Time has past and Sunset Valley has gone back to it's state as a sleepy little town. We are all healing in our own ways. Blue and I seem to be spending more and more time at work, him with business mergers and me preparing for agent training (imagine me a spy!). But we are finding time to be at peace together.
The love between us has grown and grown. I couldn't be without him now. He is my heart, my soul, my everything. I never thought I would be the marrying type but with Blue…. The pain in my heart loosens everyday. I miss Nuala with every ounce of my soul but I am beginning to heal. Even Plum has started to come out of his grieving state and is spending time with the girls.
Life had settled down into a peaceful routine and we were all learning to be content. Until…
"Hello?" I said still groggy with sleep. "Rosé there's been a break in at Sunset Institute of Modern Art. Full debrief in the office in 10 minutes, all agents needed." As the phone clicked shut I stared at it in amazement. A break in, and they're calling in all agents! This could my my chance to get a case of my very own. Blue rolled over in his sleep, my heart melts at the sight of him.
"Where you going?" He mumbled sleepily. "It was work, I've been called in!" Although it was early morning I couldn't hide the excitement in my voice. "Be careful," was all he said as he rolled over and went back to sleep. I threw on some clothes and dashed out the door.
The car park was empty except for as I pulled into the underground garage.
The lead operations officer, Devon, had a gruff no nonsense look on his face when I walked into the room. Despite the emptiness of the car park I felt like I was the last one to the meeting as I walked in the door.
"Right people," Devon said starting in straight away. "We have had a break in at Sunset Institute of Modern Art and they have taken the simetta stone." The room erupted in shouts of incredulity as people refused to believe the possibility. "QUIET," Devon shouted above the dim. "There is no point in denying it as a possibility because it has happened. We just don't know why. Despite it's historical significance the stone itself has no real value. It is too recognisable to sell so there is no value in stealing it. But the why can wait. We need to find the people that took it and get it back. Jones, Smith you're on point. Deacon, Brown report to tech ops, you'll be on surveillance. Johnson, Noir you are on the research team. Get to it everybody I want good news, and I want it yesterday."
As the meeting broke up I tried to hide my disappointment. I was really hoping to be on point for this op, but I was a real part of the team now and that is something I couldn't say six months ago. And in truth it is fascinating. Digging up little bits of clues, tracking sources, closing in on the culprits it's almost as big of a rush as being out there. Almost.
We move fast here at the Sims Intelligence Agency, SIA for those in the know, but it still takes time. Getting the gear, following the leads, finding that perfect moment to move in, all of it takes careful and precise planning.
But even with all of that going on I still managed to make time to throw a birthday party for Peach and Pear. I have always regretted that Meloire didn't get the birthday I had planned for her and I wasn't going to let that happen again. Oddly mum just wasn't interested. I don't know what is going on with her these days. She is more distant that usual. It baffles me that she wouldn't want to be there for her first grandchildren's birthday.
Everyone except mum was there though, Cheri even brought her boyfriend. She has been with the same guy for a while now. I think she is finally getting over Nuala and settling down again. Although she still does seem a little distracted.
As the family gathered round to blow out the candles and it was almost like we were once again a whole and healthy family. We were smiling and laughing for the first time in a long time. No one was surprised that Peach and Pear have become the most adorable toddlers.
The day was perfect.
That night was not.
Before I could even say hello Devon was on the other end, "All agents report in NOW." His no nonsense tone and the knowledge that Jones and Smith were doing a recon run tonight had me all but running out the door. The mood in the office was bleak when I arrived and I knew it wasn't good.
Devon started the moment that I sat down. "All right people this is what we know. At 21:00 tonight Jones and Smith left for a recon run of the Outstanding Citizen Warehouse Corporation. Scheduled check-in was to be every half an hour. They have missed the last 2 check-ins and we must assume they have been compromised. A dark van left the site 20 minutes ago and considering the implications of the raid we can only assume that they have taken simsetta stone along with Jones and Smith to a new location. We need to move now if we are going to get them back."
Devon continued to talk, doling out assignments but my mind began to wander.
Something wasn't right here. It all seemed too convenient. I've studied this group for months now and this seemed reckless, unplanned and very unlike them. Everything I have seen has shown me that this group is organised and determined in a way that goes beyond a simple snatch and grab operation. I was distracted when the meeting broke up. My mind was racing thinking about all I had learned during my research. Pieces were falling into place in my mind, the puzzle was nearly complete.
When I got home I wandered through the house checking on the sleeping angels both big and small.
Watching them sleep I knew what I had to do. I couldn't wake them but couldn't leave without saying goodbye.
One quick stop at the agency and I was ready to go.
It seemed deserted when I got to the warehouse but it still didn't seem right. I knew they hadn't moved the simsetta stone. It was here somewhere and the entire agency was out on a wild goose chase. This might be the only chance to get it back.
I snuck quietly and quickly, surprisingly found what I was looking for. I grabbed the stone and ran as fast as I could with to the car. As I pulled away I breathed a sigh of relief. I did it! My first solo mission and it was perfect. Just as the thought crossed my mind I heard the squeal of tires behind me. "No", I breathed.
Whoever this guy was he was good. Every turn, every move he was there, right behind me. The dark roads became more treacherous and a rain began to fall. These fast cars aren't designed to run in the rain. The tires are slick, not sticking to the road. I can't....
As the car spun out of control I had only one thought, bail. I leaped out of the car but I was going too fast. I hit the ground, hard, and the world went black.
The rain on my face and the sound of footsteps on gravel slowly brought me to consciousness. As the world came back into focus I could see my pursuer walking towards me.