I dashed out of the Bubble, embarrassed beyond belief, and ignored Garret's familiar voice calling me back. My eyes darted around, looking for a place to run. I just want to be alone right now. Suddenly, I spotted where I wanted to go. Sprinting as fast as I could, abandoning my black kitten heels, I jumped and expanded my wings. The wind caught them, lifting me up higher and higher into the sky. My blazer and silk blouse had gotten left behind with my heels, leaving me in my black pencil skirt and white camisole. I didn't care though. I flew as high as I wanted, making a high tail to Washington DC. I knew the way there like the back of my hand. No doubt the agency will have people out looking for me. I was stupid to run away, but that whole scene had been overwhelming. Jonathan, the only boss I've ever known, has resigned in a time of sorrow. Seven of my colleagues are dead. The dark angel terrorist group is on the rise again. It's all too much for one meeting.
I let unshed tears slip down my face, immediately wiped away by my speed as I soared through the cloudless skies. It was a beautiful late August day. The sun shined bright. The sky was a rich blue. The rush of flying ran through me, making me high with adrenaline. It felt good to fly. After my wing was injured over the summer, I couldn't fly for weeks. I've only started flying again recently. Fortunately, I hadn't lost any of my technique. It's almost as if I never stopped flying at all.
When I saw the familiar Washington Monument, I swooped to the right. The White House entered my line of vision. I swooped down as low as I dared, squinting against the sunlight to see who was in the backyard. In the pool, using it as many times as he could before the summer ends completely, was Joshua. I knew it was Joshua just by watching his freestyle. Smooth and no-nonsense strokes, strong kicks, clean flip turns and push-offs'. Swiftly, I swooped downward and landed on the grassy expanse of the White House backyard. A cat always lands on her feet. Encased by shrubbery, it felt safe. I sighed, pulling my hair out of it's bun and shaking my wings out before folding them back in. My skin felt cold and clammy, leftover from the sickness. The slightest bit of condensation sat on my arms, chilling me. I wrapped my arms around myself to keep warm as I walked over to the pool. Joshua stopped swimming, pushing his goggles onto up onto his head. He looked surprised to see me as he pushed himself out of the pool, grabbing his towel from a nearby lounge chair.
"Ember? I thought you were supposed to be-"
"I need to talk to you, Joshua. In private. In your bedroom."
He nodded, wiping his torso off and pulling his silicone swim cap off his head. He looked absolutely gorgeous in tight swimmer's trunks. I let my eyes linger on his (very fine) butt a few extra seconds before seizing his arm and ushering us inside, making our way to his room without saying anything. He tugged his arm away from my grip when we reached his room.
"Ember, what the hell is going on?"
I sighed, locking the door behind me. Joshua threw his towel aside, undressing and pulling clothes out of his closet at random. I sat on the foot of his bed, my hands clasped in my lap. How to tell him without revealing too much? I don't know. He watched me expectantly, drying his hair with another towel.
"The dark angels are back. They're bloosthirsty. Plus, Jonathan resigned."
"Jonathan resigned? That's strange. Did he say why?"
I shook my head, biting my lower lip. Joshua sat down on his bed next to me, taking my hand in his and squeezing it the same way I did when he was reflecting on his summer. Back when we first returned to DC. When he was haunted the most by...it. He still hasn't fully recovered but, considering the circumstances, he was doing pretty damn good. His therapist works for the CIA. A colleague I know from past missions. His name is Charlie Kings. He used to be a field agent before he got a bullet to the neck and barely survived. His right arm is paralyzed permanently.
"No, he didn't. My new boss is a guy named Barnaby Cross. Jonathan says he knows him but...well, he just doesn't seem like Director material. I don't know, I just can't picture him as a boss of anything."
"Barnaby Cross. That's an interesting name." Joshua replied, pushing himself back into his pillows and dragging me with him.
I curled into his warmth, burying my face in his chest. It was such a familiar position for us. We knew exactly how we fit together. Like a puzzle piece. My head rested on his collarbone. He smelled like sweat, chlorine, and the faintest bit of laundry detergent. His hair was still damp, an inky black explosion on the white pillow.
"Right? Anyway, they have information that the dark angels are back. Seven agents were killed."
"How do you know it was them?"
I hesitated, dreading I had to tell him this phrase.
Joshua fell silent. I hate using that phrase, especially when talking to him. I've told him before, there are going to be things that I can never tell him. Ever.
"Oh, come on, Ember. It's not like I'm going to go off to a reporter and start telling them CIA intelligence."
I know he wouldn't. He's not like that/
"I know, Joshua, but it's literally my job on the line here. If I tell you and somehow it slips out, although I doubt it will, my whole career is destroyed. Okay? I'm sorry, babe, but it's the rules."
He fell silent again, nodding. I traced circles on his chest, leaning up to kiss him. He ducked away, getting out of bed. I sat up.
"Where are you going?"
"Anywhere but here with you." he answered bitterly as he unlocked the door and walked away, slamming it behind him.
I sank into the fluffy pillows, exhaling deeply. I hate arguing with him. It one hundred percent hate it. But I can't lose my job either. He better get used to the occasional secrecy. I don't want to lose him or my job at all. They both mean so much to me. FMMUL (Eff my messed up life.)
(Hey guys! God, this chapter sucks. Sorry for the mistakes and whatnot. I thought I'd try using this idea. Hope it's okay for you guys. :) Just wanted to say Hi! And Bye. So, bye-bye!)
*Ember's work clothes on side (add a white camisole and sheer nylon tights) --->
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Weddings, Frat Boys, and Sorority Spies, Oh My!Teen Fiction
With college and a wedding approaching fast, will Joshua and Ember be able to stretch their relationship anymore than it already has been? Eighteen year old Ember Rhinehart couldn't have been happier when she returned to Washington DC from Los Angel...