- Love! I thought of a place to go! - Tasha said while preparing breakfast.
- IT IS? I also thought of several possibilities.
- Ah! Seriously? - He replied smiling. - We talked about going there sometimes, but we always postpone it. I think it would be good. - He got all excited.
- Yes. Even that time we planned Iza got sick and we had to cancel. - She spoke remembering when her children were small. - I was thinking about an island called Fernando de Noronha. - The brunette sat next to him and took the cell phone to show some pictures. - It's paradisiacal. It has some perfect walks, and some wonderful rustic inns.
- I'm already excited. Let's get organized then.
- I'll send you the research I did.
xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx
The next morning Tasha waited for Reade in his office. She needed to talk to him. After all, they always talked about everything and she didn't understand why he now wants to hide something from his best friend. It is certain that they stayed a year apart and before she left for the CIA their friendship was no longer the same. But despite that, Tasha still thought she could trust him.
The brunette still couldn't understand why Reade got in his car with Inspector West, but she knew she needed to find out.
- Looks like someone needs my help with Wizadville. - Reade said as he entered his office and found Tasha playing the application that Patterson had launched while waiting for him. - Let me guess, you've reached the Elfin Pit and don't know how to raise the drawbridge.
- I own the bridge. - She replied triumphantly.
- Excuse me! - He spoke defensively. - What is happening? - The boy asked sitting in his chair.
- I expected you to tell me. - She said in a calm tone, taking her eyes off her cell phone. - What were you doing with Jonathan West?
"I texted and you said you were going home, but you were with that State Department idiot the day he lost our criminal."
- Are you watching me? - He spoke defensively.
- I just saw him getting into his car. - She explained. - Look, I know there must be a good reason ...
- I don't need a reason. - Reade said upset. - I'm an assistant director of this office. What's so strange about that?
"I didn't mean to piss you off ..." Tasha tried to argue.
- Hey. I want to show you something. - Patterson said opening the door and interrupting them.
- We can at least ... - She tried to continue.
- No. - Reade answered categorically getting up and leaving the room.
The entire team met in the lab and Patterson started explaining the case they were working on.
Tasha realized that Reade was treating her with coldness and indifference. At a certain point she did not take away his reason, because as much as she thought she was right, she was still meddling in his life.
During the working day, the assistant director did not allow Tasha to go to the field with Jane and Weller and instead said he gave her bureaucratic service to resolve leaving her trapped in the SIOC.
His attitudes throughout the day increased her suspicion that something was wrong. Tasha decided to do the same to him, to keep her distance, making her get even closer to Patterson to whom she told her suspicions.
Reade noticed that Director Hirst was watching him. She even knew about her argument with Zapata.
- I heard you and Zapata argued this morning. - The director approached him when she found him in her office.
- This place is worse than school. - Reade confidential.
- What is happening? - She wanted to know if she was willing to support him.
- She saw me with West and wanted to know what I was doing with him. - He explained. - She's a busybody, so ...
- She's a busybody. - Hirst completed. - Do you think you can trust her?
- Of course. - The boy stated. - But it does not matter. I didn't say why I met with West.
- I'd leave it like that if I were you. - Advised him.
- Don't worry about Tasha. She is a friend. - That Reade could affirm with certainty, because he knew well everything that the two had already passed together.
- Me too. I just don't want to see you suffer.
Reade was not sure how to react to that conversation. Hirst could be his boss or whatever, but he didn't know if he would consider her his friend.
- Tasha! I received an alert that someone entered our server to access Stuart's phone data. - Patterson and Tasha were trying to get some information back that would lead to the lab technician's killer, but they had already realized it was a dead end.
- Who was? - Tasha asked distressed.
- It can not be. It doesn't make any sense. Tasha felt her heart sink. - This test may be flawed. He's the head of the office, he has every right to analyze evidence. - The brunette knew she didn't want to admit that Reade was a traitor.
- He also has every right to destroy the evidence. - Patterson intervened. - Look, he didn't even open the files. He just went in and deleted the last fifty files. - The blonde explained.
- Which is? Reade wouldn't be stupid enough to ...
- He's covering his tracks. - Patterson concluded.
- There has to be an explanation. - Tasha continued to refuse to accept. - Reade is family.
- Borden was too. - Patterson said quickly.
Tasha went back to her workplace worried and saw Reade approaching.
- About this morning ... - He sat at the table next to her with a cup of coffee in hand. - I know you were worried about me and I appreciate it. But you have to trust me too.
- I trust. - Tasha said with eyes full of water. She felt sad to be suspicious of him.
- Well, I think I earned it. - Reade was very close and stared at her from the bottom of his eyes. - And if I can't deal with something, I'll tell you. He put his hand over hers on the table, which made her shiver.
- Okay. - The brunette felt she could cry at any moment, but she didn't want to do that in front of Edgar.
Reade got up and left, leaving her even more thoughtful and worried. She felt his hand burn after he released it.
The brunette continued working on the case when she received a call from Patterson.
- Hey! Listen, it's not Reade! - The blonde said terrified when Tasha went to her in the lab.
- How do you know? - The brunette didn't know if she felt relieved or even more worried.
- Do you know that Reade plays Wizardville? - With the brunette's confirmation she continued. - Well, the program has a 'back door'. It's not a big deal, but before you judge me, you should know that there was no way to program it without being able to spy on users. - The blonde spoke defensively. - Or that's not what I meant. I want to say that I have never used this feature before. But now it felt like an emergency, so ...
- Patterson, I don't care! What did you find? - She said distressed.
- Right. Reade's alleged login took place at a computer terminal inside the FBI, but he was not here. It was in a cafe in the center.
- Someone else used his login. - Tasha said remembering the moment when he sat beside her at the workstation with a cup of coffee in hand.
- They want to blame you! - Patterson was categorical.
They were interrupted by a call from Weller and Tasha became even more concerned about her friend, knowing that someone was trying to harm him.
Later that day, they discovered that it was Hirst who had used Reade's login and was trying to blame him for Stuart's death.
- How did you find that out?
- I used biometric software and checked all computers. Tasha was taken aback by the greatness of the work Patterson had just done.
- What does this program show?
- It draws the way each person uses a computer, like a digital signature. With that I found out that it was Hirst. She came in and erased all evidence from our servers. If she were innocent, she wouldn't do that.
- If she thought she was deleting Stuart's phone data, she sure has something to hide. - Tasha concluded.
- Do you think she killed Stuart?
- Or she is covering up who killed.
- What part of 'you need to trust me' you didn't understand? - Reade was horrified when the two went to talk to him to explain what they had found.
- Look, we're sorry. - Tasha intervened.
"But aren't you happy that we found Hirst?" Asked Patterson.
- You are kidding?
- Reade, what is it? She used her login. - Tasha was incredulous.
- Supposedly! - Reade stated.
- Not! It was her. - Patterson explained. My biometric software ...
- Which is? Infallible like you? Want a gold star for planting fake evidence on a server and spying on other agents? This is not how we work at the FBI.
- Reade ... This is more important. - Tasha said.
- Hirst has taken care of me and helped me since I was in Quantico. I trust her. More than I can say about you now. They realize that this is exactly what they want. They want us to fight, to be at war. - Reade spoke in a lower voice than at the beginning.
- Fine. I could at least consider ...
- Real proof, Patterson? Certainly. As long as there is some. Now withdraw.
- They are very close. He doesn't want to see. - Tasha told Patterson after they left Reade's office.
Again Tasha felt tears come to her eyes. She didn't want to lose Reade, but she knew it was happening. The brunette knew she needed to try to get around the situation.
After leaving home that day she pondered what to do and decided to send a message.
"Reade, I would like to apologize ..."
She waited a little. He viewed the message, but did not respond. Tasha thought that everything was really lost.
The brunette had already gone to bed when she heard her cell phone ring.
- Hello! - She spoke on an impulse.
- Tasha ... it's me. - It was Reade.
- Oh, hi. - She sat on the bed in distress.
- Look, about today ...
- It's all right. I'm sorry, ok? - She sincerely asked. - I promise I won't be meddling in your life ...
- No. I should apologize for the way I spoke to you. - He spoke and let out a long sigh. - I know you care about me ... too much. - He completed.
Tasha felt ice in her chest. For a moment he thought he had been caught. He thought Reade had suspected her feelings for him because of the way she was acting.
- Me and. I'm passing the bill. I'll try to stop it ... - He spoke after a moment of silence.
- No, no! - Reade spoke a little louder. - Do not do it. I need you ... Even though I think you get over it sometimes.
- It's all right. - She laughed in a soft way feeling more relaxed.
- We'll talk tomorrow, okay?
They said goodbye and Tasha imagined what it would be like if she were with him tonight. She knew that Megan was traveling and he was alone. He thought of several possibilities and considered whether to tell him everything he was feeling. In fact, everything you ever felt. She can't help remembering the night they spent together about two years ago. Tasha closed her eyes and thought about the way Reade took her in his arms and made love to her. She thought it could be centuries before she would ever forget that feeling.
The brunette got to pick up the phone again, put her finger on his contact, but was unable to complete the call.
Reade was lying on his bed thinking about the call he had just made. Tasha. He needed to admit that she messed with him. Since the brunette had turned his head on, he couldn't think straight and knew that his relationship with Meg was being pushed.
He couldn't feel with Meg as he did at the beginning of their relationship. His girlfriend had been traveling for two days and he didn't miss her. On the contrary, he longed to get to work every day and see Tasha, talk to her, hear her laugh. The friend was more beautiful. His haircut was different, his clothes more chic, his posture had changed. He realized that even the gleam in her eyes was more intense.
He felt angry at her for spying on him, but he regretted the way he treated her. He didn't want to push her away again. I did want to bring her closer. Hug her, take their lips on yours. Make love. Oh God! What was he thinking? I needed to push those thoughts away.
Tonight would be long. He decided to get up and work a little to change the focus of his mind.
Xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx
- Tasha. I think this inn here seems to be the one with the best cost benefit. - Reade said that night when he lay in bed next to his wife who was reading a book.
- Which one? - She asked looking at what he showed on the cell phone. - Ah yes! I saw this one. Is beautiful.
- So it's decided! - He spoke cheerfully. - Now come here.
He pulled her to him by placing a soft kiss on his sweet lips. Their bodies responded instantly to the contact. It was amazing how much more time spent their love and desire for each other didn't seem to be shaken.