UC: Undercover Fan Fiction: por ucferrarisgirl
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sex, lies, and videotapes

Frank was alone in the nest's gym. He'd done his laps around the gym and was now training on the Bowflex he'd purchased through the teams' budget.

"A Bowflex?" Britt had asked, his face skeptical. Frank had merely looked at him. Britt had sighed, but he had signed the requisition form. Both he and Frank remembered their physical training at the Academy. Academy physical training was tough and it was meant to be tough. Agents never knew where a suspect would run, or what they would have to do physically in order to obtain custody of the suspect. Frank had found the Bowflex machine the best way to maintain his high standard of physical fitness.

It was early Monday morning. Another grey drizzly day in the city. The Bowflex softly rasped as he went through his routine. The team had had a quiet week, but this upcoming week? Who knew what would happen. One of the hazards of this job was the uncertainty, the knowledge that every day might be your last. You might make a mistake, underestimate your opponent, and you or a team member might be seriously wounded--or killed.

He could not afford to let his team think--for even a minute--that he was vulnerable. He had to remain their rock, someone they could depend upon to get them out of any situation their jobs placed them in. If they saw his vulnerabilities--the few vulnerabilities he, like all humans, possessed--they might hesitate for a split second. That split second might end their lives, or the life of someone else.

As he continued his exercise routine, Frank remembered Jenny Whitehall. His first girlfriend soon after he'd moved from the Academy's dormitories to his rowhouse on O Street in Georgetown. They'd been on an unexpected date as Jenny's schedule shift had been cancelled at Carol's bar on 9th Street in downtown Washington. Her schedule had suddenly been switched by her boss at the request of another waitress--Sandy. Jenny was supposed to have been working the night she was killed. And Frank had been unable to stop her murder. His sharp eye had put a bullet through the right wrist of the killer's accomplice. But Frank hadn't foreseen what the murderer, Matt Duncan, would do next. He hadn't forseen that Matt would suddenly spin around and empty three bullets into Jenny's chest. Frank had expected him to shoot the two store clerks first.

"There's no one who could have predicted he would spin around and kill Jenny first," he'd been told by not only his then-boss, the legendary Agent Lynda Black, but Agent Michaels had eerily echoed her words, "No one would have thought, not even me, that Matt would spin around and shoot Jenny first," he'd told a shaken younger Frank Donovan.

Jenny's death had driven home the realization that in order to survive working in the FBI, you had to watch your back all the time and you had to anticipate and expect the unexpected. That was the lesson he was teaching when he organized the pillow fight a short time back.

He had  to suppress his personality while on the job. He had to play a masterful game of psychological chess, except instead of drawing a checkmate with chess pieces, he was playing with human lives.

He had to pretend to be ruthless in this job.

Jenny's death had weighed heavily on his mind ever since. The Bowflex continued to rasp as he worked on his abdominal exercises. He knew the endorphin hormones coursing through his bloodstream would soon give him an elated feeling, and he knew they would soon help him control his feelings about Jenny, the gorgeous young woman whose murder he couldn't prevent when he was a rookie Agent under Lynda Black.

Frank finished up with his exercises and went to one of the nest's showers. As he showered, he thought of the assault on Monica. He'd been upset with Jake for putting himself and Monica into immediate gunfire, but they had listened to his instructions and in the end, he had pulled them through unharmed. Monica had shown herself to be ably competent in the field under high pressure, especially in telling Officer Montrose to check all the gyms and post Willie's description in them.  Frank was thinking of how else he could use her nascent talents.

It had turned out Monica's attacker--and Nadia's, Frank now remembered Willie had sexually assaulted Nadia first because he couldn't get to Monica--had done a string of similar sexual assaults, all unsolved, in every place he'd lived in. He was a drifter, roamed from town to town. But not anymore. He was in jail for a good long time, something Frank would see to by speaking with the Judge when Willie's trial took place. He did have clout with that particular judge and would ask for the maximum sentence to be imposed on all charges. He knew he would get the maximum imposed on Willie. He was another criminal Frank was glad to see off the streets.

The warm water soothed him. He also thought about the recent events concerning Sasha. He knew his team had been dismayed at his reaction in dealing with Sasha, and why he had displayed such a contradictory range of emotions and actions with her. Jake had wanted to know if Frank really would have had Sasha killed. How could he explain it to them?

When Danny had been killed by Colin, and Colin had established his dominance over Jake and Cubby, Frank had known Colin was possessive--and jealous of his possessions. Alex had discovered Sasha's duplicity and how Colin had used her to gather information which could have killed hostages.

Frank had turned the tables on Colin and used Sasha's duplicity to ensure the release of the hostages.  He knew Colin would have been pissed off to see another man fondly stroking Sasha's--his woman's--hair. Frank's goal was to induce jealousy in an attempt to influence Colin's behavior. His rationale had been to bring Sasha outside, cuffed, standing next to him, and himself fondly stroking her hair with a maniacal look in his eyes. A cuffed Sasha had been unable to brush his hand away. Frank had needed Colin to believe that Frank was not beyond having Sasha killed if Colin didn't do what Frank wanted and release the hostages. In short, he'd used the soon to be convicted woman as a bargaining chip in exchange for the lives of the hostages.

Only one hostage had been wounded, an off duty Chicago police officer, and he would live. The others had been physically unharmed but only after being caught in the middle of sniper fire aimed at the suspects.

Finishing up his shower, Frank dressed, then sat down at the kitchen table with a cappuccino. He sipped the warm froth off the top and listened to the rain drumming on the window, thinking, and sipping. Soon, he got up and went to his office.

Sometime later, Frank walked back into the gym. "Team meeting, ten minutes. You know where," Frank bluntly told the team, minus Monica, as they were idling about the nest's gym. Exercising cleared his mind and allowed him to think.

The team members looked at each other, knowing that Frank meant business and that it was serious.

She slept deeply on top of the down comforter. It was warm in her apartment. Her breathing was shallow. She didn't hear the soft click of the door lock being picked, nor did she hear the soft footsteps crossing the living room, going down the hall, and entering the bedroom where she slept, oblivious.

She was so deeply asleep, she didn't even wake when the lightswitch was flipped up.

"She's lying there, on top of the comforter," the intruder whispered ever so softly to himself.

He turned the woman's head so her face was away from the camera. He brushed her hair over her face, and stroked her cheek lightly. His customers liked the mystique of not knowing who was on the film. He set up a small camcorder on the dresser, and positioned it to his best advantage. He turned the camcorder on and knelt before it. Whispering ever so softly into the camcorder's microphone, he said, "Subject Number 43."

She still slept on, even as he slipped off her skirt and underwear. She still didn't wake even as he entered her. He knew she wouldn't wake up, for he had slipped a mickey in the Tom Collins' she'd had drunk earlier that evening at the bar. Being the bartender helped with his nocturnal activities.
He finished with her, stood up, and rummaged around in his pants pocket. He took out a small camera and proceeded to snap pictures of the prone, half naked woman. He made sure the camcorder caught him taking still pictures of his 'subject'. He finished the roll of film, and slipped her shorts on. He didn't like his victims to know right away they had been raped. He arranged her legs in a 'y' shape. That shook them but they didn't think much about that position until later, much later.

He put on his pants in front of the camcorder's lens. HE shut off the camcorder. He gathered his equipment and left the room, slunk down the hallway and out the front door.

But he left the light on. Oh yes, he enjoyed leaving the light on. That detail always freaked the ladies out. He heard many a lady in the bar wonder the same question: had they turned off the light before they had gone to bed? He knew every single woman he had raped, for those same women frequented the bars he had worked in. And the pictures of their rapes were plastered all over the basement of his dilapidated rowhouse. The videos? Oh, he sold the videos to a variety of highly prominent people in exchange for Colombian white.

Monica held Chrissy's hand. She was crying. So far, Monica hadn't been able to get Chrissy to tell her what had happened. She only knew Chrissy was upset, so Monica would patiently wait until Chrissy's emotions allowed her to tell Monica what had happened. This, she suspected would happen quite soon.

"I miscarried!" Chrissy sobbed.

Monica put her hand on Chrissy's shoulder. "I'm sorry," she told Chrissy. She brushed back Chrissy's long copper colored hair from her face.

"No! You don't understand! I haven't been seeing anyone," Chrissy said. This statement took Monica by surprise. A virgin conception? Hardly. She needed more information from Chrissy.

"Chrissy..." she started but Chrissy interjected and confirmed what Monica suspected.

"I was raped. Inside my home last month. I didn't know about it, but one night I woke up towards dawn, and the light was on. I looked down and I saw my legs in a 'y' shape. I didn't think anything about it. I often fall asleep with the light on. I frequently wake up in strange positions."

That was the longest statement Monica had heard Chrissy make this morning. She patted Chrissy's shoulder. Chrissy continued.

"I miscarried yesterday," she said again, bursting into a fresh set of tears.

Monica sat with Chrissy until she ran out of tears. Chrissy said she had to get to work; she worked the 7am-7pm shift at hospital this week.

"Do you want a ride?" Monica asked.

"No. But thank you for listening," Chrissy responded. She'd gathered her things, and left Monica's home.

Monica sat there on the couch, trying to make her decision. A few minutes later, she too, left her home, and drove to work. She was still undecided by the time she arrived at the nest. But as soon as she walked in the door, Monica knew what she had to do. She took a deep breath.

Then Monica went to Frank's office. And told him what happened to Chrissy.

Frank was seated at his desk. He considered his response. "That's what the team meeting is about. You know where," Frank said, going back to his deskwork.

Monica looked at the videotapes neatly stacked on his desk. Then Monica looked at Frank. His stoic face showed no emotion. Without moving his head, his dark eyes glanced up at Monica, dismissing her. She turned and walked out of the office.

Frank walked in the nest's gym. In his hands he carried several videotapes. Quietly, and without a word or even looking at the team, he walked over to the VCR, inserted the tape on top. He pushed 'play', then stepped back to allow the team to see the footage.

The team quieted. The expressions on their faces registered shock.

"He doesn't choose women who come in alone or with a man," Frank said. "Alex," Frank said. Alex knew she and Monica would be paired up. She knew they'd be going into the bars and attempting to flush out this seedy character.

"Monica," Frank said. He didn't say another word. Monica's face glistened with tears as she realized the what she was seeing on the video footage was what had happened to Chrissy last month--and why Chrissy had miscarried yesterday. The lights being left on, the position of the legs. "I need two women. He won't make a move if a woman is accompanied by a man," Frank continued. Monica was scared but she knew Frank would take care of her--he'd gotten her through the assault on her, so it would stand to reason he would get her through this situation. Still, she was going in, undercover, just like Alex. Even for a short time, it would be scary.

"There's more," Frank said. "These videos were confiscated from two members of Congress during a search of their homes. You know why their homes were searched."

The team did indeed know. For the last week, the media had been in raptures over the arrests of three teenage ecstasy dealers. The three were the offspring of a promiment member of Congress who had abruptly resigned, throwing off the balance of power in Congress.

"It turns out that the former member of Congress was involved in trading Colombian white in exchange for these videos," Frank said. "We cracked a former aide, the one who actually bought the powder for the Congressional member," he said, his face stoic, stone-hard, his voice controlled and even. "He pleaded guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence and has given us what we want to know to take down the former member of Congress. But we need the former member of Congress purchasing Colombian white."

The team looked at each other. He then gave them their assignments. "Cody and Jake are going in to bust the drug ring while Monica and Alex are going undercover to take down the rapist."

Alex stepped out of her rented Civic and glanced around before. She cupped her hand to her ear as if to brush the hair back from her eyes and said softly,

"You there, Frank?"

His voice also responded softly, "Yes. Cody has surveillance."

She straightened her skirt and stepped into the street. Crossing it, she walked to the door of Hayland's Bar and opened it. Stepping in the bar, Alex glanced around the dim bar. Good sized crowd. Smelly from the cigarette smoke. She was wearing a low cut top, tight leather skirt, fishnet stockings and high heels. The rapist chose his victims based on their clothing. Frank had told her the rapist believed he was doing a 'cleansing'--giving prostitutes what he thought they really wanted. She grimaced. She was upset for Monica and Chrissy.

Chrissy had been wearing a dance skirt the night she'd been raped. She'd just come from her dance class when she'd stopped off in Hayland's Bar for a drink before heading on home. She was a regular. She'd been stressed from her job, nursing shortages caused work overload. After speaking with her, Alex didn't know how Chrissy managed to fit in three exercise classes per week in to her hectic schedule. Frank had said the rapist thought Chrissy a prostitute, so he slipped a mickey into the drink he'd mixed.

He was also a stalker for he followed the women home or somehow managed to obtain their home addresses. Cody had been busy tapping into the rapist's phone lines and had discovered the rapist managed a USENET group which bought and sold the videos made of the rapes. Frank had immediately sent out agents to search the houses of those addresses found on the list. They had hit paydirt. Thirty four arrests had been made. And soon the thirty fifth arrest would be made. Tonight.

Alex smoothed her skirt again, making sure to catch the eye of the bartender. She almost sucked in her breath, but Frank's voice in her ear said,

"Smile at him,"

Alex smiled at the bartender and went to the table nearest the bar. She sat down. The bartender came over. Apparently there were no cocktail waitresses.

"Hello. I'm Leonard, your bartender. Can I get you anything," he asked her.

"Make it a Tom Collins," Frank's voice softly said in her ear.

"A tom collins," Alex said, looking Leonard full in the eye and smiling at him again. "I'll also need a tom collins for my friend. She'll be showing up shortly," Alex said. The tip of Leonard's tongue came out of the corner of his mouth.

Frank's soft voice in her ear said, "Steady, Alex. We've got you covered,"

"Coming right up," Leonard said, turning back to the bar. His head snapped suddenly towards the entrance. Alex glanced over and there was Monica. She had been furious to learn the truth of what had happened to Chrissy and she was playing her role to the hilt. Dressed in skintight leather, and impossibly high heels, she looked the part of a streetwalker. She cupped her hand and made to brush her hair out of her eyes. Alex knew Frank was speaking to her.

"Smile at the man looking at you," he told her. Monica smiled at Leonard, who was agog at Monica.

Monica glanced around, saw Alex and walked over. "Lyndsay! Glad we could meet up tonight." Monica sat down.

"Hello Debbie! It's been such a tough week, I needed to get out and relax a bit," Alex said.

Frank had seen Leonard fumble with a small device behind the bar. He and Cody had been momentarily confused until Frank realized that it was a spy aid, designed to listen to conversation up to 50 feet away. Undoubtedly Leonard had purchased it in a spy shop or ordered it out of the Wall Street Journal. So that's how he knew the womens' addresses. He listened in on their conversations via a listening device. Much like he himself was doing.

Frank interjected in both their earphones, "Alex, ask Monica where she's staying,"

"Are you staying at the Eclipse Hotel this time around?" she asked Monica. She ran her hand down the leg that was in full view of Leonard.

"Ewww, yes. That dirty trap seems to attract me," Monica said.

"Alex, tell Monica you'll drop her off at the hotel. Monica, say yes," Frank's voice said in both their earphones.

"Did you need a ride to the hotel?"

"Umm, yes. Tom Collins and high heels don't agree with me," Monica said, and giggled.

"There's the mickey!" Cody interjected as he, Jake and Frank sat watching Leonard slipping not one but two mickeys into the girls' drinks.

"Steady, ladies. He's slipped the mickey in. You're going to have to take a few sips until we can get the distraction. We'll get you out unharmed," Frank said into his headpiece. He didn't show it, but he was worried.

Leonard brought the drinks over. "Here you go, Debbie. Lyndsay," as he set the drinks down. Monica and Alex both looked up at him and smiled.

Alex started to say what was on her mind, but thought better of it. "That's his first mistake," she thought to herself. "Calling us by our names even though we didn't tell him our names. He must have a listening device somewhere behind the bar."
"We're sending in the backups," Frank's voice said in their earpieces. "Just take a few small sips and try to hold it in your mouths until the other team gets in there and blocks Leonard's view of you."

Alex and Monica both sipped their drinks. They kept the liquid in their mouths. Immediately, two men came in and strutted up to the bar, momentarily blocking their view of Leonard.

Alex and Monica both spit the liquid back into their glasses. Alex surreptiously reached into the pocket of her leather jacket and took out a towel, which she dropped on the floor beneath the table.  They both picked up their glasses and carefully poured about half of the liquid onto the floor, wetting the towel.

They both sat at the table, swirling the little paper umbrellas, and making small chat: their love lives, their exercise routines.

The two men at the bar had asked Leonard for two beers. Leonard had gotten them. The two men sat down on the bar stools and started scanning the room. Unbeknownst to Leonard, the men caught the eyes of Alex and Monica.

Alex was startled to see former Agent Jack Carson looking at her. She and Agent Carson had butted heads prior to her latest assignment. She was more suprised to see Hart also looking at her. Frank was keeping this tight.

"Easy, Alex," Frank said in her ear.

"It's been long enough. Yawn, both of you," Frank's voice said in both their earpieces.

First Monica, then Alex, yawned.

"Let's finish these drinks and then I'll take you to the hotel," Alex said to Monica. They raised their glasses and Alex saw Leonard looking at them. They each took a sip.

"Swallow. He's directly watching you," came Frank's ever softening voice. Alex was startled to realize he must know there's a listening device behind the bar.

The two men at the bar finished their beers, turned around and asked for more. Alex and Monica both took the opportunity to dump their glasses on the floor under the table. Putting them onto the table, Alex took out a few small bills and left them on the table as a tip. She and Monica stood up, and started walking to the door.

As they exited, they noticed that it was near closing time for Hayland's bar. "Soon, very soon," Alex thought to herself.

Monica thought, "Soon, very soon." They both walked to the rented Civic, got in and drove to the Eclipse Hotel, where Frank had set his trap.

One woman slept deeply on top of the thin coverlet the cheap motel used. The other woman had fallen asleep on the shabby couch.

Frank was very well aware of the soft clock of the hotel's door lock being picked, and he was very well aware of the rapist's footsteps crossing the small hotel room.

The women were so deeply asleep, they didn't even wake when the lightswitch was flipped up.

"They're here, both of them. This video will be the biggest seller yet," he whispered ever so softly to himself.

He turned the head of the woman on the bed so her face was away from the camera. He brushed her hair over her face, and stroked her cheek lightly. Oh how his customers liked the mystique of not knowing who was on the film. He set up a small camcorder on the dresser, and positioned it to his best advantage. He turned the camcorder on and knelt before it. Whispering ever so softly into the camcorder's microphone, he said, "Subject Number 44."

He knelt before the woman on the bed. He leaned over her, preparing to slip off her skirt when suddenly, Alex raised her hand and, using the first two fingers of her right hand as Frank had taught her, she drove them into Leonard's throat with all the force she could muster. Leonard howled in pain and fell on the floor, trying to catch his breath.

Monica had gotten up from the shabby couch and had pulled his hands behind his back, cuffing them. She went over and turned off the camcorder. Frank and Jake burst in the door. Pulling Leonard to his feet, Frank suddenly jerked Leonard's arms upward. Leonard howled in pain. Jake took over and started to walk Leonard out the door. He slammed Leonard's face into the doorframe.

"Ooops. An accident. So sorry," Jake said as he walked a dazed Leonard out to the waiting squad car.

"You two did a good job," Frank said to Alex and Monica. He was standing next to Monica and he put his hand on her shoulder. "I know it was difficult for you to do this. An excellent job," he told a shaken but relieved Monica.

Frank took the camcorder off the dresser. Lifting it in his hands, he shook the camcorder. "Let's get out of here," he told his female team. "We still have the other assignment to take down tonight."

Three of the team sat in the van. This time around, Jake and Cody were going in. Frank knew the Congressman would be taken down quickly.

Jake sat in the darkened limo on the darkened street. He had been surprised when Frank had asked Monica to be Alex's partner in taking down Leonard Freedhall, the rapist. But the more he thought about it, the more he realized had Alex gone into the bar with a male partner, Leonard would not have paid her any attention.

It was a risky move, for Monica was not trained for undercover work. She had agreed, for she wanted to witness the arrest of Chrissy's rapist. She'd performed very well, a bit overdone on the outfit, but not bad at all for her first time undercover. She'd been scared when she'd been attacked in her car, in broad daylight, at the grocery store. But Frank had pulled her through, pulled both of them through.

For his part, he'd jumped into action when he heard the gunshots being fired. He had known straight away the cops had cornered Monica's attacker. He didn't know how he knew but he'd known. He'd reacted instantaneously, knowing all the while Frank would have some words--strong words--for him when he got back from Monte Carlo.

Jake had also been surprised when Frank said Cody was to be his partner in taking down the Congressman. Cody was  also untrained in undercover work, preferring his toys. And he knew, as did Frank, that Cody considered the surveillance equipment to be his toys. Possessiveness begat protectiveness and a desire to take care of his possessions.

As he sat in the darkened limo, in the darkened street for somebody had shot out the streetlights, he was startled to realize that another term for possessiveness was 'covet'. Cody coveted his equipment and he'd ensure it was in working order and he'd ensure the latest surveillance technology would be in the van, or at the nest, as soon as the technology hit the consumer market. Jake had a sneaking suspicion that when new surveillance equipment was manufactured, Cody would be standing at the factory door, waiting for the first unit to come off the assembly line.

It also dawned on Jake that was exactly the way Frank wanted Cody to feel about 'his' equipment. If Cody coveted his equipment, he'd baby it, coddle it, ensure there were spare parts in the event of breakdown. That was just what Frank wanted--and needed. Frank couldn't risk the chance of having the surveillance equipment in the van or at the nest break down...unless somebody else shot it down, like at the bank.

Oooo, Frank was good, better than good. He understood the motivations behind his team's behavior and allowed them, up to a point.

For his part in tonight's take-down, Cody was playing the role of chauffeur-slash-personal assistant. Cody was sitting in the driver's seat of the rather luxurious limo Frank had arranged. Damn, he thought. If only Frank allowed us to use a limo on every assignment!

Jake had made himself up to look like Leonard Freedhall. Wasn't too hard for him--like him, Leonard had black hair and facial hair. Using prostethics, Jake's face had been transformed into a similar version of Leonard. Being dark, there wasn't much need for perfection but Frank had insisted Jake look as closely as possible like Leondard. The Congressman had had many dealings with Leonard and knew what his face looked like from the videos Leonard.

But even Frank had said it was the tonal inflections and accent which were more important. He'd told Jake to tell the Congressman he'd cut his hair and beard because he was becoming known by the women and he liked to keep things a bit anonymous. But the accent had to be perfect Cockney, Frank had said. Perfect cockney.

Cody's accent had to be Scottish. He'd practiced the Scottish burrs until they were perfect. Frank had been eminently satisfied. Surprisingly Cody had felt a similar satisfaction. Usually only computers had filled his needs. He was at home with computers, had been ever since he'd gotten an Atari for Christmas one year. He'd fiddled with it, played with it, and still had his beloved Atari, enshrined in his apartment, in perfect working order.

Jake's voice coming through the limo's speakers paused his thoughts.

"He's here."

Cody looked and sure enough another limo had just turned into the darkened street. It was a dilapidated section of the city, run down, and the Mayor's office wasn't prioritizing the replacement of street lights. Moreover, they seemed to have no interest in tearing down the buildings, most of which had been condemned as uninhabitable years ago.

"Get out of the car when I give the word," Frank's voice came in his ear. Cody refrained himself from jumping. It was a bit strange to hear Frank's voice in the earphone.

"Yes," he said.

Frank's voice came back immediately, "Don't verbally answer my commands unless I tell you to."

Cody knew Frank was right. He was unused to being out in the field. He was a computer guy. And answering Frank verbally when Frank gave him a command was not a wise choice. Unless Frank needed a verbal response, Cody would just do what Frank wanted. 

Cody heard the limo's door open. The Congressman's limo had pulled up a short distance away, facing the limo Cody was driving. Its headlights shut off. He could see the driver of the other limo looking at him in the darkness. Cody knew his face couldn't be seen, but as he himself could see the silhouette of the other drive, Cody surmised the other driver could see his.

"Just sit still. Eyes ahead. Don't even glance at the camera. You're a servant. Supposed to remain motionless and unattached to your employer's diversions," Frank's voice came into his ear.

Cody sat motionless, eyes ahead, looking without emotion at the other driver.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Jake amble over to the Congressman, who'd gotten out of his limo and was standing in the space of about sixty feet between the two limos. He was silhouetted by the pale moonlight shining down.

Jake made a come here motion with his hand.

"Go," Frank's voice ordered Cody. "Remember you're a servant."

Cody got out of the car with a videocassette in his hand. He walked to Jake, and handed it to him, saying, "Ere ye go, sir," then stepped back, did an about face, and returned to his limo.

"Excellent," came Frank's voice. "Be prepared if necessary." Cody had been taught some Krav Maga moves by Frank just in case the situation needed it. "Always be prepared," came Frank's voice in his mind.

Cody turned his attention to the two on the street. He could hear them through the listening device Frank had him install in the limo. "Damn, these things really do work," he marvelled to himself as he stared ahead, motionless, the ever-ready servant.

"You've got a new one I heard. With two this time?" The Congressman asked.

"Yeah. It's me best yet," Jake intoned.

"You look different," the Congressman observed, trying to peer closer at Jake through the pale moonlight.

"Had to cut me hair and shave me beard to stubble. Women get me image in their mind and remember me. Don't want to get too well known amongst the ladies," Jake said. "You ready to deal?"

Without further word, the Congressman pulled out a surprisingly large baggie of white powder and held it in his right hand.

"Easy," came Frank's voice in his ear. Cody had been surprised at the amount of Colombian white the Congressman had in his hands. Even through the pale moonlight, it was easy to see there was easily two pounds of Colombian white in that baggie.

Jake, equally wordless, pulled out the videocassette Cody had handed him and held it in his right hand. Frank had told him this was important. The handover had always taken place simultaneously as the Congressman handed the baggie to Leonard with his right hand, and Leonard had handed the video to the Congressman in his right hand. Facing each other would put the baggie in Leonard's left hand, and the video in the Congressman's left hand.

The two men stood in the paling moonlight, as drifting clouds covered the moon's face and momentarily dimmed its light.

The Congressman raised him right arm to hand Jake the baggie. Jake raised his right arm to hand the Congressman the video. The baggie touched Jake's left hand at the same moment the videocassette touched the Congressman's left hand.

Both men let go of their respective objects. The deal had gone down.

Jake took two steps back. The Congressman took two steps back. Both knew how dangerous a position they were in. Jake took another two steps back, as did the Congressman.

Suddenly, a spotlight flipped on. Jake whipped out his gun, pointed it at the Congressman and shouted, "Freeze! DOJ!"

Footsteps sounded. Other Agents appeared, armed and in protection. DEA Agents surrounded the Congressman, and cuffed him. He stood, blinking his eyes at the brightness of the lights, knowing full well his career and his marriage, was over. And the careers of those under him were also over. There would be a taint on his underlings for having worked for that particular Congressmen. They'd have trouble finding jobs in the political world, especially those working close with the Congressman.

"Not as smart as you think you are, eh Mister Congressman," Jake growled. The take-down had gone off very easily, too easily. Jake wished all take-downs ended this easily. The Congressman had been too stunned by the sodium lights in his eyes to react quickly.

Jake almost slapped his forehead. The sodium lights! Frank had insisted on the sodium spotlight. "Why that little criminal psychologist!" Jake thought. Blinding his opponent, like a deer caught in headlights, had been a very simple,  yet very effective way of freezing his opponent and ensuring an easy take-down, with no gunshots being fired. Frank was concerned about his team and more concerned about potentially putting Cody in the line of fire. So Frank had minimized the possiblity of Cody's being put in the line of fire by putting a sodium light, small but highly effective, in the place where it would shine directly in the Congressman's eyes, and momentarily blinding him.

DEA agents led the cuffed Congressman away.

Cody got out of the car and ambled up to Jake.

"Easy take down. Damn, Frank's good!" he said to Jake, forgetting that Frank was still in the van, listening.

"Thank you, Cody," came Frank's voice in his ear. Cody jumped, startled, finally remembering he still had the earpiece.

"Let's get out of here," Jake said to Cody. "I'll drive the limo this time and let you relax in the back with the girls. There's another bottle of champagne."

The moonlight brightened as Cody stepped into the back of the limo and Jake slipped behind the wheel. "I'm going to like this car ride," Cody thought to himself as Jake maneuvered the limo around and drove off, leaving the DEA and FBI police lights flashing behind them.

Agent Lynda Black had been right, Frank thought, not for the first time. This does relieve the tension.

Frank was lying on a table in a tastefully decorated small room. The room was in an equally tastefully decorated small building. The building was in Toronto.

Not speaking Japanese, even after all these years, Frank couldn't talk to small woman who kneaded the tension out of his back. But then again, he didn't need words. He felt the tension leave his body and his mind as the small but powerful hands worked the muscles. He'd thought over what Lynda had told him so many years ago.

"Massages are good!" she'd protested when a younger Frank Donovan declined her offer of taking him to a discreet masseuse she used.

"Massages are for socialites, and celebrities," he'd said a bit indignantly over the rim of the tumbler containing his favorite drink, Jack and coke. The bar wasn't crowded, so no one would hear this conversation. He sipped, looking at Lynda with his dark eyes. She was not going to be deterred, Frank knew. He knew she could outmaneuver him, if necessary.

They worked perfectly together: Frank a younger version of her. Or rather, Lynda was an older version of him. They worked in tandem, knowing what information the other needed before it was asked. Frank also knew that as his immediate superior, Lynda would eventually get him to visit her masseuse, the same masseuse who was currently kneading the tension out of his back.

The more Frank thought about massages, the more he realized Lynda was right. In this job, tensions ran high, and often ran high for long periods of time. The emotions eventually took a toll on not only the mind, but the human body. If one couldn't alleviate the tension, eventually tension would work its way into the job. Tension meant vulnerabilities. And crime kings did not hesitate to take advantage of vulnerabilties.

And if an Agent had unrelieved tension, that could translate into that Agent, or innocent civilians, being killed.

Lynda's impeccable (and decidedly clever) argument had convinced Frank to try the masseuse. After all, there was no one else who would know. Lynda wasn't the sociable type--a trait which surprised Frank. She was a bit of a loner, preferring to travel the world alone. Her house had attested to the various countries she'd visited, for it was filled with Asian antiques and Turkish rugs. One of Lynda's favorite places was a very small hotel located on the Med a driveable distance from Antalya, Turkey.

"Turkey?" He'd asked. Somehow he'd envisioned Lynda in a more exotic locale, like the Mexican Rivieria.

"Yes, Turkey. Few tourists, mainly young European backpackers. No tension, no phones. Don't want to understand the language. It's a place where I can go to escape," she'd told him. "You'll find your own place to escape to. A place where you can set aside the duties of the job and just relax. If you allow the job to consume every waking moment of your life, you'll become obsessed with your job. And, as you know..." her voice trailed off as her eyes had given him a hard look, knowing Frank would know what she meant.

Yes, Frank knew very well that obsession with the job might lead to mistakes. A hasty decision could have fatal consequences. Almost every aspect of the job could end up having fatal consequences, Frank had reflected as the waitress brought another Jack and coke.

"That's why it's important that the tension is drained off every so often. Find a place to go to relax, a lonely place," she'd continued, knowing full well the thoughts which had run through Frank's mind, they were that similar.

She had picked up her own drink, also Jack and coke, and sipped it.

And then, as now, Frank had agreed with her during his first visit to her masseuse. Hell, he had agreed with Lynda within seconds of Yoha's hands kneading his back muscles. Yoha's hands were what kept him coming back to her business after all these years. Her hands melted the extreme tension he'd been feeling ever since the Chicago Bank hostage situation. Like exercising, a massage helped clear his mind, helped him relieve the anxiety he felt, helped him maintain control in tense situations.

The take-down a few days ago of Leonard Freedhall and the former Congressman had gone down perfectly. Monica and Cody had performed admirably. Frank didn't like putting them in the line of fire--he couldn't afford to lose their formidable talents, but he'd had no choice. The Congressman was known to hate women employees.

So Frank had been forced to use Cody as the chauffeur, but not before teaching him a few basic Krav Maga moves designed for maximum impact in the shortest possible time. And Frank would keep a bead on the Congressman. He knew his eye could take the Congressman (who, as Frank had discovered, was illegally carrying) down before Cody was in serious danger. Jake would take care of himself.

Monica was another story. He knew full well how she'd been feeling. As a woman, it was disturbing for her to know Chrissy had been raped, then for Monica to have to face the rapist and pretend she didn't know his face from the videotapes she'd had to watch. But he also knew that the death of her brother would give Monica pause for thought. She would want justice done. She was still disturbed by her brother's death at the wrong end of a gun.

The psychology part of Frank's mind knew Monica would instantly agree to his request of her going undercover with Alex, even as she simultaneously felt fear as being put in such a dangerous position. She'd want to participate more in the take-down of Leonard Freedhall, to alleviate her feelings of helplessness about Chrissy. She would be helping to catch Chrissy's rapist.

And Frank had had no other choice but to put her with Alex. He knew, as did Monica, that Leonard would never have made a move towards Alex, no matter how tempting she looked, had she either been alone or with a male companion. No. Leonard only made his moves on women in pairs or trios, often raping the small group in the same week. And she'd performed admirably. She hadn't had a chance to use the Krav Maga moves he'd taught her but the instructor he'd lined up for her said she was advancing rapidly.

She overdid it on the outfit, he thought as Yoha's hands kept kneading. But not bad for a rookie. Not bad at all.