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“So, then she said she was tired of never seeing me, and tired of wondering if I was going to make it home every night!” Diana threw back the rest of her gin and tonic and slouched on her stool.

Anjali flagged down the bartender for another round and looked quizzically at Diana. “You’ve never been the cheating type, Christy has to know that--”

“No,” Diana shook her head. “She didn’t think I was cheating, she was just worrying that I’d landed in the hospital or been shot dead on a case.”

Anjali’s glass made a loud thump on the bar when she set it down. “What? I thought you were in White Collar. You said it was all paper-pushing.” She glared at Diana, and Diana reflected that Anjali’s glare made her feel even guiltier now than it had when they were dating, which just wasn’t fair.

“There was this thing on an undercover case,” Diana said. “I had to shoot a guy.”

“Or he would’ve shot you?” Anjali guessed. She gave Diana a shrewd look. “I can see how that would be unnerving. And you told Christy all about it, did you?”

Diana shrugged. “Had to. I promised myself I wouldn’t keep my work life a secret from anyone I dated, or lie about it to make them feel better.” She avoided meeting Anjali’s eyes; that was a promise she’d made after Anjali had sat her down in their studio, told her she couldn’t be with someone who wasn’t being honest with her, and walked out the door with her suitcase.

“Well, I’m glad you’ve learned something,” Anjali said, and winced. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to sound so harsh. But anyway, you’ve been dating Christy for what, nine months? How come this hasn’t come up already?”

“We met right before I transferred to D.C. It’s all lobbyist bribery and break-ins at the Patent Office down there.” D.C. had been stifling and full of rich men who believed they were above the law because they could buy the people who made it. New York had been like a breath of fresh air; at least the cons that she took down here were honest about being criminals. They knew they were breaking the law, they knew the risks they ran, and when she caught them, they paid the consequences. Diana continued, “It’s not as hot as what the Bureau sees here. The most danger I ever got into was being bored to death staking out a gala at the Kennedy Center.”

“So New York’s been an adjustment for her in more ways than one, huh?” Anjali quirked an eyebrow at Diana. “You’re like a superhero, you know. Mild-mannered suit in D.C., FBI action hero in New York.”

“I’m definitely doomed, then,” Diana sighed. “Leading a double life never did any favors for Superman’s love life.”

Anjali’s phone beeped, and she peered at the screen. “Sorry, that’s Renay. I’ve got to go,” she said, flashing Diana an apologetic smile. “We’re supposed to get dinner in Hell’s Kitchen in an hour.” She slid on her coat and shouldered her bag, then patted Diana’s shoulder. “Look, don’t worry,” she said. “You’ll find someone, someone who’s as brilliant and independent as you are, and won’t be scared by your job.”

“If you have anyone in mind, give me her number,” Diana joked, and smiled. Anjali was like a foundation stone, stalwart and dependable. In the end, they hadn’t worked as girlfriends, but they made damned good friends. Anjali kissed her cheek and left, gently pushing through the happy hour crowd to get to the door.

It was time for her to head home, too, Diana thought. The apartment felt gloomier with all of Christy’s stuff gone, but sitting around in a bar wasn’t going to fix that. Maybe she’d redecorate the place. Diana closed out her tab and headed out the door, pulling on her scarf. The fall air was nippy, and she tugged her scarf tighter as she checked her phone for messages.

“Stop! Thief!” A yell from close by alerted Diana just as someone crashed into her and sent them both sprawling onto the sidewalk. She caught herself on her hands as her phone went flying, and looked over just in time to see a Asian female in her early 20s get to her feet, a long tube clutched in her hands. No, you don’t, she thought, and launched herself at her, pinning her against the windows of the bar. Through the glass, she could see the people inside gawking at them, some of them holding up their phones to take pictures.

“You!” A very angry woman stalked over to them and shoved a baton in the thief’s neck. “Nice try, buddy,” she growled. “You can tell your employer that my client knows exactly who he is, and she’s willing to press charges if this keeps going.”

Diana pointedly pushed the baton away and flashed her badge. “Excuse me,” she said to the woman, and did a double-take. “Sara? What’s going on here?”

Sara glanced at her, but kept her attention on the thief, who now looked like she wanted to melt through the sidewalk. “Agent Barrigan. It’s a personal matter. You,” she said to the thief, “give that back to me, and I can pretend I didn’t see you try to walk out of my client’s house with a Seurat rolled up in that tube.”

The thief looked between the two of them, obviously calculating her odds. “Don’t even think about running,” Diana advised her. She jerked her head at Sara. “She nearly caught you, and now there are two of us. You can hand that over and take your chances with her, or you can come with me. Either way, you lose the painting.” She pulled a pair of zip ties out of her pocket and held them up for the thief to see. The key to playing good cop, bad cop was being convincingly menacing.

The thief pushed the tube at Sara, then slowly put up her hands, showing that she wasn’t holding anything else. Sara stepped back and gestured for Diana to do the same. Diana didn’t move. “Are you sure you want to let her go?” she asked.

“A deal’s a deal,” Sara answered, and Diana stepped back. The thief slowly edged away from them, then bolted down the street and into the nearest subway stop.

“Thanks,” Sara said, examining the tube. She made a satisfied sound, then collapsed her baton and stowed it in her purse.

“No problem,” Diana answered, looking at Sara. She didn’t look even slightly mussed from the foot chase, and she was, Diana noticed, wearing four inch heels. “You chase down a lot of suspects on your own? Sounds dangerous.”

“Part of the job,” Sara said, waving a hand dismissively. “A little bit of danger makes life interesting.” She gave Diana a mischievous smile.

“Really. It’s hell on a love life, though,” Diana said, before she could stop herself. She winced. Damn, that was not smooth, she thought, and as if to prove it, Sara’s smile dimmed.

“I don’t bother with anyone who can’t keep up with me,” Sara said. “Thanks for the help, Agent Barrigan.” She turned and began walking up the street.

Damnit, Diana thought, and before she could think better of it, she snatched up her phone from the sidewalk and hurried after Sara. “Wait,” she called.

Sara turned around. “Yes?”

Diana caught up with her. “Sorry about that,” she said. “About what I said.”

An expression of surprise crossed Sara’s face, then she smiled. “It’s no problem,” she said. “I imagine it’s something you’ve dealt with.”

“Too much,” Diana agreed. Sara’s cheeks were flushed--with exertion, or from the high of catching a thief? She paused, then plunged forward. “My last girlfriend broke up with me because of that, actually.”

Sara’s expression didn’t change. “Mine, too,” she said, and snorted. “She thought insurance investigator meant I was sitting in a cubicle all day.”

Diana couldn’t help laughing at the thought of Sara chained to a desk, wearing a frumpy suit and drinking bad coffee. Sara was, to the contrary, immaculately dressed in a crisp trench coat and a pale green silk scarf that wound softly around her neck. It made her hair glow, Diana noted. “That’s hard to imagine,” she agreed.

Sara paused, then said, “I need to get this back to the office,” gesturing with the tube, “but let’s get dinner sometime. My treat, as a thank you for your help back there.”

“Are you asking me out?” Diana raised an eyebrow, surprised.

“Could be,” Sara said, raising an eyebrow right back. “Call me,” she said, and then she was walking away again.

This was unexpected, Diana thought. She watched Sara go, a brisk figure in a trench coat and heels--and a recovered painting under her arm and a baton in her designer purse. Unexpected, but not unwelcome. She smiled to herself, and headed home.