But hey! A preview of Chapter 44. My second preview on Chapter 44, if you'll believe it. (Where's the first? Dig in the archives. I didn't tag it as 44, but I did share a brief scene since I wrote the first scene of 44 something like 4 months ago)!
It's after the break! Hope you enjoy!
Working Title: Casey Have I Loved
31 JANUARY 2008
“Okay, something’s up,” Sarah said as she came into Chuck’s office.
Chuck dropped his pen and swiveled in his chair quickly. Too quickly. He nearly overbalanced and sent himself crashing to the floor. “Is it a mission? Do we have a mission? Is it something to do with the data we grabbed on Kohlmeier?”
“What? No.” Sarah’s eyebrows drew low over her eyes and she turned her head slightly, still watching him with her eyes, something she only did when she was suspicious of him. “I was going to say something’s up with Casey, but I don’t think that’s just the case anymore.”
Chuck hoped that fact that he had begun to sweat was obvious only to him. “Wh-why would you think that?”
Sarah merely folded her arms over her chest. It made Chuck look down, and notice that she was wearing the pink blouse again, the one he really liked.
He forced his mind to focus by reminding himself that he was dating a lie-detector-trained-assassin. That usually helped. “So nothing new from the data I pulled off of those hard drives?”
Again, Sarah didn’t answer. She strode over to his desk and sat on the edge, so that she was looming over him. It was a little close, but it wasn’t quite to the level of impropriety between coworkers that would have to be explained away on the Castle security footage later. Even so, it hardly mattered. Chuck would have felt that quietly threatening stare on him even from ten feet away.
“Want to tell me what’s going on?”
“Uh, nothing.” Don’t think about her gun, don’t think about her gun, don’t think—
“Are you sure that’s what you want to say?”
Chuck reminded himself that they were still being watched by Castle’s security cameras, which was why they had been extra careful at work since they had returned to Burbank. Therefore, it would be messy to explain if Sarah suddenly put him in a sleeper hold.
Of course, he would have to leave Castle sometime.
“Something’s up with Casey, and now you’re edgy around me—well, edgier than normal—you won’t meet my eyes, and you’re starting to sweat.” Sarah ticked points off on her fingers. “Any one of those things alone would be suspicious, but add them up and…”
“So what is it?”
“It’s nothing, I swear. Everything’s fine.”
“Uh-huh. Not buying it.” Sarah poked him in the arm. “Out with it, Bartowski. Did you flash on something in my file again?”
Chuck blinked. “What exactly is in your file if you’re so worried about me flashing on it?”
“I’m not sure what’s in my file,” Sarah said, frowning. “It’s been awhile since I had Dave hack the database and find out. But since you freaked out last time you flashed on me—”
“It was only for a little while! You looked really pissed off when you shot that security camera. I was scared.”
Sarah rolled her eyes. The incident had occurred on the day after Christmas, and Chuck figured Sarah was still a little upset about it. She had worn a ring, something he hadn’t seen her wear before, and something in the pattern of the ring had inspired a flash. If there was ever a time he didn’t need reminding that he was dating a cold-school ninja, it was while sitting next to her on the couch watching Fatal Attraction.
And he had since apologized for it multiple times.
“So what are you hiding from me?” Sarah asked, switching topics with the subtlety of a sledge hammer.
“Promise not to kill me?”
“Casey made me disassemble and reassemble your gun this morning before you got here.” The words tumbled out in a rush right as Chuck shoved his foot against the floor, sending his rolling desk chair backwards and out of Sarah’s reach. He hunched forward into the sitting down form of The Morgan, remembering her face when she had given him the pocket knife and told him never to touch any of her knives again. “Please, if you’re going to cut off my fingers, do the left hand. I use the right hand for the Wii.”