“Ah. Well. I should’ve waited for that slice of pizza,” Rian said, trying to will her knees to quit trembling.
“I did try to warn you,” Greg said watching her carefully to make sure she didn’t fall. “Now would you like to answer or do you want that slice of pie?”
“I’d like that pie now,” she said. To her dismay her voice was beginning to shake. This day was turning into a disaster. The flight had been awful, she was just hours from New York and her mother, and now she was nearing a breakdown in front of her potential new boss. For the first time since she deplaned, she wished she’d taken her aunt’s advice and stayed in Denver.
“C’mon. It won’t be authentic but it’s as close to New York pie as you can get.” Dasher offered her his arm and to his surprise she took it. “I didn’t want to dump that on you all at once,” he said as he helped her into the car.
“I know. It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have pushed. I’m the idiot here. My family loves to keep secrets and play the guessing game. I really don’t like things being withheld and I don’t like being taunted.”
“That could make you a huge asset or a huge detriment. Probably an asset to my team if you can push the right buttons to get information for the profile.”
“Oh I can push buttons. You saw me do it just now. But can I do it to get information for a case? I don’t know. I’ve never done it. So I don’t know if I’d be a good fit for the team.”
“Well I and a couple of others think otherwise. You showed great promise in Denver but even your commander thought you were going to be wasted there. You’re just too good for city cop. You’ve got too much talent. At least think about it while we eat pizza.”
“Fine, I will consider it while we eat,” Rian said before lapsing into silence. Greg tried to start other mundane conversations but Rian refused to answer with more than one word. Finally, the car stopped. Rian looked up and gasped when she saw the name. “How dare you not call this authentic New York Pie? Antonio’s Pizzeria is the authentic slice of New York pie. Have you ever been to the Bronx?”
“Once. And I don’t think I had an appetite for pizza afterwards.” Greg said watching her. The sudden change in attitude had him wondering if maybe he was insane for considering her for the BAU. “Are you ok?”
“I’m better than okay. I’m no longer riding with my sexist jerk of a partner and there is real pizza here, not the imitation stuff I had to settle for in Denver. I like DC already.”
“You ever been to DC?” Greg asked, raising an eyebrow. ‘Yup, I’m insane. They’ll yank me out of the BAU for sure this time.’ “It’s not exactly the most idyllic city.”
“Like NYC is? Besides, this is as close to my family as I want to get right now,” she said without thinking. Before Greg could ask his next question, she was out of the car and heading for the door.
“Great. McCall is going to yank me outta the BAU for sure once he gets a load of her. What did Ambrose send me?” He took a deep breath and then got out of the car. He had to jog to catch up with her. “You move pretty quick.”
“Maybe you’re just slow,” she countered as the were led to a table. “Sorry about the silence in the car. I was mulling over your job offer.”
“If you do accept the offer, please do me a favor and don’t go from zero to one hundred in front of my boss. He already thinks I’m nuts for offering you this.”
“He doesn’t put much faith in you does he?” Rian asked as she opened the menu.
“Not really, no. It has to do with my age,” he said, debating whether or not to tell her exactly why.
“You make a decision that wasn’t the smartest but ultimately worked in everyone’s favor?” she asked, barely looking up from the menu.
“That’s part of it. Just how did you infer that?”
“Your face told me you were debating telling me something. We had been talking about your boss, which when you first mentioned him, your nose wrinkled and your eyes flashed annoyance and worry. You made mention that his little faith in you has to do with your age which leaves two options. One, you’re simply too young, which probably is the other factor in why he doesn’t have much faith in you, and two, you did something that upset him, something like a judgment call that he probably told you not to make.”
“Right on every count. But that crapfest is a story for another time. How about you tell me what is going on at the table near the door.”
“If that’s what you want to call it.”
“Fine, it’s a first date going very poorly. Probably met online. She’s keeping her focus on him but every so often, her eyes flick downward, probably to her phone. What ever they’re talking about, it seems to be solely about him and she is tremendously bored and annoyed with his narcissism. Any minute now, she’ll excuse herself for the bathroom and make her getaway in the Uber she ordered while he was talking about himself. ”
“Not bad. You did forget one thing though.”
“She’s going to slap him shortly after getting up because he’ll make a pass at her.” Greg swore under his breath as the scene unfolded just like she said it would.
“You’re good. You want the job?”
“About as much as I want my pizza,” Rian said as the waiter approached.
“Then both are yours,” Greg said, sticking out his hand. “Welcome to the BAU and the FBI, Rian.”