Introduction: While we settle down to watch season four of Cover Affairs and all the Auggie/Annie shippers are happy, this is a little something for the rest of us Eyal/Annie dreamers. I wasn't going to continue Anklegate but for this idea that kept floating around in my head - so here we go with another mystery with Annie and Eyal working the case.
The flight from Stockholm had been horrible, for all the air miles Eyal had under his belt, this was the first with engine trouble over the North Sea and unexpected stop in Edinburgh for six hours. Upon arriving at Dulles, he found his car with a flat tire, needless to say his day was rotten, not getting any better and he was hungry. Stopping on his way to the apartment, he picked up a sub for the corner deli with cole slaw and cheese cake. Opening the door to his apartment, he was delighted the cleaning service had the place in such good order, dropping his travel bag on the floor, he headed to the kitchen with his laptop for some supper and e-mail checking. Pouring a glass of wine, yes he was still well stocked in the wine department - maybe things were looking up; he open his laptop and started to read his long overdue e-mails and wolfing down the sub.
Avi had written about his football games and how he was doing in school. Eyal's mom had written about the family news and asking when was he coming to visit. There was an e-mail for Annie written the week before that she was headed back to Washington and Langley. She had gotten the all clear for her doctor about her ankle. Eyal replied, 'Just landed in DC today and will be here for a week or so. Give me a call and we'll sneak a drink. E.'
It had been a little over the month since he left Annie in the Pacific Northwest and this was the first time he had heard from her. In the back of his mind, he guessed she had patched things up with Auggie and he should fade into the woodwork but something was not letting him do that. Besides, he had been working on a top-secret mission for Joan and off radar. But for now, he needed to take a hot shower and get the kinks out of his back; spend the rest of the evening not doing much of anything, a little reading perhaps and more wine.
It was a little past nine o'clock when Eyal had finished his shower, put on PJ bottoms and a T-shirt, poured himself another glass of wine and starting reviewing his collection of novels, searching for one he hadn't read. There was a knock on the door - who would be visiting at this hour? Thinking it was his neighbor from down hall, Mrs. Gruenberg, a sweet little old Jewish lady that likes to bring him good things to eat from their homeland.
"Annie," Eyal opening the door, "Hey Neshema what a surprise. Come in."
"Got your e-mail and took a chance you would be at home. I tried to phone but no answer." Annie stepping into the apartment.
"Phone is turned off being recharged. I just poured me some wine, would you like a glass?"
"Yeah I would. Eyal I hope you didn't have any plans for tonight."
"Wearing my JP's, maybe going to bed later but nothing else. You look a little upset." He could tell she had been crying, her eyes were red and puffy.
"I need a friend to talk too, someone I can trust and checking over my short list, you are the only one on it." Annie was following Eyal into the kitchen.
Eyal handing the glass of wine to Annie, "You want to hang out here at the kitchen counter or move over to the sofa?"
"I made a terrible mistake back in Amsterdam and now I'm paying for it." Pulling herself up on the stool beside the counter.
"What mistake was that - not killing Khalid?"
"No, that was the right call - turmoil is running rampant within their camp and we have raw intel that Omar is dead." She taking a slip of wine, "The fact I didn't take you up on your offer back at the train station."
"What are you saying, that you should have come with me to Athens." Eyal was hearing the very words he wanted to hear, that what happened on Ridge Lane was not week of being together and alone - she did care for him much more then friendship.
"I figured I knew what I was doing when I allowed myself to become involved romantically with Auggie but that was a huge mistake. I wanted to put down some roots and he is stable, not here today and gone tomorrow. He was a friend, a good friend and we should have kept it that way." Taking another slip of wine, "Guess I was trying to fill the void from losing Simon. I'm not sure why I'm telling you all this but you should know."
"I can identify with that feeling of emptiness, I've been there." Eyal also taking a slip of wine.
He is very over protective not giving me any breathing room and there are three of us in the relationship."
Eyal with raised eye brows and astonished tone in his voice. "He has another woman?"
"No, I have another man - you."
"Me? Annie we are fantastic friends, there hasn't been anything romantically about our ... Oh wait - there was the hotel room here in Washington and some very amazing, sweet and tender moments on Ridge Lane but we never crossed that line. I have so much more respect for you - yes we made plans to do wonderful stolen adventures together."
"It is you as a person, not a lover."
"Oh I could make a good lover?" Eyal chuckling but quickly saw she was in no mood to be joking with. "Look Annie, I'm a good listener and if I can help in anyway."
Downing the rest of her of wine, she walked over to look at the city lights from the large front window, "He could never understand what we have between us is an unbreakable bond of pure friendship. He wanted to negate you out of the equation and that was not going to happen. Eyal, I went to break it off face to face with Auggie for good and he got real ugly. A guy I had never seen before - like he owns me."
Eyal walking over to stand behind Annie, "When I'm unset, bewildered and generally down, I go for a long walk, it helps me to put things in perspective. How about me putting on some jeans and shirt and we take a walk thru the city. You talk and I'll listen."
"That is a good idea... Hey have you eaten? I forgot to eat today." Annie turning to see a caring and sympathetic Eyal. His eyes showing the compassion she needed. For Annie the good friend in Auggie had turned against her and it hurt - it hurt deeply to be losing that friendship.
"Yeah I have but there is a deli two blocks down the street, we can walk there and I'm also good for a chicken salad sandwich, still a little hungry myself. It will only take but a minute for me to change."
The walk from Eyal's apartment to the deli was pretty much general conversation, Annie talking about some of her sightseeing visits the last week she was in California. She had also talked with the California state police about the murder and her involvement to bring down Southerland.
"Maybe we should become private investigators, think we make a good team. Yeah, Lavin and Company."
Annie laughing at Eyal, "Walker and Wayward Wind sounds more like it."
"Wayward wind - what's that?"
"You can disappear faster than anyone I've seen - vanish into the wind." Annie tugging at Eyal arm in playful manner.
"Yeah, guess I can. Here we go, my favorite place in DC, great food and open 24/7" Eyal holding the door open for Annie.
"Good evening Eyal, two times in one night and you brought a friend." Dalia Shear was showing them to a nice out-of-way booth and taking their drink order.
Dalia was an older lady maybe in her late 50's and plumb with a sweet cheerful smile. Her dark hair with streaks of gray was pulled back in a bun and she wore no makeup but had an olive complexion. She and her husband Saul had move to American in the early 90's from East Germany and opened this neighborhood deli. The interior of the restaurant pleasant, reminiscent of their German roots, a feeling of being in a German pub.
Annie was starved and the thought of good German cooking made her start feeling better - comfort food with an international flair. She ordered a Veal Bratwurst plate with potato salad and cole slaw, Eyal settled for his chicken salad sandwich and both had smoked German beer.
Halfway during dinner, Eyal had a few questions, "Annie, can I ask you some personal questions. I don't mean to pry but I need to know."
Annie taking another bite of her food nodded yes.
"Can't Auggie track your movements and do you think he will?" Eyal was concerned for the safety of his apartment's location, not only for him but also Annie.
"I know he can and I'm sure he has in the past. Something I leaned from you, cover my tracks. Both my cell phone and car are at home, I took a cab here. Your apartment is my safe house remember and that's how I'm going to keep it - safe."
"Smart girl, tomorrow if you like, I can fix your regular cell to mute any GPS tracking at will just by dialing a number. Maybe get you a burn phone just for us to use." Eyal wanted to give Annie all the tools to vanish when she needed to getaway.
"You can do that?"
"Old Mossad trick, surprise CIA hasn't passed it on to the field operatives."
"Guess they want to keep track of us - no trust within the CIA's mindset." Annie was finishing off her glass of beer and Eyal was motioning for two refills.
"Second question Annie and please don't get me wrong on this one. Do you think Auggie's reaction to you breaking off the romantic aspect of your relations was due to the fact he may be also losing a good friend. I mean this man reached out to me, the very person he is jealous of to pull you out of a Russian prison. To me that is deep friendship love."
"Could be Eyal. When Parker broke of their engagement, Auggie broke a beer bottle over some man's head in a bar and landed in jail. He has a problem with controlling his emotions." Annie finishing the last bite of her dinner, "That is what I like about you, the deep appreciation of friendship between a man and woman."
"I should, I'm involved in one now." Eyal placing a tip on the table and standing to go pay the tab. "Let's finish our walk, the evening is too lovely to waste away in here."
After an hour or so walking they returned to Eyal's apartment, "Would you like for me to drive you home or call a cab?"
"I shouldn't be asking this but would you mind if I stayed here for the night?"
"Mind! Oh heavens no. Look how many times we have shared a hotel room, safe house not to mention a lonely cabin in the northwest. Of course you can stay." Eyal unlocking his apartment door, "I think I can find something for you to wear."
"Thanks Eyal." Annie walking in and looking around.
"Make yourself at home." Eyal heading to his bedroom to find something for Annie to sleep in.
"You mind, think I would like to take a hot shower." Yelling at Eyal so he could hear her from the other room.
"There are clean towels in the cabinet behind the door. Here is one of my T-shirts, could come close to covering your knees." Coming from the bedroom, Eyal holding the T-shirt up to her shoulders to check the fit - way over size.
"Just like Granny's nightie." Annie taking the shirt from Eyal and taking off to the bathroom to shower.
As he watched her vanish into the bathroom, he started mumbling to himself in Greek, "Well now I should make room for my guest and Lavin - do not flirt, she only needs a good friend tonight." To the hall closet for a large cotton knit light blanket, a spare pillow with clean pillow case, he put the bedding on the sofa - "There, my bed for the night."
On to the bedroom where he changed out of his jeans and back into PJs bottoms and T-shirt, turning down the bed and puffing the pillows for Annie. He remember something, quickly to his travel bag and retrieved a small bar of German chocolate wrapped in gold foil that he had purchased in Edinburgh. Placing the candy on Annie's pillow, still speaking in Greek, "That should do it." Next to the kitchen and poured two glasses of wine, not knowing if Annie wanted any but he did. Putting the wine on the coffee table, he sat at one end of the sofa where his bedding rested and waited for Annie to finish her shower.
Reappearing from a steam filled bathroom, Annie wearing the new style nightie with a towel in her hand, trying to dry as much of her hair as she could, "No hair drier?"
"I don't need one. Poured you another glass of wine if you would like." Eyal shifting his position on the sofa.
Plopping down on the sofa, sitting sideways facing Eyal with one leg folded under her and the other hanging off the edge, the damp towel draped across her lap as she ran her fingers through her somewhat wet hair at the same time shaking out any tingles that might be left. To Eyal, she looked so naturally beautiful, no makeup, no pretence - just a tender caring Annie Walker that could also be one kickass spy.
For Annie, being with Eyal was just what she needed, the felling of being totally at ease and relax. He understood her - hell she had just poured her heart out about Auggie to Eyal and he was totally supportive there is an unscripted bond between them. Being with him just felt so natural, so perfectly at peace. Reaching for the wine, "Thanks, one more glass of wine is just what the doctor ordered."
"What do you want to do - watch some television?" Eyal also reaching for his wine.
"Eyal have done some checking and there is a great place in West Virginia to go white water rafting if you are still gamed."
"Oh yes - soon the better." Eyal taking a slip of his wine, "You remember the list, all true about the way I would woo my lady love...But first I would start off with flowers, there is something adoring about bring a gorgeous lady flowers. Annie we made wonderful plans and we should start working on our fantasy l list."
"I want to, very much Eyal."
Reaching for Annie forearm that was now resting on the back of the sofa, gently running his fingers along her arm across the top of her hand and through her out stretched fingers. "Getting late Neshema, we should turn in for the night. The bedroom is yours, we are sitting on my bed now so if you will take you hind parts to bed and I can stretch out and get some sleep."
"I can't do that Eyal, this sofa is too short for you. I'll sleep here and you take the bed."
"Nope, my apartment, my rules... Go on and take the bed, you need a good night's sleep and I'll be fine out here, have done it before." Eyal giving her a slight nudge.
Standing and immediately leaning over giving Eyal a kiss, "Goodnight Eyal."
"Good night Neshema and sweet dreams." Oh how Eyal wanted to follow her to the bedroom but back to the old thing about timing - not absolutely right.