeding down the street towards her.

The man in the backseat didn't even wait for the car to stop as leaped from the vehicle and ran towards her as soon as Charlie stood up.

When the familiar smell that was all Red hit her nostril's as she was crushed towards his hard chest. She felt the muscles in arms through his coat as he wrapped them around her. She couldn't do it anymore! She tried but she couldn't do it.

For the first time since she found out about Tom, Charlie broke down against Red's chest. The heartbreaking sobs broke Red's already black heart.

“Okay, okay Charlie. Shhh! It's okay.” Red soothed as rubbed his hand up and down her back and then gently patted her hair. “C'mon sweetheart, let's get inside and see to your sister. And away from prying eyes.”

Charlie inhaled a sigh shaky breath as she hesitatingly wiped her eyes from the last remnants of her tears. The walked up to the stoop ahead of Red and opened the door.

When both Charlie and Red entered the house, Hudson left his spot at Lizzie's feet to check out this new person. Red watched with amusement as he read Hudson's look. For a little dog, he was determined.

'Look, buddy, I don't care how good of a friend you are to Aunt Charlie and Mommy if I smell crazy on you, I'm going to bite you in the ass!'

Red's deep laugh healed a piece of her heart but it wasn't enough if he couldn't help Lizzie. Red stood perfectly still as he let Hudson smell him and check him out. He felt the dog had expected him long enough, he kneeled in front of him and held up his hand.

He watched as Hudson made his way back over to him and smelled the appendage and then allowed Red to pat him. Red let out a deep booming laugh when Hudson plunked himself down in front him and held out his paw for Red to shake it.

Charlie was silently laughing at Hudson's antics. Her shoulders were moving up and down. Hudson wasn't going to let Red see his mommy until he personally vetted him.

“Hi Hudson, you're a good boy aren't you,” Red said with a grin as he gave Hudson's ears a gentle rub. The pure enjoyment caused Hudson's leg to thump on the floor from excitement. “Where's mommy huh? Where's mommy?”

Hudson let out an excited yelp as he pulled on Red's pant leg and have him follow him. Red stood and shot Charlie an amused wink as he followed the hyperactive little dog.

As he stepped into the kitchen, the sight that beveled him caused his heart to stop. It almost felt like someone had punched him in the chest.

His Lizzie. Seeing her sit there at the kitchen table with a blank look on her face, her bright baby blue dull with emotion almost sad and her skin pale, white as a sheet. It was like the fates had cut Lizzie's life thread with their enchanted scissors.

Red slowly made his way towards the table and then knelt in front of her. “Oh, Elizabeth!” Red said in a mournful tone. Lizzie still never registered that she had heard him. She started off into space.

“Elizabeth, Lizzie,” Red began as he rubbed his hands up and down both of her arms. “Lizzie baby look at me.” He said firmly.

It was like a switch had been flipped and Lizzie turned her head to the sound of a voice that she couldn't believe was there. His voice became her lifeline. For the past couple of hours, she had felt like she had been drowning. That was until she heard Red's voice.

“Red?!” Lizzie asked softly. Her throat slamming shut with emotion that she wanted to get out but didn't think she had the right. She was a strong woman so there was no way in hell she was going to let a man break her.

But the minute that she heard the voice in front of her, the same voice that had drawn her in when she met him all those weeks ago. When she finally looked at him the dam burst. Lizzie promptly lost it.

“Lizzie shhh! Calm down sweetheart, breath. Breath!” Red said as he gathered the sobbing woman who held his heart in his arms and rubbed soothing stroked up and down her back. “Baby, I can't help you if you don't talk to me.”

Lizzie grasped Red like a lifeline. She took in a couple deep breaths but the sobs just kept coming. “Bas...bas..bastard..” She took another deep breath. “T-table.”

Was all she could say before she burst out sobbing all over again. Red reached under her and easily lifted her into his arms as he turned her and sat down in the seat she occupied a minute ago and sat her down in his lap. If the situation weren't so dire, Red would have taken full advantage of this enjoyable predicament.

When he settled Lizzie against his chest feeling her tears staining his expensive Armani shirt, Red leaned forward and looked into the boxes and saw Tom's ID's and passports that Lizzie found. He let out a frustrated sigh and massaged his forehead.

There was no way in HELL, he was going to tell Kate this situation because he could almost hear Kate Kaplan say 'I told you so, Red!'

“Oh, Lizzie.” Red's deep soothing voice said as he kissed her on the forehead and held her tightly to him.

“Why?” Lizzie asked in a small voice, her baby blue eyes still full of tears. “Why do I feel like I have been used and lied to?”

Lizzie buried her head into Red's chest and quietly began to sob again.

For the first time in Charlie's life, she felt helpless where her sister was concerned. This was the first time she had seen her sister so broken and she didn't have the means to fix her.

Red didn't say a word he just held Lizzie against him and rubbed her back soothingly. What could he say? This was his fault! Elizabeth Scott-Keen was broken because of him. But if he really thought about it, he may have set Tom on Lizzie's path but this implosion was all Tom.

“Lizzie if you don't feel comfortable staying here, I can have Charlie pack some things for you and Hudson and you stay with me at the Park Hyatt,” Red said firmly as he lifted Lizzie's head so he could look into her sad baby blue eyes.

Lizzie took in a shuddering deep breath and nodded. “Just for a couple of days Red. But then we need to come home because Tom can't know that I know something is up. It has to be like nothing has changed, but I'm going to find out exactly what my 'so-called Husband', has been up to.”

“Well, I can't argue with that,” Red said with a mischievous grin. “I'll have Charlie pack a bag,” But Red was interrupted by another voice as she walked into the kitchen with a purpose.

“I got you covered Red,” Charlie said with a grin as she held up Lizzie's overnight bag. “I needed something to do,” Charlie stopped as she felt throat hitch again at the thought of her sister's pain.

Red waved his hand in the air to wave her off. “Think nothing of it, sweetheart. We'll get your sister settled and then you can keep a certain someone occupied at the Post Office.” Red chuckled after his statement as he watched Charlie roll her eyes.

“Never fails, I always get roped into babysitting,” Charlie muttered under her breath which got a round of giggles from her sister, much to Red's delight. “Of course you would stick me with the duty of babysitting a man-child.”

Lizzie's giggles developed into full-blown belly laughs at her sister's indignation of keeping an eye on Mateo. Red's heart swelled at the woman's laughter who sat in his lap that he could help but join her. His deep rich laughter reverberated through the room.

“It can't be that bad Charlotte,” Red said, still chuckling as he helped Lizzie stand. “Just make sure Mateo keeps his hands out of the cookie jar. I need to make to a quick call. Give me five minutes and then we can leave Lizzie.”

As he moved behind her, Red gently rubbed his hands up and down Lizzie's arms and then placed a kiss on the back of her head as he made his way towards the front step and pulled out his phone and dialed the familiar number.

“You're still in the city?” Red asked in his no-nonsense tone as he heard the familiar voice on the other. “How fast can you make it to Elizabeth Keen's townhouse?” He paused again. “Because I got a Rat Bastard that needs your usual commando shit as well as protecting Lizzie. I trust no other than you for her protection, my friend.”

Red sighed in relieve as he got his answer. “See you soon Baz.” He hung up and then made his way back inside to wait for his co-head of security as well as his military leader on all his 'Special' ops that he performed.

With a new vigor, Red knew better than to let the world bother him when the very man who disposed of monsters for a living was backing him up.



In less then five minutes a black unmarked SUV pulled up to Lizzie's townhouse and a mysterious man stepped out. He was tall about 5'10” with brown hair that was greying on the ends and a grey beard. If you asked him why not just use Just for Men, he would simply say: “Why chemical your hair when it's just going to come back in a month. Besides, the ladies love greying hair. It makes me look older and experienced. So you can't disappoint the ladies!”

You really couldn't argue with the logic.

As the man took a couple steps towards Lizzie's house, he stopped. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up on end like he was being watched.

Experienced military eyes quickly began to scan the buildings on both sides from Lizzie's house and they shifted to across the street. One of the buildings set the man's Spidey sense off! He began to scan without being obvious about it.

He was startled when the front door opened and Red stepped out. “Baz. Finally a calm mind in the midst of chaos. How are you, my friend?” Red asked as he made his way done the steps towards his old friend.

They made a show of handshaking as well as giving a bro shake for good measure before Red pulled Baz into a hug.

“This house is being watched Red. I just can't pinpoint where until getting the lay of the land.” Baz's baritone voice rolled as he whispered into Red's ear. “I don't think your little lady knows that its happening either.”

“Hmm.” Red gave an affirmative mumble. “That's what I thought but your confirmation just speaks how dire this situation really is. I also think that maybe Tom or his cohort have bugged the house.” Red almost growled in Baz's ear. “She doesn't even know that this happening and in her own home. She has no privacy.”

That was all the go-ahead that Baz needed as he and Red broke apart and made their way up the stairs and inside.

As they step through the threshold, both Red and Baz saw both sisters standing there waiting for them side by side. At the first sign of movement, Baz's blue eyes trained on Hudson as he moved his little body in front of Lizzie when he stepped in through the door with Red.

His eyes left the little dog and began to move around the room, looking for anything out of place. That's when his hawk-like eyes found what was looking for. He quietly tapped Red twice in his side.

In perfect unison, both Red and Baz reached into the coats and pulled out little black notebooks.

Girls, I'm going to give you an alias. But all will be explained later.” Red wrote.

“Girls I like you to meet an old friend of mine, Jeremiah Blake,” Red said all the while trying to keep a straight face at the furious Baz shot him.

When Red looked at the girls his heart soared as glanced over at Lizzie and saw her lips starting to form an amused grin. While Charlie was cough laughing at Baz's expression.

“Pleasure to meet you, girls.” Baz's growled through clutched teeth. His deep, gravelly voice sounded deeper. Baz then turned to Charlie and wrote something down and showed her.

Is there a spare bedroom in this house?” Then Baz wrote again. “Don't speak. Just nod your head, point and then follow me.”

Charlie did as he asked. She nodded her head, pointed upstairs and then led the way to the first door on the right. She watched as the man that Red brought crept towards the window and looked out across the street.

It was when this Baz character started cursing, the little hairs on the back of her neck stood up on end. Something was wrong. Her gut churned!

She barely had time to get out of the way when Baz came barrelling out of the room, stormed past her and made his way down the stairs and into the living room. Red's head shot up as he heard Baz heavy feet pound the wooden steps.

The look that man shot him back caused a shiver to roll up and down his spine. And it wasn't pleasurable shiver he felt every time Lizzie came into his line of vision or in his presence.

No, this was a shiver that had become his six sense. Baz and he had been through a lot of scrapes together over the years and in all that time were able to read each others body language. It had saved their lives and the lives of their associates more times then he could count.

So when he took a chance and glanced at Baz's face, that one look said it all. It said for them to get the hell out of there.

“Okay, Lizzie everything looks good. But Jeremiah feels that just for tonight, you and Hudson should stay with me at the Hyatt.” Red said with a forced smile. He walked over to the couch and helped Lizzie stand.

One thing that Sam had taught both Charlie and Lizzie was to never run away from a fight. But he prayed to any god listening that his Lizzie would pick her battles and not fight this one, let him shoulder the burden.

Lizzie shook her head confused. Something wasn't right and in her own home. She took a glance at Red's face and watched in fascination as Red's gorgeous green eyes darkened. Any other time she would have thought it was hot. But her life was at stake.

He was keeping something from her. “Red,” She began but it was shot down by Red all but pushing her towards the door.

“Charlie packed your things but don't worry about Hudson. We'll stop on the way to the Hyatt and pick up some stuff for him as well.” Red stated, a sensual grin on his face as he grabbed Lizzie's bag, hooked Hudson's leash and placed a comforting hand on the small of Lizzie's back and began gently pushing her towards the door.

She shook her head, Red was trying to change the subject. The poor bastard! Lizzie mentally shook her head. That had been tried so many times she almost laughed out loud at how many times men tried it, she lost count.

Sam nearly had high blood pressure from how times she would rebind to the same subject no matter how times he tried to change it. She was relentless and Charlie was just as bad if not worse. “Red what's going on?” She tried to push again.

“Nothing. We're just going on a trip.” Red said a with placating grin. “Don't worry so much baby.”

“Don't worry!?” Lizzie asked confused. He was definitely trying to channel Sam. It wouldn't work, not with a profiler. “How can I not when you're keeping something from me!?”

Red sighed. He hadn't believed it until he saw it with his own eyes. He just lost $20 to Sam the next time he saw him. But on a happier note, she didn't correct him when he called her 'Baby', so he must not be in the doghouse just yet.

“How's your profiling coming sweetheart?” Red asked as he led both Lizzie and Hudson out the door.

Lizzie, in turn, didn't say anything just gave him a quick glare that set her baby blue yes a flame. She was going to find out the truth one way or another.

“Fine. But I seem to be stuck on this one case.” She said as she made her way door the stairs and towards Red's car.

Ever the gentleman, he opened the door for her and allowed Hudson to enter first and then watched as Lizzie turned back towards, standing between the open door and the back seat. “Maybe I can help. What's the case?” Red asked as reached into his jacket once again and pulled his phone.

“Well, I have this UnSub who happens to be the leader of his own syndicate but has this compulsive need to lie to the people he helps.” Lizzie taunted as she crossed her arms over her chest but Red saw the amused glint in her blue eyes.

“Really,” Red stated with an amused voice, his green eyes sparkling. “Sound's like a real Rat Bastard!” He couldn't keep the amusement out his voice as he pressed the speed dial on his phone and began dialing the all to a familiar number.

Lizzie moved so fast that Red didn't have time to catch her as her tiny fists grabbed the collar of his windbreaker and pulled him down towards her. She turned her head towards the side of his face. “Lie all you want Red. But I will find out what you are hiding and I will get it out of you the hard way or the pleasurable way.” She whispered sensually in his ear. She let go when she felt him shudder.

Red's eyes rolled up in the back of his head and it seemed that his body had a will of its own as it moved towards her and tried to press her against the car.

But Lizzie was wise to his motive and before he could touch her, she moved into the car like a bolt of lighting. She chuckled and gently patted Red's hard chest.

“Red baby if you want this, then you're going to have to earn it and be willing to chase me like a cat to a mouse. Because I'm not a flavor of the week. I don't just lie on my back for the world's number 4 criminal mastermind, it must be earned.” She stated as she started to slide across the seat, only to have a strong hand reach out and gently grab her around the neck.

“Oh, Elizabeth,” Red said as he leaned down to face her, his voice dropping to a deep sensual purr. “You don't want to play the 'Cat and Mouse' game with me. Because when I finally catch you and believe me I will sweetheart, I will have earned the right to be the only presents in your bed.”

Lizzie gasped and then moaned in the back of her throat as Red leaned forward and licked his long tongue across her bottom lip.

“All this game needs me to do is to just sit back wait. And watch as I chase you, watch as I choose you, watch as I win you and most definitely watch as I 'Earn' you!” Red said firmly with a passion in his eyes that she only ever saw the day before when she and Charlie returned to the Post Office after the ambush.

Red!?” The voice sounded from his cell, as the moment was broken between them and Red pulled out from the back once more.

“Mateo my friend we have a situation.” Red began to explain. “How soon can you meet Charlie at the Post Office?”

I can be there in 5 minutes,” Mateo said as he looked at his watch, his hair damp from his shower. “Why, what happened?” Immediately going on the defensive. Something happened this morning, it was either Charlie or Lizzie.

“Tom!” Red growled. It was all he could say. Just seeing the broken look on Lizzie's face was enough to set a fire in his very soul and made his anger burn so hot that he nearly crushed the phone in his hands.

Maldito Bastardo!” Mateo growled on the other end of the phone. “I'll be there. I'm leaving now!” Mateo hung up the phone before Red could say goodbye.

“Goodbye to you Mateo,” Red said sarcastically. He shut the phone looked over at Baz and waved him over.

When the burly, long-haired man ambled his way over to Red and leaned down.

“Baz, I need you to go back inside and get the toolbox and strongbox,” Before Red could finish Baz made a disgruntled noise in the back of his throat.

“Since when did I become your bitch and manservant?” Baz all but growled with an injudicious look on his face. Red opened his mouth but before he could say anything he was interrupted by a snort from the back seat.

Baz leaned and gave Lizzie a slight grin and wink before he stood back up and faced Red once again. “Or do I need to add personal maid on the list as well?” He loved pushing Red's buttons.

“The only reason your pissed and throwing a hissy fit over the fact I'm calling you my bitch is because I turned you down when you asked me to sleep with you,” Red said straight-faced, the only sign of movement was the tick in Red's jaw from amusement.

Lizzie stared at Red for a moment before promptly burst out laughing. She had to clutch her sides. Her time with Red was never going to be dual.

Baz stared at Red his mouth agape in shock before he gave the man in front of him a glare. “The only reason I asked you that was because I was drunk.” He growled his hands on his hips.

“Baz, I told you to avoid the 'Irish Car Bombs' at all costs because I knew you were a lightweight!” Red taunted with an amused grin. “You said you could handle it.”

“I didn't see you give Mateo or Francis this lecture.” Baz crossed his toned arms over his chest, sounding and acting like a petulant child.

“Because Mateo and Francis are smart. They each had two 'Irish Car Bombs' and spent the rest of the night drinking beer. You, on the other hand, had 6 'Irish Car Bombs' and they hit you by the time I got you back to the hotel.” Red said, his amusement bleeding through with each word.

Baz just grunted and growled as he rocked back and forth on his feet.

“Just go in, get the stuff,” Red said as he shooed him towards the townhouse. “The quicker you get in and get the items the quicker you can get out and get a cookie.”

“A cookie,” Baz muttered under his breath as he made his way up the stairs and then turned back around at the top to face Red. “Fuck cookies. I want fucking 'Pie'.”

Before Red could retort, Lizzie's bell-like laughter emerged from the backseat, causing Red to let his amusement of the situation roll all through his body.

“Baz I'm going to take Lizzie back to my hotel. Just meet us at the Hyatt.” Red yelled back at his companion.

“Okay boss.” He said with a wave of his hand. Then a mischievous thought came to mind as he watched Red start enter the car. “And try to keep the hanky-panky down to a minimum kids. You know how I like to watch Red.” Baz said with a salacious wink.

Red's response was to give Baz the one finger salute before his car pulled away with Lizzie and him inside. Baz burst out laughing. This was going to be a fun assignment.




~Post Office~

The bullpen of the Post Office was quiet when Charlie showed up. She never had time to go to her apartment to change.

She couldn't stop thinking! The minute she tried to change her mind about happened this morning, her mind immediately went back to it full force. 'Tom'! That name caused her fists to clutch.

From the moment her sister Elizabeth brought tom home to meet both her and Sam, she never liked him. And their father was closely guarded about his opinion about the matter but Charlie the suspicious feeling that even Sam didn't like him to.

There had been many nights after tom came into their family that Charlie would walk by her dad's study and hear the arguments he would have through the close with someone on the phone.

Whoever it was, had something to do with Tom.

And this latest incident, just proved how she hated him. But it brought up so many questions about the situation. The biggest one that stuck out was: 'how could a school teacher, making minimum wage, have so many ID's?'

And that was why she couldn't shut her mind off. There had to be something she was missing. Something that had stuck out to her but she either put on the back burner or forgot about it at the time because she didn't think it was noteworthy.

With that in mind, she made her way towards her workstation and began to start her investigation. And the first place she began to start was the hospital. Before she began her magic, she plugged in her USB stick and saved anything she found on a ghost drive.

She wasn't halfway through when the elevator dinged and the gate opened. When she lifted her head to see who it was, her jaw hit the table.

Out stepped all 5'8 1/2” tall black haired Adonis. Mateo as always was dressed to the nines and ready to impress. He wore black jeans that showed off his muscular thighs and legs, black cowboy boots, a light grey silk dress shirt made his well-defined chest pop and was slightly opened at the top to show off his gold cross chain that he always wore around his neck.

It had been a present from both his mother and his grandmother. To complete his assemble, Mateo wore his signature black leather jacket and his black hair was damp. His Ray-Ban sunglasses covered his beautiful green eyes.

She knew the minute she saw him slow his walk to a prowl towards her workstation, that he realized she had been staring at him.

“Oh baby girl, if I knew that you wanted to eye-fuck me I could have taken my clothes off,” Mateo said with a grin as he slowly took off his sunglasses and gave her a sly wink.

All of a sudden Charlie banged her elbow on the table so hard that the pain, shock from the resounding BANG shook her out of her staring contest with the man in question. She cleared her throat as she gave Mateo one last look when he placed his sunglasses in the opening of his shirt.

Again all Charlie did was stare at him once more. All of sudden there was a loud SNAP of Mateo's fingers!

“Querida, my eyes are up here.” Mateo teased as pointed from his chest to his eyes. “Jeez now I know how you women feel”

“Y-yes,” Charlie squeaked and cleared her throat. “Because you're like every man in the world. You and all those men, like to watch our asses as we're walking by.” She said. Hoping that Mateo didn't notice the shift in her voice.

“But it's the most magnificent ass I've ever seen!” He said slyly as his green eyes traced down her spine to give her ass another appreciative glance.

Charlie sighed and rolled her cobalt blue eyes. “And this is the very reason that I don't wear revealing clothes in front of you.” She said as she stood up from her workstation.

“Yes but Corina what I would give to see that body in a bikini again.” Mateo teased with another sly look.

She gave him another eye roll at his antics. Instead of answering him, Charlie went about shutting down her USB drive and then disengaging it from her computer and then shut her computer down.

When she looked at Mateo and saw his look, she burst out laughing.

“Mateo, what are you up to?” She asked in an amused voice.

The man in question placed a hand over his heart and gave her a mock hurtful look. “Would I do anything dishonest to you, Carino? My attentions are nothing but sincere.”

“Sure they are.” She said with another roll of her eyes but the grin on her face stretched a mile wide as she crossed her arms over her chest. “What do really want Mateo?”

“Oh querida, you could always see through all the bull shit.” He teased and then his face went serious. “It's not necessarily what I want but more along the lines of a small favor.” Mateo was never one mince words.

“A favor you say,” Charlie hummed but never took her eyes off of Mateo. “This 'Small' favor wouldn't happen to be the bedroom variety would it?” She teased.

Mateo's eyes widen for a split second before a mischievous grin spread across his face. “You know every inch of me, intimately!” He said.

“Okay, that's your ego talking,” Charlie said with a roll of her eyes.

“It's mostly ego because I know what I want.” He said with a shrug of his shoulders and lazy grin graced his lips. Charlie shook her head, he was up to something.

“I have a business meeting in Madrid that will take up most of my time there. And I don't want to go alone but it means 3 glorious weeks for you.” Mateo began as he slowly prowled his way towards Charlie and wrapped his large arms around her waist, effectively trapping her against his body. “It could be a mini vacation for you and this gorgeous body could use some sun.”

Charlie stared at him for what seemed a long, agonizing minute before she burst out laughing and playfully shoved Mateo in this chest but he hardly budged.

“You don't want me to go because it will be a vacation for me, you just want me there so you can see my ass in a bikini.” She said with a knowing grin.
Not too many people were able to call him on his shit but Charlie was one of the rare ones. Maybe that's what attracted him to her in the first place. She saw right through his bull shit and called him out on it.

“Well that's part of it, but I was thinking that with everything that happened in the last few days: you nearly dying in a car accident, your brother-in-law and sister's attack and then from what Red told me this morning,” Mateo paused to let his words sink in and he realized they had by the look on his girl's face. “I just thought this trip would be relaxing for you. Maybe they have some good surfing there and before you say it, we 'Will' be in adjoining bedrooms. What do ya say baby girl?”

Charlie let his words wash over her like a falling rain. Just by his speech alone, she had been tempted. But it would be the first time that she went over to the dark side. She fell on that line when she met him while she was undercover.

“The adjoining rooms does sound promising.” Charlie teased as she pressed her finger to her lips pretended to think but Mateo saw right through her charade and began to tickle her sides.

Before she could stop it, the laughter bubbled up from her stomach as she tried but failed to break free from Mateo's hold. But the more she struggled, the more he kept up his attack. God help him but he loved the sound of her laughter.

“Querida one of these days, that teasing of yours is going to have consequences. Depending on how you feel about them, could be pleasurable for me.” He teasingly growled as he playfully bit Charlie's neck.

Charlie's laughter paused and came out as sort of a choked gasp. And no matter how much she tried, she couldn't stop the shiver that moved down her body from head to toe.

Either this trip was going to end with the both of them in bed together or they were well on their way to repairing the relationship. But Mateo had a long way to go in her opinion.


~ Park Hyatt ~

From the very minute they entered his hotel suite, Red couldn't take his eyes off of Lizzie. Watching the young woman seating on the couch staring off into space, looking almost broken, broke his heart.

Where was the woman so full of passion that she made him question his sense of worth? Where did the woman who was not afraid to stand up to him and not back down when other man cowered go? What happened to the woman who so fiery, boldly and passionately barged her way into his hotel suite, grabbed his pen and boldly as you please stabbed him in the carotid artery, what happened to her?

From the moment he saw her at the Post Office, he wanted to be between her legs.

What red-blooded American male wouldn't! She had a way of trying to him to her, and that was just her walking down the stairs. She was graceful like 'Grace Kelley' or 'Marilyn Monroe' but she had moved with the sleekness of a panther.

But from her reaction of how the day went, Red knew this would happen eventually. He had watched her tease and joke with Baz before they had left the townhouse but he had known that when the shock had finally set in, Lizzie would either beak or go catatonic.

His Lizzie! His strong, passionate, beautiful woman; look so defeated and broken in his eyes.  

Red knew if it was the last thing he did, he would find a way to get his passionate strong willed girl, her confidence back. Tom broke his baby!

That one word caused Red to stutter step in his usual swagger. He was shocked. He continued his way to the bar and fixed himself a scotch. Since when did he start to consider Lizzie his 'baby' or 'his girl'?

Then he chuckled as his mind gave him a quick answer. From the moment he saw her walk down the stairs at the Post Office and when he had her profile him.

He was pulled out of his thoughts when the door to his suite opened and his big and burly guard stepped in.

“I got the goods boss.” Baz loudly proclaimed but stopped short when Red shot him a deadly glare.

The guard made his way over to the bar where Red was now occupied as his steely hard blue eyes swerved towards the couch and watched Lizzie stare into space.

Baz sighed and then turned back towards Red and sighed. “She hasn't moved since I left?”

The man in question shook his head, not taking his green eyes off the precious cargo seating on his couch. “Nope!” The p made a popping sound as he drawn it out.

“Well, her sitting on the couch isn't do anything to help her,” Baz growled as he made to stand and make his way towards Lizzie only to stopped by a strong hand on his arm.

“Lizzie has been through enough right now Baz. Tom's falsehoods only compound what that woman has been through.” Red stated, his deadly glare still firmly in place. “Let us not forget that she and her sister were nearly killed a day ago.”

A grunt was the only acknowledgment he received from the guard.

Red sighed and turned his attention back to Lizzie. “The best course of action right now is let Lizzie allow her mind time to adjust to what she found out today.” He said firmly.

“And what happens if she still remains the same?” Baz asked amused raising a teasing eyebrow.

“Then and only then will I intervene,” Red said seriously.

He long gave up the need of prayers especially the night his precious Jessica had died. Red had cursed God, any god for that matter, that would allow an innocent child to die. But watching Lizzie right now, he sent just a little prayer up to any god that was listening.

Until then, it was just a waiting game. And when she finally came around, Red would tell her that Baz would be her guard.


~ Madrid, Spain ~

It was 2:30 in the morning when Charlie and Mateo touched down in Madrid. From the moment they left Washington, the only thing that went through Charlie's mind: was her sister alright!?

When they arrived at the hotel, Mateo led her to her room. The whole way his hand was placed on the small of her back. But for her role, Charlie leaned into him. She was so exhausted that Mateo was essentially holding her up.

By the time she made it to her room, Charlie fell asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow. 

When the morning came, Charlie felt like she had been on a three-day bender.

She stumbled into the shower and let the hot water cascade down her body, relieving her of the soreness and drowsiness from the day before. The hot water was like a fountain of youth. It rejuvenated her! It was like the water was washing away all her troubles and the anger she felt for 'Tom' and allowed her her focus on her vacation as Mateo called it.




~ Wujing Aftermath ~

It had been a whole solid week! A week that had been long and arduous.

Lizzie would be the first to admit that she might have lost her temper a little bit when Red told her that he had Mateo take her older sister to Madrid with him. Not that she didn't appreciate it but it would have been nice to at least say goodbye to Charlie.

But even in her mind, Lizzie knew that Charlie needed a break from her after all the hell they had been through lately.

And then Lizzie decide the most stupid thing in the world. She decided to go back to work! Which Red was not pleased about at all. She kind of blindsided him with her statement that she needed something to do other than staring at a 72” TV screen and the four walls of Red's Park Hyatt suite.

Red just stared at Lizzie who would not be intimidated so she stared right back. Neither were backing down an inch until their reverie was shattered by the deep voice of her new bodyguard.

“You may not like the large TV darlin' but I've found in my vast experience, that it's pretty good for porn!”

Lizzie still had to roll her eyes at that conversation. She realized that she would have to watch what she said around Baz because her guard had NO filter.

After signing the usual forms that field would sign after back from the forced leave that Cooper had put both herself and Charlie on, when she walked back into the bullpen she immediately thrust back into the hunt for Blacklisters. Of course, this was all Ressler's idea.

She knew that she was in for it when Red swaggered in the Post Office with usual air of confidence.

“I come bearing gifts my dear Harold and Donald.” Red had said but that would be all for not when 'Donald' informed him that they already found their blacklister without his 'so-called' help.

For one small moment, Lizzie honestly thought that Red was going to beat Ressler to death or shoot him! Either way was just as hot. She shook her head with a small smile forming at that thought. Lizzie had been thinking about that a lot lately.

The past week Lizzie felt her mind drift back and forth from Tom to Red and then back again. Especially with what happened today. Against her better judgment, she listened to Ressler and with Red's help, infiltrated Wujing's base posing as a hacker. But she didn't know a thing about being a hacker. That was her sister!

Lizzie honestly thought she got her and Red caught but Red covered her ass by framing one of Wujing's other hackers. After the poor bastard was killed, Wujing handed Red an envelope! But she didn't want to know! All she cared about was Red taking her home, drawing her a nice warm bath and giving her a soothing massage!

 Where had that all come from? She never felt more confused in her life!

Of course, what probably started this train of thought would have to be when Red saddled up close to her during the course of the op with Wujing. He placed his left hand on the back of her chair and let his thumb rub up and down her spine, sending shivers all throughout her body.

Now that everything with Wujing was cleared up, the blacklister caught and arrested trying to escape, all she could do is stare out the window trying to get her mind to focus on one man. Tom!

But no matter how hard she tried she couldn't do it. When she thought of Tom, all she could see was that Son of a Bitch sitting there doing nothing as Zamani's men beat her and Zamani himself molested her.

When the car finally pulled in front of the Hyatt, Red and Lizzie just sat there. Staring. Baz let out a sigh. The silence was just too much, it was killing him.

“Welcome to the Park Hyatt Ladies and Germs,” Baz began monologue. “Next stop Lingerie! Which Ms. Keen could use some more of.”

Lizzie stared at her guard, her mouth agape as Baz in return gave a luscious wink. “How would you know that I need lingerie?” Lizzie asked as she cleared her throat then gave Baz a glare. “Did you go through my underwear drawer?”

Before Baz could say anything, he felt a hard hand squeeze his right shoulder. “Yes Baz inquiring minds want to know. Did 'You' go through Lizzie's underwear drawer?” Red asked in a hard tone. Baz turned around slowly and faced his friend's cold hard stare.

“Now Red,” Baz began with an innocent look in his blue eyes. “You know that's not in my job description! But you never know where those nasty little buggers called Bombs, could be hiding.”

Just as Red opened his mouth to say something, his Lizzie beat him to it. Red sat back with a shit eating grin.

Lizzie reached over the seat snapped Baz upside the head. “That's bull shit and you know it. Why would I hide a bomb in my underwear drawer?” She said sternly. A hard glint formed in her baby blue eyes. Red would be the first to admit that he was just a little bit turned on.

“Well, I don't know. Could it be that you maybe love the 'Explosive' quality that Red gives you when you think he's not looking?” Baz asked in a mocking voice but he wasn't malicious.

When she turned to her left and saw the wild, hot, lustful and passionate look on his face, Lizzie slowly reclined back in her seat beside Red. A blush formed on her cheeks.

“Well, the air in this car alone just got hotter!” Baz groused with a shake of his head. “I'll leave you two kids to it but you probably only have a selective hearing right now. Squirrel!” He yelled as he jumped from the vehicle.

Red watched his friend, personal guard, and head of his security leap from the car with a shake of his head. While his Lizzie was trying to keep a straight face.

“Sometimes I wonder about the man's sanity.” Red teased with a hint of affection in his voice.

The woman beside him released a suppressed giggle. “Gee Red, if I knew that you wanted to be alone with Baz and get have 'him' in your bed and have at  in the biblical sense, I would have gone to another hotel on FBI's dime.” Lizzie teased and then let out a full-blown laugh at Red's shocked expression.

As if he heard her, Baz knocked on the back window. When Red turned his head towards his guard Baz threw him a kissy face. This was followed by Red throwing Baz a bland look and giving the cheeky bastard the middle finger. Lizzie was practically losing it. She laughed so hard that she had to clutch her sides.

“Well, it's nice to see that I'm the butt of all your jokes.” Red pouted. But on the inside, he was happy to see that his Lizzie was laughing and smiling.

“Aw, poor baby.” Lizzie teased with a grin. “It's just so hard to get good help these days.”

He sighed as he leaned back further in his seat and then rolled his head towards Liz and gave her a heated looked. “Oh ain't it the truth baby!” Red said lustfully.

'There was that word again!' Elizabeth thought to herself as another shiver ran down her spine and caused happy feeling in her Va-jay-jay! Between Red's look, his voice and the use of 'Baby', she was going to start going commando.

Knowing that he caused sweet things to happen to her body, Red decided that they had hidden in the car long enough.

“Well this has been a pleasant conversation sweetheart, what do you say we go inside and make use of the hotel's restaurant,” Red said with a smug look as he started to open the door. “I hear their Shrimp Scampi is to 'Die' for!”

Just as Red was about to exit the vehicle, he was grabbed by the arm and forcefully pulled back into the car. “Lizzie if you wanted your wicked way with me, all you had to do was wait until we were in our suite.” Red teased, his sharp green eyes glinting with amusement.

“Shut up!” Was all Lizzie said as she started to shut the back door only to find a hand stop her process.

“Now Ms. Keen,” Baz began. “We both know how your blood sugar goes when you don't eat on time. Why don't we exit the car and see if we can get you some food.”

Lizzie baby blue eyes darken slightly as she reached for a magazine and began to roll it up. Just has Baz reached in the car and began to pull Lizzie out, Lizzie brought the rolled up mag down hard on his hand.

“Ow! Christ woman!” Baz yelled as he grabbed the door handle.

“And you can shut up too,” Lizzie growled as she to grabbed the inside door handle and reefed door back as hard as she could. Baz had no choice but to follow the forward momentum of the back door slamming shut causing him to run into it and slamming his face against the edge.

“God Dammit!” Baz swore. “You see Red, this is why I bang hookers!” He yelled but his voice was muffled partly from the door and his hand.

Red could only snort at Baz's discomfort as he turned his gaze to the beautiful, feisty but tiny woman beside him. “Sweetheart, if you wanted me alone all you had to do was ask. It's a tight fit but I'm sure we can make this backseat work.” Red teased.

“Be serious for once in your life Red, this is a serious situation,” Lizzie said as she slapped him on the shoulder to get him to focus.

“I am being serious.” Red began. “We need a bigger car if we are going utilize the backseat for what you want.”

Lizzie just stared at the man beside her. She still couldn't figure out how this polarizing man could draw her in with just a look. Tom never drew her in this much when they first met. It took 2 months for him to get her to even talk to him. From the very beginning, she felt that tom needed to earn her trust but there had been something about him that felt off to her. She shook it off, thinking it was just her wandering mind and Charlie talking.

Made she should have listened to her sister then she wouldn't have been in this position.

But then as she thought about her first meeting with Raymond 'Red' Reddington 2 weeks ago and that had blown her mind away. 'Literately'! She couldn't explain it even herself but she felt a connection with Red from the very first time she saw in the box.

Maybe that new age imagery that her older sister sprouted had some truth it.

Maybe just maybe, there was some truth to finding one's True Love or Soulmate and maybe that other half of her soul was sitting right beside.

“If I did 'fuck' you Red like I want to,” Lizzie began and then leaned closer. “We wouldn't be leaving this car and we would most definitely be giving Baz a show that I know you don't want him to see.”

Red stared at her, his green wide in shock. Before he could open his mouth to say anything a fist pounded the window beside them.

I can second that call, Thank You Very Much!” Baz exclaimed with a thankful look. “I get paid the big bucks to protect not only your gorgeous self-baby girl but also the Jack-ass beside you. I DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT wish to see Red's white ass. There is not enough mind bleach in the World!” He stated as he gave Red the evil eye.

Lizzie snorted in disbelieve. “Why do I get the feeling that the both of you have been in that type of position before?!” She asked with a teasing grin.

"That's because we have sweetheart,” Red stated with a pleasing smile. “And we 'Vowed' never to speak of it again! But since Big mouth brought it up,”

At that moment the back seat door was flung open. “Red don't you dare!” Baz all but growled as he pointed a finger at him.

“You were the one who chose to bring up my 'Lily White Ass' as you so gracefully called it.” Red taunted as he settled back in his seat and leaned close to Lizzie. “So I call fair game.”

Baz growled as he leaned out of the car mumbling “Fair game my ass!” As he slammed the door shut causing Lizzie to break into a round of giggles.

“What is this big secret that Baz is hoping you forgot?” Lizzie asked as her giggling fit weaned down.

“Oh that. Well, let's just say that Mr. Baz was hoping I would forget an incident that involved him when we were in Amsterdam, Netherlands, two years ago.” Red's deep velvet voice was hypnotic as he drew her in as he turned his green-eyed stare towards with a cheeky grin.

“What was it?” Lizzie asked softly as she leaned closer.

“I came back to our to our safe house with a lady friend, Giselle I think her name was,” Red began but when he saw Lizzie's glare he gave her a cheeky grin as he gently cups her face and his thumb grazed her cheek. “Now retract the claws my little Kitten. Giselle was only a friend and will always remain that way. But this particular night, we had drinks and then asked Giselle if she would like a homemade espresso. So we made our back to my safe house when heard the sound of slapping skin. We made our way upstairs, my gun was drawn and as we drew closer to the door I forcefully kicked the door only to get the shock of my life,” Red paused as he shivered at the memory while Lizzie was hanging on his every word. “I found Baz drunk as a shuck with no knowledge that he was in bed with a transvestite whose name was Sapphire I believe her name was.”

Lizzie sat back in shock and blinked owlishly at Red before she promptly burst out laughing.

“Oh My God!” Lizzie exclaimed as she broke out into another round of giggles. “I'm so not letting Baz live this down.”

“Which makes me be in Baz's bad graces for a few weeks, but it's worth it sweetheart.” Red teased as he gently chucked her under the chin and then turned to exit the car.

Once again his way was stopped by his feisty Lizzie.

“Red you didn't have to kill him, Jin Sun I mean,” Lizzie said with a serious look.

“Sweetheart listen to me and listen well. I believe I will always do whatever I feel I have to do to keep you alive.” Red firmly proclaimed as he reached around Lizzie and cupped the back of her head, letting his fingers curl around her light brown tresses.

Satisfied with the answer Lizzie allowed herself to be pulled closer. She stared into Red's green eyes that had become a shade darker as she gently touched his face. “What we talked about this morning, I held up my end of the deal Red. Now it's your turn. You owe me an answer.” She said then gasp when she felt Red brush his nose on the side her neck.

“What's the question?” Red teased as he tried to distract her by replacing his nose with his lips. Loving the little kitten mewls she made.

Lizzie gasped and moaned again. This was better than Tom. Of course, that was Lizzie's cold water and reluctantly pulled away but not out of Red's arms. “Why me and Charlie?”

Now it was Red's turn to sigh. “Because of your father.” He said as he absently ran his hand up and down her arms, his fingers gently brushing against her shoulders and neck as he went.

The silence in the car spoke volumes. You could cut through it with a knife. Lizzie could only gape at Red in shock. “What does that mean? Did you know our fathers? Have the three of you met somehow?” She inquired. She had so many questions. Was her father and Charlie's father alive?

“I wish the answer were as simple as the question seems, sweetheart,” Red said with a sigh as he gently and lovingly brushed Lizzie's hair out of her face. “But the truth is, the question isn't simple either. I share your frustration.”

Lizzie nodded with a sigh. “You make it seem so easy.” She said softly. “You act like we're the same. But your wrong Red.” She stated as she turned her baby blues on him. “I have a life...people who care about me and a marriage or what little of it there is. But you...” Lizzie paused as she glanced around the car. “This is all you have babe.”

Red's chest fluttered at the use of the term of endearment. His darkened to a deeper shade of green as he growled. The rumble cause Lizzie to shiver as he reached across the seat forcefully pulled her into his lap “I have you!” He simply said, his voice deep as velvet and molten milk chocolate.

Then in a move that Lizzie and cause her to laugh giddily, Red cupped the back of her head with both hands, his palms fanning out on either side of her face as he pulled into a deep passionate bruising kiss. He then set a stunned Lizzie back in her seat and exited the car.

Elizabeth Catriona Scott-Keen blushed scarlet as she watched Red walk towards the entrance of the hotel and pause to wait for her. She brought a hand up and began fanned herself.

He was going to make this hard when she did have to go back to Tom. He was going make it difficult to leave him and at this point, she wasn't quite sure she wanted to.




~ Beach, Madrid, Spain ~

Mateo's villa in Spain had been the perfect place for Charlie to pause, relax and reflect on all she had been through. Especially all their hell. It had been hard spending these last 3 weeks alone together in the very house that he promised he would bring her too.

She didn't do much exploring of the house itself, mostly she spent time traveling back and forth from the kitchen to her bedroom to the beach. But mostly she didn't want to see Mateo with any of his women.

It didn't matter how many times he said until she saw with her own eyes he didn't have another girl, she wouldn't believe it.

Being the avid surfer that she was, Charlie had found herself drawn to the beach when they first arrived. She was mostly left to her own devices so she found herself out here so relax to the sound of the waves.

So it didn't surprise any of the guards that they would find Charlie out on the beach with night sky looming overhead. The guards had been kind enough to light a large bonfire on the beach for her as a way to celebrate her last night there. She stood the landing where the stairs led to the beach.

Her hands clasped the railing. Her honey brown hair billowed in the breeze as she watched the waves beat against the shore. She dressed in a blue vintage BOHO angel 70's bell sleeve hippie top, a black bikini top was visible underneath as one of the sleeves rolled off her shoulder and to finish the look, a pair of light stonewash Daisy Duke short shorts.

On her left wrist, Charlie wore a brown beaded Bahamian bracelet. The leather ties hung freely. It had been a gift from an anonymous friend but she knew who had sent it to her. But she wasn't going to tell Mateo that she loved it just yet.

She sighed again. All of this silence made her crawl inside her head.

Charlie turned towards her portable iPod dock that she brought out with her and turned it on. She turned the volume up and began to sing to the first song that came on.

“Right From the start
You were a thief you stole my heart
And I your willing victim
I let you see the parts
That weren't all that pretty
And with every touch, you fixed them
Now you've been talking in your sleep
Oh, oh
Things you never say to me
Oh, oh
Tell me that you had enough
Of our love, our love”

Her voice carried into the house like a siren luring wayward sailors to their doom. But to Mateo, it was siren's call that he would gladly follow. He walked down the stairs, barefoot that led to the beach clad in black designer dress pants and a white Armani shirt.

When Charlie looked over her shoulder and saw Mateo making her way towards her, she turned and made her way towards the beach and walked across barefoot in the sand.

Chorus Charlie:
“Just give me a reason
Just a little bit's enough
Just a second – we're not broken, just bent
And we can learn to love again
It's in the stars
It's been written in the scars on our hearts
We're not broken, just bent
And we can learn to love again”

Charlie didn't make it very far before Mateo's long stride caught up to her. He gently grabbed her arm and spun her back towards him until she crashed into his muscular chest. She couldn't help the gasp that released from her lips.

This was so where she didn't want to be right now. She began to struggle until Mateo wrapped his large arms around her and held her to his chest.

Mateo & Charlie & Both:
“I'm sorry I don't understand where all this is coming from
I thought that we were fine
(Oh we had everything)
Your head is running wild again
My dear, we still have everything
And it's all in your mind
(Yeah but this is happening)
Now you've been having real bad dreams
Oh, oh
You used to lie so close to me
Oh, oh
There's nothing more than empty sheets
Between our love, our love
Oh, our love, our love, love”

Mateo began to sway Charlie back and forth with the music. His voice joining hers in perfect harmony. He spun her away from him, twirled her around the sand a few times then spun back into perfect Merengue position.

Mateo & Both:
“Just give me a reason
Just a little bit's enough Just a second – we're not broken, just bent
And we can learn to love again
I've never stopped
You're still written in the scars on my heart
You're not broken, just bent
And we can learn to love again”

They moved as one. One heart, one mind, and one body. Neither pulling the others close but neither pulling the other way. Mateo and Charlie were repairing what had been broken a year ago and were forming a new memory. One that wouldn't be shattered by the real world around them.

In a fluid motion, Mateo forcibly pulled Charlie closer to his chest. With his hands on her hips, he bent her backward so her honey brown hair touched the sand and then pulled her up against his chest again.

Mateo & Charlie:
“Oh, tears ducts are rust
I'll fix it for us
We're collecting dust but our love's enough
You're holding it in
You're pouring a drink
No nothing is as bad as it seems
We'll come clean”

The music gave Mateo just enough time to toss Charlie in the air in a perfect toss-throw and then catch her in a dip. He then righted her and twirled as the music picked up again.

“Just give me a reason
Just a little bit's enough
Just a second we're not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again
It's in the stars
It's been written in the scars on our hearts
That we're not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again”

They waltzed and twirled in the sand as the music was drawing to a close but each step brought them closer together.

“Just give me a reason
Just a little bit's enough
Just a second we're not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again
It's in the stars
It's been written in the scars on our hearts
That we're not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again”

When the song was coming to a close, Charlie found herself pressed almost hard against Mateo's chest. She couldn't stop her hand to rub against his cheek.

“Oh, can learn to love again
Oh, can learn to love again
That we're not broken just bent
And we can learn to love again”

It was at that moment that neither had realized the song had ended. By the last chorus of the song, Charlie and Mateo were staring at each other. Their eyes focused on the other.

Just as Charlie partially broke the spell and started to pull away was stopped by Mateo.

He took the initiative and let his right hand brush through the soft honey brown tendrils. He pulled her closed and kissed her like a man drowning. When he pulled away to allow her a chance to catch her breath, his intense green eyes stared back at her with pure love, determination, and understanding.

“Charlotte Samantha Scott! I want you to know that I meant what I said a couple weeks ago when I saw you again. I'm going to prove to you that my love for you was real and still is.” Mateo said with a serious voice. “I'm not walking away and giving this up. Not when I found the other half of my soul.”

Charlie could only stare at Mateo's retreating back as he made way back towards the house. The sound of the ocean drowned out her iPod as fingers gently brushed her lips where Mateo kissed her.
A small smile began to form. Maybe making Mateo work his way back into her good graces, was working.