Unforeseen Dives – 32a – Secrets

<< Vb – A Walk in the Park

The phone call took me by surprise so intensely that I hardly slept all weekend. Friday was a tiresome experience; PSI ceased to exist, people insisted on sharing one last happy hour and I got the call when I arrived home. Within hours, my life was re-written and weekend wasn’t quite enough to cope with the change. Unfortunately, I couldn’t afford to take more time. I still wasn’t sure how I would keep this whole thing a secret when I walked into my new office.
“Cassidy,” Daniel greeted me with a hug. “I’m sorry you had to go through this.” He sounded sincere. After all, we shared the rollercoaster ride.
The FBI needed the dissolution of PSI to leave no doubt. For all intent and purposes, it wasn’t a lie. Only a handful of us were recruited in the first reader covered operation in history. We hadn’t been told about our new assignment before the dissolution so that our reactions would ring true. We weren’t trained spies who could lie as they breathed and within an office of psychics and telepaths, lying always was a gamble. On the other hand, if our colleagues were convinced we were in the same boat as them, they had no reason to peek into our mind or future. Not that such a breach in etiquette was common.
Adapting to living a lie made me highly uncomfortable. I could easily manage my family and my psychic friends; we weren’t all that close. I had to figure out how I would hide the truth from telepaths who usually had permission to read my mind. Friends like Casey always asked before reading but I rarely turned them down. If I started refusing to be read all the time, I might as well shout that I had something to hide.
“You seem worried.” Daniel stated as he lead me through the corridors of the unknown building. For anybody on the outside, I was hired by a bank, following my mother’s footsteps once my career with the government had abruptly ended. I did feel like this was a new job. I scouted new territories.
“I’m not sure I can keep this a secret.”
“We’re a bit worried too. I trust you to make it work.” Daniel smiled. I suspected management wouldn’t be at ease with my situation.
The other psychics who remained part of the team told their families they were travelling and searching for themselves with the fat bonus the government gave them. In fact, they lived in this building, forbidden to step outside. That greatly limited the security risk as their friends would have a hint of something wrong dangling in front of their face.
Since I was a public figure, I couldn’t be stashed away for months. I needed to be out for Nadina Perez’s trial and journalists wanted my reactions to the dissolution of PSI. But I couldn’t shield my thoughts like a telepath. I was a security risk. I was also the lead investigator for this special task force. Maybe I could train with Rebecca and find a way to thwart telepathic invasions of my mind.
We arrived at my new office. It was fairly neutral but the wooden paneling that covered the lower half of each walls brought warmth to the place. Becky waited for us. She officially worked as a security guard for the bank.
“I liked the old one better.” She muttered when she saw us. Rebecca didn’t handle change very well and this was huge. At least, my huge map of the Ocean’s whirlpool familiarly filled a wall and our paintings hung by the window. Rebecca handed me a tall latte. Something else that hadn’t change.
“Where is my chair?” I asked Daniel.
“Every investigation-related element can be hidden so this office looks less governmental.” Daniel headed for the wall. He pushed on the paneling. The plank popped open, revealing a few buttons. “The first two are the only compartment you’re using so far.”
He pressed the first one and a panel that looked like the other walls slid in front of the map, hiding it completely. The second button unlocked a part of the paneling. Daniel grabbed the corned and pulled. A small width of the lower half of the wall rotated. My chair appeared.
“You just have to push it pack in place when it’s done.” Daniel concluded.
“So the paneling isn’t just there to be pretty, then. It hides the hinges and such.” He smiled in response to my assessment.
“I leave you to it. My office is above yours and so is the rest of the team. Since all the floors above are theoretically apartments, the bank’s elevators don’t go there. You’ll have to use the secondary elevator and the end of the corridor.” We nodded in understanding and he left.
I turned to Rebecca. We toasted with our coffee cups and sipped in silence. Neither of us were really at ease.
“What do you hate the most?” I asked with a forced but playful smile.
“The couches aren’t nearly as comfortable as the old ones.” She joked. “And you?”
“I’ll have huge problems lying to Casey.” If only undercover ops needed a PR department.
“Just stop seeing him. It would probably be healthier anyway.” Rebecca reopened the Ocean’s map and closed the panel hiding the buttons.
“No. I can’t.” I sat on the corner of the desk. I felt weak and it wasn’t only because of the lack of sleep. I fought for everything these days and nothing ended up like I wanted.
“Cass, the way you two waltz around each other isn’t good. The Ocean scared you the hell away from him. Can’t you move on?” Tears swelled in my eyes.
“Besides you, he’s the only close person I have left. I’m not burning that bridge.” My voice held a harshness I didn’t expect.
“Let me get this straight.” Rebecca replied with a dry tone that matched my own. “You’re uneasy because you have to cut ties for the time of the investigation with the man you love but won’t be with.” Her hands rolled into fists. “Even if it threatens this task force and the safe return of my husband.”
I wondered if I would ever sleep again.

32b – Secrets >>

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About Aheïla

Somewhere in Quebec City, Aheïla works as a Game Design Director by day and writes by night. Known for her blue hair, unyielding dynamism and tasty cooking (quails, anyone?), she’s convinced “prose is the new crack”. She satisfies her addiction daily on The Writeaholic’s Blog and weekly on Games' Bustles View all posts by Aheïla

6 responses to “Unforeseen Dives – 32a – Secrets

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