After a tense quiet drive from headquarters to his house, Nikolas pulled into his driveway, shut off the car, and got out. He let out a terse breath, turning to rest the front of his body against the automobile and closed his eyes tightly as he drew in another harsh ragged breath. How did these things always seem to happen to him? Did he have some unknowing bull’s eye stamped on his forehead?
With a shake of his head Nikolas quietly unlocked and opened his front door. Not understanding why, since there was no one around to hear him, but old habits die hard and it was always part of his training to see and hear, not be seen and heard. He strolled down the hallway to the kitchen, numbly going through the motions of brewing coffee. He glanced at the clock on the wall, four AM. He usually didn’t return home till before the crack of dawn, sometimes not at all, but this night didn’t turn out the way he’d expected.
With a cup of strong freshly brewed coffee in his hand, just the way he liked it, Nikolas sat down at the table and pulled out his Blackberry. He hadn’t wanted to make this call until he was certain prying ears wouldn’t hear, but it was now or later and he preferred to get it over with as soon as possible.
Less than two three rings later he was holding for his contact, “Young here.” The voice barked into his ear.
Blowing out a breath as he plowed his fingers through his hair, Nikolas spoke. “Did or didn’t you send me on a leave of absence? I need to know if this is legit.” His voice took on an insisted tone.
“Aren’t you guys always pleasant and to the point?” Sarcasm dripped from Braxton Young’s voice.
“No shit Sherlock. Every assignment, every case and every order by you is legit and I need to know why you did it.” Cockiness crept over Nikolas, reminding himself of the FBI agent in the movie The Fugitive.
“Well, let's see..." The sounds of a keyboard clicking sounded in the ear piece. “There’s something not sitting quite right. A few strange details. You took the drop of one of our agents personally and since you refuse to speak with one of our psyches about it, you’re taking stress leave and you could use the downtime. When was the last time you took any time off, Nikolas?”