Chapter 7

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Halfway through dinner, Dicken was coming to a conclusion. Murray and Reed were getting along far better than he had ever thought possible. They exchanged old stories about the agency, including Dicken in their discussion, and Murray even suggested things that Dicken hadn't thought to ask about. It was quite strange, seeing them so friendly with one another, laughing about old cases with his dad, and telling him horror stories. The twins were supposed to sit at their own dinner table with Olive, but by the time Murray and Reed got going on old stories, they had already planted themselves at the top table. Caleb sat on the dresser in the dining room, gazing at his dad with amazement, and Mason had climbed onto his mothers knee, to get a better seat at the table. They were constantly throwing questions at the agents around the table, retired and current, including Griffin who seemed to be enjoying himself immensely. Not only was he joining in the agency chat, but Amita was flirting with him too.

"Uncle Reed, how is it that you and Murray are getting along?" Dicken ventured to ask as soon as he was sure Murray was so busy talking to Ayah that he never heard the question. But Reed understood. He and Reyes had always been open about how much hostility he and Murray usually shared, but it was really quite simple to explain.

"Well, you see something funny happened. I left the agency and to Murray, that made me instantly at least fifty percent more bearable than before. And since Murray wasn't my boss, telling me what to do, that made him fifty percent more bearable for me." Reed explained with a smile, wanting Dicken to understand that there were just some people who didn't get on when in a professional situation, who could be perfectly nice to each other socially. He was going to meet people like that in the agency and he was going to have to decide how to deal with them.

"What about Murray and dad?" He wondered. Reed realized that he was worried about not getting along with someone as important as Murray, if his uncle couldn't.

"Murray never had a problem with your dad because he's always been a team player. Me, I like my independence far too much. Besides, Murray always thought I was being wasted in a team." He began to explain why Murray didn't like working with him but he could see that Dicken didn't quite understand yet. Since he had never had a boss, in any capacity, he figured it was best to explain properly and help him understand the difficulties of agency life.

"There are some agents who work better on solo missions, and I was one of them. But because of me and your dad getting on so well in training and socially, they put us together. Then eventually we became a team and I was a leader. That never sat well with Murray. I should have been alone, drifting in and out of jobs in complete obscurity. Team work is more difficult to keep quiet and control." Reed said, glad to see that Dicken was processing the information rather than just accepting it.

That was good. He would need to decide whether he worked better alone or in a team when it came time for his training to end. Murray would fight for him the way he had never been able to fight for Reed. By the time was an expert solo member, he had been with Rudy too long, Rudy had been discovered to be a traitor, and none of the bosses wanted any more solo, rogue agents running around.

"Just remember, no matter what happens in the agency, Murray is the guy to get you out of any mess. You get in trouble at any point, and he is always there to pick up the pieces, find you an escape or get you out of there safely. It's best to keep good relations with him." He warned him with a smile, because Murray would be very important to him, throughout his agency career. He and Reyes would only have control of Dicken's training. Not his missions, not his agency life when he went on his first job. They would get no say in anything and would have to accept the shoe being on the other foot.

"I guess. I can't believe I got recommended. Who was the French guy?" Dicken voiced his confusion, sparking a thought in Reed that made him smile.

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