Kyle Sullivan stumbled up the stairs, his footsteps echoing on the metal steps. Midnight again. Third fucking time this week. And nothing but a case of beer waiting for him inside. He jingled the keys, fumbling with the lock as he opened the door and walked inside. He took three steps in, tossing them and his detective's badge onto a small wooden table. He didn't bother with the lights as he staggered to the fridge, his mind drifting toward sleep, when a faint noise sounded behind him. He spun, gun already cocked, and aimed at the far wall.
"Not bad, Kyle. Your reaction time is better than I anticipated."
Kyle snarled, half engaging the trigger. "Then you'll be mighty impressed when I blow your fucking head off."
The man laughed, exposing his right side to the pale light of the window. "Really now, is that any way to treat an old friend?" He slipped from the shadows, taking a seat to his left.
Kyle drew a sharp breath and lowered his gun. "Malcolm! Bloody hell, I could've killed you."
"Aye. But you didn't. Besides, I wanted to know if your memory was as good as your reflexes. After all, it's been a few years."
Malcolm raised an eyebrow. "Aren't you going to offer me a beer? Though I have to say, your choice in lager has deteriorated over the years. Nothing but domestic swill in that fridge of yours."
Kyle chuckled as he grabbed two beers and joined Malcolm at the couch, sitting across from him. "You haven't changed much." He opened the bottle and took a long pull before relaxing back in the chair and nodding at the man. "I'd ask you why you're here, but there's only one reason you'd hunt me down after a decade of being on the outside." He met Malcolm's intense gaze. "I'm not going back. I left that part of my life behind for a reason. There's nothing Jack Conrad has that I want, anymore."
Malcolm stared at him, his eyes narrowed and his lips drawn tight, before he tipped up the bottle and downed half the beer. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand as he rested against the cushions, his gaze still centered on Kyle. "I didn't come here to ask you to rejoin the unit. As a matter-of-fact, I'm not with the squad anymore."
A cold shiver snaked down Kyle's spine. "But you're the Bureau's inside link to Jack. The only way they have of keeping the old man in line. Hell, you have higher security clearance than, well, fuck--everyone."
He stopped, watching Malcolm swirl the brown liquid around the inside of the bottle. If Malcolm had left the unit, it meant something was seriously wrong. He leaned forward, but Malcolm waved him off.
"I suggest you get comfortable, laddie, I've got a story to tell--one you're gonna wanna pay close attention to."