Found this in the archives (Romeo and Juliet - Not a Date.doc for those of you wondering). It's nothing new. I figure it takes place about six months after Chuck and Sarah's first date at the movies in Romeo and Juliet but Without Teenagers or Death...Well, Okay, Some Death. Just a short little scenelet.
She wasn’t tired when the cab driver pulled up to the hotel—her usual—later that afternoon, which in itself was a surprise. Instead of going straight to the hotel from the plane, she’d hopped from one meeting to a briefing to yet another meeting, to drinks with friends. By all rights, she should have been bone weary, but everything felt a little too out of sorts for that. Thanks to the rigors of surviving the Farm, she recognized this state: she was beyond tired, and well into the stage where time became timeless and where she just came to exist, nothing more, nothing less. What annoyed her most about it was that she knew it would take hours to come down out of this phase, hours of lying in her hotel bed alone and staring at the ceiling.
If people could see just how much she longed for the other half of that bed not to be empty, they’d probably call her pathetic.
She tipped the cabbie, murmuring her thanks in a local dialect, and headed inside. A chill rain had begun to fall sometime during her second meeting, coating the Estonian world in monochromatic dampness. Water trickled down the back of her collar, a brief annoyance. The minute she checked into her suite, she’d change to something comfortable, like sweats. It wasn’t like she had any big plans or anybody to impress.
And she really needed to stop this depressing line of thought so much lately. She had a boyfriend—somewhere. Sort of. And men and women dealt with long absences from their significant others all the time. It wasn’t like she was special.
No, she was just lonely. Lonely enough to glance pensively at the couple holding hands and trying not to sparkle too brightly as they walked by her. She caught herself and scowled.
“Yes, I have a reservation for Walker?” she asked at the front desk.
The receptionist wasted no time tapping away at the keyboard. “Mrs. Walker?”
“Yes, that’s me,” Sarah started to say, but the words caught up with her. “Wait, what did you say?”
“The room, of course, has been all taken care of. Your luggage arrived this morning and was placed in the room for you.” The receptionist picked up a plastic keycard and began to format it as she spoke, her movements easy and practiced.
Sarah, however, couldn’t quite shake the water from her ears. “I’m sorry, did you say Ms. or Mrs. Walker just now?”
The receptionist looked up, confused. “Your husband was here just an hour ago, ma’am.”
Her what? “My what?”
“Is something wrong?”
Sarah, about to point out that she had never been—and would probably never be—married, paused. Was this some kind of Agency thing? Had they sent another person to reinforce her cover? If they had, she didn’t want to blow it by causing a scene.
Even worse, it wasn’t the Agency, and she had somebody waiting for her in her hotel room.
“Yes, of course,” she said, smoothing things over with a smile. “My apologies, it’s been a long day and…” She made an absent gesture.
“But of course. Here’s your room key, you’re on the seventh floor. Will you be needing anything else?”
She was tempted to ask what her ‘husband’ looked like, but the longer she was in the building and not confronting him, the stronger an edge this man had. So she thanked the receptionist and took the elevator to the sixth floor. She’d scoped out this hotel on her first visit through, which helped now. Taking a chance, she knocked on a door on the sixth floor and announced in thickly accented English, “Housekeeping!”
No reply. Perfect. A little finagling got her through the lock and into the room. She stepped out onto the balcony, cursed the rain, and climbed up onto the rail. It was a matter of simply not looking down at tall heights, her instructors had always told her.
Her instructors were full of it. Being six floors up and perched on a delicate railing in the rain was freaking terrifying, no matter how trained you were. Still, she hauled herself up onto the balcony on the seventh floor and dropped lightly onto the flagstones there, her hand automatically going for the gun tucked at the back of her waistband. The move put her in full view of the windows, but the room certainly seemed empty—save for the two sets of luggage, one open atop the bureau in the corner.
Whoever her mysterious husband was, he’d sure made himself cozy awfully quickly.
She eased open the balcony door with her free hand, careful not to let it make any noise. The TV across from the bed was on.
Chances were, she thought, mystery husband was hiding somewhere. The room now became a death trap, as he could be anywhere—
Or, she revised as she heard a toilet flush, in the bathroom. As the sink ran, she dropped to a crouch on the other side of the massive king-sized bed, her gun up and her eyes narrowed. Her heart thudded hard against her eardrums, adrenaline making her hands quiver just a little around the gun. Who the hell was this guy, anyway?
The bathroom door opened. Sarah instantly forgot all about shooting her intruder. Her jaw dropped, and she rocketed to her feet. “Chuck!”
He yelped and whirled towards her, hands up in a self-defense position. They dropped just as quickly. “How—how did you get in here? I didn’t hear you come in!”
“How did I get in here? How did you get in here? This is my hotel room!”
“Oh, that was easy. I told the very nice lady at reception downstairs that I was your husband, paying you a surprising and romantic visit, and she was happy to help out.” Chuck squinted. “Wait, I didn’t hear you come in.”
“I came in through the balcony,” Sarah said. This was, she thought, so damned surreal. Not five minutes before, she’d been feeling lonely, achy, needy, pathetic, ten thousand things she didn’t want to admit to, all because she hadn’t seen Chuck in weeks. And here he was, just like she’d conjured him out of sheer want. But she couldn’t seem to move away from her side of the bed. He looked good, really good. Not even tired now, which he always looked. And why couldn’t she seem to move?
“Through the balcony?” Chuck’s eyebrows drew together in confusion. “Why would you do that?”
“Because the receptionist called me Mrs. Walker and told me I had a husband in my room and I don’t seem to recall getting married.”
“Aw, she ruined my surprise?” Chuck pouted.
“Probably a good thing, I’d have shot you otherwise.”
“Point. And you don’t remember your marriage, darling?” He stretched the word out, a grin spreading over his face as he moved away from the bathroom doorway. “Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Walker, of South Plains, Georgia? Married two years now?”
“We haven’t even known each other two—wait, what?”
“How else was I going to get into your room?”
Sarah thought of how easily she’d broken into the room below hers not five minutes before and gave him a skeptical look. “Are you trying to get us caught?”
Chuck’s face shifted from the smug grin to an actual smile. “I thought we were both due for a little fun,” he said, reaching for her. “I won’t tell if you won’t.”
“Deal,” Sarah said, and launched herself at him. It had been her first instinct—well, first instinct beyond shooting the intruder or her jaw dropping at the sight of Chuck. He was here, in Estonia of all places, and there weren’t any cameras around for once. And it felt so right, especially when his hug lifted her off her feet. “How did you know to come here?”
“I missed you,” Chuck said. “So I tagged your phone. It led me here.”
“I’m so glad to see you, I’m not even going to comment on the stalking this time,” Sarah said, and kissed him. “I missed you, too.” Too damned much, her brain added when Chuck only gave her that grin that lit up from the inside.
“Are you hungry? I can order room service.”
She couldn’t care less about food right now. “How long do you have?”
It was probably something like thirty minutes. Maybe forty if the gods were looking out for her; such was the nature of their time together. Whenever she suddenly got a minute free from the spy life, something in his life acted up, and they continued to miss each other. She didn’t want to give up a single moment with him to waste on food, if he only had a little—
“Couple days. What about you?”
“What?” Sarah asked, positive she’d heard wrong.
Chuck’s grin broadened. “I said, I have a couple of days. What, eager to get rid of me already?”
“Oh, hell no,” Sarah said and kissed him again. “I think we can find a couple of things to do to occupy ourselves. Room service can wait,”
“Yes, ma’am,” Chuck said, and laughing, let her pull him toward the bed.