Welcome To The Harem

An Office Romance (Part 3 of 7) by Scifinerdgrl
Summary: This is my attempt to explore what Reyes could have been thinking when she got involved with Brad Follmer. This story takes place between her arrival at the New York Field Office (after graduation from the FBI academy in 1995), and her first meeting with John Doggett in 1997.

She watched as he exited, her eyes on his triangular form,
following the lines of his silhouette down to his well-defined
ass. She lost track of her surroundings, then felt the tug of
Brad's hand on her sleeve. "You're not going out with that ape,
are you?"

Monica stared at him, open-mouthed, before defiantly answering,
"Why shouldn't I?"

Brad sighed and closed his eyes. "Monica," he started slowly,
shaking his head slightly. He opened his eyes and looked
pityingly into hers, "He's the cop who took your report when your
briefcase was stolen..."

"So?" Monica interrupted, both puzzled and angry.

"So..." Brad said condescendingly. "You are a victim in one of
his cases. There's nothing lower than a cop who takes advantage
of a victim."

"He's not taking advantage of me," she shot back. "We went to the
gym together -- ONCE! -- That was it. And anyway, how do you know
I'm not taking advantage of him?"

He looked into her face, and he found her defiance exhilarating.
Her eyes were gleaming with anger, their pupils wide and liquid.
For the second time that day he felt he was under her control. He
wanted to tell her she could do anything she wanted, but he also
wanted to keep her from getting hurt. As he tried to think of the
right words, she took a step backward and spread her legs
slightly, as if preparing for a boxing match. He felt himself
obeying her demand for respect, and before he could think through
his approach, he said, "Just be careful, okay?"

"Of course," she answered, tight-lipped. "Are we finished here?"
she demanded.

They drove back to Manhattan, and this time the silence was her
doing. She leaned against the window, reviewing the morning's
events. It seemed that everything she did was wrong in her
supervisor's eyes. He was so sure of himself, so experienced, so
knowledgeable... She wanted so much to be respected by him, and
she felt that goal receding further and further into the
distance. She glanced at him and he returned her glance, showing
her the concern she'd seen far too many times already. He's
worried because I'm not talking, she thought. She tried to think
of something to say, but she couldn't think of anything that
wouldn't make things worse.

They emerged from the tunnel, and Brad drove a different route,
along the East River, toward the Brooklyn Bridge. "Where are we
going?" she asked, a little nervously.

"It's lunch time. We're going to the South Street Seaport, where
we can talk."

Monica felt a flash of panic, as if she'd been kidnaped. She
looked at him and could see the hurt in his eyes as he saw her
expression. "There are a few things we need to straighten out,
away from prying ears," he said, smiling the most comforting
smile he could manage. She knew it was a phony smile, but the
attempt was comforting nonetheless.

They went to a seafood restaurant, and while they were waiting
for their meal, Brad said, "Monica, you need to understand the
difference between the local P.D. and the FBI." She looked at him
quizzically and he continued, "Especially the beat cops. They
operate on a more basic level than we do... I mean, look at their
training. It isn't half what ours is..."

Monica felt nauseous suddenly. Was she hearing right? "They were
there for me when I needed them..." she started.

"But who went dumpster diving for you?" Monica opened her mouth
to object, but Brad quickly added, "And when they can't solve a
case, who do they go to? Don't get me wrong, they have their
place, but ... Monica, ..." he sighed again. "You can do better,
is all I'm saying."

She stared silently at him, her accusative expression making him
feel like a small man in a tall body. He fought against the
shriveling of his ego, but her displeasure won and he thought,
well at least I tried. "Just be careful... promise me?" he said

She nodded silently, her eyes fixed on his.

After they arrived at their building, Brad walked Monica to her
office and said in his most business-like tone, "About your
training... There are some procedures I'd like you to review.
Study them this afternoon then come to my office at about four
o'clock." He pulled a large procedure manual from her desk
drawer, marked some pages for her to study, then left. She stood
silently, watching him as he walked purposefully down the
hallway. She hoped he would turn around. He didn't.

When Brad got back to his office, he found an
uncharacteristically nervous Janet jumping up to greet him. "A.D.
Williams wants to see you," she said grimly.

"Did you make an appointment?" Brad answered as unemotionally as
he could, despite the knot that had just formed in his stomach.

"He wanted to see you as soon as you got back," Janet replied,
knowing that the A.D. rarely made such a request. Brad offered
no answer, except a silent "Oh shit!" in his mind.

Follmer sat across from Williams, hoping for the best, yet
fearing the worst. The A.D. had his arms outstretched on his
desk, each hand resting on a manilla file folder.

Williams pulled a sheet of paper from the thinner, brighter, file
folder and handed it to Brad. Brad looked at him in confusion,
and Wiliams answered, "Read it... out loud."

He read the top line silently: "Investigative Request for
Employment, Data and Supervisor Information," a form sent to
previous employers by the Office of Personnel Management. Brad
knew that there were several of these in Reyes' folder, as there
were for most federal employees. He didn't remember any of them
saying anything bad about Reyes. He furrowed his brow and looked
again at Williams' poker face. Williams said, "Read the other
side. Number 6"

Brad turned the page over, and at Number 6 read, "Additional
information... derogatory as well as positive information....
Monica Reyes is one of the best employees I've ever supervised.
She is dependable, intelligent, and a model of self-control. She
would make a fine addition to your staff." After he'd finished
reading, Brad's brow was even more furrowed. "I don't
understand," he said cautiously. "What am I supposed to be seeing

Williams reached for the page and put it back in its folder, then
pulled an identical form from the larger, older, folder. "Read
Number 6 on this one."

Brad's face flushed immediately. "Brad Follmer is intelligent and
quick to learn. He has a strong sense of duty and is easy to
supervise. His main fault is that he sometimes acts without
thinking, letting his emotions rule his actions. He has made some
progress controlling his emotions, and I expect continued
progress along these lines." Brad's voice started to crack as he
neared the end, and when Williams reached for the page, it shook
slightly in Brad's hand.

"Agent Follmer," Williams said, eyeing Brad carefully. "Would you
expect an agent who has been described as 'a model of
self-control' to point a gun at her supervisor without good

"No sir," Brad answered.

"What was her reason, then?"

Brad's stomach was in knots as he realized Williams knew
everything. "Because I had let my emotions rule my actions."

"Oh?" Williams said with feigned curiosity. "In what way?"

Brad gulped. "I was holding a suspect by his neck. Agent Reyes
believed I was hurting him."

"The suspect agrees with her. And so does the judge," Williams
said sternly. Brad's face changed from a flushed and dappled
pink, to a near-white pallor. 'Oh, crap,' he thought.

"Fortunately, we have a body..." Williams continued. Brad exhaled
and his shoulders relaxed slightly. "Unfortunately," Williams
added, "there was no search warrant. You do know what a search
warrant is?" Brad nodded.

Williams' face reddened slightly, the first sign of anger Brad
had seen. "And you do know how to go about procuring one?"

Brad nodded vigorously and said, "I'm sorry... I..."

Williams cut him off. "Just what were you doing there anyway? And
with a rookie agent?"

Brad, relieved at being given a chance for some damage control,
took a deep breath and said, "I was going over some cold case
files with Agent Reyes, when I suddenly had a hunch... I was
following up on that hunch... and I was right."

"That's the only thing saving your career right now, Agent
Follmer. Even though the case will no doubt be thrown out, and
the D.A.'s office is now reviewing every pending case we've
brought to their office, and the Brooklyn P.D. is even less
likely to cooperate with us, you were indeed correct. This hunch
of yours may save a child's life. Don't think I haven't
considered that..."

"But...?" Brad interjected.

"You're new to your position, so you're already on probation. I
will be watching you more carefully now." He pulled a sheet of
paper out from under Monica's file folder. "Here is Agent Reyes'
training schedule. Note that she will not be going into the field
for at least two weeks. Note that you will be accompanying her at
every stage. You will not be going into the field for at least
two weeks, either. Her training period will also be a re-training
period for you."

Brad glanced at the schedule. It looked good -- better than what
he'd been planning for her. "Thank you, sir," Brad said, his
voice indicating a wish to close their meeting. "I'll get on it
right away." He put his hands on the arms of the chair and
started to push himself up.

"One more thing," Williams said. "Why did Agent Reyes point her
gun at a police officer?" Brad's face was ashen. Was there
anything Williams didn't know? He was speechless, and Williams
provided his own answer. "My guess is that she pointed her gun in
the direction she was looking. Be sure she gets over that
tendency. She's a model of self-control, remember? Make sure she
learns how to control her gun."

An Office Romance, by Scifinerdgrl Part 4

Monica arrived at Brad's office a few minutes before 4:00. Janet
typed busily at her computer, and Monica felt as if she were
intruding. She sat perfectly still, her eyes closed, mentally
reviewing the procedures she'd been studying. They were all
procedures that had been covered at the academy, and she was both
bored and insulted by her assignment.

The sound of the intercom buzzer startled both her and Janet.
Janet pushed a button and Monica could hear Follmer's voice say,
"When Agent Reyes gets here, send her right in, please."

"She's here now, Agent Follmer," Janet answered efficiently.

There was silence from the intercom for a moment, then the inner
office door suddenly opened. An overly cheerful Brad Follmer
smiled and said, "Come in Agent Reyes." Monica could tell by his
voice and by Janet's face that something was wrong.

Brad ushered her in and shut the door behind them. "Agent Reyes,
I have your training schedule prepared." He handed her a copy of
the schedule and continued, "I will be training you personally
for the next two weeks, except for a few sessions instructed by
specialists, but I will attend those with you. I felt it best for
me to know what you know first-hand before assigning you to a

Monica nodded. This wasn't bad news, she thought. Why did he seem
so nervous? She looked over the schedule. It looked rigorous, but
not more rigorous than the academy. "I've already had courses

Brad interrupted her, "This may seem like a mere review..." He
walked around her chair and leaned over her shoulder from behind.
He pointed at a few sessions and said, "Here, here, here, and...
here. These sessions will concentrate on cases involving

She turned her head to look up, and as she did he couldn't help
looking into her eyes. Their faces were only inches from each
other, and he suddenly felt a wave of desire for her. He closed
his mouth in a tight-lipped grin and took a deep breath. Instead
of relaxing him, the breath gave him a whiff of her scented
shampoo, and he felt transfixed.
She could see the desire in his eyes, and she felt both flattered
and excited. After that first day in the lobby, she'd tried to
rid herself of unwelcome feelings about him, but looking at him
looking at her was weakening her resolve.

They were startled by the sound of the door opening, and Janet's
voice saying, "Agent Follmer, is it okay if I leave early today?
I've typed that report for you, and unless you have something

"No, no, that's fine, Janet," Brad answered hastily. "Thank you
for rushing that. You can go."

Janet looked from Brad to Monica, and both flushed. She backed
through the doorway and closed the door behind her. Brad went to
the door and locked it, then sat behind his desk. Monica exhaled,
relieved to have several feet between them once again.

"About these procedures," Monica started. "I've read them. Is
there anything else I need to know?"

Brad's face was inscrutable for a moment, and he pulled at the
skin under his nose as he thought about his response. Finally he
said, "Yes, let's go to the shooting range. If you're going to be
pointing your gun at your supervisor, I want to be sure you know
what you're doing."

Monica flushed and attempted to smile. "Sorry about that. Just
instinct, I guess."

Brad grabbed his coat and said, "Let's go." In the outer office,
Janet hurriedly hit a button on the intercom.

On the way to the shooting range Brad reviewed the kinds of
distractions she would encounter, and how he would help her train
for them. As he held the door open for her, he added, "Although
in today's incident, shooting at the distraction might have been
a good thing."

Her angry glare told him he shouldn't have said it, but he
couldn't help himself. He hated beat cops. He hated muscular
guys. He hated cops who dated victims. And he was growing to like
Monica. He mentally kicked himself for opening his mouth, but
felt no regrets about his feelings.
Later, as Monica stood facing a paper target, Brad moved behind
her, making noises first on one side, then the other, trying vain
to make her move her gun. He pulled his flashlight from his
pocket and shone the beam near the target, first one side, then
the other. Again, Monica's aim was true. He put the flashlight in
his pocket, then crept up close behind her, pulled up on her ear
protection, and whispered into her right ear, "The bad guy's

Monica twitched and yanked her gun to the right, shooting a hole
in another agent's target. "Don't do that!" she said, turning her
head toward his. Again she found herself within inches of his
face, and her heart started to race.

"What happens when the bad guy does that?" Brad asked, keeping
his eyes on hers. This time he didn't notice her shampoo; he was
truly concerned for her performance. "Here, let's try this
again," he said gently.

He stood behind her and removed her ear protection. "Okay, now
hold your gun out as usual..." he said, then gave her a few
seconds to reposition herself. He placed his arms against the
outsides of hers, and pressed inward.

"Okay, now just keep shooting, and don't let anything make you
move your gun. Ready?" She nodded.

He let her shoot a few rounds then said into her left ear, "Who's
that?" Her left arm pressed against his, and he pressed back, but
the bullet still missed its target. She sighed in exasperation.
"It's okay," he said patiently. Let's try again."

He let her shoot one round, then in her right ear he said, "It's
Bugs Bunny." Her right arm pressed against his, and she started
shaking in laughter.

"That's not fair!" she cried out. "Let me try again!" She felt
determined to overcome this fault, and the image of Bugs Bunny in
her mind's eye somehow made her feel better.

She shot another few rounds as Brad tried to think of another
trick. Having his arms around her, her body so close to his, was
starting to make him feel uncomfortable. But he didn't want to
let go.

She continued shooting, anxiously awaiting her next distraction,
when suddenly she felt his gun against the small of her back. She
clenched her jaw and kept her eye on the target, firing nearly
perfect shots. But when she felt him blowing gently against her
ear, she lost her composure again, and the shot went wild.
Instinctively, she whirled to face him, and the look in his eyes
told her everything -- that wasn't his gun she'd felt, and his
breath on her ear was no training exercise.

She jumped backward, breathing heavily. "What was that?" she

"Whatever it was, it made you lose your cool," he answered, his
voice a little gravelly. He stepped backward and took a deep
breath. He kept his eyes trained on hers, hoping she wasn't
thinking less of him. "And tomorrow you'll be in a simulator.
I'm going to help set it up. I'll observe, but I won't be with

Monica relaxed and put her gun in its holster. She looked at her
watch, as much to get his eyes off hers as to check the time,
then said "I really have to get going. Joe's picking me up at

Brad sighed but said nothing. He looked down at his feet and
ground his teeth. As Monica brushed past him, he said softly and
apologetically, "I'll give you a lift. I don't want you to be
late." He looked into her face and saw skepticism borne of
betrayal. "Really," he said sincerely. "I didn't mean to keep
you so long. I don't want you to be late... Really, I don't" he
said sincerely.

As they drove, Brad thought about Williams. How many people had
seen what he'd done? How long would it take to get back to
Williams? In the tunnel the lights on the walls cast an eerie
glow on Monica's face. "Look," he said finally. "Your training
is important. It's not just skills... It's socialization... into
the profession. It's not enough to know FBI rules, have all the
right skills... you need a certain mind set." Monica sulked but
listened. "So what I'm saying... he's a cop, they think
differently... and he's not a particularly good one."

"Why do you think that?" she asked defensively.

"He didn't recognize my name the first time I met him, he didn't
remember my face the second time I met him, and he didn't react
when you pointed your gun at him..." Brad looked toward her as
they sat in front of her apartment. "He's going to get hurt. And
if he gets hurt, you get hurt," he said significantly.

"Nice try," Reyes answered, and left the car. Brad watched as
she ran up the steps to the stoop and quickly entered her

When Joe picked her up, Monica was still feeling humiliated and
angry with Brad, but she didn't say anything about him to Joe.
Joe sensed her discomfort and tried to cajole her into smiling,
but she looked wistfully at him and said simply, "Long day at
work. I'm looking forward to burning off some steam."

Monica was disappointed by the self-defense course. It covered
techniques she already knew, so she left and went to the
exercycles. She pedaled faster and faster, her mind stuck on
Brad... She knew about sexual harassment law, about why she
shouldn't have feelings about her supervisor, how he'd put her in
an awkward position... She repeated to herself 'Don't think about
Brad... Don't think about Brad... Don't think about Brad...' and
focused her attention on the poster on the opposite wall.
Gradually her emotions calmed and her mind returned to the
present. She slowed to a stop and sighed. They're adults, and
professionals, she assured herself. Everything will be alright.
Just then a woman wearing a Bugs Bunny T-shirt mounted the cycle
opposite her, and Monica chuckled to herself. She left the cycle
area, and checked in on Joe. He was doing leg exercises, and
grabbed her hand as she approached.

"All done?" he asked, smiling with eagerness. "I just have
another ten minutes or so..."

Monica smiled down at him and sighed. His pleasure at seeing her
intoxicating. "I'll meet you in the hot tub in ten minutes then."
She turned to go but he pulled her back and downward, lifting his
face towards hers. She felt giddy and flattered by his
possessiveness, and leaned the rest of the way to meet his lips.
She pulled back and they smiled at each other.

"Ten minutes..." she said, and flitted toward the martial arts
Monica found the schedule of classes and tried in vain to make
sense of it. What wasn't abbreviated was in transliterated
Chinese... She recognized a few words from her studies of
mythology, but had no idea what they would mean here. A man
approached her from the side and said, "Can I help you?"
She turned and saw a muscular man, a little shorter than she,
with nappy African hair, light brown skin, and green eyes. His
unusual looks caught her off-guard and she stammered, "I'm
interested in some classes... I've had self-defense... and"

"And you wish to pursue martial arts to protect yourself better?"
the man answered calmly.

"Yes... um, no," Reyes stammered. "I watched a class yesterday...
seven... they were doing a kind of breathing exercise first. I
liked that. What is that?"

"It is called Chi Kung, one of the components of the Shaolin
Martial Art," he answered, "Breathing practices are united with
combat arts. There is a saying: 'Before a foot or hand strikes,
comes Breath.' Chi which is transferred with blood is the base of
Courage and Strength. The heart is the marshal of the body and
the Breath Chi is the dignitary who goes in advance. The eyes are
standards and banners; if they are clouded, you loose
orientation; they do not comprehend the meaning of enemy's
disposition and can not determine movement and tranquility."

Monica was stunned. Could this be the answer to her problems on
the firing range? "How do I learn that?" she asked eagerly.

"We do not teach it as a single skill," the instructor replied.
"When practicing Chi Kung, your thoughts must be in a state of
full concentration. The concentration of the mind on Dantien, the
Cinnabar Field," the instructor patted his abdomen, just below
his navel. "... is the main secret and the basic principle of Chi
Kung practice. It takes daily practice, not just a few lessons...
And, we teach it as part of Shaolin Kung Fu, and Tai Chi Chuan,
which are in turn part of a larger spiritual truth. Shaolin
philosophy has three spiritual goals: Leading a morally upright
and happy life. Enjoying heavenly bliss in the after-life.
Attaining enlightenment in Zen."

Monica nodded, transfixed, her eyes beaming with enthusiasm.
"When do I start?"

The instructor looked at her skeptically, "Most of our students
come to us for instruction in martial arts, for fighting. You do
not seem to be interested in fighting..."

"I'm an FBI agent ... well, as of a few days ago," she confessed.
"I've learned about fighting. But something has been missing from
my training... I can feel it."

A trace of desperation flashed over her face, and the instructor
nodded sympathetically. "A new class begins in two weeks. But you
may join my classes for the chi breathing exercises if you wish."

"Thank you," she gushed. She grabbed his hand and shook it in
both of hers. "I can't wait." She looked at the schedule, and
before she could ask, he answered, "You may come to any class
with my initials on it. My name is Dennis Gray -- DG." Monica was
relieved to find he taught classes most evenings. "Thank you,"
she gushed again.

Monica hurriedly changed into her bathing suit and wrapped a gym
towel around her waist. Joe was sitting in the hot tub when she
arrived, his flushed face telling her she'd kept him waiting.
"Sorry," she said breathlessly. "I lost track of time -- talking
kung fu.."

Joe smiled up at her and held his hand up to do karate chops in
the air. "Monica, grasshopper... come to the hot tub... your chi
awaits you..." She threw the towel to the side then stepped
toward him and took his hand. His eyes were sparkling, and she
couldn't help pausing to let him admire her. She grinned and
looked down on him, like a princess and her suitor. She forgot
all about chi breathing, and was almost hyperventilating as she
stepped forward and dipped her toe into the water. Joe stood up
to help her, letting her see the ripples of his abdominal
muscles, and the veins stretching against his arm muscles.
Monica took in the sight, and giggled as the warm water swirled
around her ankles. She felt awkward and silly as her long legs
tried to find their way. Joe seemed not to mind -- he kept his
eyes on hers, but they told her they'd taken in everything else

They seated themselves gingerly, and Joe put his arm around her
shoulders. She leaned against him, helping him pull her to him,
and her arm slid over his chest. She slipped her other arm
behind him, and their lips met for a tender, electric kiss. It
was brief, but powerful, and they pulled away from each other
reluctantly. He brought his far arm around to cup her chin and
they gazed giddily at each other. Joe broke the silence saying,
"Isn't this relaxing?"

Monica hummed, deep in her throat. "You'd think. But I don't
feel relaxed right now."

"No?" he teased. "How do you feel?"

She chuckled, a throaty chuckle from even deeper in her throat.
"Wet," she said, stretching out the "w."

He leaned in for another kiss, and this one was open-mouthed and
sensuous, softness against softness, tongue against tongue. Joe
moved toward Monica until his broad shoulders and back were
covering her body, blocking the view from the doorway, giving his
hand permission to slide over places that shouldn't be touched in
public. She arched toward him and let her lips show him her
appreciation for the movements of his hand. He moved his mouth
to her ear and whispered, "want to order Chinese instead of going
out to eat?"

She put her mouth to his ear and murmured, "Moo Goo Gai Pan."

Joe dropped off Monica at her apartment and she hurriedly
straightened things out while she waited for him to park his car.
After twenty minutes, the apartment was ready for company, the
table was set for dinner, candles burned from several directions.
She started to feel anxious, wondering if she'd been teased. She
stood behind the door and listened for his footsteps. Finally
she heard his footsteps pounding toward her door. She flung the
door open and greeted him with a smile. His surly expression
surprised her. "It's impossible parking in this neighborhood,"
he grunted.

"That's why I don't have a car," she said cheerfully. She locked
the door and followed him into the living room. "Relax," she
said soothingly, running her hands over his upper arms. "It's
okay now."

He turned and started to object, then felt the frustration of
parking melt away into the chocolate pools of her eyes. "Yes,
you're right," he said gently. He put his arms around her waist
and pulled her to him. They kissed, not as passionately as
before, but sincerely nonetheless. He pulled away from her and
smiled appreciatively. "Do you have this effect on everyone?" he

"What effect?"

"Somehow," he kept his hands on her waist and rocked her from
side to side. "Somehow, you make everything seem okay. Did you
know that?"

She blushed. "It must be just you," she said. "Maybe it's
because you have that effect on me." She put her hands behind
his neck and pulled him to her. They kissed more passionately,
their bodies grinding against each other, their hands grasping
each other firmly. He walked her backwards toward her futon, and
when she felt the mattress against her calves she turned and
looked down. She let herself fall backwards onto it, pulling Joe
down with her. They sat there, kissing, touching, rubbing for
what seemed like hours, when suddenly Joe pulled away and said,
"I hate to say this, but where's your bathroom?"

She nodded toward it, then said, "Should I call for the food?"

"Sure," he answered. She couldn't help feeling disappointed, but
tried to be cheerful as he told her what to order for him. As
she thumbed through the Yellow Pages she sighed, and felt
nostalgic for the feel of his body. She closed her eyes and
relived the past few moments, feeling his lips, hands, and...
Suddenly she opened her eyes, her heart racing. That wasn't Joe
pressing against her back, it was Brad. She felt panicky. What
was she doing here? How could she feel this way? She hurriedly
phoned the restaurant and put in her order, then slammed down the
phone. She looked anxiously toward the bathroom when she heard
the flush, her feelings still conflicted.

Joe walked toward her, a spring in his step, as he shoved his
T-shirt into his jeans. "Sorry that took so long..." he started.

Monica moved toward him, and tugged at the fold of fabric he was
trying to shove into his pants. "The food will be here in twenty
minutes," she said, pulling sideways and out on his shirt. "But
we can always heat it up later..." She started pulling up on his
shirt and he grinned.

"Yeah, we could do that."

When his shirt was off, Monica ran her hands over his chest,
shoulders, and abdomen, gently at first, then more firmly as she
sensed his muscles flexing under her touch. Even a man this buff
held his breath at a time like this, she marveled. She stepped
back and pulled at the hem of her own T-shirt, exposing a few
inches of her flat midriff. His hand went toward it instantly,
then slid under her shirt as far as it could reach. Monica was
starting to feel frustrated with his teasing, and she grasped her
shirt by both hands, pulling it over her head in one smooth

Joe reached out and slid one hand over her breasts as put his
other hand around her waist. After throwing her T-shirt to the
floor, Monica tilted her head in expectation of a kiss. Joe did
not disappoint. The kiss was urgent, almost hard, and the ragged
exhalations from his nostrils sent tingles up her spine. After
gently massaging each breast, Joe found the clasp of her bra and
expertly undid it. She let his movements guide hers as he pulled
the straps down her arms, the fresh air causing her newly
liberated nipples to harden. Before he could move his hands back
to her breasts, she pressed them into his chest. The feeling of
his skin on hers made her groan softly, and she began to rub
against him in tiny circles. Joe grabbed her ass, and he began
massaging each cheek in his massive hands. Monica responded by
gyrating against him, feeling exhilarated yet safe and protected
by his body on one side, his hands on the other. She slid her
hands over his back, pressing firmly against his taut skin, until
they found the waistband of his pants. She tried to slip her
hands under his pants, but they were too tight. He pulled away
from her and grinned as he undid his belt, then his fly, then her
belt, and her fly. She stepped backward and pulled at the front
edge of her futon, turning it into a bed. She sat at the edge
and looked invitingly up at him. He stood in front of her and
bent forward to pull at the sides of her jeans. She lifted her
legs and cooperated as he pulled them off completely, taking her
underwear with them. He gasped and quickly slid his own pants
down. His conservative white underwear bulged invitingly, and
Monica put her hand over the bulge, at first tentatively, then
more boldly as she heard his nearly-silent sighs. She slid his
underwear down, her body leaning forward as she did so, until his
underpants were at his knees, and her mouth was within inches of
his turgid member. He put his hands on the back of her head and
wove his fingers through her hair, inviting but not pressuring
her. She accepted the invitation, first licking the tip with her
tongue, then exploring the rest. It was smaller than she'd
expected, but also thicker. She was able to take him almost
completely into her mouth. Her hands cupped his balls as her
tongue moved under his cock. His groans became lower and more
frequent, and his body swayed as she continued to work his most
sensitive areas. Sensing he was ready to come, Monica pulled
away. He looked down on her with a nearly inhuman expression of
lust, and she grabbed his hands, pulling him downward onto the
futon. When they had repositioned themselves, Joe moved his hand
to her pubic mound. The smooth skin of his palm against her wiry
hairs made Monica's legs instinctively move apart, her knees
pulling upward. Joe moved his fingers over her dripping gorge.
He dipped his middle finger into her gushing torrent as his other
fingers parted her slick lips. She groaned and pushed up to meet
his pressure. He pulled his hand away, and she opened her eyes
to see why. He moved over her body, crab-like, and kissed the
hollow at the base of her neck. She purred against his mouth,
and he took the hint. Carefully positioning himself at her
opening, he pushed gently until he had fully entered her, then
started pumping slowly. Monica felt her entire being had been
erased, and all that was left was a sequence of sensations that
grew more and more powerful with every thrust. Monica wrapped
her legs around his, matching his thrusts with subtle yet urgent
thrusts of her own. Her breathing quickened, and she started to
want their movements to quicken as well, when suddenly she heard
Joe groan and felt a surge of warmth flooding her vagina. Joe
hugged her closely to him, and slowed to a stop. He pulled out of
her and rolled to the side, keeping his face near hers. "That
was incredible," he whispered into her ear. He slid his hand
over her breasts in absent, random patterns. "You're so
beautiful..." he whispered even more softly, then kissed her

Monica laid next to him, thinking 'Is that it?' She looked at her
clock -- ten more minutes until the food came. She sighed.
"Thank you," she whispered.

They were dressed by the time the food arrived, and Monica tried
her best to hide her disappointment. He has no idea, she
thought. Well, there's time... Next time I'll tell him what I

She chewed her food silently as he exuberantly described some of
his adventures on the job. Then, he turned serious for a moment,
and said, "My partner asked for a transfer -- all these cases
with children, he just can't take it -- and we're having a little
party for him. Can you come?"

Monica smiled and swallowed. "When?"

"Saturday afternoon. We're going to have a pot-luck, and his
wife and kid will be there. I'm bringing my mom's baked ziti.
You gotta try it. My mom makes the best baked ziti in Brooklyn!"

She found his enthusiasm infectious, and said "Just say when --
I'm there!"

After dinner, Monica cleared the table, and put the dirty dishes
in the sink. Joe came up behind her and wrapped his arms around
her waist. He nuzzled her neck, then said, "I hate to do this,
but I gotta go... My mom will wonder where I am."

Monica wheeled around. "Your mom? You live with your mother?"

"Sure, at least until I get married, and even then, it will take
awhile to save money for a house..."

Monica blushed at his use of the m-word. "I'm just a little
surprised... You seem so independent..."

"Thanks, but the city's expensive, and besides," he stroked her
hair gently as he spoke. "Ma needs me since dad died. She
shouldn't be living alone...." He bent forward and gave her a
peck on the cheek. "Want to come to the gym again tomorrow?
Lots of guest passes left..." Monica nodded and he kissed her,
briefly, on the lips. "See you at 6:30," he said. He walked to
the door and let himself out.


The next day, Monica's performance at the simulator was dismal.
Brad looked on from a distance, until she finally turned and
asked for his help.

"Let me see what you've done," he said, and with a few keystrokes
was able to see a computer read-out of her results. "Hmmmmm.
You've killed three innocents, and died five times yourself....
What do you think the trouble is?"

"Distractions," Monica said immediately. "Just like yesterday --
worse, in fact."

"Well, this simulator is designed to be realistic, and yesterday
you were firing at a known object, with limited distractions.
Maybe you need an easier simulation to start with." He typed a
few lines of text, clicked his mouse a few times, then said,
"Let's see how you do with this one."

Monica positioned herself and put her gun out in front of her as
Brad looked on from behind. The simulator started, and a street
scene appeared on the screen. Her eyes darted from one part of
the scene to the other, and from person to person. A dog ran in
front of her and she started to breathe faster, her mouth
grimacing. Finally, a figure emerged from the left and she shot
at it, leaving her defenseless against the figure from the right
who had a gun. "Bang, bang, you're dead," said Brad.

Monica turned to face him, tears welling up in her eyes. "What
am I missing?" she asked in desperation.

Brad walked up behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders.
"It's going to run again, exactly the same, now put up your gun,"
he said. Monica did as she was told. "Okay," he said, shaking
her shoulders gently. "Now, the important thing is to know which
guy is the right guy. You don't want to nail the first guy you
see... The right guy could come at you from any direction, and
you won't notice him if you're distracted by the wrong guy. Now,
watch..." he described the scenario as it unfolded, instructing
her on what to watch for. He ran his hands down her arms to her
elbows. As he did so, his body moved closer to hers, his voice
speaking more and more directly into her ear.

She turned her head to face him, and their lips accidentally
grazed each other. She lowered her arms and his hands moved from
her elbows to her waist. Their mouths went to each other, and
they kissed hungrily. She dropped the simulated gun and turned
to wrap her arms around his waist. She ran her hands over his
back, and he drew his hands up and into her hair. She pulled
back a few inches and whispered, "People can see us. We

"Who cares?" he answered. He kissed her passionately, and a
throaty groan escaped his throat. He moved his mouth to her ear
and said in a loud whisper, "God, you're beautiful... I can't
stop thinking about you..."

Suddenly a very loud "ahem" caught their attention. There, with
a very stern and disapproving look, was Janet. Brad and Monica
stared at her, saying nothing.

"I've been sent here to tell you," Janet said grimly. "That you
are fired. Both of you."

Before Brad or Monica could answer... the alarm went off. It
was 6:00 a.m., time to get ready for another eight hours of work
and sexual self-denial.

An Office Romance, by Scifinerdgrl Part 5

At 8:05, Monica rushed up the subway stairs, eager for a morning
chat with the smoking secretaries, but they weren't at the
entrance. She was running late, and she'd missed them.

Janet sat at her desk, checking her e-mail while she sipped on
her coffee. She looked up as a somewhat rushed and disheveled
Monica threw open the door. "I'm late!" Monica announced,
breathing heavily.

"Relax," said Janet. "He's not here yet." Monica sighed loudly
and sat down on the guest chair. "So tell me," Janet said, a
glint in her eye. "Did you see Joe again?"

"Yes," Monica said, smiling a little dreamily. "We went to the
gym again..." Monica's mind drifted to the more pleasant memories
of her evening with Joe.

"When is he going to take you on a real date?"

Monica was taken aback by this question. "He invited me to the
farewell party for his partner. That's sort of like a date..."
Monica's voice trailed off. "I get to meet his mother's baked

"I bet his mother's baked ziti is the best in Brooklyn," Janet
nodded knowingly. Monica looked at her with a startled
expression. In answer, Janet added, "Every Italian boy's mama
makes the best baked ziti in Brooklyn. Someday I'll bring some of
mine in, and you'll see whose ziti is really the best." Janet
winked, and Monica grinned.

"Anyway, we're just getting to know each other," Monica said, a
little defensively. "Going to the gym together is as good a way
to get to know someone as going to the movies."

"Just don't go too far too fast," Janet warned. "Italian boys
don't marry hussies."

Monica's jaw dropped. "Janet!" she exclaimed. "I'm not a hussy!"
"I hope not!" Janet answered. "But I had to say it. If you didn't
know about baked ziti..." She stopped talking when the outer door
swung open. A flushed and panting Brad threw himself into the
waiting room.

Janet and Monica looked at him, then at each other. "I'm sorry
I'm late," Brad said to Monica. It sounded to her as if he were
truly sorry, not just making excuses for himself, and she was

Janet interrupted, "A.D. Williams called. He wants you to call
him right away."

Brad's worried expression surprised Monica, but he didn't notice.
He raced into his office and shut the door. Monica looked to
Janet for an explanation, but Janet had assumed the professional
demeanor of her office.

A moment later Brad emerged, more calm, his color back to normal.
"Agent Reyes," he said in his most professional voice. "We've had
a change of schedule. Instead of the simulator, this morning
we'll be observing an autopsy. It's the child from the dumpster."

Monica swallowed and could feel panic threatening to overtake
her. If merely being near that child made her vomit... "I'm not
sure I can..." she looked at Brad pleadingly.

"Surely you observed some autopsies at Quantico?" Brad replied,
keeping his businesslike expression. Monica nodded. "Well," he
said, "it's harder when it's a child, but it's part of our job.
And it's part of your training. As A.D. Williams pointed out, we
don't know when there will be another opportunity." He turned to
Janet and said "Please reschedule Ms. Reyes' simulator training."

At the morgue, Monica felt her legs becoming heavier with every
step they took toward the autopsy room. Brad's steps seemed to
become louder and more determined in response to her attempt to
slow down. A few feet from the door, he turned to her and looked
into her eyes. "Monica," he said gently, "you don't have to stay
the whole time, but at least try."

She felt a rush of gratitude, admiration, and, to her
astonishment, lust when he said this. "Thank you," she said
through lips that were stiffening in response to impending
quivering. "I'll do my best."

"That's all I ask," he responded tenderly. He put his hand behind
her elbow, and escorted her to the door.

Once inside, the matter-of-fact attitude of the medical examiner
helped Monica to put aside her feelings of dread. Brad explained
to him that Monica was there as an observer, and that he was
there because he had discovered the body. A glance from Follmer
told Monica not to let on that she'd been there. The three stood
together in an awkward silence, until the M.E. offered, "We're
waiting for the local P.D."

As if on cue, Joe entered, his blue uniform straining over his
muscular physique, and Monica suddenly remembered her first, very
exhilarating, impressions of him. She couldn't help sighing, and
Brad couldn't help noticing her sigh. He shook his head and
resolved to figure out a way to nip this in the bud.

Another man followed behind Joe. This man was tall and thin, and
wore street clothes. His shocking red hair topped a pale,
freckled face, his bright blue eyes piercing the pale fog of his
face. The man walked quickly up to the M.E. and extended his
hand. "Detective Patrick Williams."
Brad made the connection instantly. Williams! That's how news was
getting back to FBI! He sighed as he realized how much work it
was going to be putting a plug in this leak.

The group maintained a respectful distance as the M.E. pulled
back the zipper on the tiny body bag and started his
investigation. Follmer positioned himself to keep an eye on his
trainee and the two men who already knew too much.

As the M.E. described the injuries inflicted on this child,
Monica started to see the events surrounding them. Repeated
blows to the same few locations, barely perceptible bruising
revealing weeks of injuries at different stages of healing, a
broken wrist, cigarette burns at very specific locations, each
paralleled by another on the opposite side of the child's body...
Monica felt the heat and nausea she'd felt when she'd first
encountered the body, and breathed deeply in an attempt to quell
these feelings. It seemed to be working, and as the M.E. opened
the body and examined the organs, she felt in control of herself.
One by one he pulled out the organs, described their condition,
weighed them.... and Monica felt stronger with each one. Until
he came to the heart...

The baby's heart was slightly enlarged, according to the M.E.,
and when he pulled it out of the chest, Monica could swear she
saw it beat. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, and
when she opened them, the heart beat faintly, but regularly, its
muscles contracting and expanding more and more vigorously until
Monica felt overwhelmed by a wave of nausea. She ran for the
door, feeling a hot breeze as from a hot furnace, chasing behind
her. She slammed the door against he feeling, and looked for a
trash can. She grabbed a small trash container and sat on one of
the benches that lined the hallway, retching violently the second
the can was under her.

After she was finished, her head still poised over the trash can,
Monica tried to focus on breathing deeply, her eyes closed
against the visions. As her breathing slowed, her mind cleared,
her visions faded to black, and her stomach returned to normal.
She rested that way for a moment, resolved to return to the
autopsy, when she felt a hand brushing her hair back. She looked
up to see Joe, and she grinned grimly. He offered her a glass of
water and she put both of her hands around it, lifting it to her
mouth and draining it quickly, keeping her eyes on his. "Thank
you," she said when she was finished.

He stroked her hair with gentleness that astonished her. "Are
you sure you're in the right profession?" he asked with genuine
concern. Her eyebrows showed him he'd made a mistake. "I mean,"
he continued awkwardly. "You are so sensitive... and you seem
to love children... It's hard enough for a man... I can't even
imagine what it must be like for a woman to see something like

A cold glint jumped into her eyes and her chin jutted out
slightly. "I can handle this. I'm not used to it... and what I
saw and felt, it's not just the body... it's evil itself..."
Joe's only response was an expression of pity mixed with
condescension, making Monica bristle more. "Really, Joe. If I
don't see those evil visions, I'm fine."

"Monica, think about it. In your division, you will be seeing
these evil visions every day," Joe responded, enveloping one of
her hands into both of his, focusing his eyes on hers.

She looked back into his eyes, but before she could answer, Brad
appeared in front of them. Monica's face flushed, her hand
instinctively pulled out of Joe's grasp, and she looked up into
his disapproving face. "Are you okay, Agent Reyes?" His voice
was hard-edged and professional, carefully modulated to mask all
traces of his jealousy, concern, and fear.

Absently handing the glass to Joe, Monica nodded and started to
rise. Brad took a step backward to give her space. As she
started to rise, Joe pulled at her arm and brought her body back
down a few inches. "Think about it, okay?" he said. With an
almost imperceptible nod, she shook her arm free from his grasp
and stood up. Brad turned and walked toward the autopsy room,
and Monica took a few tentative steps in the same direction. Joe
rose quickly and whispered into her ear, "We'll talk some more?
Tonight? Same time?" She nodded, a wistful sadness in her eyes.

When Monica returned to the autopsy room, she felt a change
there. The warmth, the evil, she'd sensed had disappeared. In its
place a different warmth suffused the room -- comforting,
enveloping, calming... The closer she came to the center of the
room, the more at peace she felt, and she sensed that the child's
dissected corpse was the source of this peace.
She looked on calmly as the M.E. finished his examination,
oblivious to the glances that Joe and Brad gave each other as
each caught the other eyeing Monica. When it was over, Monica
approached the body, her hand outstretched, and stroked its hair.
The M.E. said, "Ma'am, this is one of the more brutal abuse cases
I've seen. If that makes you feel any better, most agents would
have difficulty observing this autopsy."

Monica acknowledged his kindness, but then returned her attention
to the body. As if reading braille, she trailed her fingers over
the baby's skin, lingering over the bruises and burn marks. "This
wasn't ordinary abuse," she said softly. "This was an exorcism."

"What?" the M.E. said incredulously.

Monica straightened her spine and looked him in the eye. "These
burns -- they aren't from a cigarette. See how they trail up
here..." she ran her hand over one of the baby's arms then lifted
the other arm. "And here? These aren't burns, they're splatter
marks -- from Holy Water."

The M.E. bent forward, and Brad, Joe, and Williams gathered round
for a closer inspection. The M.E. traced his fingers along the
same path Monica's had, and he looked up in surprise. "I agree,
these could be splatter marks... but they are definitely burns.
Boiling water, or maybe acid..." He began scraping the edge of
one wound and put the evidence in a bag. "We'll test this for
toxic substances. Thank you for pointing this out.... As for this
being an exorcism..." He raised his eyebrows at her then looked
to each man for validation. Joe and Brad seemed embarrassed for
Monica, and she sighed as each refused to defend her.

"I know it seems unlikely," she said after taking a deep breath.
"But it fits the pattern -- for some kinds of exorcism, at
least." She turned to face Joe and asked, "Are there any cults in
this area that believe in spirit possession?"

After an awkward, open-mouthed silence on Joe's part, Williams
stepped in. "There are several cults in Brooklyn. Almost one in
every neighborhood."
"You should investigate them," Monica said earnestly. "Beginning
with any in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood."

Williams nodded, somewhat condescendingly, but answered, "We'll
do that. At this point we need to consider every possibility."

"Good," Monica answered approvingly. Williams smiled, and
indicated to Joe that it was time to leave. Joe sneaked a nod to
Monica then followed Williams out of the room.

After they'd left, Brad asked, "Besides these burns, what else
makes you think this is an exorcism?" The M.E. looked on in
interest and the two waited as Monica, very clinically, examined
the body.

"You see these bruises? The ones you identified as finger marks?
This child was being held by one person, from behind" she mimed
the motions she envisioned. "and another person, possibly two,
performed the ceremony."
Brad nodded thoughtfully, and the M.E. said, "I can add that to
my report. What is your name again...?"

"Don't use her name," Brad interrupted. "Use mine. She's still in
training. Her name can't be attached to any investigation."

After stopping at a deli for sandwiches, Brad pulled to a bus
stop near a playground and put his "FBI" placard on the
dashboard. They ate in silence, for several minutes, watching a
child and his mother on a swing set. Swallowing the last of his
sandwich, Brad watched as the mother and child left the
playground, then turned his attention to Monica. He studied her
carefully as she ate -- intrigued by the motions of her jaw,
tongue, and throat... Suddenly she stopped eating, her cheeks
bulging with half-eaten food, and stared back at him. Her
eyebrows spoke to him as eloquently as her voice could.

"I know, don't watch you eat," he said jovially. She started
chewing again, her mouth curling into a smile around the bulge.
He leaned back against the car door and languidly draped his arm
across the top of the seat, his fingers wafting lazily into the
space between the seats. He continued watching her, then
apologized, "I'm sorry. There just isn't much to watch besides
you right now..."

She swallowed slowly, then said, "You could at least talk to me.
You're making me nervous!"

He could tell by the sparkle in her eyes that she wasn't nervous,
and he smiled broadly. She was flirting! He couldn't believe it.
"Okay, Agent Reyes, what should I talk to you about?"

"Tell me about your first week on the job. Was it anything like
mine?" As if to invite him to speak at length, she took a huge
bite out of her sandwich.

He moved his mouth around in sympathy with hers, a sparkle coming
into his eyes as he watched her watching him. "It was nothing
like this. But I'm sure you knew that. Your introduction to the
FBI has been..." he paused, struggling to find the right words,
then finished, "unique." She grinned, but continued chewing. He
continued talking, "My first week was full of procedure manuals,
following agents around as they questioned suspects and witnesses
-- all white-collar crime. Then I learned how to read
spreadsheets. It was so boring I wondered if I'd chosen the right
profession!" He chuckled for a moment, but her face turned
serious and his demeanor immediately followed suit. "What? Did I
say something wrong?" he asked, his extended arm reaching for her

She put her hand for a second, sending sparks through his body,
but removed it quickly as she saw the flush in his face. She
swallowed then said seriously, "Am I in the right profession?"

He leaned forward and put his left hand on the top of her thigh
as his right hand pressed into her shoulder. "Absolutely," he
said with conviction.

She inhaled deeply, and after exhaling just as deeply, quietly
said, "Thank you. I needed to hear that."

"You've only been here a few days, and already I can't imagine
the FBI without you. I haven't regretted choosing you for even a
second," he said.

The sincerity of his words both frightened and reassured her. She
laid her right hand atop his left and started stroking it slowly.
"I'm glad you want me here."

They looked into each others' eyes for a long moment, and
Monica's fingers slowed their caresses, resting heavily on his
knuckles. Brad pulled his hand away and brought it to her jaw
line, stroking it gently as he brought his face closer to hers.
She allowed him to lead her toward him, and her mouth opened
involuntarily in expectation of a kiss.

Brad's mind was full of her -- her face, hair, voice, the faint
smell of deli bread on her breath... and his body fell toward
her, pulled forward by her lips. His right hand lost its grip on
her shoulder, falling forward a few inches, his fingers pointing
the way to more trouble for him. Suddenly he heard his own voice
in his head, reading "acts without thinking, letting his emotions
rule his actions..."

He pulled back suddenly and fastened his seatbelt. "Ready to
go?" Monica's shocked expression told him she might not be such
a model of self-control, but he resolved he would be. She
nodded, and they drove in awkward silence to the simulators.