Something About You
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For starters, he still couldn’t forget the way she had refused to look at him the day she told him about the Martino case.
Late that Friday afternoon, three years ago, Cameron had called to say she was coming to his office to speak with him and his partner at the time, Joe Dobbs. When he had heard the knock and seen her standing in his doorway, he’d smiled. Jack distinctly remembered that, probably because of how rare it was that he smiled back in those days—there hadn’t been a lot to be chipper about during the two years he’d worked for Martino. He was still, to put it bluntly, pretty f**ked-up from being undercover for so long and having trouble getting back into the routine of normal life. He also wasn’t sleeping at night, and that certainly didn’t help matters.
But as much as he had been finding it difficult to transition back to an office job, there was one part of it he didn’t mind: working with Cameron Lynde. He’d begun to worry, in fact, that he was starting to not mind it a little too much. They’d only ever talked business—the Martino case—yet the couple of times they’d been alone together, he felt some sort of undercurrent between them. He didn’t know how to describe it, except to say that whatever the undercurrent was, it was enough to make him wish he wasn’t still so screwed up.
“Come on in,” Jack had told her.
When Cameron stepped into his office that Friday afternoon, for once she didn’t return his smile.
“Will Agent Dobbs be joining us?” she asked.
“He’s on his way. Why don’t you have a seat while you wait?” Jack gestured to the chairs in front of his desk.
Cameron shook her head. “I’m fine, thanks.”
Over the course of the last month, Jack had gotten to know her well enough to know that she was not fine right then. Something was wrong—she had skipped over the tough-as-nails-but-not-really sarcastic/semi-flirtatious pleasantries he had come to expect and enjoy as part of their usual discourse. Not to mention, she seemed skittish.
He had a bad feeling about this.
“You said you wanted to talk about Martino—is there a problem with the case?” He watched as she hesitated.
Cameron’s eyes shifted to the door. “I think we should wait until Agent Dobbs gets here.” She bit her bottom lip worriedly, and Jack couldn’t decide what was more troubling—her sudden display of vulnerability or the fact that he now couldn’t take his eyes off her lips.
He got up from his desk, walked over, and shut his office door. He stood before her. “Something’s got you upset.”
“Agent Pallas, I think—”
He cut her off. “It’s Jack, okay? I think it’s probably time for us to be on a first-name basis.” When her gaze darted again to his office door, he did something that surprised them both—he reached out and touched her chin gently.
He turned her face to his. “Talk to me, Cameron. Tell me what’s wrong.”
When her incredible aquamarine eyes met his, he felt it—something akin to the jolts of electricity Martino’s men had hit him with during his two days of captivity. Only infinitely more enjoyable.
“Jack,” she whispered. “I’m so sor—”
A knock at the door interrupted them.
Jack and Cameron sprang away from each other as the door to his office opened. Joe walked in, surprised to find them both standing there.
“Oh, hey—sorry I’m late.” He took a seat in one of the chairs in front of Jack’s desk—they had been partners for four years and were comfortable in each other’s offices. He crossed his leg and looked up at Cameron. “Jack said you wanted to talk to us about Martino?”
“I do,” Cameron said. She sounded stiff and nervous again, and oddly focused her attention on Joe. “I wanted to let you know that we’ve made a decision. We won’t be filing charges against Roberto Martino. Or anyone else in his organization, for that matter.”
There was a silence in the room.
Jack broke it. “You can’t be serious.”
Cameron still didn’t look at him. “I realize this isn’t the result either of you expected.”
“What do you mean, you’re not going to file any charges?” Joe asked. He had been the liaison between Jack and the Bureau during the two years Jack had been undercover and knew all the dirt they’d dug up on Martino.
“Our office has decided there isn’t enough evidence to take the case to trial,” Cameron said.
Jack was struggling—hard—to keep his anger in check. “Bullshit. Who made this decision? Was it Briggs?”
Joe stood up from his chair and paced. “That f**king guy. All he cares about is his own reputation,” he said disgustedly.
“I want to talk to him,” Jack demanded.
Cameron finally turned to face him. “There’s no need for that. This . . . is my case. It was my call.”
“Screw that—I don’t believe you.”
Joe glanced over, a cautionary note in his voice. “Jack.”
Cameron remained cool. “I realize how frustrating this—”
Jack took a step toward her. “Frustrating? Frustration doesn’t begin to cover what I’m feeling right now. You’ve read the files—at least I assumed you had until about a minute ago—now I’m not so sure what you or anyone else in the U.S. attorney’s office has been doing. You know who Martino is and the things he’s done. What the hell are you guys thinking?”