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I went to the facility twice in the last week. There is now 20 days until Halloween, and I finally grilled Sofia for more answers about the party she was talking about.

It's a masquerade party, which sounds like so much fun, I just need to find a mask that matches my costume. I decided I'm going as Cupid, the one with the bow and arrow. Don't mistake him for Clint Barton, though.

Sofia also said I could bring a plus-one, so obviously, I'm bringing Vanessa. She's dressing up as a witch, in honor of her new book. I got the first edition of it, and it's my new favorite book of hers. Which is pretty hard to top my last favorite, which was about two people fake-dating to make their exes jealous.

It sounds basic, but I love fake-dating tropes. I would never agree to fake date someone in real life, though.

Oh my god, I got through 3 painting orders. Fortunately, they all had easy descriptions in mind, so it only took about a day to sketch all of them, and two days to paint each one.

I'm starting the mural tomorrow, so that means I have to avoid Morelli even more. It was easy the first few times, just not making eye contact or pretending to be in a conversation.

But now, I'm gonna be alone, with no one to fake-conversate with. At least, it's on the first floor, where the other agents hang out and stuff. The second floor is for training and the third floor is for the team.

I've been in and out of the apartment, running errands and buying more art supplies. My legs are done for. How am I supposed to stand for 8+ hours, and lift my arm in the air at the same time?

Only thing I can think about is how tired I'm gonna be at the end of the day.


"You're lying."

I simply shake my head.


I nod this time.

Vanessa sits back down, her chest heaving deeply. She blinks calmly, and looks me in the eye, "You're not my friend anymore."

"I accept the full repercussions of my actions." I swear, putting my hand over my heart.

"I'm gonna meet real FBI agents at this party. I thought they would be fake!" She dramatically falls against the back of the seat, rubbing her temples with her thumbs.

"Oh, they're definitely real." I raise my eyebrows.

She showed up here about 15 minutes ago, and I just mentioned I'm painting a mural for Colton and his team. And the other agents too, I guess. And maybe let slip that I'm taking her to the Halloween party.

"Are they cute? I can't keep living through my writing."

I think about Sofia, then Lina, then Dani. "The women there are definitely pretty, I have no clue which team they swing for, though."

She looks up at the ceiling, nodding slowly in thought. "I'll make sure to bring my A-game."

I tilt my head with a smile, "You're always on your A-game." I'm not wrong, when we used to party in college, she could always get a girl to go home with her.

She eyes me weirdly then smiles too. "Okay, you're my friend again."

I wipe fake sweat off my forehead, "Glad that's sorted out. Can we order food now?"

"You know me so well."


We spent the rest of the day chatting, and as usual, she didn't leave until 2 AM. I'm surprised she didn't sleep over, but she said she needed to feed her cat.

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