Now, unless you've got something important for me, get out! I am very busy.
“There is no danger at all!” she snapped, walking away from him. She began heading for the door. “He is not part of such a malicious gang, and he will not harm anyone, especially me!” She pulled the door open and shut it as she began escaping down the hallway.
Leon dropped himself into his chair and smoothed back his hair. He knew that it was no use to go chasing after her. He only hoped that she’d come around before it was too late.
“Do you have any proof?!” She stood up and put her hands on her hips, looking up at him angrily. “Sir, I respect you very much, but I do not find respectful the way you’re getting in my personal business. Are people in the force not supposed to have significant others?!”
Normally Leon would have been beyond raising his voice with any other officer, but he had a soft spot for female officers. “I’ve seen him working with Torch with my own eyes. And, you’re allowed to interact freely with whoever you wish. I am simply informing you of the danger you are bringing upon yourself and the force.”
Usually Talise would’ve melted at such physical contact, but now she couldn’t help but shrug his hand off with anger.
“Why are you telling me all of this!? It’s not true. You don’t know him like I do. He would never! He’s kind and caring and understanding and is nice to everyone. I would never be with someone so diabolical!”
He took a step back. “Please, understand. This isn’t a reflection of your judgement, or even of Charlie’s character.” He sighed heavily. He only wanted to protect her. “For all I know, Charlie could absolutely be the most perfect gentleman that you’ll ever meet. However the fact remains. He is involved with L’accensione, which places you in danger.”
Talise looked down at her clenched hands, unsurprisingly balled up into fists in her lap. They were slightly trembling.
“But I trust him already. I really do trust him.”
He rose from his seat and stood in front of Talise. He lightly laid his hand on her shoulder. “You have to believe me. Any contact that you have with this boy is dangerous. He is involved with criminals.”
Talise stared blankly at him. L’accensione? “But… but that’s… Charlie would never take part in that.”
He shook his head. “In this line of work, Talise, you must learn to expect the unexpected. You must learn who you can and cannot trust. And Charlie is definitely not someone that you can trust.”
“Um, yes!” Confused to the question, she still answered enthusiastically. “He’s a performer, isn’t he? He’s really talented! He and his sister, Cherise, have shown me some of their moves before.” She smiled.
“Do you know him?”
“Yes, I do..” He raised his eyebrow at her response. But to be honest, it wasn’t that surprising. The boy would have had to lie to her to gain her trust. “However, I don’t know him as you do. I happen to know that he works for Torch, of L’accensione.”
She was about to sigh and relax until she heard his question. Her eyebrows knit together in slight confusion.
“Um… Charlie? You’ve… seen us together?” There went Charlie’s plea for wanting to keep them hidden from the public eye. “We are… very close, I guess you can say.”
Leon only nodded, not wanting to show his distress. “Are you aware.. of his profession?”
Talise was curious, to say the least. She walked up to his grand door and, cautiously, knocked twice. She budged the door open slightly, looked in, and smiled politely. She walked into the room and closed the door.
Leon had never spoken with her privately in his office before, and she was a little nervous. She looked around the place before sitting in front of him. “Hi, Leon!”
He nodded to her seriously and took his seat behind his desk. “Good afternoon, Talise.” He noticed how rigidly she was sitting, and smiled kindly to her. “There’s no need to be nervous, you’re not in trouble.”
He sighed, trying to collect his thoughts, and find the best way to word his question. “I’m just bit curious. That Cherrim boy I’ve seen you with recently. Are you very close with him?”
Leon paced around his office nervously. He had sent someone to retrieve Talise so that he could speak to her. He really hoped that he was going to make an ass out of himself, and that his suspicions were wrong. Because if they were right, a lot of people could be in danger.
“Now, really, is this necessary?”
“Yes! No peeking, okay?”
“Alright, I promise.”
“Why don’t you just tell me..”
“Shh! …. TA-DA!”
My daughter’s tiny 10 year old hands moved away from my eyes, and I was presented with our kitchen, completely made over. Balloons and streamers colored the room, and the table was barely recognizable under the mountain of gifts, and sloppily decorated cake.
I grinned and picked up Penelope and spun her around. “Oh, darling, this is wonderful! Is this why you wouldn’t let me out of my room for so long?”
“Uh huh!” She nodded proudly. “You always make my birthdays really special, so I wanted to do the same for you!”
I kissed her cheek and set her down. “Thank you, Penny. Now, let’s eat some cake. It looks delicious!”
She bounced up and down as I lit the candles. “Okay, okay! Ready?” She looked at me eagerly, and I nodded to her with a smile. “Happy birthday to yooooou! Happy birthday to yooooooooooooooou…”
“Happy birthday, dear daddy,” I sighed sadly as I looked at her picture. “Happy birthday to you.”