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The Assault on Monica

Monica was surprised to find herself laughing hysterically. Her laughter rang out and reached into the dark corners of her soul, darkened since the death of her brother at the wrong end of a police gun. It was a rare moment for Monica, hearing her own laughter. Laughter was good. Laughter felt good.

Monica was laughing as she remembered the pillow fight a few days ago. Then, as now, she had found herself laughing hysterically as the feathers flew in the nest's gymnasium.

"I guess this is what they call 'feathering the nest'!'" a feather-covered Jake laughed as he whonked Frank on his backside with the pillow. This comment struck all the UC team as hysterical. Even Frank was laughing so hard, he had to rest his hands on his knees. Frank's deep-voiced laughter rang out and mingled with Alex's, Jake's, Cody's and Monica's laughter.

And we needed to laugh. After the tense Chicago hostage situation, we needed to let off steam. She knew laughter was the best medicine. She'd been surprised when the normally reserved Frank had walked into the nest's gym with a pile of pillows. Jake and Cody had glanced at each other and Frank walked up behind an unsuspecting Alex, who had been attempting to knock the stuffing out of her punching bag, and whonked her on the backside with a pillow.

Frank jumped back, brandishing his pillow as a shield.
"Always watch your back, and always watch the backs of your teammates," he'd told them in his serious tone. Alex had howled at being caught off guard. Monica had been closest to the pillows and she had grabbed up a pillow, slunk up behind Frank idly noting his back muscles tenses and she whonked him on the backside with a pillow. He spun around and he and Monica whonked each other's pillows and soon the feathers were flying. The others had rushed to get pillows and join in.

During the course of the pillow fight, Monica realized something new about Frank: his Krav Maga training worked really well--too well--in a pillow fight. Monica felt sorry for anyone who had had to meet up with Frank Donovan on a dark street and picked a fight with him. No wonder he'd graduated at the top of his class at the FBI's academy. The man was better than good at street fighting.

Frank had been whonked on the backside twice, once by her and once by Jake, although Monica suspected he'd let both her and Jake sneak up behind him. She hadn't seen his face while she was sneaking up behind Frank, but she'd seen his back muscles tense. And Monica had been facing Frank and saw Frank's eyebrows beetle as Jake sneaked up behind him. His eyes had narrowed and flicked to the left, and he ever so slightly turned his head. Monica was startled to realize Frank was letting Jake sneak up behind him. Frank, of all people, knew that someone could get killed if they didn't watch their backs.

This thought had led Monica to realize that Frank was trying to teach the team a deeper lesson with the pillow fight: to always watch your back, and to always watch the backs of your teammates. Learning by controlled experience. That would be like Frank to do: try to teach the team through controlled experience so they won't be unprepared in the field. Once this thought came to her, she had, between bouts of hysterical laughter at Jake's comment, worked her way around behind Jake, and then whonked him on the backside! Like Alex, Jake had howled in indignation.

Frank stood, laughing, with his hands on his knees, and his eyes were smiling. He caught Monica's eye and nodded. By George! She was beginning to understand him.

Frank Donovan was a mysterious character, with a strong personality. But then again, he had to be a strong personality. He had to pretend to be ruthless on a daily aspect in order to deal with the criminal mind. As a former FBI negotiator--and very young to be an FBI negotiator as Monica had recently found out--his strong personality was necessary. If he had allowed his guard to be let down during a hostage negotiation, had allowed a measure of his private personality into his job, hostages could get killed.

Frank's goal as a hostage negotiator had been to get all the hostages out safely. And he also had to be a chameleon, ever changing in personality from minute to minute in order to respond to the criminals he encountered. If he discovered duplicity, he would use it against the other man to turn the tables to his advantage. He had to be a master of psychology. He had to make the criminals believe he was just as ruthless as they themselves. And criminals, as Monica well knew, were ruthless and would not hesitate to use people to their advantage.

Monica had inadvertantly discovered that just before he graduated from the FBI Academy, he'd negotiated the details of Agent Marilyn Phearson's unharmed release as a hostage from three escaped Lorton cons in for drug running. This was what had sparked his meteoric rise in the FBI, first under the legendary Agent Lynda Black, and then as an FBI hostage negotiator.

Monica was indeed feeling good as she took her leather bomber jacket from the back of the chair and walked to the door. She'd tidied up her desk, for Fran k was a stickler for neatness. With nothing on the team's agenda, Frank had decided to take a quick vacation and would now be sunning himself on Monte Carlo's beach. Alex had taken off to Aspen. Cody had suddenly decided to get into his car and take a road trip.

This left Monica practically alone in the city. Jake had disappeared into the city without a word as to where he would be, although Frank would know. A born organizer was Frank Donovan, knowing where everybody was at all times should a crises pop up. She'd decided not to go anywhere for a few days until she tidied up some personal business. After that, she herself would head off to Acapulco where the buenas noches would ring all night long and margaritas and merrymaking would be the order of the day. 

She walked outside, making sure to lock the door. A snap of wood alerted her to someone else's presence. She looked around but didn't see anyone. She walked to her car, using the automatic unlock, making sure to glance behind her back often. She got in the car, put the car doors on automatic lock, turned on the headlights and looked around. She still didn't see anyone. Pulling out her high powered binoculars, she scanned the nest's parking lot slowly, and very carefully, as Frank had taught her to do. She still saw no one. Perhaps an animal, squirrel or cat, she thought. There was no wind, so it could not have been the wind snapping a twig. Ahh! Yes, a dead branch had suddenly snapped off and that's what she had heard. That had to be it, she thought.

Putting her binoculars down, she started the engine and pushed the start button on the cd player. Eva Cassidy's Somewhere Over The Rainbow drifted over the car's speakers as Monica drove out of the parking lot. This song was one of her favorite renditions of 'Over the Rainbow.' Judy Garland's version couldn't hold a candle to the version from Eva Cassidy. The late Eva Cassidy, Monica corrected herself as she stopped for a red light. Eva had died in 1996 at the age of 33 from malignant melanoma. Her voice was what had inspired radio to be invented: pure, clear, and heavenly.

Monica decided to stop off at McDonald's to pick up a quarter pounder with cheese. She sat in her car in Mickey D's parking lot and bit into the juicy meat, listening to Eva Cassidy's "Songbird" cd. Finishing up her meal, she decided to go to the bank and drove the four blocks to the bank.

Pulling up at the bank's drive thru ATM machine. After loading up on cash, she made sure to look around at her surroundings--"always be aware of your surroundings" the voice of Frank Donovan echoed in her mind. Seeing no one, she started to pull away when she heard the woman's scream. Loud. Insistent, with the "I need help now!" tone to it.

Setting her car in park, Monica opened the door, jumped out and began running towards the screams.

"Hey!" She shouted at the top of her voice. "Hey!" she shouted again.

Running around the corner of the bank to the back of the building, she saw a woman struggling with a man. The fully dressed woman was trying to crouch down. The fully dressed man was behind her, rubbing his pelvic region against her bum. She was screaming her head off.

"Get away from her!" Monica yelled. The man stopped what he was doing, turned, and looked at Monica. She noted his facial features, that his white t-shirt was pulled up to expose his well developed abdominal muscles and his muscular chest. She noted he was wearing black shoes with monk straps and grey pants.

He stared at Monica for a few seconds, then ran off down the alley, Monica followed a short ways until she saw him jump over the fence and into the wooded area. She walked back to the woman.

"Are you all right?" Moncia asked automatically, then realized that no, the woman wasn't all right. She'd been sexually assaulted, although no penetration had occured as both she and her attacker were fully dressed. Still, she was bound to be feeling upset and angry.

The woman, for her part, just glared at her.

"I'm sorry," Monica said as she took out her cell phone and called police. The woman, sat on the ground, shaking. Monica reached down and put her hand on her shoulder. She'd seen Frank do this with Jake and realized what a comfort it would be.

Within minutes, five police cars were on the scene. Monica showed her DOJ identification to the cops. The woman, whose name was Nadia, explained what had happened. Monica listened intently to her description of the man, adding her own description of what she had seen. Nadia explained that she had seen the man walking towards her with his t-shirt pulled up to near his shoulders.

Monica knew that the attacker, a male in his mid-twenties, had a need to expose himself. His shirt had been pulled up to expose his well developed abdominal muscles and still he had pulled it further upwards as he had walked towards Nadia. He was displaying himself to his victim--preening before he attacked. An attempt to sexually excite his victim. His stellar physique suggested he regularly worked out. Both Nadia and Monica had noted his abdominal muscles were tight, and very well developed.

"Check the nearby gyms and post his description," she told the cop taking the information, Officer Montrose.

"That would be a good idea," he replied.

Nadia was explaining what had happened. "He'd asked me if I was married. I lied, and said yes and that my husband was six foot six and a pro wrestler." Monica had smiled at that remark. Nadia was continuing. "He responded to that statement with: 'I don't care.'"

Monica could see Officer Montrose was startled by this revelation.

"He could be a serial attacker. Remorseless. Bold sucker, needing to expose himself just before he attacks, well developed abdominals. That MO would be in any unsolved sexual assaults," Monica said.

Officer Montrose had the same thoughts for he was already asking the dispatcher to start going through the unsolved sexual assaults in this sector of the city.

"He could have done this before?" Nadia asked Monica, her voice trembling.

"Yes. And it's likely he'll do it again," Monica responded.

"Are there any other characteristics you can remember?" Officer Montrose asked Nadia. "Anything unusual? Did he appear to be drinking alcohol?"

"No. But he did have really bad breath." she replied.


"No. Just really poor hygiene," she said. "Smelled terrible, sewer mouth."

Officer Montrose relayed that information to the dispatcher and noted it down in his report. He finished up with his report. Handing Nadia a business card with the number of the crime report on it, he said,

"If you can think of anything else, or just checking on the status of the report, call this number and give the operator the report number,"

"Thank you," Nadia said.

Monica asked, "Do you need someone to drive you home?"

Nadia considered. "Yes. Please. I was out for a walk." Officer Montrose nodded at Monica.

"She's with the Department of Justice. You'll be safe with her," he told Nadia. Nadia nodded and followed Monica to her parked car. Somewhere Over the Rainbow was just beginning to play again, making Monica realize about an hour has passed since she first heard Nadia scream. They both got in and Monica started up the car.

Except to give Monica directions to her apartment, Nadia was silent during the ride. Monica respected that and the two women listened to the late Eva Cassidy's voice come out of the speakers.

As Monica pulled up to Nadia's apartment building, Nadia asked,"Who's that singing on the cd?"

"The late Eva Cassidy."

"She's got the most beautiful voice. Really comforting to me," Nadia said as she picked up her purse from her lap. She was still shaking a bit. Monica knew she was trying to control her emotions.

"She does indeed. Her estate released posthumous albums and this song went to number one on the British charts this year."

"It's so pretty. Thank you. Thank you for helping me and for driving me home," Nadia had slightly turned in her seat to face Monica.

"It's the human thing to do," Monica responded. "If you need anything, either call the number Officer Montrose gave you or call me," Monica said as she handed a piece of paper with her cell phone number on it to Nadia.

"Thank you," Nadia said again as she got out of the car and shut the door. Monica could see she was still shaking as she walked up the steps to the apartment building. She took out a key card to let herself in. After seeing Nadia was safely in the building, Monica changed the cd to Enrique Iglesias' latest, Escape. The young Mediterranean hottie could sing romance better than his father, Monica thought, as the opening chords to the title song started to play.

The next morning, early as the birds, saw Monica running mindless errands. There were times, she thought, when she really wished she didn't have to attend to every day life. Chores, endless chores. Dry cleaning, grocery shopping, banking. Monica really wanted to focus on her work. Her work was her passion and despite Keller's recent death, she was finding she enjoyed the challenges Frank handed to her, and handed to the entire team. Monica knew by now that Frank was the best, better than Keller, and he expected the best from his team.

She found herself missing her brother. She was still angry about his sudden death and felt a part of her had been cut off. Somehow, Frank understood that feeling. She didn't know how he understood, but when references came up about the police who'd killed her brother, she saw understanding in his eyes about her loss. Something was there in his eyes, something in his background allowed him to understand what she was going through, she now thought as she put the groceries in the car's trunk. 

Another snap of wood alerted Monica. She spun around, looking carefully around her, but again, like yesterday, there was no one. She was hearing things. She really needed her vacation in Acapulco and she was glad she was leaving tomorrow. She got into her car and had just shut the door when an attacker crashed into the car's door. Monica screamed.

Through her screams, Monica realized the car door locked automatically and that there was no way her attacker could get in. She fumbled for her cell phone, punching buttons randomly, wondering who would answer.

"Donovan." Did the man ever put down his phone? Monica first wondered as she continued screaming. As she screamed, she wondered crazily how Frank could have answered his cell phone if he was in Monte Carlo. She would make sure to ask him those questions later but for the moment she contiued to scream for her attacker now had a bat in his hands and he had started hitting the car window.

"Monica, I've called Jake. Where are you?" his perfectly controlled voice calmed Monica. She stopped screaming and she stammered,"Grocery store. Safeway on 33rd Street." Monica heard him mumbling the information to Jake on the other phone to which he apparently had immediate access. She idly wondered exactly how many cell phones Mister Mysterious carried.

"Jake's on his way. Turn on the car alarm," Frank ordered. The car alarm! As Monica reached over and turned on the car alarm, she heard Frank telling someone to phone Cody. Her attacker was startled. He stopped trying to crack the window, and looked at Monica straight in the face. Monica saw that it was the same man who'd attacked Nadia. It clicked in her mind: that was the snapping sound she had heard, both back at the nest and just now, the sound of wood smacking against an hard object. He was a stalker and he was trying to get Monica.

She watched him run away and again heard Frank's voice in her ear.

"Monica. Tell me what happened." She relayed to him what had happened, both yesterday at the nest, and later on with Nadia. She heard him relaying this information to Jake.

"It's the same man, Frank. I saw his face. And I heard the same snapping sound just before he attacked today."

"That means he had access to a car, for he followed you. Stopping off at McDonald's yesterday turned his attention from you to someone else. But he made sure to follow you home. He doubled back after going into the wooded area, and followed you. He must know where Nadia lives," Frank said.

"My god," Monica started but Frank cut her off.

"I've got the police going over to her address," Frank said, then continued, "He waited for you this morning and then followed you to attack you. He knows where you live," he said.

"Why would attack me now? I'm at the grocery store!" Monica protested, but even as she did, she was looking around the parking lot. She had parked the furthest from the store's door, and there were no other cars in the parking lot.

"Odd," she told Frank. "There's no other cars in the parking lot. This is the grocery store! There should be cars."

"Look at the time," Frank said.

Monica did. 7:30 am. The store had just opened. Monica shuddered. The brazenness of the attack also meant she was being stalked.

"He's been stalking you for some time. He wanted to attack you in public. Not at your home. This tells me he wanted the attack to be noticed by others. To take control away from your life. To make you afraid when you ran errands. You were doing a simple errand: going to the grocery store. Nice and safe, right?  Wrong. He needed to control your feelings. He wanted you to fear going on errands. I've put Jake on it. He'll be there within a few minutes."

Frank sounded disturbed. Monica knew why. Frank did not like one of his team being stalked, and him not knowing about it. The nest's security had been compromised, for Monica had heard the snapping sound after she'd left the nest's building. Suddenly Monica knew where her stalker had been located: in the dumpster across the street from the nest's building.  Frank was mad, Monica knew. He didn't like being upstaged. But she felt safe. Frank would get her through this.

She also knew Frank's analysis was bang on. Better than her own analysis would have been. Her attacker was motivated by a need to instill fear in his victims. He wanted to take away the security in his victim's lives. He didn't expect to get caught. He plainly stated that yesterday when he told Nadia "I. Don't. Care." in response to her answer that her 'husband' was six foot six and a pro-wrestler.

Sure enough on Frank's word Jake would be there momentarily, Monica heard Jake's car peeling into the parking lot. He pulled up next to her car. He jumped out and ran over. He was dressed in grey Nike sweats and she suddenly realized Jake lived near here. Monica opened the car door.

"He's gone?" Jake asked. Monica noted he didn't ask her if she was ok. Then she remembered how Nadia had glared at her when she had asked Nadia that same question.


"Cody's given me the description of your attacker," Jake said, pulling out his cell phone. The tiny screen showed a text message from Cody. Damn, Frank was good. Not only had he phoned Jake, but from where ever he was, he had gotten Cody to rummage around the computer system and get the description so Monica wouldn't have to relay the description again. "Time is of the essence in these situations," Frank's voice sounded in Jake's mind.

"We've got the police on the way," he continued, but his comment was unnecessary for they heard the sirens.

"We'll catch him Monica. Stay with me on the phone," Frank's comforting voice said in her ear. And she was comforted. Frank was the best. He wouldn't rest until her's and Nadia's attacker was caught.

Frank was feeling frustrated. Stuck in Boston due to a flight delay. Someone had found black powder sprinkled on the floor in one of Logan Airport's lounges and the airport had been evacuated. It turned out to be black sand. Someone had gone to Hawaii's famous beach and had brought a vial of the black sand back. The vial had cracked and spilled out of the owner's purse while she was rummaging around for a lipstick. False alarm but necessary since September 11th. Frank had holed himself up in the Four Season's hotel until the next night when his flight had been rescheduled.

He had been sipping Jack and diet coke in the hotel's bar when his cell phone beeped.

He'd answered "Donovan," and heard Monica scream. He was instantly alert and his mind was racing. Someone was trying to hurt one of his team. Over his dead body would any of his team be hurt! He'd met Jenny in a bar, and later he'd been unable to prevent her murder. Now he was stuck in a bar at the Four Seasons hotel in Boston, and one of his team was in trouble.

He'd waved at former Agent Lynda Black, who was threading her back to their table from the buffet table the Season's had set up. She had retired early and was now living in Portland. She'd driven down when he'd phoned and told her he would stuck in Boston overnight. She speeded up her walk, put the plate down and dug her cell phone out the pocket of her thick pea coat. She had handed him her phone and he dialed Jake and spoke to him. He had raised the other cell phone to his ear and spoke to Monica.

"Monica, I've called Jake. Where are you?" He listened to her response.

"Jake's on his way. Turn on the car alarm," he ordered.

He told Lynda, "Call Cody at this number: 585 331-5555. Have him text Jake the attacker's description." She took out the second phone she carried in her purse and dialed the number Frank had given her. He had hung up the phone on which he had called Jake. He motioned to Lynda to keep Cody on the line.

He continued to ask Monica questions and outlined the situation for her. He would control this situation and he would find Monica's attacker. He would also have the dumpster across from the nest's building removed, for undoubtedly that was where Monica's stalker had placed himself.

He told Monica, "We'll catch him Monica. Stay with me on the phone."

He heard the sound of gunshots from the phone on which Monica and Jake were on the other end.

"Monica! Talk to me!" he ordered.

Gunshots rang out. Monica and Jake were both startled. Frank's voice came through the phone.

"Monica! Talk to me!" he ordered.

"We're ok!" she shouted into the phone.

The sound of tires screeching to a halt came from down the street. More gunshots were fired. Shouts were heard.

"Halt! Police!"

Jake had run around to the other side of Monica's car and jumped in.

"Drive!" he ordered, taking the phone from Monica.

"Frank. We're going to assist," he told Frank.

"Jake, no!" Frank insisted.

Monica had already stepped on the pedal, drove the two blocks to where the squad cars were parked all over the street. She pulled up behind the last squad car.

They both got out, Jake cradling the phone to his ear and relaying what he saw to Frank.

"Three squads and five guns on the suspect," he told Frank.

"Tell them DOJ!" Frank ordered Jake. "Them" naturally meant the cops on the scene.

"DOJ!" Jake shouted. One looked back, and Monica was startled to recognize Officer Montrose. So he was working a double shift. Officer Montrose nodded and shouted, "those two are Feds, DOJ!" The other Officers nodded, not taking their eyes or their gun sights off the man who was backed up against the wall. He was brandishing a Magnum 45, a powerful piece of blue-gray steel. The man was hers and Nadia's attacker!

"It's him!" Monica breathed. "It's him!" she stated more clearly.

"Is that him?" Jake asked Monica for verification. She nodded.

"It's him," he told Frank. "He's backed up against the wall with five guns held to him. He's got a Magnum 45," he told Frank.

"Tell Monica to move to where he can see her." Jake did so.

Monica was startled. "What?"

Frank had apparently heard her, for his voice came into Jake's ear: "Tell her he'll be surprised to see her and the police will have a chance to disable him," Frank told Jake.

"He'll be surprised to see you. That will give the cops a chance to disable him," Jake said, still holding the phone to his ear. Monica looked doubtful. But Jake took her by the arm and led her to a safe distance, out of the Magnum's reach, but to where the suspect could see her. As Frank had predicted, he was startled to see her and his gun wavered as his attention flickered from the officers holding the guns on him to Monica. Officer Montrose took that opportunity to shoot him in the right shoulder. The man's blood splattered against the wall and his gun dropped to the ground, accidentally going off.

"Jake. Talk to me," Frank's voice ordered in Jake's ear. Jake didn't respond.

"Jake. Talk to me," Frank's voice ordered again.

The frustration Frank felt was growing more intense. He was in a bar in Boston. He wasn't on the scene. Now two of his team were in danger. Jake wasn't talking to him and he had just heard not one but two gunshots.

"He's down, Frank. Shot to the left shoulder. One of the officers was shot in the leg when the Magnum dropped to the ground." Jake said into the phone.

Frank breathed a sigh of relief to himself. His team was ok. The suspect was nabbed. Frank would have some words with Jake when he got back from Monte Carlo. He would also teach Monica to look around her car before getting in and teach her how to escape from the trunk if she was ever thrown in. These actions wouldn't have deterred her attacker, Frank reflected. Her not looking around the car had enabled her to get inside the car before her attacker could try to hit her with the bat.

But for now, he was just glad his team was unhurt. His team was his priority. He was in a bar in Boston, there had been gunshots at people he had come to care about, even if he didn't show it. But he had pulled them through. He gave a thumbs up to his first FBI boss, Agent Lynda Black, who smiled at him, and waved the cocktail waitress over.

"Tell Monica not to approach him," he said into his phone.

"Monica, don't approach the man," Jake said.

"He stalked me! Cracked the windows on my car! He also attacked Nadia!" Monica was indignant. She didn't know she was frustrated and angry until her attacker had been downed. Adrenalin was running through her veins. The suspect was now being loaded into the ambulance, both his hands shackled to the sides of the gurney. She could see him glaring at her.

"Hand Monica the phone," ordered Frank to Jake. Jake handed the phone to Monica and watched while Monica's face contorted into a variety of expressions: indignation, anger, then the realization that whatever Frank was telling her, he was, as he always was, right.

"Damn, Frank's good," Jake muttered under his breath.

"See you when you get back," Monica said into the phone, and snapped it off.  She waited until the ambulance had taken off, then walked over and started to give her statement to the police. Jake watched her. What an influence Frank had on her. And what a morning! Just after 8 am, and already a suspect was cuffed. Jake did feel satisfaction that Monica's attacker had been caught so quickly. Jake knew Frank would get the details of this latest nab from Cody, which was why he'd hung up his end of the phone. He knew Cody would have the police report in Frank's hands as soon as it was entered into the system.

He watched Monica walking back.

"Nadia's ok. Seems she stayed at a friend's house last night and hadn't yet gone back to her apartment. A squad spotted our attacker as he was running away from the grocery store. He had pulled the gun and started firing. That's when they backed him against the wall. He kicked an officer," Monica said. She was angry but feeling satisfied the attacker was caught so quickly. Where ever he was currently located, Frank had pulled her through. He had pulled both her and Jake through. She'd wanted to tell her attacker off, both for herself and for Nadia. But Frank had said no. Don't give him more information. He could use this information against you at the trial, try to get a lighter sentence or try to get off completely on a technical point.

Monica had to admit Frank was right. He'd told her to contact Nadia and let her know her attacker would be serving a long prison sentence. Shooting an officer--even accidentally--carried a long term, attempted armed robbery, sexual assault, destruction of property.

"You can add on an additional charge of assault with a deadly weapon to the charges he'll face," Jake said, as if he had read her mind and knew she was at that moment running down the list of charges her attacker would face in court.

She told him, "I know. He'd had the Magnum on him when he was trying to crack my windows. I don't know how I did it, but I was so relieved when Frank answered the phone.

Jake could see Monica didn't understand. "An additional charge of assault with a deadly weapon will be added on because he was wearing shoes when he kicked an officer. Wearing shoes while kicking someone counts as assault with a deadly weapon," he told her.

Monica was surprised.

"It's the law," Jake said. "He'll be serving one long prison term."

"Good." Monica smiled. "Know what else Frank said? He told me to be on that plane to Acapulco tomorrow. Can you believe he wants me to go on vacation with what happened to me? He said he would check up on me to ensure that not only did I get on that plane, but that I checked into Hotel Costa Club." Monica said.

Jake chuckled. "He can get Cody to track that information, and you know how Cody and computers have a symbiont relationship." Both he and Monica laughed. "Cody's a nick for 'coder', a programmer. And Cody's the best with computers. Frank will know not only if you've gotten onto the plane, he'll tell you your seat number and the time you checked into the Hotel Costa Club."

"He said that a vacation away from the stress would do wonders for me. I suppose he is right. That lesson he gave us with pillow fight we had the other day really made me taught me to always watch my back and watch the backs of my teammates. It also taught me to laugh again," she said.

She and Jake chuckled again at their respective memories of Frank laughing in the nest's gym. Frank Donovan. Laughing. What a memory!