Ian Fleming is a Bloody Liar.


The call came at three o'clock in the morning. Like most of the sensible, diurnal people of the world, I was unconscious, reveling in the fact that for eight to ten hours I didn't have to do anything remotely resembling work.

Groggily, my hand waved over my bedside table, knocking over brick-a-brack and assorted detritus that I had been collecting for years. I slammed my hand down on the alarm clock on reflex, coming out of my tenuous doze when the ringing didn't stop.

I sat up, my eyes blearily searching the dark room for the source of the noise. Eventually, my eyes fell on my cell phone which was sitting across the room. It was cheerfully singing away, completely unaware it had woken me from my blissful slumber. I tried to reach for it from my bed, leaning down only to fall the few feet to the floor, collapsing into a heap on the hardwood.

Eventually, I picked myself up and made it over to the annoying silver device. I flipped it open, before growling my displeasure into it. "What?"

"Jeez, Kat. You sure woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning."

I groaned. Of course it was her. "Emily." I growled back at her. "It is three o' clock in the morning. I was sleeping."

"Oh, right." She said. I could just picture her rolling her eyes. Emily is my sister. Younger, of course. She's not a sensible, diurnal person - she's more of the stay-out-late-and-party-like-we'll-never-have-another-chance-to person. A real wild child.

Which isn't to say I don't like to party. Every Friday night, you'll see me out on the dance floor, tearin' it up like the rest of 'em. However, today was Monday, and in a few hours I had to be up and ready to jump headfirst into the shark tank of my life. I needed what little rest I could glean from a good night's sleep.

I sighed into the phone. "What do you want, Em."

"Actually, sis… I got arrested, and…"

I interrupted her there. "Oh god, Emily. What did you do now? I am so not coming down there to bail your sorry butt out of whatever you've…"

"Whoa. Cool it, sis. First of all, it is all a major misunderstanding that will be cleaned up in no time. Secondly, my boyfriend is coming down here with enough cash to bail me out. I'll be fine. I just need you to go over to my house and delete a few files off of my computer."

My eyes narrowed suspiciously. This sounded way too bizarre, even for Em. Why would being arrested constitute the deletion of files? I wondered about this for a second, but she took my momentary silence for agreement, blazing right past me when I tried to question her.

"Thank you so much, sis. I promise I'll find a way to make it up to you. Everything you need to get rid of is in a file titled "Top Secret," in fact, don't even open it. Just delete it. The passwords are "buffalo" and "staroverrohne," that's 'r-o-h-n-e,' all one word. Key's under the mat. Thanks again, sis. I really owe you one. Love ya!" She hung up the phone before I could get another damn word in.

I repressed the urge to throw the phone across the room in a fit of childish rage as questions flew, one after the other, across my mind. How could she do this to me? She knew my schedule and the rigors of my life. She couldn't have had her boyfriend go and do this for her? What could possibly be this important?
I sighed, suddenly resigned. Looked like I was driving half way across town at three o'clock in the morning for God-knew-what.

I frowned as I shrugged on a coat and grabbed my keys. If she had already called her boyfriend, hadn't she already used her 'one phone call'? How was she able to contact me?

Pondering this, I got into my car and started the engine. I was sure of one thing- tomorrow was going to be hell.

*~*

I arrived at her apartment building about forty-five minutes later. Driving this late at night had been just wonderful. I swear I had nearly fallen asleep at the wheel a couple of times. Oh, my sister owed me big time.

I finagled my way into her building by going around back for the unlocked door. It was a squat little building, with low ceilings and no elevator. Therefore, I got to climb those flights of stairs as quietly as I could muster.

Of course, I didn't have a key to her apartment even though she had a key to mine. It seemed that she trusted the potential psychopaths in her building more than she trusted her own sister - putting the key under the frayed welcome mat as she did.

Hell, I should have just ignored her and gone back to bed. Nevertheless, she was my baby sister, and as annoying and presumptuous as she was it was my job to look after her. And if that meant driving out at three in the morning to delete some files…

I frowned as I opened the door and stepped inside, slipping the key into my pocket out of pure childish spitefulness. I turned on the lights and surveyed the apartment for the very first time.

The place was surprisingly Spartan, a couch and a small television, a small kitchenette, a bare bookcase. Nothing indicated my sister lived here- there were no knickknacks, no pictures. The place barely looked lived in.

I headed for the bedroom, my feet making oddly loud padding noises on the bland carpet.

The bedroom looked a little more lived in than the rest of the place. The off-white sheets on the simple bed were rumpled from being slept in, the matching comforter peeled back. The closet was open to reveal a strange mixture of flashy party clothes, an unhealthy amount of assorted black clothing and demure business suits.

The flashier clothes I had seen her in, but I had never seen her in one of these suits before, and never in all black. It hit me that I had no idea what my sister did while she wasn't partying. I just hadn't been paying attention, apparently. She had to have a day job in order to afford this place. Not that it was a high-end apartment or anything; it wasn't even in a great part of town, but the economy being what it was these days…

It unsettled me that I knew so little about my own flesh and blood. Maybe she wasn't as vacuous as I thought her to be. If so, who exactly was she?

Feeling slightly guilty, I turned the computer on, casting glances idly around the room as I waited for the LCD screen to come on line and illuminate the room.

Other than the open closet, there was really nothing to identify the room's owner. The walls were bare save for an old Casablanca movie poster, but that could have belonged to anyone. Well, anyone who loved old, cheesy movies.

The Wal-Mart bedside table held only the essentials, a phone, a lamp, an alarm clock and… a picture frame? I picked it up and peered at it through the dim light, before realizing it was a family photo. The only picture in the entire apartment, and it was of us.

It was so… sweet. Almost uncharacteristically so, as far as I knew.

The picture was of the three of us, Em, our mother and me. The picture had to be several years old, but she looked nearly the same- her dark brown hair pulled up into pigtails, impish gray-blue eyes lined so that they stood out like cat's eyes in the dark. Her face was softer then, younger. Her button nose was wrinkled in amusement as she threw her thin arms around our mother.

Emily looked just like Mom- they shared the same dark hair and mischievous eyes. She was mid-forties in this picture- age just started to touch the edges of her eyes. They were smiling broadly at the camera. I sat next to mom, her arm around my broader shoulders. I had dad's looks, even then- my hair a fine, sandy blonde and pulled back into a ponytail, my eyes hazel-ish green. They could never decide. My nose was slightly sharper than theirs, but you could see the similarities in our bone structures.

The computer beeped cheerfully, indicating that it was done loading. I clicked on the avatar, logging into it. I had a sudden surge of mischief. I could look up anything here. Once you had access to someone's computer…

I tamped it down. These were my sister's files - I couldn't just go snooping around. She had said to delete them, and delete them I would. It took only a minute of traipsing through her documents to find the file.

Sighing, I opened the file with a click of the mouse and the computer cheerfully prompted me for a password. I consulted the little yellow sticky pad I had written the passwords down on, and it allowed me access to the file.

Curiosity shifted uncomfortably in the back of my head, a little lemming of a voice whispering at me to open the file- the same little voice that prompted me to take an extra fifteen minute break at work, or to have that extra piece of chocolate cake, regardless of caloric intake, or to jump off a bridge into the cerulean waters below.

I'd like to say I did the noble thing and just deleted the damn file, but I couldn't. I am only human after all. Like Eve accepting the apple, or Pandora opening the box, I was curious. Probably too curious for my own good, and it was so tempting. I clicked the file twice to open it.

There were a bevy of word documents with titles consisting of random strings of numbers, or at least, they were random to me. I frowned slightly, wondering what kind of files these were, that she would need them deleted?

The concerned citizen in me wanted me to call the police and notify them of these. The overprotective sister part wanted me to delete them right away. Despite this, I had to see these files. I could reserve judgment until I knew what they said.

I clicked on the first one; the beginning is the best place to start after all. I leaned closer in anticipation, but the document was just a random jumbling of letters. I leaned back and gave a disappointed sigh. All this trouble, waking me up in the middle of the night to delete these files in what, gibberish?

No - Emily was a lot of things, but she wasn't cruel. She wouldn't wake me up like this for no reason. The files must be in code. I surged forward, leaning so close to the monitor my nose nearly brushed its surface. Code- that had to be it. My eyes scanned the rows of letters, but I couldn't pick anything out. It wasn't even in that code we had developed when we were kids. I frowned to myself. I didn't really relish staying here and trying to figure out what it said- I did have to go to work soon, but I wanted to know what was so important about these files.

Inspiration struck me like a brick from the heavens. I pulled out my key ring, and the emergency flash drive I kept with me for work purposes. One never knew when a client would want to see your copy of things, so it was good to keep one around. I never went anywhere without it. Feeling sly and a little guilty, I downloaded the files onto the flash drive. After that, it was the easiest thing in the world to delete the remaining files and turn off the computer. The room instantly returned to its semi-dark state, lit only from the street lamp outside.

I gave the room one last cursory glance before I left it, closing the door firmly behind me. The rest of the apartment looked exactly the same as it had when I had arrived, and half the trepidation I was feeling swirling about my stomach leaked away.

I left the apartment, locking the door behind me before dropping the key into my pocket on general principle. The night air felt great against my blazing skin, the fresh breeze bolstering my confidence.

The whole ordeal had only taken twenty minutes, but it had felt like an eternity. But now I got to have the extreme pleasure of driving for forty-five minutes or more to get home. By then I'd get to start getting ready for work. Someone was going to catch hell today. Maybe one of the interns.

I was driving for about fifteen minutes before I noticed anything out of the ordinary. There was a nondescript brown sedan behind me, about fifty feet back. And we were the only cars on the road.

What were the odds of that?

Presumably, they were plainclothes police, maybe staking out my sister's place? Whatever for? The thought chilled me to the bone, but I made no move to lose them or even speed up. That would make me appear guilty, which of course I was, but whatever. But I decided an alternate way home, preferably one that lost them and still got me home in time.

As nonchalantly as I could, I turned onto the very next street. These streets were slightly unfamiliar, but I figured that as long as I had an idea of where I was I would be fine.

But they were ready for me. The followed each of my increasingly complicated turns easily, and it occurred to me that they knew more about where I was than I did. And they weren't even bothering to hide the fact that they were following me now, they were right behind me, inches away from my back bumper. I was sure that at any second they'd be ramming into me.

I was concentrating so hard on the car behind me that I didn't notice a car of a similar model, a dark blue sedan slide out right in front of me from some hidden side road. I saw it coming from the corner of my eye, but didn't slam on the breaks until it was too late. The front of my car smashed into the left side of its trunk.

The impact sent me flying forward before my seatbelt snapped me back, slamming my head against the back of the headrest. A groan slipped out and my head started to pound in time with my racing heart. My eyes were half-closed and my vision blurry as I strained to make sense of the situation, still reeling with shock.

"Grab her," a gruff, authoritative voice growled. If I had had enough presence of mind, I would have shivered.

I was grabbed bodily by a pair of strong hands while my seatbelt was unbuckled. They lifted me from the wreckage of the car.

Through blurry eyes I examined the damage. The whole front of my car was smashed in, the windshield and both windows broken, if not completely shattered. The other car, I noted, had only a dent in the trunk- and not even a very big one. What could it have been made of?

I was starting to come back into my senses when they opened the back door of the car that had been following me, and not-so-gently threw me in. Panic was fighting through the grogginess of the crash, and when they shut the door behind me, I shot up running on an autopilot of adrenaline and fear. But before I could make it to the door, there was a prick at the side of my neck, like the bite of a mosquito.

I cast a glance behind me to see the back seat's other occupant, a suited man with a small grin beneath his mirrored sunglasses. Not long after the world started to spin, becoming a vortex that siphoned away my senses before rendering me unconscious.

*~*

I came to in degrees, unconsciousness lifting from me like a veil, one inch at a time. I became aware of myself again, then slowly gained control over my body - enough to open my eyes. Momentary confusion seized me before the morning's events flooded back. A groan fled my lips as I struggled to sit up and sized the room up through blurry eyes. The scent of ammonia pricked at my nose, hammering at my head. I noticed that my mouth felt dry, almost cottony and I licked my cracked lips in response.

My arms wobbled under me as I struggled to get into a sitting position, and it took some maneuvering to get myself propped up against the wall. Even after so little action, I was exhausted. Perspiration tickled along my hair line and my arms lay uselessly at my sides. Once steadier, I looked around the room. The walls were white- no one sided mirrors thank God - and all the furniture, which consisted of the bed and a small table, were welded to the floor. The only way into the little room was a door, the white paint peeling off of it, with a small window of reinforced glass.

Not a prison cell, I surmised as I stared up at the ceiling, only to find a small camera watching me back. There was no way these guys were police, not even plainclothes. Where were my Miranda rights? No - if these guys were government at all, they were FBI, CIA, NSA or one of the other dozens of alphabet agencies running around the country, the gross of their work 'safe' from the citizens' eyes. I groaned again- what the hell was I going to do?

It occurred to me in the back of my still-fuzzy brain that I should be trying to escape, preferably through a well-placed yet forgot about air-vent. I snorted silently. Yeah, right. Who was I kidding? I wasn't James Bond or anything. I was as far from a secret agent as you could get. The only 'training' I had was a mandatory self-defense class back in high school. One that I'd almost failed. And even if I did somehow manage to escape, they'd just locate me again and bring me back here.

"I'm doomed." I managed to whisper. I guess there was only one option left to me- wait and see what the heck they wanted me for.

Not too long after that, the door was thrown open to reveal a man almost identical to the one who had, presumably, drugged me before. Without so much as an explanation, he came over to the bed and hauled me out of the room by my arm. I didn't fight him- he was almost a hundred pounds heavier than me and had to have some sort of weapon, but I didn't help him either. It was the only sort of protest I knew I could pull off without getting hurt.

He dragged me down the hallway to what only could be described as an interrogation room. The walls were a too neutral to be neutral gray, the brushed metal tables and chairs were welded to the starched, tiled floor and one wall was taken up by a giant mirror that was obviously a window, so they could watch me without me knowing.

He none-too-gently shoved me into the chair, even going so far as to strapping me into it so my palms were facing the ceiling. If I didn't know better, I'd have thought they thought I was dangerous. That was almost flattering. A panicked little laugh bubbled up through my throat, and I knew I was in trouble.

I had seen this scene a hundred times before on television- my back was to the door to make me feel uneasy. Hell, everything in this room was designed to put me on edge, and thus make me more compliant. And it was working.

I was left to sit there and stew for, well not having a watch I couldn't quite tell, but it was a long time. I must admit, from the first moment I was strapped into that uncomfortable chair, my heart was racing and mind whirling in an attempt to try and figure out what the hell was going on.

Each second stretched out into an agonizing lifetime, and I found myself screaming (silently, thank God) that I would tell them anything and everything they wanted to know as long as they would just let me leave this infernal room. At one point, I even started flinching at shadows, as if there were any under the harsh light of the single bulb over the table.

Another, horrifying thought occurred to me as I sat there in panic. I was probably late for work.

Eventually, a man almost identical to the one who had brought me in here, well, maybe a little shorter, strode in with a purpose and a deep frown. The cruel light glinted menicingly off his bald pate, and I was sure he was glaring at me from behind his mirrored sunglasses. "Ms. Lennox, I presume." He said at me as he walked around the small table to face me.

I bit my cheek to keep from saying anything either disrespectful or sarcastic, or pleading and pathetic. I knew in my core that once I started to talk, I would start babbling. It would be a flood of almost incomprehensible words.

Apparently keeping silent was the wrong way to go. He slammed his gigantic fist down on the aluminum table, hard enough to leave a small dent in it. I jumped in my chair, only the restraints on my arms keeping me from running around the room in a panicked frenzy. I started to sweat even as I shivered, the liquid fear pooling at the small of my back. I could taste my fear , sour on my tongue like bile.

"Answer me." He said, his gravelly voice low and controlled, which was twice as terrifying than if he had yelled at me. "Are you or are you not Emily Lennox?"
My heart started racing faster, if it was possible. Why was he asking about Emily? Didn't they already have her? "N-n-n-no." I stuttered out, shaking my head furiously.

"Then what were you doing in her apartment?" His question seemed reasonable enough, and in the panicked swirl of my brain, I thought that maybe if I told him about this whole mix up he'd let me go.

"I'm her sister, Katherine. Katherine Lennox. S-she called me this morning and asked me to go and delete some files off of her computer. I don't know why."

"And did you?"

"Y-yes. Yes I deleted them." I said, and the flooding began. "They were just gibberish anyway, a random string of numbers and letters and symbols and stuff. Not even a code or anything. Why would anyone-"

He directed a scowl at me and my mouth snapped shut, too afraid to continue. Fury, barely controlled, was coming off of him in waves. My skin crawled in response to it, and I was really starting to fear for my safety and general wellbeing.

There was a knock at the door, unexpected by even my interrogator by the way he glared at it. I jumped slightly in my chair as he stalked past me and threw open the door. "What?"

"Calloway wants the girl brought to him." A flat voice said. I craned my neck to get a good look at the speaker, but he was hidden by the heavy metal door.

"Calloway can wait." The angry man spit back, his stance becoming even more menecing. I felt another thrill of fear shoot through me.

"Do you want to be the one to tell him that?"

The man growled; a low sound in the back of his throat, like that of a giant cat before it leapt. "Why does he want her anyway? It's not even the girl we were sent for."

"No, Hendrickson, she's not. Contrary to popular belief, the boss can hear." The man on the other side of the door snorted. "But, the girl will come out from wherever she's hiding once she hears we have her sister."

Obviously not one to flaunt that kind of logic, or perhaps just scared of this 'boss' person, Hendrickson swallowed and without another word, unbuckled me and hauled me up from my chair. I was practically thrown at an identically dressed man. What- did these people have no originality? Another sick bubble of laughter threatened to break out and I bit my lip to keep from going insane, wincing only slightly as the new man caught me.

"Thanks, Hendrickson. Promise I'll have her back before midnight." He said sarcastically.

"Watch your step, Summers." Hendrickson growled back before slamming the heavy door behind him and stalking the opposite way down the hallway.
I felt panic spike once again in my chest. What the hell was going on here, and why did they want my sister? God, what the hell had I gotten myself into?

"Come with me, Ms. Lennox." Summers said. "We only have so much time."

That was when, somehow, I inexplicably found a shard of leftover backbone. Before, I'd been treated hostilely and was too scared to do anything but panic. Wouldn't you know it, I found my stubbornness with the first goon who showed me a shred of human decency.

I yanked my hand away from him and brought up a glare that had frightened interns for years. "Who are you people, and what do you want with Emily?"

Summers leaned in, obviously frustrated. "We don't have much time. We have to get out of here."

"Well, then make time." I snapped back.

He sighed, running a hand through his slicked-back dirty blonde hair. "They're a part of an international agency called SHADE, aka the Bad Guys. They want information that your sister possesses, more like, they want it back."

"'They'?" I frowned. "If you're not one of them, who are you?"

"Page. Alexander Page." He replied with a wry sort of smile. "Your sister's partner at the CIA."

"My sister…" A CIA agent? I shook off this blow to the head. "Is Emily alright?"

"She's fine, and safe. We just have to get you out of here…"

There was a klaxon screaming suddenly, and my eyes were assaulted by a blinding light from a nearby alarm. Alexander swore, or at least said something under his breath. I couldn't quite make it out over the noise.

"Come on!" he screamed at me. "That's the signal; we have to get out of here- Now!" He grabbed my hand and pulled. This time, I went along with him, running as fast as I could muster as we got the hell out of there.

*~*

The rest of the… escape? Rescue? Whatever it was, was a blur. All I really remember of it was a lot of running and panic; all set to the music of screaming, bursts of gunfire and alarm bells.

Somehow we got out of there, taking a small black car (probably an Aston Martin) out of the apparently underground facility and into the night.

I was jolted back into myself once we were safely on the road and away from the gun fire. "And I live to die another day." I muttered to myself, relief washing over me. I put my head between my still-shaking hands.

"What was that?" He asked, cocking his head to one side as he looked me over. We studied each other for a moment. I couldn't get a good look at his eyes, hidden as they were behind sunglasses. Sunglasses at night - that should have been a tip-off. His hair went down just past his ears, the color of wheat, and it was slicked back and shining thanks to some sort of hair gel he obviously couldn't get enough of. His nose was strong, quite Roman, and his cheekbones were as sharp as his tongue. Pretty enough, if one liked that sort of thing.

"Nothing." I replied quickly. After a few seconds of silence, I sighed, thinking this must be a good a time as any to get a few of my questions answered. "You said you're her partner. Her partner in what?"

"Crime." He answered, smiling brilliantly. He held it for a few seconds until he registered my humorless frown and turned back to the road. "But if she didn't tell you, I don't think it's really my place…"

I sighed and turned to look out the window, effectively dismissing him as he trailed off. Silence loomed between us for long minutes before he inhaled forcefully. Apparently he decided to take charge of the situation.

"So, you're the famous Kat, huh? Em talks about you all the time. But I have got to say, I am not all that impressed."
I chose to ignore the jibe, instead focusing on the more important issue. "All the time?"

"Oh yeah. She's real proud of her older sister, the high level exec with the steady boyfriend and the normal life. Ms. Katherine the Great. In fact, I get the feeling she envies you."

While I couldn't quite tell if he was being sarcastic, I felt a flush of warmth in my chest. My sister, whom I could only assume was a spy of some sort, was jealous of me? Guilt doused the heat as my thoughts turned to how I had taken her for granted, and just how little I knew about her.

I turned away from him again, frowning as I looked out the window. The more I ruminated on that fact, the more curious I became. And what exactly was in those files I deleted? My hand flew to my pocket. My keys were still there, along with my flash drive. I resisted the urge to pull it out and marvel at its sleek, silver surface.

It was some time later that we made it to the city, and eventually we pulled into the business district, parking in front of a building just like every other one on the block. We got out of the car and were immediately assaulted by a spritely girl with golden blonde hair. She ran at Alexander, throwing her arms around him and giving him what appeared to be a bone-crushing hug.

"Xander!" She cried. "You did it - you saved her. With my help of course, but that's beside the point. Thank you thank you thank you." She gushed, even going so far as to peck him on the cheek. 'Xander' flushed red.

The girl pulled from him to look at me, and I grinned at her. Aside from the new hair-cut, a pixie-ish style done in a golden blond a few shades lighter than my own, she looked quite the same. Sure, her face was sharper and she wore no makeup, but one could still tell who it was. "Hello, Emily."

She came up and hugged me until I couldn't breathe. "Kat." Eventually she relinquished her grip on me. "I'm so glad that you're okay. God, if you were hurt because of me…"

I couldn't help but laugh. This bubbly girl was a spy? "I'm fine, Em. Promise."

She smiled back. "You did delete those files, right?"

I mock-glared at her. "Of course I did! Jeez, barely an 'are you okay' and…"

She laughed. "Okay, okay. Sorry. And thank you, I guess."

"What do you mean, I guess?" I asked, then let my curiosity get the better of me. "What exactly was in those files?"

"Paper work, summaries of a few of my jobs and their collateral damage, that sort of thing. I know my computer wasn't a very safe place for them, but they were encrypted. And the apartment was sort of a secret." She brushed her bangs back and gave me a plaintive look. "And it was a big deal, sis, because it would have been a disaster if they had gotten a hold of it. But, it wasn't what they were looking for- that's already safe. And you deleting those files gave us the time we needed to make sure they would be." She added quickly. "I'm just disappointed because it's going to be a pain to write all that up again."

With a long-suffering sigh I produced the flash drive. "Well then you are extremely lucky I backed them up then, aren't you?"

"On the one hand, I should be extremely pissed. What if they had found this on you? But, I am so relieved right now I can't muster up any other emotion."

"You should be pissed? I was the one called by my supposedly incarcerated sister at 3 o'clock in the morning to delete paperwork. Thanks to you, I was captured by goons! And I missed work. I'm probably so fired right now- not to mention that that same sister is a spy!"

We stared at each other for a long minute before we burst out laughing. Alexander shook his head at the two of us, obviously exasperated. He took off his sunglasses to reveal a pair of pale blue eyes, the color of a winter sky. "Now if you two are done here, we should leave. Who knows how well the distraction worked? They could very well be on their way here. And we," He glanced at Emily, "need to get back to headquarters and clean up this colossal mess you made."

Emily glared at him, her eyes narrowing slightly. "I made?I made? Excuse me; you're the one that allowed me to get captured in the first place, making all of this necessary."

He scowled at that, his face turning a nice guilty pink. "Alright, whatever. But we still have to go and fix this, and see if we can't do something to help your sister out. In all likelihood, they'll be gunning for her now."

My eyes widened. I hadn't thought about that. Truthfully, I had kind of thought this was all over. Foolishness on my part.

My sister sighed, sobering. "That's true. Can't have you getting in trouble for my screw-ups, sis." She squeezed my hand. "And while I'm there, I'll see if I can't do something about excusing you for your job. Maybe convincing them you had the day off?" She gave me a rakish grin and I smiled back as reassuringly as I could. "Go ahead, I'll be fine."

They got into the car, but before they could drive off in a blur of black muscle car, I knocked on the passenger side window. "Hey, Em." She rolled down the window to look at me. "I'm proud of you, sis."

"Love ya' sis." She said, sounding almost like her old self.

"Love you too."

And with that, they drove off, leaving me smiling like an idiot. I stood there for about five minutes before it hit me like an elephant from the sky. I was in the middle of the business district in the middle of the night with almost nothing save my keys. My USB drive, with most of my client information on it, was in my sister's hands. I had no way home.

I groaned, staring up at the sky, the stars obfuscated by street -lamps. Someone was going to catch hell for this, and something told me it was going to be me.

Damn, I could use a martini right about now.


A/n: All's well that ends well, I suppose. And, as always, I would appreciate any and all reviews/ constructive critism for this. It is my first full-fledged short-story, so I'd like to make it as awesome as possible. ^_^