“Oh, Shelby, you look good, baby!”

The two embraced. Stanton closed her eyes as they
kissed, and felt his hands reach for her ass and give
her a playful slap. Had to play the part. At least
Calderone was easier on the eyes than Drury.

Her brief was thorough, her job minimal. All she was
supposed to do was get inside and give Shelby Taylor a
face. She was to hold hands with Leo, complain about
her boss and her job at his little accounting firm,
and ask when Leo was going to get out of jail. It was
a simple performance, pure fluff, but Stanton decided
at that moment to ad lib a bit. She started to cry.
Agent Stanton buried her head in Leo’s chest and
sobbed, heaving her chest as if she’d lost control
over her ability to breathe properly.

“Hey, hey, Shelby, what’s wrong?”

“Oh, Leo,” she said between sobs, “When are you
getting out of here?”

“Soon, baby, soon,” he answered, wrapping his arms
around her shoulders and holding her tight. Stanton
returned the embrace, and buried her head in his chest
for a moment. When she looked up again, she saw a
guard walking by escorting a prisoner through the
visitors’ area. It was time.

“Oh, Leo, I don’t think I can do this again, baby. I
can’t come back here again!”

“Shelby, don’t get upset,” he said. “I’ll be out soon.
You don’t have to come again.”

That was all Stanton needed to hear. She hoped the
guard and the inmate also heard the exchange. Shelby
had a face, and now a damn good reason not to have to
show it at this prison again. Stanton was satisfied
with her performance, glad that she was through being
humiliated, and looking forward to coasting through
the rest of the visit. The pair of agents quickly
moved through the litany of Shelby’s frustrations at
work. Stanton rattled off her complaints and Calderone
dutifully nodded his head and sympathized. Calderone
mentioned possible dates of release, and it was
Stanton’s turn to nod in ascension. After that she
figured it was high time to leave the place behind. It
was at that moment that she saw Curly Williams.

The nightmare of any agent working undercover is to be
recognized for what they really are, to be ‘blown’ as
the saying goes. As a Special Agent, Heather Stanton
had investigated and arrested Curly Williams for
running a prostitution ring out of a set of dry
cleaners and tailors. The press labeled Curly the
‘while-u-wait’ pimp and jokes about ‘sew-jobs’ filled
the late night talk show monologues. Having your cover
blown was no laughing matter, though, even if it was
the while-u-wait pimp who did it. There was nowhere to
run. Curly might see her, he might not, but he was
certainly headed her way. Stanton’s mind raced to find
a means of disguise. She hadn’t realized she’d stopped
speaking in mid-sentence.