Chapter 12

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Pushing the treadmill, the beads of sweat pearled off my skin as I thought back to the meeting in Howard's office. The words kept ringing in head.

"We are taking you off the case and are assigning Monroe to it instead. I'm sure you understand why. This has gone on for long enough."

"You can't be serious! Monroe won't get the job done! He's useless and chauvinistic, and you know it! Please, Howard, I'm begging you, don't do this! You know I'm right!"

Howard had sighed and looked down, but I'd already known what his answer was going to be. "It's not up for discussion, Cabello. Please leave all you have on the case on Monroe's desk before the end of the day."

Letting out an angered sound, I turned the treadmill up and pushed it harder. My lungs were burning, as were my calfs, but I didn't want to stop. My world had crashed and it was all because of her.

Stop blaming her for your own stupid choices. We both know she wouldn't have done anything to you if you didn't really want it deep down.

Great, my voice of reason had decided to submerge from the deep hole I had buried it in. Just wonderful.

Jumping off the treadmill, I bent over in cramps and panted to catch my breath.

I just had to get through this – push past it. As much as I hated to do it, I had to leave it up to Monroe to catch Lauren, and when he failed, Howard would put me back on the case. I was his best agent, after all. Well, one of them, anyway.

Grabbing my water bottle, I emptied it, feeling parched, then hoisted my gym bag up on my shoulder and headed for the showers.

I needed to cool down.


Surprisingly enough, the gym and the steaming shower didn't help me work through my anger. It exhausted me, sure, but I was still boiling with fury as I came up to the door to my apartment, getting out my key.

Noise. Noise hit my ear and I instantly froze; It was coming from my apartment.

Pressing my ear to my door, I heard... indistinctive ranting. I could hear voices, but I couldn't make out the words. TV?

Frowning, I grabbed my gun from the back of my jeans and armed it. Oh, if this was what I thought it was...

Unlocking my apartment, I stuck my gun in as the first thing. I walked in myself afterwards, scanning my hall. Dark, but empty. The noises came from my living room. Yeah, it was definitely the TV.

"Marcelo passes to Ramos, Ramos dribbles to Pepe... Pepe makes an attempt... and misses! Ooow, what a missed opportunity...."

Football. She was watching football in my apartment.

Gritting my teeth, I kicked the door shut and threw down my gym bag, then continued down the hall until I reached my living room, rounding the corner.

There, in my couch, casually sitting with her feet up on my coffee table (I caught the irony) and a beer in her hand, she sat next to Bob, whom – haha – she had also put a beer next to.

– She was watching football with my fish.

"What," I begun, cocking my gun, "the actual hell... do you think... you're doing?"

Lauren's amused eyes swirled to me and then that smirk lifted to her lips as she took her feet off the coffee table and took a swig of her beer. My beer. "Watching the game, of course. Barcelona is winning against Real Madrid."

"In my apartment. What are you doing in my apartment?" I growled, shaking with pent-up anger. This woman nearly cost me my job – ended my whole damn career.

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