Warning: This work has been rated 16+.
In seven years, Viggo and Nyssa will be on the run together. Here is part of how all went wrong.
To know more, read Chapter 15.1.
Viggo paused on the threshold, scanning Mac’s for Angela, Russ or Nyssa. The bar was packed to the rafters with cops and their families. Mac himself stood behind the counter, juggling with bottles and shakers. His waitresses were moving through the throng, taking orders. Everyone was smiling, laughing, swaying to the beat. Later that night, they would all toast to Viggo.
Once upon a time, it would have made him feel like he was amidst family. Not anymore. Not since another cop had lost his life in another leaked intervention. He had just spent an entire shift cleaning up after yet another blotched operation. His skin was still cold and clammy with fear. Tension had brought about another headache, not to mention the ominous feeling he was battling, that a noose was tightening around his neck.
He caught sight of raven hair in the crowd. Angela. One brief glimpse of her gave him a respite from his constant state of dread. She had dolled up in his honor. She was lovely in her pretty blue sailor summer dress, chatting with Chad Cordello, his captain’s husband. She met Viggo eyes across the room and smiled in welcome.
He weaved his way to her, shaking hands, smiling and patting shoulders. He reached his fiancée, put an arm around her waist and kissed her soundly. “Hi, there, baby.”
Chad, concealing an amused grin, slunk away.
“You wanna dance?” Viggo asked.
“It would be my pleasure.”
The dulcet tones of Norah Jones singing “Come away with me” filled the bar. Angela felt perfect in his arms. He was, as always, in awe of her. They swayed gently, and a few couples followed their example, clearing a dance-floor in the middle of Mac’s.
Viggo was watching the crowd and shutting out his partner. She finally rose on the tip of her toes to whisper in his ear, “What are you thinking?”
“I was remembering the day we met,” he fibbed smoothly. “Remember? You were wearing that pencil skirt and those razor-sharp heels. Your nearly broke your neck climbing down that ladder.”
“Oh, don’t remind me! It was the most horrible first day on a new job ever.”
“I don’t know. I thought you were hell on heels and hot as blazes.”
She swatted at his shoulder. “As if. Why the nostalgia?”
“Just thinking. Look where we are. Six years later, about to get married.” He slanted a deliberately provocative glance down her short dress. “And you’re still hell on heels.”
Only her eyes betrayed how flattered she was.
“It’s been an uphill battle to get you there, Angie, but I’m grateful for every second of it.”
Her eyes went straight into melting. “Oh, Peter…” She bent her head to discretely wipe her tears. When she looked up, she was smiling but she must have seen something behind him because her eyes widened, and her mouth fell open. “Oh, my…”
He turned his head. Nyssa was coming in, wearing a red skirt and an off-the-shoulder white blouse, both entirely out of character. The skirt was long enough to cover her scarred leg while the linen top emphasized the honey tone of her skin. Her hair wasn’t tied for a change. Huge hoop earrings winked at him from under the cascade of dark brown curls.
Gipsy, he thought, thunderstruck. She spotted someone she knew in the throng and flashed them a dazzling smile. Her green eyes sparkled mysteriously. He realized that they were smoky with kohl. Her makeup was more provocative than usual. Her lips were a shade of carmine that had to be called something like ‘velvet dream’ or ‘sexy puppet’.
“Damn it. Russ is going to swallow his tongue.”
Angela tittered. “Why don’t you just stop running interference with those two?”
“I’m just watching out for her. Somebody’s got to. She’s too sweet, she wouldn’t recognize evil.”
She arched an eyebrow in that very lofty way of hers. “Russ hardly qualifies as evil.”
He bobbed his head non-committally. He wished he believed that, but there was a look in Helen Defoe’s eyes, these days, that Viggo had seen all too often. If it got much worse, he would have to call IAD on Russ. It was something he had been putting off for years. He didn’t want to be a rat.
“He’s not for her.”
She sighed. “Try convincing her of that.”
“Good luck with that. And, baby? She’s trying to get your attention.”
Nyssa was indeed waving at him. He hadn’t seen her since their meeting with Defoe in the shadowed parking-lot. “Might be important,” he said. “Do you mind…?”
“Go ahead. I’m going to mingle.”
Angela kissed him on the cheek and walked away. Viggo took Nyssa’s hand, dragged her on the dancefloor. He twirled her, sending her skirts flying. She laughed, happy and startled. “I like how you greet your guests, birthday-boy.”
“Hey, you’re wearing a skirt. We’ve got to celebrate.”
She winced. “Celebrate with Angela. She’s the one who got me in these clothes.”
“How did she perform that miracle?”
Nyssa grimaced again. “She convinced me that I’d be uncomfortable if I wasn’t at my best tonight – what’s with everyone here.”
Everyone being Russ and Helen. Damn Angela’s nosiness.
“Well,” Viggo said, smiling for his friend’s sake. “Whatever the reason, you’re very pretty.”
She burst out laughing. “Yeah, right. I’m sure I look about as comfortable as you do.”
“Who said I’m not comfortable?” he grumbled, tugging at the collar of his dress shirt.
“Anyone with eyes.” Her amusement was tempered by sympathy, “Didn’t get to pick your own clothes, hm?”
“No, Angela did. She pointed out that she was dressing up for me. What were her exact words? Oh, yeah…‘What’s good for the goose’.”
“She’s a real miracle-worker.”
And she had used her magical powers to vanish back in the crowd again.
Viggo danced in silence for a moment, Nyssa stiff in his arms. He wondered where he could dispose of his jacket and if Angela would be very cross with him if he rolled up the sleeves of his shirt.
“I wasn’t sure you’d come,” he admitted after Nyssa stomped on one of his feet for the hundredth time.
“Because of my single-mindedness when I’ve been presented with a puzzle?”
He chuckled. She did have blinders when it came to her work, and a tendency to forget all about the simpler necessities of life – like eating or sleeping. She smiled brightly and relaxed a little – the music had changed to a slow, which was easier on her bad leg.
“I cracked your puzzle,” she told him.
His exclamation and the fact that he had stopped short in the middle of the dance-floor attracted too much attention. He forced himself to start dancing again.
“I did,” Nyssa announced proudly, tapping a finger on her purse. “I think I’ve got the mole’s current number right here. I’m tracking it. I haven’t looked yet. Do you want to…”
“Hell, yeah. Come on.”
He grabbed her elbow and dragged her in the reserve, where it was quiet. Reluctantly, she dug a tablet out of her bag. “Maybe we shouldn’t do that without Russ…”
“Damn it, Nyssa, show me.” She fiddled with the screen and her eyes went wide and fearful. “What is it?” he asked, this tight knot in his guts making itself known again.
Shakily, she told him, “He is here…”
He snatched the pricy bit of electronics from her shaking hands. He had to see for himself. The mole was indeed…there. A little red dot blinked menacingly in the black square that signaled Mac’s on the map. He was oddly satisfied to get confirmation of what he had been dreading for weeks.
Calmly, he slipped off his jacket and concealed the tablet in its folds. Nyssa’s disbelief was at odds with his own lack of reaction when she whispered, “It’s impossible.”
“It makes sense, actually. Half the station is here.”
“I…” Her knees seemed to give out and she slumped on an unopened crate. “I just can’t wrap my mind around…”
“Now, listen.” Alarm made Viggo voice harsh. He shook Nyssa for emphasis. “You’re going to smile if it kills you. We’re going back there and you’re going to act normal. Do you get it? Nys?”
Weakly, she nodded.
To see what Russ is up to in the present, read Chapter 16.