Cut and run, p.60

Cut & Run, page 60

 part  #1 of  Cut & Run Series


Cut & Run

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Page 60


  “GOOD to see you doing well, Special Agent Grady,” the secretary offered insincerely as Ty entered the outer office.

  “Good to see the stick still firmly lodged, Princess,” Ty responded as he walked right by her and waved for her to tell Burns that he was there. She puffed up angrily and jabbed at the intercom to announce him.

  Ty entered the Assistant Director’s office and stopped short. Over the past five or six hours, he had allowed himself to hope that his new partner would really be his old one. That Burns had finally pulled Zane out of that hell in Miami and brought him back to the Special Crimes unit. But now, he saw with a sinking sensation that his new partner was already here, sitting in one of the chairs opposite Burns with a leather portfolio in his lap, taking notes.

  Holy Jesus, he was taking notes.

  The young man looked up and over his shoulder to study Ty as Burns started talking. “Special Agent Grady, thank you for joining us. This is David Reese. ”

  The blond man stood, clutching the folder to his chest. Bright green eyes shone through wire-rimmed glasses. “Special Agent Grady,” Reese said.

  “It’s great to meet you. ”

  Ty remained planted where he was, staring at the kid. He looked to Burns with sheer outrage glinting in his eyes. “What the shit is this?” he asked.

  Reese blinked and looked back at Burns, who was smiling. “David is a junior at Georgetown. He’s interning with me this summer. Say hello, Ty,”

  the Assistant Director ordered pleasantly.

  Ty stared at him, slightly nonplussed as he looked back at the kid.

  “Shit,” he finally muttered apologetically as he stepped closer and took his hand in greeting. “I thought you were my new partner,” he said with a laugh.

  “Jesus,” Reese muttered as he shook Ty’s hand. “I feel for your new partner, man. He’ll be crapping his pants. ”

  Burns snorted.

  “Yeah well, he also won’t look twelve, so he’ll be fine,” Ty huffed in return.

  Reese smiled slightly, but he didn’t appear amused by the crack about his age.

  “David, Special Agent Grady here is one of the more unconventional agents you may encounter here at the Bureau. Do not include him in your summaries,” Burns cautioned with a smirk as he leaned back in his chair.

  Reese nodded and smiled wryly. “I should hope not, sir,” he answered. “I don’t know how you’d keep new recruits. ”

  “We’d feed them to the military,” Ty grumbled as he went over and flopped down into the empty chair. “So where is this asshole, anyway?” he asked with frown. “You can’t tell me I’m the one on time. ”

  “Actually, you are, although he’s not far behind. Security said he came through a few minutes ago,” Burns said. Then he looked to Reese. “You see, David, one of the more arduous jobs we have here is figuring out how to gather agents who work effectively together. Special Agent Grady here presents a particularly difficult challenge, as I’m sure you can imagine. ” The young man glanced to Ty, obviously agreeing with the sentiment.

  Burns cocked his head when he heard the outer door open and footsteps clomp in. The office door opened and Reese turned curiously to look. Ty was almost afraid to do the same, but curiosity got the better of him.

  Zane Garrett stood totally still just inside the doorway, his eyes already settled intently on Ty.

  “Special Agent Garrett, how lovely of you to join us,” Burns drawled.

  “This is David Reese, my newest intern. I believe you already know Special Agent Grady. ”

  After a short pause, Zane nodded slightly.

  Ty found himself struggling for something to say as he blinked stupidly at Zane. The lack of reaction was disconcerting. Ty had tried every trick in his book, trying to find a way to get in touch with Zane after the medical leave had ended. But an undercover operation trumped even fake family emergencies, and Ty hadn’t been able to get anywhere before his own assignments commenced. He found himself wondering, not for the first time, whether Zane took an assignment he knew would keep him under on purpose, just to keep away from him after the haze of the drugs had cleared.

  “Well, David, it’s time for your next appointment,” Burns said pointedly, ushering the student out the door past Zane. The Assistant Director shut the door behind him and turned to look at the two men. The office was quiet.

  Ty finally swallowed down his shock and looked from Burns to Zane uncertainly. “Hey,” he offered.

  Zane glanced to Burns as well, and back to Ty. “Hi,” he said quietly, taking in Ty’s features.

  And there seemed to be nothing more to say. Ty finally looked down, unwilling to meet Zane’s unreadable eyes.

  “Well,” Burns said as he moved back to the chair behind his desk.

  “Garrett, if you choose to move from Arlington closer to your new assignment, the Bureau will pay for temporary accommodations until you can get yourself settled in DC. Paperwork’s in the mail,” he told them as he waved his hand through the air in dismissal, though there was the slightest twist of a smile on his lips.

  Zane blinked, surprise and hope emerging in his eyes. “You’re …

  partnering us again?”

  “As long as you don’t blow anything up again or kill anyone else, yes,” Burns answered with some amusement as Ty glanced back up at Zane in surprise. “You’ll be working the DC area for now. No undercover work, no big cases until you’re both … mentally stable,” he said with a wry smirk.

  “Does that mean this is a permanent assignment?” Ty asked, his voice low and slightly hoarse. Burns merely laughed and leaned back in his chair again.

  Zane had to tear his eyes away from Ty. “No objection,” he said softly.

  “Good!” Burns responded with a smile. “Now get the hell out of my office,” he said as the smile dropped back into his customary scowl. “And take a fucking shower,” he ordered. “Both of you. ”

  Zane took an awkward step backward, watching Ty again, and reached behind himself to grasp the doorknob. He pulled open the door and waited. Burns’ lips twitched as he watched, and he shook his head ever so slightly.

  Ty looked back at the Assistant Director uncertainly and then nodded obediently, glancing at Zane as he passed by him out the door. Zane watched him the whole way and then followed, pulling the door shut as they left. He was completely oblivious to the secretary staring at them.

  Ty slowed to a stop and turned to meet Zane’s eyes. He glanced at the secretary and then back at Zane, turning again to keep moving without ever saying anything. After a moment’s pause, Zane blinked and strode after him, out into the hall, catching up at the elevator.

  Ty had his head down, waiting for the doors to open. “How have you been?” he asked quietly without looking up.

  Zane cast over the five months of hell in Miami. “Shitty,” he answered in the same soft tone. “You?”

  Ty looked up slightly but didn’t answer. The doors whooshed open, and he stepped inside the elevator car. Zane didn’t hesitate to follow. He punched the button for the parking garage, and the doors slid shut. “I tried to get in touch with you,” Ty finally murmured without looking at Zane. “They said you were unreachable. You went back to Miami,” he said bitterly, his voice almost accusing.

  “I didn’t have much of a choice. It was that or New Mexico,” Zane said. He didn’t try to apologize. “I … I didn’t know you were looking for me.

  We were buried. ” He leaned back against the wall. “I called in a couple times.

  They wouldn’t tell me anything about you,” he growled.

  Ty glanced at Zane sideways, really looking at him for the first time.

  “You’ve been shot again, haven’t you?” he asked in resignation.

  Zane didn’t try to lie. He just let his eyes drop. Ty nodded and looked away, the swirling in his stomach nearly unbearable.

“Did you get your head on straight?” Zane asked. The elevator stopped and the doors opened.

  Ty stood there, looking out into the parking deck with a sort of distance to his expression that was fairly common lately. “No,” he answered softly.

  Zane swallowed, hurting. He reached out and blocked the door open and waved Ty through.

  Ty walked past him with his head down again, hands in his pockets as he headed for his car. Suddenly, he stopped and looked up, inhaling deeply.

  “You did have a choice,” he murmured.

  Zane halted in place. He’d considered the other option. Once.

  Fleetingly. “No,” he said clearly. “I didn’t want to give up on seeing you again. ”

  Ty’s eyes wandered along the cement ceiling of the parking structure, his back still turned as he considered Zane’s answer. “But it wasn’t worth it to leave,” he finally murmured, as if talking to himself.

  Swallowing on the pain, Zane closed his eyes for a long moment.

  When he spoke, it was a rasp. “We can still cut and run. ” His shoulders tightened. “But now we don’t have to. ”

  Ty stood there for another moment before turning slowly to look back at Zane. He looked at the leather and the fresh scars, letting his eyes carry over them pointedly. “You didn’t listen to a damn thing I told you,” he said softly. “Did you?”

  Zane flinched, and true regret was clear on his face. “No,” he said miserably. “Not for awhile. I wasn’t…. ” He huffed. “I wasn’t … there,” he said weakly, waving at his head.

  “You shouldn’t have to be there to be careful,” Ty growled in response. “It’s common fucking sense, Garrett!” he shouted suddenly, his voice echoing through the structure.

  Nervously licking his upper lip, Zane winced and straightened his shoulders. “What do you want me to say, Ty?” he asked. “It won’t change it. ”

  “I want you to say you’re sorry,” Ty demanded stubbornly. “And I want you to tell me how pissed you are at me for leaving when I did!”

  “I was so angry I saw red for weeks,” Zane admitted. “Even though I knew there wasn’t a goddamn thing you could do about it,” he went on, voice getting louder as he allowed the emotion to break through. “I was furious with the Bureau for chucking me back into hell, and I was pissed with myself for letting them. For a while, the best thing I could come up with was hoping an injury would land me back in the fucking hospital,” he growled, incensed, his eyes flashing. “I would have done anything. Anything to get back to you. I can’t say I’m sorry for that. ”

  Ty exhaled slowly, calming. “Better,” he said softly with a nod.

  Shaking, Zane took a couple steps toward Ty, set a hand on his chest, and pushed him hard against the concrete pillar behind him. “That’s all you have to say?” he demanded, the fury still clear.

  Ty moved suddenly, shoving Zane away before grabbing his face with both hands and kissing him forcefully, right there in the parking garage.

  Zane reeled back a couple steps as Ty’s weight hit him. He got his balance and grabbed both of Ty’s upper arms, taking those steps forward again and pinning Ty against the wall. It was a gloriously violent kiss that he poured all his anguish and anger into.

  Ty gripped him mindlessly, not even concerned about the possibility of the security cameras catching them as they took out the past five months of frustration on each other. Finally, he shoved at Zane roughly, gasping for breath. When pushed, Zane turned and stalked a few steps away. He stood there, trying to get his breath, and he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “I’m not sorry,” he muttered as he dragged a hand through his short hair.

  Ty rested his head back against the concrete wall and closed his eyes.

  “I am,” he whispered.

  Zane’s emotions played openly across his face. He wasn’t even trying to hide them. He was hurt, he was confused, and he was scared. “What for?”

  he asked, voice aching. He couldn’t bring himself to move again, to rejoin Ty four strides away.

  “Leaving,” Ty answered as he opened his eyes again.

  The frustration and anger faded as Zane took a good long look at him.

  He looked like hell. He was tan enough that it spoke of time in some exotic location, but the arduous past five months fairly clung to him. His eyes were flat and tired, his face was scruffy, and even though he’d slept, he still looked haggard. Three of the fingers on his right hand were badly broken and bandaged. The smoke of the expensive cigars he smoked was strong enough for Zane to smell without trying.

  Zane considered barking at him for not taking care of himself, but it just wasn’t in him. After so long apart, he didn’t want to hurt anymore.

  Slowly his feet moved, taking him closer to Ty until he stood less than an arm’s length away. Zane couldn’t stifle the sigh, and he resisted the urge to reach out and touch. “I thought you were supposed to get better on convalescent leave,” he murmured.

  “Maybe I had some unfinished business to tend to first,” Ty responded wryly, his voice low and hoarse.

  “Christ,” Zane muttered. “We’re both such a fucking mess. ”

  “I worried about you,” Ty admitted.

  Zane sighed and lowered his head, looking up at Ty from under lowered brows. The proximity alone was easing his pain as much as anything.

  “I couldn’t stop thinking about you. ”

  “Why the hell didn’t you come home?” Ty asked, letting the anguish leak through.

  “The same reason you walked away,” Zane whispered.
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