CHARMING'S AUTHORS NOTE #1: Hey everyone, it's my birthday today, so as a gift to all of you lovely, wonderful, patient, readers who have been waiting since October for an update, I give you Contrition chapter 10 "New Faces." This chapter took me weeks to get to a point where I thought it was worthy of posting. I had a lot I needed to accomplish in this chapter for both Task Force Astra and Sarah's plot in DC so balancing that without it feeling like a filler chapter was hard. I didn't want this to be a let down after the long wait so this is what I settled on. Anyways let's jump right into it, enjoy everyone!

CHARMING'S AUTHORS NOTE #2: This Chapter was beta'd by myself and myself alone, so all mistakes are my own, that way Nev can enjoy this one like everyone else lol.


Contrition

A Story by

CharmingCharles2896

Chapter 10:

New Faces

Richmond, Virginia

United States

1:30 PM EST

As Natalie Weaver ran down the sidewalk, the sound of Michael Jackson blasting in her ears, she couldn't help but wonder when she was going to finally get an assignment. She'd completed her red test a year ago and had only been on a handful of assignments since then. She'd done well in those opportunities, but this wasn't why she'd joined the CIA; she wanted a crack at those animals from the Red Fist! They'd killed her best friend, a person she'd known for as long as she could remember and she was going to hunt them down and make them pay. The bombing had been almost five years ago now, five years of waiting for her chance, five years of wondering if this had all been worth it.

She'd signed up right out of high school at the age of 17; they'd sent her to Liberty University on a full ride where she double majored in computer science and electrical engineering. She'd worked hard to show her bosses at the CIA her gratitude. She hadn't known Langston Graham well, but in the few conversations they'd had he always made a point to reassure her that her chance would come with time. He'd been dead almost four years now, another bombing. Thankfully Agents Carmichael & Walker had taken down the organization that had perpetrated the bombing in the first place. Gosh to be on that team, talk about a dream come true; maybe someday she'd have the chance to work with the dream team. The thing was, the last she'd heard the dream team was dead and Agent Walker was suspended. Apparently she'd become depressed after an ugly falling out with Agent Carmichael. There were rumors that they'd been in love, but those were unsubstantiated. Carmichael was off somewhere else doing good work with his new team while Walker was in DC riding a desk; life was cruel like that. The padawan had become the master and had left his master behind.

Regardless of what happened between them, Natalie Weaver still wanted to meet them both just to talk, she wanted to ask them so many questions. The stories involving those two and former Colonel John Casey were legendary. Taking down Sasha Banachek by swing off of a store roof with a banner wrapped around his waist, leaping off a seventh story balcony into a swimming pool to stop a Russian wedding and save a French DGSE agent, all of the stories true or not painted the picture of a team that had more adventures in 3 years then most agents have in a career. Natalie was pulled from her thoughts by the sound of her phone ringing; she stopped running and stood off to the side of the sidewalk so as not to be in the way of any other runners. Retrieving her phone from its trusty holder on her right upper arm she saw the caller ID. Instantly a deadly seriousness descended over Natalie's features and she answered the call.

"Weaver."

"Yes hello, my name is Michael Barron, I'm calling on behalf of Director of National Intelligence, General Diane Beckman; she would like to meet with you in person today." As Michael finished Natalie tensed up unable to imagine why the DNI would want to speak with her, unless they were about to offer her an assignment. Natalie looked at the watch on her wrist and saw the time.

"I live in Richmond right now so I can be there in say… four hours." As she finished she heard some typing before Michael responded.

"Okay I've got you down for a meeting at 4:30 pm today in General Beckman's office." Natalie smiled to herself, this was it, her big break was finally here!

"Great I'll see the General at 4:30, thank you Michael, goodbye." After she put her phone back in its holder and simply paused to let the conversation she'd just had sink in. Out of nowhere Natalie Weaver of the CIA whooped loudly and pumped her fist; the onlookers around her gave her strange looks, but she didn't give a damn! The Director of National Intelligence herself, the highest-ranking intelligence member in the United States Government wanted to see her. She hadn't been on an assignment in ages so she wasn't in trouble; this was it, she was finally going to get her shot at a real assignment, little did she know the sheer magnitude of said assignment…

XXX

Office of Combined Intelligence
Washington DC, United States

12:35 PM EST

Sarah Walker didn't enjoy her job, simply typing away at a computer was no way to live; but Sarah Walker knew she needed to excel here so she could get back out there. Thinking about all the different parts of her plan to put her life back together it felt daunting at first, but once she broke it down into phases it wasn't so bad. Phase one was getting back into shape while retaking control of her surroundings, not to mention excelling at work. She was going to get her body back to what it was before the collapse while outworking everyone at the OCI in the process. She was going to show her old bosses at the CIA that she wasn't going to go away quietly. Phase two was to get recertified by the CIA and cleared for active duty by Dr. Dreyfus. That was going to be a difficult task because of the preconceived notions about her mental state, not to mention her current physical condition, but no matter how long it took she was going to get back out there. Phase three was going to be the hardest part; phase three meant impressing enough in the field to get assigned to Chuck's team, wherever he was right now.

Sarah didn't know where exactly Chuck was and how prestigious the team he was on actually was. Given all the damage to her reputation it could be extremely difficult to get assigned back to a team like that, but she had friends in high places and maybe just maybe she could call in some favors. Phase four was getting to Chuck and getting the both of them the hell out of the spy life for good. If they could escape together with their lives then Sarah could think about the future beyond right now, but not until then.

Across the floor Kara and Janice were simply observing Sarah as she worked away on her computer; as happened often, she'd worked right through her lunch break and skipped it entirely. Kara simply shook her head in consternation, the plan had been to catch up to Sarah when she left for lunch, but the blonde hadn't moved all day. Kara and Janice had been waiting to take their lunch with Sarah so they were both freaking hungry!

"Screw subtlety." Kara grumbled to herself as she left her cubicle, Janice watched her best friend in shock for a brief moment.

"Kara!" Janice whispered, before she stood up to chase after Kara.

At Sarah's cubicle Sarah was in the zone, she'd skipped her lunch and her stomach was hungry, but she'd been able to get two extra reports done in that time. If she was going to out work her coworkers then she'd have to work hard.

"Hey," Came an unfamiliar voice, Sarah looked up only to see a tall red head and a short brunette standing there in the entryway to her cubicle.

"Can I help you two?" Sarah asked curiously, she'd seen these two around the OCI since she'd started here.

"Lunch time." The brunette said, Sarah simply shook her head.

"Sorry, I've got work to do, I'll just grab something later." Sarah said as she turned back to her work; Kara simply shook her head.

"You know it's okay to be nice to people, you're allowed to have friends Sarah." Kara said to Sarah completely tired of Sarah's closed off behavior. Sarah simply paused her typing and thought about it; this red head was correct, she was allowed to have friends. Sarah spun in her chair to face the two women who'd come to talk with her.

"Aren't you lonely at all? You never talk to anyone while you're here; we've all heard the rumors, but you don't talk to anyone ever." Kara said with a small smile. "Come on, how much would it hurt to talk to somebody over lunch for once?" Kara said with raised eyebrows, this was her pitch and she just hoped it worked. Sarah simply eyed the two of them wearily; the red head looked to be in her mid twenties, while the brunette was a bit older. They looked well intentioned enough, unlike that gutter snake Barry Simmons. Cracking a small smile Sarah spoke as she grabbed her purse.

"What the hell, why not." Sarah said as she stood to join the two women for lunch. The red head clapped excitedly, while the brunette simply smiled. "Obviously you two know who I am so who're you two?" Sarah asked as she walked with the two women towards the elevators.

"Janice Wilder," the brunette said as she extended her hand to Sarah who shook it; Kara extended her hand next and spoke.

"Kara Anderson." Sarah paused for a moment before she let out a chuckle.

"Funny, I met a little old lady named Phyllis Anderson the other day." Sarah mentioned off hand while they all simply looked at the elevator, waiting for it to arrive. Janice and Kara exchanged a look.

"I know, my Nana told me all about you." Kara said with a laugh at Sarah's shocked expression; Kara simply nodded to Sarah's unasked question.

"So Phyllis Anderson is your Nana?" Sarah asked in confirmation as the elevator door opened and the three of them stepped onto it.

"Yeah she couldn't stop talking about you over dinner the other day; it would seem you left a good impression on my Nana." Kara said.

"Which is no small feat." Janice added as the elevator doors closed and the elevator started descending.

"What a small world." Sarah commented with a smile, Kara simply nodded.

"So if you don't want to talk about it that's totally okay, but what the hell is a legend like you doing working in this dump?" Janice asked curiously, Sarah's mood turned dark as she thought about it.

"It's a long story, I'll tell you during lunch." Sarah said ominously as the elevator door opened.

XXX

Burbank, California

9:50 AM PST

John Casey missed his old life some times, he missed the gunplay, missed the structure, but mostly he just missed his partners. After Shaw's death, Chuck had flown off to who knows where and they hadn't heard from him since. He hadn't so much as called home since he'd become a spy and Casey knew for a fact that it saddened Ellie. She missed her brother and even though she knew he'd taken a job with the government, she didn't know exactly what. Casey hadn't heard from Walker in ages either, all he knew is that she hadn't left with Bartowski, something had happened between them and they weren't together. Regardless there was nothing John Casey could do about it; all his life had was the Buy More. Grimes was the manager of the store now and he was actually pretty darn good at it if Casey was being honest. The place wasn't the same now that Chuck was gone, without their fearless leader things were just different.

"Hey big guy, how're you today?" Morgan said to Casey with a cup of coffee in his hand; Casey simply grunted in disgust, more with himself then anything else.

"Selling toasters like every other miserable day." Casey said sarcastically, Morgan simply nodded and spoke quietly.

"I know you miss them, I miss them too; I wonder what they've been up to the last few months?" Morgan asked as he leaned against the Nerd Herd desk.

"Don't start with the lady feelings, it's too early in my shift for that crap." Casey said with a grumble as he stalked off to another part of the store. Morgan simply watched him walk away and had to shake his head; everyone missed Chuck and Sarah; things had ended badly between the two of them and Morgan couldn't understand why Sarah had done what she did. Chuck had told him right away about Sarah's words and how it all went down and Morgan could see just how devastated Chuck was about it. It was like he was mourning the loss of a loved one, he was so devastated. Sadly before Morgan had a chance to help his best friend deal with his emotions, he'd been shipped off to god knows where to be a spy. Morgan knew Chuck and knew that he was likely still crushed by what happened, but he was still a freaking spy! He still got to go to swanky parties, the guns, the gadgets, the girls, Chuck Bartowski was living the dream.

XXX

Office of Combined Intelligence
Washington DC, United States

1:05 PM EST

"My gosh that's so sad, no wonder you've been so quiet." Kara said as she listened to the end of Sarah's story; obviously the legendary former CIA agent Sarah Walker had kept certain details like names out of the story for security reasons, but the story she told was so romantic and so heart breaking.

"Yeah Sarah, that's a rough six months you've had." Janice said between bites of baked ziti; Sarah simply nodded as she finished her turkey sandwich.

"I can't tell you how much I wish I could do it over, get another chance and do what I should have done the first time. I'm telling you girls, this guy was just a saint, he was just the kindest person I've ever met in my life."

"So you going to try and get him back?" Kara asked Sarah who paused to contemplate how to answer that; finally she simply nodded and took another bite.

"It's a multi-step process and it would likely take a long time to pull off, but I hope so." Sarah said while deep in thought.

"Can I just say, you're nothing like the stories people say about you Sarah; everyone says you're this icy killer who doesn't interact with people, but that just doesn't seem like you." Janice said as she finished her ziti and set it aside.

"That was me once, before I met him I was on a dark path, I didn't really do the whole talking to people thing. I was losing myself and then he came in like a force of nature and helped me rediscover my humanity." Sarah said once again speaking reverently about the man she loved.

"You make him sound like the best thing that ever happened to you." Kara said to Sarah observantly; Sarah simply nodded in agreement.

"He is, he's my soul mate, but he's out there being a spy somewhere so there's no way I'll see him any time soon." Sarah said forlornly as she took a sip of her water.

"Don't think like that, you'll see him again." Kara said to Sarah insistently, Sarah spoke in reply.

"Even if I do see him again, the things he said during that fight, the things I should have said, but didn't say… I just don't see how he could still love me after how I treated him." Sarah said sadly, Kara reached out and gave Sarah's hand a squeeze.

"If this guy was really as in love with you as you say he was then I promise you he still feels something. Feelings that strong don't just go away after one argument. Yes he's probably really mad at you, but I promise you deep down he still loves you." Kara said to Sarah, who didn't realize how much she needed to hear that.

"Thanks Kara, maybe someday I'll bump into him again, and we can try again. The thing is I've got to get back in shape if I'm ever going to get back to field work and get out of this place, no offense." Sarah said as she tried not to insult her new friends.

"None taken, this place must be horrible for a badass like you." Janice said back to Sarah who simply shrugged and replied as she looked around the small cafeteria.

"This isn't so bad, it's definitely a lot safer than my old job." Sarah said with a chuckle that got laughs from the two women sitting across from her.

"I bet it is, your old job had you disabling bombs and thwarting revolutions using nothing but silverware, now you're riding a desk typing reports all damn day." Kara said with a smile, her comment elicited a laugh from Janice, but Sarah didn't laugh. Kara noticed Sarah's reaction and spoke. "Sarah what's the matter, did I say something wrong?" Sarah simply shook her head.

"No, no, it's just that Chuck used to say that once our time together was over I'd probably be off foiling revolutions in Jakarta with a fork." Sarah said with a far off look as she no doubt remembered all the good times she'd shared with Chuck over the years. The loving, almost wistful look in her eyes touched the two women.

"So this mystery man's name is Chuck huh?" Kara said conspiratorially as Janice spoke as well.

"Man you've got it bad for this guy!" Janice said with a bright smile, Sarah didn't disagree she simply smiled and shrugged once again.

"You know if you're looking to get back into field work I've got a killer personal trainer; I can give you her information and you can maybe give her a call." Kara offered her new friend; Sarah simply nodded appreciatively. "She'll kick your ass and show you no mercy, but you'll get back in shape that's for sure." Kara said knowingly as she remembered her first time working with her personal trainer.

"I'd appreciate that; thank you both for being nice to me, it's nice to have friends again." Sarah said appreciatively to the two women who'd actually talked to her.

"It's nothing really, you looked like you really needed a friend." Kara said honestly, which Sarah appreciated immensely.

"Well I better get back to work, I have a ton of reports to file and I need to finish them early today." Sarah said as she grabbed the empty food containers and stood up.

"We're going to just chill here for a bit, but we'll talk to you later Sarah." Janice said as the two of them watched their new friend nod and then walk back to the elevators. Sarah quickly returned to her cubicle and returned to her work; she had to finish her work quickly if she wanted to get the rest of her plans for the day done. She wanted to do some apartment hunting and take stock of her wardrobe. She had so many clothes that she just didn't wear anymore and they were juts taking up space. Sarah looked at the stack of reports on her desk with determination and got to work.

"Okay let's do this!" She said to herself and dove back into her work.

Back in the cafeteria Janice and Kara were simply sitting there thinking about the story they'd just heard.

"My god how does she keep going; after all that, she still wakes up in the morning?" Kara asked as she remembered the sad six months their new friend had told them about.

"She's a survivor, no other way to look at it; she's been through a lot, but she's still here." Janice added.

"This Chuck guy must have done a real number on her, because all the stories we've heard about the Ice Queen are absolutely true. I've input some of her reports into the new system before so the stories were definitely true at one point in her life." Kara said as she finished her bottle of water and set the empty bottle to the side with her other garbage.

"I'd like to meet this Chuck guy, any man that can change someone like her that much must have been special." Janice added as she gathered her own garbage.

"I hope they can fix things one day." Kara added as they both stood up to throw away their garbage and get back to work.

XXX

Office of the Director of National Intelligence

Washington DC, United States

4:23 PM EST

Natalie walked into the DNI and felt a hint of anxiety; this must have been big if the Director of National Intelligence wanted to meet with her. As she boarded the elevator her stomach was busy doing summersaults; she didn't know why her nerves were going so crazy. She'd talked to higher-ups before, but never someone as important as the DNI. General Beckman was only one step below the President in the intelligence community. As she made her way through the winding hallways, her anxiety only grew and grew until she was outside of General Beckman's office. After a deep breath that did little to calm her nerves, Natalie Weaver pushed the door open and walked into the waiting room for General Beckman's office. As soon as Natalie entered the room, the woman sitting at the desk on the far side of the room picked up her phone. Natalie walked to this woman on the phone and waited for her to be done before she spoke. As the secretary hung up the phone Natalie went to speak, but was cut off.

"You can go right in Agent Weaver, the General is expecting you." Natalie simply nodded, still completely out of her element and went to the door leading into General Beckman's office. Once she'd pulled the door open she saw an elaborately furnish office replete with posh wooden furniture, the antitheses of government-issue furniture.

"Agent Weaver, I'm glad you could make it." Came the voice of the General from the far side of the audience, Natalie's head snapped from the furniture to the desk at the back of the room and more specifically the leather chair that was turned away to look out of the large window. Weaver quickly closed the distance to the desk and stood at attention.

"Weaver, reporting as requested ma'am," Natalie said stoically as she nervously stood at attention.

"As you were Agent Weaver," General Beckman said as she spun around in her chair and looked at the raw agent standing before her. This was the one that Chuck had chosen? This woman looked like she was barely out of a training bra and yet she was supposed to be assigned to the most important team in the US intelligence service. Sensing that Weaver wasn't going to say anything further, General Beckman got on with it and stood up. Natalie thought the imposing general would be taller, but regardless Natalie Weaver was so out of her element.

"I'll be honest with you Agent Weaver, I didn't want you for this, I wanted someone more experienced." Natalie simply watched the general as she lead the two of them over to a pair of matching couches. Natalie sat down on a couch across from General Beckman and simply waited for her to continue.

"I don't follow ma'am," Natalie said nervously, still completely unsure what this meeting was about.

"Have you ever worked in the field without a handler Agent Weaver?" General Beckman asked bluntly, Weaver simply shook her head no.

"No ma'am, I've only ever worked in the field with my handler, Agent Sarkisian." General Beckman simply nodded.

"Well that is about to change Agent Weaver," General Beckman said to the surprise of Natalie. "Have you ever heard of Agent Charles Carmichael?" That was the last thing Natalie ever expected to hear from her superior.

"Only the stories ma'am, he's relatively new, but he's a legend for his work with Agent Walker." Natalie said back truthfully.

"Well I'll tell you that everything you've heard about Agent Carmichael if anything, has been watered down." Natalie's eyebrows rose at that revelation, Agent Carmichael was legendary for crazy, outrageous missions that shouldn't have worked out in the end, but did.

"Agent Carmichael is the leader of an elite task force operating out of Rome, Italy, Task Force Astra; he's been tasked with hunting down and defeating the last remaining elements of a subversive terrorist group called the Ring." General Beckman watched Agent Weaver's reaction to that and the look of confusion on her face told the General that this agent was very new and very raw.

"Does the Red Fist mean anything to you?" General Beckman asked the young agent, knowing full well that she knew exactly who the Red Fist was. Natalie's jaw tightened angrily at the mention of the Red Fist.

"Yes Ma'am, they're the cowards responsible for the death of a friend of mine." Natalie said tersely to her superior, General Beckman simply continued.

"Well, the Red Fist is a militant Anarcho-Communist wing of the Ring." Natalie simply nodded in understanding. "There is a pair of open positions on the Task Force and you've been chosen to fill one of those positions." General Beckman said to the utter shock of Natalie Weaver; why was someone like Natalie being chosen for a team like this?

"Excuse me, I've been chosen; not to put myself down, but why me?" Natalie asked unsure of how she was even remotely qualified for an assignment like that.

"You were hand picked by Agent Carmichael himself, he has full control of task force personnel and when faced with expansion of the team he chose you over several more experienced agents." General Beckman said bluntly, she knew she was being a bit harsh to the new agent, but this Task Force was important.

"You'll be flown out to Rome by the end of the week so that you can join the task force early next week." General Beckman said flatly as she handed Natalie a large dossier. "This dossier is everything you need to know about Agent Carmichael and Task Force Astra. Study this information Agent Weaver, and make sure you pay attention to Carmichael's psych profile, he's not like most agents." Natalie simply nodded nervously and took the dossier.

"Thank you General, I don't know what to say." Natalie said as she opened the dossier and saw the photo of Agent Carmichael that was in the dossier; he didn't look like what she thought he'd look like.

"One more thing to remember Agent Weaver," General Beckman began as she felt the need to warn the agent. "Things between Agent Carmichael and Agent Walker ended very badly, it's a sore subject for Carmichael so be mindful of that." Natalie simply nodded and closed up the dossier.

"Thank you for the heads up General, I'll look through all of this and be ready." Natalie said as she suddenly grasped the gravity of her new assignment; General Beckman simply nodded and stood.

"Good luck Agent Weaver, if Agent Carmichael thinks you're ready for this then you are; he's my best agent so I trust him." General Beckman said as she extended her hand to the young CIA agent. Natalie shook the general's hand and then excused herself from the room. As the door closed behind Natalie, General Beckman simply returned to her chair now deep in thought.

"She's young, but she reminds me of Walker; hope that's not why he chose her." That was a troubling thought; Weaver was a very young and very inexperienced agent, but she looked very similar to Agent Walker. They had similar histories, and their psych profiles were similar enough.

"If he's trying to replace Sarah, then we may have a problem." General Beckman thought to herself before she returned to her desk to prepare for her next meeting with Agent Rizzo.

XXX

Olgiata, Rome, Italy

Largo Dell Piazzo

10:51 PM CEST

It had been two days since Carina Miller had been given her sub-mission from the DNI herself to keep Chuck functional in the field. She'd poured over Chuck's file three separate times and the more she read the more she understood her current boss. He'd had a rough upbringing, and the people he cared about were important to him; being away from his family and friends must've been affecting him at least a little bit. Couple that with whatever had happened between him and Walker and you had the makings for a very distressed Intersect Agent. His psych profile told the story of a man who had a very well documented aversion to violence so all of the killing they'd been asking of him must have been hard to take.

The first thing Carina knew had to be done was reduce the amount of killing that her boss had to do; she'd have to shoulder that burden, but she didn't really care about it as much as Chuck did so that wasn't a problem. If she could subtly start handling more of the dirty work then that would be a great start. Another thing she knew needed to happen was getting Chuck to go out more. He needed to focus less on the job or he'd burn himself out. This was a start, but she knew it wouldn't be enough in the long run; ultimately she needed Chuck to fix things between Walker and himself. Sadly it looked like any reconciliation between Chuck and Sarah was very far off if it was at all possible. In the meantime, Carina had two more people joining the team; she was a friend with one so she knew she could get Zondra onboard her sub mission, but this Natalie Weaver was a mystery. Her file read very similarly to the very little Sarah had told Carina about herself. She came from a broken home, she was recruited at an early age, she was very smart, and she was well regarded as a rising star in the CIA. One thing Carina had quickly noticed was that Natalie Weaver looked very similar to Walker, they could practically be sisters they looked so similar.

"I just hope that's not why Chuck picked her." Carina thought to herself as she heard her cellphone ring; Carina pulled out her phone, saw who the caller was and quickly answered.

"What's up Z?" Carina said with a smile.

"Hey Red, heard I'm gonna be joining ya in Rome next week." Zondra said in her normal direct manner.

"Yeah girl, you're gonna love it here; we're on the A Team this time, Carmichael is a great team lead." Carina said honestly as she looked at the contents of Chuck's file.

"So what kind of guy is Carmichael anyways? I've heard he's great, but hard to work with." Zondra asked honestly; that question gave Carina pause, her answer was important.

"Here's what I'll say about the boss; he is the best there is in the field. That being said he isn't what you'd call a prototypical agent; he abhors violence even though his job requires him to kill frequently. He's a massive geek, has been since I've known him. Most importantly he is the man who was able to thaw out the Ice Queen." Carina said as she flipped closed Chuck's file and spun around in her office chair.

"Walker falling for a guy, no way." Zondra said in disbelief.

"I'm being completely truthful when I say that if those two had sex, she'd be barefoot and pregnant and happily married in six months. Those two were so in love at one time it was almost sickening."

"Were, what happened?" Zondra asked suddenly concerned about her former friend.

"All I've been able to piece together from the rumors is that one day they were crazy in love and then the next day she's an emotional train wreck and he's this closed off machine. What I've been able to find out is that their falling out was ugly and left Blondie a hollow shell. Now she's riding a desk in DC and seeing a shrink all the time for depression. Chuck hasn't been the same since the falling out either; I knew him before it happened and he was this really nice, funny, charming geek who couldn't hurt a fly. Now he's a cold bastard and just mentioning Blondie is enough to send him into a depressed funk for the rest of the day." Carina said as she remembered the Chuck before Task Force Astra.

"Wow that sounds bad, any man that was able to get to Blondie that much must have been something special." Zondra said contemplatively.

"Oh you'd love him, he's very much your type; he wasn't even close to what I thought Blondie's type was, but the more I've thought about it, the more I get it. Regardless he's the boss and it's a pretty fun team to be on." Carina finished with a smile as she waited for Zondra's inevitable response.

"What do you mean my type, I don't go for geeks?" Carina snickered silently into the phone.

"There was that one guy, what was his name, Paul was it?" Carina cracked as she struggled to hold back her laughter.

"Come on that was one time six years ago." Zondra replied embarrassedly.

"But you talked about him for two weeks, I thought you were going to marry him for how much you talked about him and his assets." Carina teased.

"Okay so maybe I did talk about him too much, but that doesn't mean I go for geeks." Zondra said trying to get things back on track.

"No you don't usually, but Carmichael is 6'4 and we both know what tall guys do to you." Carina said going right back in on Zondra.

"Tall, dark, and geeky huh? Maybe I'll take a shot at that after all." Zondra said more to herself, but Carina spoke quickly to nip that in the butt right now.

"I doubt he'd go for it even if he was interested, which knowing him he won't be," Carina admitted honestly. "Either way, I won't allow you to try, he's still in love with Blondie whether he admits it or not and he's too important to our fight against the ring to get tangled up with another co-worker." Carina said forcefully, putting the matter to rest for good.

"Well either way, I'll see ya next week, talk to ya later Red."

"Talk to you later Z." Carina said and hung up; things were about to get fun around here.


CHARMING'S AUTHORS NOTE #3: So what did everyone think, was this worth the excessively long wait? I hope it was worth it for everyone and lived up to the expectations set by the previous nine chapters. If you enjoyed this then think about leaving a review, if you didn't enjoy it leave one anyways and tell me what you didn't enjoy about it. I know things look bad for Chuck and I know some won't like that he's a killer, but it's all going to work out, it's all going to payoff, everything I do in this story is for a reason. Nothing you read in this story was put in simply to get a reaction or piss people off, EVERYTHING I do will pay off in the end. Trust me guys and gals, i'm a Charah lifer like all of you, they're in good hands with me.

CHARMING's AUTHORS NOTE #4: Just a bit of house cleaning, so I noticed I made a really critical error in the timeline in chapter seven in relation to the dates. For some reason I set the first flashback to be two months before the present, but I said the flashback was in July of 2011, which was months away from where the story actually was. So i've gone back and fixed the dates in chapter seven; I hope I've fixed that issue for good, sorry about that everyone.

CHARMING'S AUTHORS NOTE #5: I don't know when chapter eleven will be done so I'm sorry about that, but just know that this story isn't going away, I WILL FINISH THIS ONE, I made myself a promise not to abandon this one so please be patient with me I know I said I was thinking about like sixty chapter when I started out, but that was because chapters were like 1,400 words. Because my chapters are so much bigger now I expect that to be significantly less than that going forward. I have no idea exactly how many chapters, but thirty feels like a good guess. Thank you so much everyone who's stuck around for this story, it's great to know that y'all enjoy this one so much.

Until Next Time :D