New York whirled around us, people bustling to get to where they were going. JFK had been packed, but we managed to hail a cab and get ourselves to the loft in Manhattan, where we would be staying. It was easy to get to Theatre Row, our undercover location, from the high-rise building. Our backstory was simple. Rae and I were from a company out in California, and we were looking to move to New York. We wanted to try out a couple locations before deciding to make a permanent decision.
Rae insisted we maintain that we were friends, so as to avoid complications. Hell, our friendship was complicated already after New Orleans, but whatever made her feel comfortable. I flung down my bag on the queen bed in the sparsely furnished room. The Bureau made sure we had the necessities, so that was nice.
“There’s a tech meeting at the theatre tonight.” Rae leaned on the doorframe with a sigh. “Certainly not the Ritz, huh?”
I chuckled. “Nope, but it works. You okay?”
She raised and lowered a shoulder. “Usual zone. Feeling more uneasy about this one than I was when Madame Evangeline was telling my future.”
I had to admit, I missed Sabine’s grandmother. I missed New Orleans. I missed…well, I missed holding and kissing Rae. “Heh.”
“Should we get something to eat first? I’m sure there’s a pizza place.”
I loved how Rae knew when to break obvious building tension. “Order in?”
She smiled and walked to the olive green kitchen. “Geez, you’d think they’d make some decorating changes since the 70s.” She thumbed through a stack of takeout brochures by the fridge, settling on one and placing an order for a large pepperoni pizza and a bottle of Coke. I hated this on duty crap. Pizza and Coke just wasn’t the same.
I slumped into the sofa, sinking into the middle. Clearly they were trying to keep us in the façade that we were struggling theatre people. “Damn,” I groaned, adjusting my position. “Hey, Rae, wanna experience true torture?”
Rae laughed, crossing her arms and watching me shift uncomfortably. “Nope, I’m good.”
“Aww, come on. Cuddle up with me on the couch of death.” I patted the empty spot.
She huffed and walked over, sitting down with a small scream. “What is this? I think a spring just poked me. Undercover, or not, we’re replacing this monstrosity tomorrow.”
“And that’s why I love you, Rae.” As soon as the words left my mouth, I coughed, realizing what could be implied. “I mean, in the platonic sense. Hey, let’s see what’s on TV.” I grabbed the remote from the side table drawer and turned on the old set, my heart longing for my flat screen at home. I found an old Friends episode, and we lapsed into uncomfortable silence. Shit, I thought. You sure put your foot in it this time, Thompson. But, I did love her. Maybe this time around she’d finally let me in.