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 can't face the dark without you, sere/gage!
AVERY KOHL
 Posted: Jul 22 2014, 06:52 PM
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anikah is currently Offline
31
years old
executive assistant
heterosexual
Single
4 posts
na
civilian


WHY CAN'T THE MOON STAY FULL FOREVER
Austin was so different from Miami and Alana, no Avery, was hit with that every time she walked outside of the apartment she was "renting" while living there. Things had changed so quickly for her and there were times when Avery didn't think she would remember all of the details she was supposed to. Even now she found herself ignoring when people called her Avery, expecting to hear Alana. At least they had given her something close to her real name. Sort of. It was as good as it was going to get. She couldn't be Alana Reece right then, she had to be Avery Kohl because otherwise she could be looking death in the eye. And she would much rather be alive as Avery than dead as Alana. So she did what they told her and she listened to Agent Barrett when he told her she had to do something a particular way. She hadn't known him before everything happened, but she trusted him. She had to. It was her life on the line and his by association.

But it didn't make the situation any easier. Adjusting had been more than just getting used to a new hometown and name. She had also been given a new job that was completely different from the one she had back in Miami. She had never expected to work a desk job, not when she loved to be elbow deep in cake batters and cookie dough. Now she held the title of 'executive assistant' to the chief of medicine at the local hospital and she had no idea what she was doing. Most of the time. Today was no exception. She had spent an hour Googling how to make a chart in Excel before she was actually able to do it. And then she had accidentally printed it off at at a printer three floors below her. Which meant she needed to go down there and retrieve it, mostly because it was a financial document. So she had hurried down the side stair case and made her way to the right office where her papers were waiting for her.

Shuffling through the papers, Avery didn't bother to look up as she exited the office and it led to her bumping into the shoulder of a man passing by. A man who paused a few feet away when she called out an "I'm sorry." A man who was strikingly familiar and made the blood in Avery's veins run cold. Very cold. Thankful for the crowd around her, she quickly spun on her heel and rushed away from the man who she could hear calling out to her. Only, it sounded funny because all she could hear was her heartbeat thudding in her chest as she moved as quickly as she possibly could away from him. Once she had turned a corner, with a glance backward to see the man still moving her way, Avery hit a button on her phone and whispered, "Call Gage," as she took the main staircase steps two at a time. Which was fairly impressive given the height of her heels. "Gage, oh god. I don't know what to do. I think..." She cut herself off as she spun in a quick circle to figure out the closest hiding spot. "I saw...I mean, he's..." She was freaking out and it was getting harder to breathe, which told her she was having a panic attack.

Glancing behind her again, to make sure she had lost him for at least a moment, Avery tugged open a supply closet door and slipped inside before locking it behind her. "What do I do? Gage, what do I do?" All of their talks about what she was supposed to do in moments like this had completely slipped her mind. All she could think of was hiding and calling Gage.

IT'S NOTHING THAT I NEED TO SAY
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GAGE BARRETT
 Posted: Jul 22 2014, 09:44 PM
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sere is currently Offline
36
years old
fbi special agent
heterosexual
Single
5 posts
I'll get it if you need it, I'll search if you can't see it, You're thirsty, I'll be rain, You get hurt, I'll take your pain. I know you don't believe it, But I said it and I still mean it, When you heard what I told you, When you get worried I'll be your soldier.
civilian


I WILL BE THERE TO HELP BEAR THE BURDEN
Gage liked Austin. It was a perfect mix that afforded a big city anonymity yet still had places that felt as if you were in a small town. Quite a bit different from his hometown. New York City was big and bold and full of people who weren't looking to make nice but rather make it, often by any means necessary. There were times he missed the atmosphere there. Since joining the FBI he had only been back a few times. Still there were perks to getting to travel to other such places and a decidedly nicer climate was one of them. Granted it was a little warmer here than up North but it sure beat slogging through snow and ice.

Seated at a small table just outside one of the local coffee shops he looked like any other business man, dressed in a dark gray suit, the top buttons of the white dress shirt loosened in a casual manner. Fiddling with the styrofoam travel cup in front of him he scanned the faces passing by him, a constant habit by this point. An at ease demeanor made him appear to be almost zoned out, made drowsy by the warm summer air perhaps. The less attention drawn to himself the better and it was a skill he was rather well practiced in by this point in his career. Beyond him loomed tall buildings and busy streets filled with cars and people. It was a picture he'd practically memorized by this point as he'd spent quite a bit of his time in the past six months in the nearby vicinity of one of those very buildings.

The hospital here was quite large and easily distinguishable but it was what was inside that mattered the most to him. Or rather, a certain person inside. Avery Kohl, part of the witness protection program and his current assignment. Every minute of his day just about consisted of ensuring her continued security and safety, monitoring threats both locally and nationwide. You could call it what you wanted, wrong place wrong time, bad luck but she'd seen something that she shouldn't have and until the people responsible were brought to justice and her testimony against them heard she needed to disappear.

So far they had managed to make that happen with very little trouble. Avery herself, formerly Alana by birth, had made things easy as well, not fighting against their constant presence in her life and listening to what they told her for the most part. Gage knew this whole move hadn't been easy on her, it never was on anybody really. Who planned on being uprooted from their life and dropped into a completely different one with a new name and past to go with it?

With time it did feel less strange but he knew she was more than ready to put this behind her. Until then though he would be here making sure nothing stopped her from doing just that. He'd just taken a quick swallow of coffee when his phone went off in his jacket and he reached to pull it out, heart rate quickening just at the sight of the name on his screen. He barely got it to his ear before her voice came through the speaker in rushed, panicked tones. "Calm down, it's alright, deep breaths. Just keep moving, I'm already on my way," He'd stood up as soon as he'd heard what she was saying and was already heading across the street at a quick pace in the direction of the hospital.

As calm as his voice was over the phone with her inwardly his adrenaline was already pumping, fearing that their worst case scenario was happening. That she'd been discovered. The pure panic in her voice as she questioned what she should do had him convinced it was anything else. "You find a safe place and you stay there. You stay there until I come get you alright? I'm right here with you, don't hang up the phone," He was already at the corner of the hospital building, hurrying past a few people and pushing open the large glass door. Inside things appeared normal and he quickly eliminated Avery's presence from those filling the lobby.

"Alright, Avery, I'm inside, what's your location?" The words were spoken quietly, calmly. He'd sent out an alert to the team he and his partner Delaney had been working with the past six months and they already had a car on it's way to get he and Avery to a safe house. This would be the day she had been called to the field office to check on some intel they had received yesterday.

YOU GOTTA KNOW FOR YOU I'LL FIGHT


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AVERY KOHL
 Posted: Jul 23 2014, 06:23 AM
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anikah is currently Offline
31
years old
executive assistant
heterosexual
Single
4 posts
na
civilian


WHY CAN'T THE MOON STAY FULL FOREVER
It was a strange sensation, feeling someone following you. Sure she had experienced it before and especially recently, but it was still something that set her on edge. Then toss in the fact that she was fairly certain that man was one of the ones who had been in the alley way that night, it was easy to say that she was a bit of a wreck. Avery knew she should try and calm down. Forget that every person she passed on her way to the supply closet gave her either a concerned or a judgmental look. She had to look like a crazy person right then. But the part of her brain that wanted to survive had taken over and she couldn't find it in her to care. So she did what she had to and she ignored the other people around her. Later on she might berate herself about not paying closer attention to who all was around her and not making sure that other members of the gang or cartel or whatever they were weren't around as well. But right in that moment, with Gage's calm voice in her ear, all she could think about was hiding.

Once she was in the closet and Gage was telling her to find a place to hide, she found herself able to take a couple deep breaths to try and calm down. Gage was coming. Gage was coming. She kept repeating it to herself in her head, hoping it would sink in and she could get her heart rate to a more normal pace. But she knew until Gage was there and they were far away from what she thought might be danger, she wasn't going to be able to really calm down. It was a comfort to hear he wasn't going to hang up the phone. Logically she knew he wouldn't have because he would need to make sure she didn't either get discovered or move locations, but her brain wasn't exactly thinking very logically at the moment. And you couldn't really blame her for that. "Okay...okay," she whispered into the phone, moving further back into the closet, which was more like a supply room in all honesty. But she tucked herself in the far back corner, sinking down to the floor so she could make herself as small as possible by hugging her knees to her chest and tucking her face into her knees.

She couldn't see the door from her spot, but she figured that was probably best. If she could see the door then anyone who managed to get in would be able to see her. The wave of relief that overtook her when Gage said he was inside was almost crippling. "Fourth floor," she whispered, closing her eyes to try and remember exactly the movements she had taken. "Fourth floor, east wing, seven doors down on the left." At least she had managed to remember to know her exact location. It was surprising to her that she had managed to do that because it certainly wasn't her knowledge of the building that did that for her. She spent little to no time on floors other than the top floor where her office was and the first floor. "The door is locked." Not that she thought that would stop someone coming to kill her, but it would stop some unsuspecting intern or resident from finding her or getting caught up in the middle of whatever it was that was going on right then. Plus, it was locked. Who didn't feel just a little safer behind a locked door?

The sound of the door knob being turned caused Avery's head to snap up and her to try to push herself further into the wall behind her. "Is that you Gage?" It was too quick. The man was probably pretty fast, but she also knew he had to keep attention away from himself so it wasn't like he could go running through the hospital like a madman. Although, it was a hospital and people did things like that all the time. She listened to the handle jerk a few more times before a male voice filtered through in the form of a curse word before silence filled the area again. "Gage?"

IT'S NOTHING THAT I NEED TO SAY
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GAGE BARRETT
 Posted: Jul 28 2014, 08:47 PM
Quote
sere is currently Offline
36
years old
fbi special agent
heterosexual
Single
5 posts
I'll get it if you need it, I'll search if you can't see it, You're thirsty, I'll be rain, You get hurt, I'll take your pain. I know you don't believe it, But I said it and I still mean it, When you heard what I told you, When you get worried I'll be your soldier.
civilian


I WILL BE THERE TO HELP BEAR THE BURDEN
Six months they had been here and hadn't even come close to a scare. No sign of any threats that could be connected with the gang or drug cartel Avery had witnessed that night in the alley. There were people on duty 24/7, assigned to specifically ensure any intel, even the smallest hint of a possible danger was reported and looked into further by agents who knew the case inside and out. Agents like himself. How had they missed this? How had the man she had seen slipped through the cracks? There was always the chance it was a false alarm of course, that she had mistaken his face for one of the men she'd seen back in her hometown but the sound of her voice, the panic in it... In his gut he couldn't help but feel this was no case of mistaken identity.

For the moment all of those questions were pushed to the back of his mind and he was focused solely on one thing. Getting to Avery. It was necessary to slow his pace once he stepped through the doors, one because rushing could mean missing something important, a face, a detail and two drawing as little attention as possible to himself was the ideal scenario. Granted there were plenty of people hurrying from floor to floor but most of them were wearing scrubs and lab coats. Still his pace was anything but slow as he made his way through the lobby after confirming she wasn't there. A quick response was given to his question and he couldn't help but feel a little surge of pride at the detail she gave him. Just like they had rehearsed over and over, likely more a reflexive action than something she had even really processed intentionally.

Having memorized the layout of the hospital inside and out he turned and headed immediately in the direction of the east wing, opting for the stairwell in favor of the elevator mostly due to it being quicker but also guessing if the man was still around he'd likely be using the stairs as well. "I'm on my way to you now. Just hang in there, Avery, you're doing fine," Once he was inside the stairwell Gage picked up his pace, taking them two at a time, not worried now about anyone noticing him running top speed like a man possessed. He had just passed the sign that said level three when her voice hummed into his ear again, crackling slightly as the thick cement walls interfered slightly with his reception. "I didn't quite-" He began but suddenly realized what was happening, a surge of alarm spiking through his chest. "Avery, don't move. Don't make a sound,"

Charging up the last set of steps he paused for a brief second to glance through the skinny rectangle window before opening the door and stepping into the hallway, one hand still holding the phone the other reaching just inside his suit jacket to hover over the gun concealed in his shoulder holster. Heading in the direction she had indicated he counted down as he passed each door. One... two...three...four...five...six.... He saw the figure standing there, yanking on the handle of the one thing keeping Avery from harm right then. Unsure of just who he might be dealing with and not wanting to cause undo panic by pulling out his gun if he didn't have to, Gage moved forward, calling out as he got closer, "There something I can help you with, sir?" It wasn't a friendly tone and the man looked up quickly before bolting.

"Possible suspect on the run. Fourth floor, tall, dark hair, blue plaid shirt and jeans. Cover the exits," He barked into his radio, trusting his team to take care of the man. Right now he was needed elsewhere. Stepping up to the door he knocked softly, holding his cell phone back to his ear, speaking gently. "Avery, it's Gage. It's all clear now you can open the door,"

YOU GOTTA KNOW FOR YOU I'LL FIGHT


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AVERY KOHL
 Posted: Aug 4 2014, 07:38 PM
Quote
anikah is currently Offline
31
years old
executive assistant
heterosexual
Single
4 posts
na
civilian


WHY CAN'T THE MOON STAY FULL FOREVER
This was not supposed to be her life. She felt as though the past six months were all just a dream, but at the same time she knew they weren't. The fear that constantly resided in her chest, the worry that something would happen and someone would get hurt. Especially the agents she had developed an attachment to. She was a baker. She was no one. And yet she found herself in a constant state of fear that reigned over all of her actions. The clothing she picked out, the way she did her hair, the way she spoke, all of it was dictated by her circumstances. A prime example was her hair. Naturally blonde, she had never colored it in her life and now she was sporting red hair. Red hair that she was constantly having to touch up just to be sure. And it did change her entire look, going from one color to another. She doubted that most of her friends and family would recognize her. But then part of her worried that someone she knew from before would show up, actually recognize her, and then put them all in danger unknowingly. It wasn't like people knew she had gone into witness protection. A lot of people thought she was dead, so it eliminated a lot of searching. Her family though? She knew they didn't think she was dead. They had known what was going on to begin with, they wouldn't have been so easily fooled.

But she had been torn from everything she had ever known and thrown into a world that she had no way to handle. And she had been placed into it with two people she was supposed to trust even though she had never known them. She was told to trust them with her life and that had been hard. But six months had brought about that trust. She had known Gage's partner was away for the day and you could probably say that was why she had called him over her, but that wasn't the honest truth. The truth was that she trusted him more than her. Not because he was more trust worthy, but because she had gotten to know him a lot more. He had been the one to go over procedures and security measures and everything of that sort with her. He had laid out the score for her, told her what could happen if she slipped up even once. If she so much as looked at a friend's social networking profile, she could ruin everything they were working to avoid. He had scared her, but he had done it gently and she appreciated that. And that appreciation grew into something more. If it weren't for the circumstances that brought them here, she would have gone as far as to say he was her friend. But she wasn't sure she could do that. She did know that she could trust him, so she did.

It wasn't him. It wasn't him. She couldn't get that out of her head as she pushed herself further back into the wall, hoping it would swallow her whole. She had been shaking before, but it built at the sound of Gage confirming that it wasn't him without saying it wasn't him. There had been plenty of nightmares since the incident back in Miami, but she had never had a dream about this. Not even in her wildest imagination had she thought she would die in a supply closet. But she did what her instinct told her to, she listened to Gage and didn't even acknowledge his order to keep quiet right then. It was nice that her instinct told her to listen to him over the voice whispering in her mind that was telling her to find a weapon to protect herself, to do anything that would get her out of this situation. Like crawl into the vent that was just ten feet away and the fact that she was small enough to fit into it. Not that she knew from experience or anything. But one could visualize while suffering through lectures in college. But she wasn't doing any of that. She was listening to Gage talk to someone through the phone, his voice muffled enough so she didn't know what he was saying but enough of a comfort to know he was still there.

She jumped at the sound of the knocking on the door, but then felt boneless when she heard it was Gage on the other side. Just to be safe, she grabbed a three hole punch as a weapon as she made her way to the door. With shaking hands, she turned the lock and stood behind the wood to protect herself as she slowly opened it. With just enough of her head exposed to see if it was actually Gage or not, she looked out into the space created by the open door. The hole punch clattered to the floor when she saw the familiar face of the FBI agent who was half of a team responsible for protecting her and pulled the door open further. Her next motions would be ones she would pull apart once the adrenaline and fear had worn off, once she knew she was safe and could stop freaking out, but not right then. Right then, she couldn't consider the consequences of her actions. All she could think about was getting safe. So she didn't even hesitate to reach forward and pull herself in close to his body. It was all instinct, get close to Gage and be safer. "Do we...is the car...?" She was still shaky and scared, her mind going a million miles an hour as she glanced around for the person who had been trying to get into the closet just moments earlier. But she didn't see anyone and turned wide, green eyes back to the man next to her.

IT'S NOTHING THAT I NEED TO SAY
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GAGE BARRETT
 Posted: Sep 16 2014, 09:02 PM
Quote
sere is currently Offline
36
years old
fbi special agent
heterosexual
Single
5 posts
I'll get it if you need it, I'll search if you can't see it, You're thirsty, I'll be rain, You get hurt, I'll take your pain. I know you don't believe it, But I said it and I still mean it, When you heard what I told you, When you get worried I'll be your soldier.
civilian


I WILL BE THERE TO HELP BEAR THE BURDEN
When it came to a situation involving a fleeing suspect Gage was almost always one of the first ones you could find leading the chase to catch them. It was why he'd wanted to become and FBI agent after all, to find and catch the bad guys to put it simply and he was damn good at it. Any other time he would have been hot footing it after the man in the plaid shirt without a second thought, intent only on making sure that he was caught before he even made it near an exit. And had it been any other person inside that supply closet he probably would have done exactly that, knowing they were safe enough until someone else on the team would reach them and get them out of here and to a safe house.

But she was the one in that supply closet and that knowledge overrode every other instinct he had to pursue the man that had fled the scene a moment ago. He needed to make sure she knew she was safe now. Not someone else. Him. The rest of his team could handle the man on the run.

His eyes flickered to the side as he quietly waited for her to respond, still feeling on high alert and hoping that this was merely an isolated incident or even better a simple mistake. The other possibility, that they had somehow found her, that she was in very real imminent danger, he couldn't let himself think of that right now. The soft sound of the lock clicking brought his gaze back to the door in front of him and he offered a faint smile as she carefully opened the door just far enough to check and make sure it really was him standing there. The clatter of something hitting the floor a second later proved she'd been prepared in case it had not been and he couldn't help but once again feel proud of how well she'd handled herself so far.

Much like her his response as she moved towards him was completely instinctive and absolutely protective, his arm coming around her in a shielding sort of way, keeping her right there next to him. His pulse still wasn't quite down to a normal rate yet in spite of the calm demeanor he projected as she glanced around behind them, her words still slightly frantic. "You're safe, everything's alright as long as we keep moving," He assured confidently, ushering her forward with him, taking the stairwell once more for the sake of speed as well as keeping their presence on the down low. Not only were they not sure if more threats were still around but seeing him with her would only illicit unwanted questions and curiosity from the hospital staff.

Two other members of the team were waiting when they reached the fire exit and one of them quickly opened the door of the black SUV waiting just outside, swiftly assisting Avery into the vehicle with Gage climbing in right after. A second later they were pulling out and away from the hospital. Quickly taking off his suit jacket Gage put an arm around Avery and drew her down against him, draping the jacket over top of her so there was no way anyone could catch even a slight glimpse of her in the vehicle.

Though it didn't take more than fifteen minutes the trip to the safe house felt more like an hour to Gage, every nerve still keyed up, continually scanning for signs they were being followed. Only after they had pulled into the garage and the door went down behind them did he remove his jacket and let her sit back up. Another agent already stationed at the house came out then to let them know everything was still secure inside and Gage guided Avery inside, indicating she go through the small little mud room into the kitchen which had only a small window with blinds pulled.

Pausing at the door to give a few last instructions to the members of his team, Gage shut the door to the garage and turned back around to follow where he'd sent Avery. "We're gonna have you stay here until we make sure things are secure," Aiming a faintly concerned gaze towards her he added gently, "You holding up okay?"

YOU GOTTA KNOW FOR YOU I'LL FIGHT


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AVERY KOHL
 Posted: Oct 12 2014, 08:06 PM
Quote
anikah is currently Offline
31
years old
executive assistant
heterosexual
Single
4 posts
na
civilian


WHY CAN'T THE MOON STAY FULL FOREVER
Gage might be telling her that she was safe now, but Avery didn't feel safe. Not right then. Not for a long time now. Yes, the team always did whatever they could to make sure she was protected and she was thankful for that. The fact still remained that so long as she had to be away from home because some drug lords or whoever they were wanted her dead, she would never really be safe. Still, she nodded when he told her that they just had to keep moving. Despite her body wanting to shut down in fear, Avery knew she was too strong for that. She survived the night that brought this life crashing down upon her, she could survive a scare like this. So she remained silent as Gage ushered her out of the hallway and into the stairwell. She let him guide her through the building and out to the waiting car without too much suspicion. Then she slid into the waiting car and let Gage tuck her down and cover her with his jacket, despite the windows being too tinted to see into anyway. Avery simply gripped the front of his shirt with her hand and leaned her small body into his much stronger one. In the darkness of that moment, she could almost pretend it was all a bad dream. But then she was being pulled out of the car by strong hands and led into an unfamiliar house through the garage.

Was she holding up okay? Did he expect a positive answer to that question? Because right then, all Avery could think of was the girl she had been the, the life she had in Miami, before all of this happened to her. She had lost so much. So much. "No," she whispered, shaking her head as she leaned a little more heavily against the fridge. She kept her eyes trained on the floor as she slowly slid down the surface to collapse onto the floor. The heels and skirt made it awkward for her to pull her knees into her chest like she wanted to so she just let them twist to the side as she wrapped her arms around her middle. "If...if that was," she took a deep breath and tried to calm back down a little before continuing, "If that was one of his men, are we going to have to leave?" It had been so hard to move the first time, to leave her life behind, but it had to be done. This time though? She had begun building a new life, finally settled into her job and felt like she was at least a little comfortable in the cover. A new one would be difficult to figure out. "I just want to go home. I don't care about what could happen anymore. If they kill me to keep me from testifying, then they kill me. I miss home." The fear was taking away her logic but if she was going to live constantly afraid then she wanted to live it surrounded by the people she knew and loved.

The question that circled her brain on a constant loop was whether or not she would be safe anywhere. Because if she wasn't, then what was the point? Could he and the other agents on the team really promise her safety? Yes, this was the first time there had been an incident like this, but she had been thinking about it for a little while. Maybe things weren't as bad as they seemed. Maybe she would be just as safe back home in Miami as she was here. But she knew she wasn't really being fair to Gage or the team right then. It was their job to keep her safe, not babysit her. If the guy from earlier really was a threat, then they had done what they were supposed to do. "How do people do this for years? How do people live with this kind of fear and unknown? It feels like...like my chest is caving in on me." It felt like a panic attack.

IT'S NOTHING THAT I NEED TO SAY
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GAGE BARRETT
 Posted: Oct 23 2014, 09:23 PM
Quote
sere is currently Offline
36
years old
fbi special agent
heterosexual
Single
5 posts
I'll get it if you need it, I'll search if you can't see it, You're thirsty, I'll be rain, You get hurt, I'll take your pain. I know you don't believe it, But I said it and I still mean it, When you heard what I told you, When you get worried I'll be your soldier.
civilian


I WILL BE THERE TO HELP BEAR THE BURDEN
He hadn't been expecting an upbeat answer from her, hadn't even been hoping for one. It certainly wouldn't have been the truth and if there was one thing he needed her to be with him it was honest. That didn't make hearing the fear and exhaustion in her voice any easier though, wishing there was something, anything, he could do to make all of this go away. It was his job to fix things, to make things right and put the people who caused fear away. In this case though she was the key to putting those people in jail and because of that she didn't get the luxury of having her fears eased or her life put back to normal. Knowing that was what made it hard for him because no matter how often he told her she was safe there really was no guaranteeing it. As today had proved.

Gage leaned back against the counter, eye following her figure as she slowly slid down to the floor, her entire countenance one of defeat. In the six months they had spent together he could count on one hand the times he seen her show any sign of fear or despair. She was always putting on a brave face, accepting things for how they were no matter how much she might have been missing her family and friends back home. He admired her for it. Which made seeing her let that fall away for the moment and reveal just how much of a toll it had taken on her all the harder, especially when there was nothing he could do to make it easier.

His expression sobered even more at her question concerning the man after her today and he looked down for a moment, jaw muscles working slightly. "It's possible we'd have to leave if that were the case, yes," He confirmed quietly. It probably wasn't what she was hoping to hear but he'd promised her from the start that he would always be up front with her about things no matter what. If they had somehow found out where she was and this hadn't just been a false alarm there was no doubt they would be given a new place to take her. Likely with a new name and identity along with it. It was standard procedure of course but for her it was having to become a brand new person, a brand new stranger to figure out and adjust to. It wasn't something he wanted to have to ask of her.

What she said next brought his gaze back up sharply. Even knowing that it was the fear speaking didn't stop his own chest from tightening, dread coming simply at the thought of that happening. It was that part of him that wanted to refute her words and tell her that she couldn't not care. That she didn't mean those words. That she couldn't just give in so easily. He knew that she knew that though and she was fighting and it had left her exhausted. And what she needed wasn't a lecture or even a pep talk.

So he didn't say anything, simply walking the few steps over to where she sat with her back to the fridge and slid down beside her, drawing his knees up and resting his arms on them. It was hard to resist the urge to put an arm around her and pull her against him but Gage was only too well aware of the dangerous line he was already bordering as it was where his feelings towards her were concerned. So he settled for remaining shoulder to shoulder, hoping his presence was some comfort at least even if it couldn't make up for the family and friend she had left back in Miami.

"I wish I could let you go back home to your family," He finally returned quietly. Glancing down at her he added gently, "But getting you out of there isn't just protecting you it's also protecting them, remember?" It had been one of the many things he'd gone over with her that first few days of them bringing her into witness protection. There was no telling how far the men after her would go to ensure she didn't testify or who they would be willing to hurt to get to her. If anyone ended up taking a bullet to protect her it should be him, not another innocent person in the wrong place at the wrong time. Gage knew she was well aware of that too but after everything that had just happened he couldn't blame her for simply no longer caring at the moment.

A faint shake of his head was given, often wondering the same thing himself when it came to the people who ended up living the new life they were given for years, sometimes the rest of their lives even. "They always say it gets easier, that you get used to it but I don't see how that's possible," Gage wished he had a more reassuring answer to give her, one that would take that weight off her chest. What he did have though was trust in his team and himself. "We're going to do whatever it takes to make sure that isn't your future. I promise you that," You were always told in training that you never made promises to the people you were helping but he didn't care. He was going to make sure they got her back home if it killed him.

YOU GOTTA KNOW FOR YOU I'LL FIGHT


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skinned exclusively for repent & repeat by lauz.