Word Count: 676
Five months earlier – Monday November, 23rd
I parked my leased car behind Bobby's anthracite Mustang in front of my house. I'd met my sister and her family in Hoboken over the weekend and had been looking for a shoulder to cry on most of the time. I'd explained my new situation to her and begged for support when I would tell our dad everything. Taking a deep breath, I still couldn't imagine trying to explain to him that I had left my police career after sixteen successful years. But four years shy of: 20 years of service – one-half salary, a special retirement regulation of the NYPD. But I couldn't go on, wouldn't stay in that club which had forced me to fire the best cop they ever had. Even if their prize had been so sweet.
Leading my own police department, heading the Major Case Squad was now a dream which never would come true. I was sad, angry, disappointed, desperate and much more. Just a week and a day, I'd quit and then? No idea! November 30th will be my last day on duty.
I climbed out of the SUV, wrapping myself deeper in the winter coat. I looked for Bobby, shielding my eyes from the rising sun. My partner - ex-partner I corrected myself - perched on the weather-beaten stool on my porch. He looked frozen to death sitting between the white frosted, shriveled leaves which I'd been meaning to brush away for days. How long had he been waiting for me? I reached unconsciously for my cell phone and checked the display. Three missed calls. I bit my lips guiltily and ran the last steps to my front door, my coat fluttering in the cold wind.
"Sorry I missed your calls Goren, I was driving."
"I know, Eames," Bobby nodded, and rose.
"Come in and get warm." I searched for my keys and opened the door. "Why didn't you wait in your car?"
"Uhm…" Bobby deflected, and followed me inside, carrying a nearly bursting traveling bag in his hands, which I hadn't noticed before. "I just have a few minutes left, Eames." He paced between my kitchen and the living room with his familiar slight limping, his coat waving behind – the personified tarnished black knight. Then he absently stepped into my bedroom and turned startled, his left hand in his neck as he realized where he was.
"Eames…Alex," Bobby started, and placed his bag on my kitchen counter. "I have to go." I was shocked. "No, not forever," he added quickly, as he saw my face. "You know, the Captain…the whole shit," Bobby searched for something in his bag. "I have to find out more. I owe it to him. You understand?" I shook my head, but sighed affirmatively.
"Here are the spare keys to my apartment and car." He passed me the metallic items. I took them perplexed and jumped as a loud car horn sounded outside.
"That's Lewis. He's driving me to the airport."
"Airport, but, Bobby…where?"
"Eames, I can't tell you. It's too dangerous." I rolled my eyes. "I knew you would hate that answer." He opened the door again and I could see Bobby's friend sitting in his black Impala. The engine of the muscle car was smoothly rumbling while he was waiting. "Please check my mail and water my plants," Bobby called over his shoulder. But seeing my worried face he turned around and stepped back toward me. "When I left the captain's office at Major Case, I promised to be around." I nodded. "I don't plan to break that promise, Alex. I'll be around," he whispered, and pressed his soft lips against my cheek. He hadn't done this in ten years and now he was kissing me for the second time in four days. In his eyes I saw that he was speaking the truth. I was still so confused that I felt no angst or worry as I watched Bobby getting in Lewis's old-timer and pull away from me. The angst and worry would come later.