Time Present: Time Past

Scott is in the Bulgarian Embassy. We come from a commercial and see a red brick wall. Control is speaking. The scene changes to the three EQ men sitting at a table. Control is showing Robert and Mickey the blueprints of the Embassy's layout. Control notices a woman in the doorway and excuses himself. He has a brief conversation with the woman and walks back to the two other men.

It just hit me. Who was that woman?

Deborah felt like hell.

She got out of the car and slammed the door shut. Michael had insisted that she be the one to give Control the bad news, and she didn't like it one bit. Bad enough she had to report unwanted information to Control, but it was made even worse because it has to do with McCall's son. She never really received any warm feelings from that man. She hated that she had to go into the operations headquarters to tell them both that the State Department was going to give Ross back to the Bulgarians.

She hefted her burgundy Coach bag higher on her shoulder, grasped the attaché case tightly and walked into the plain red brick building. She looked around and made her way up a debris filled stairway.

"I wasn't trained as a field agent," she muttered to herself. McCall is going to go ballistic that the State Department's not willing to get his son out of the Bulgarian Embassy. If he decides to kill the messenger, she knew she was a goner.

Maybe Control might protect her, she wondered? No, that's out.

You can never really know whose side Control was on.

She had been a part of the Company for quite a few years, straight from the diplomatic corps. But she doubted she would be able to talk fast enough to escape McCall and another one of his tongue lashings.

Sometimes she wished she had stayed on as a member of the Iraqi mission. Life would be calmer there.

She had to ask one of the men milling around to point out where Control was. As she got closer to the room, she heard his voice and then McCall's. She fixed her hair and stood straighter. Just as she was going to step in front of the open door she heard Kostmayer's voice too.

"Great," she cursed, "all of my fans in one room." She and Kostmayer had gotten into one of their "discussions" about TC diplomatic policies last week. He had looked as though he would have liked to rip her throat out with his teeth at that time. I am dead meat, she said to herself.

She stood hidden by the side of the doorway and took a quick look in. The three were sitting with their backs toward her. She felt a little better. There might be a way to give herself a fighting chance of getting away unscathed. She'd get Control's attention and he could tell everyone else the bad news.

Control was standing at the left side of the table looking toward the two other men. She didn't want to call too much attention to herself, so she peered in the door and looked at Control. He always knew when someone was staring at him.

She found that out early, and with the greatest amount of embarrassment, the first time she had ever laid her eyes on him. How was she supposed to know that the gorgeous hunk-of-man in the hallway was the famous Control? She was new at TC and she hadn't broken herself of the human habit of lusting after strangers. She had been admiring him for a few moments when he had turned around slowly and set those blue-flamed eyes on her.

She still got a shiver of nervous delight thinking about it.

Everyone in the hallway noticed and she had been pulled aside by a secretary and informed as to who "that man" was.

Auspicious introductions were not her speciality.

She was still peeking in the room when she heard Control say, "We think Scott and Ross are being held right here and that's all we've got, Robert."

Then McCall's voice came through loud and angry. "Well, that's not enough is it? We haven't got time to look for the room."

She decided to walk past the door once and looked down. Control was speaking. "I'm open to suggestions old son."

Good, Control had glanced in her direction. He saw she was there. "Would you excuse me please," he said and then he was walking toward her.

"I've got bad news, boss," she told him quietly.

He stood next to her, touched his glasses and then put his big hand heavily on her shoulder. She tried not to notice the warmth of it, nor the weight.

"What is it?" he sighed.

"The State Department is going to give up Ross. They're afraid of embarrassing the Russians by making the Bulgarians look foolish."

Control took off his glasses and frowned, "Put them off for 48 hours, on my direct order. Thanks Deborah." He dismissed her and turned away.

"Ahhhhh," he growled into the room.

She looked back at him once and then quickly walked away. As she was nearing the stairwell all the way down the hall, she heard McCall shout. "Well, the State Department can go to hell. My son happens to be inside there."

Oh, oh, she gasped, he might want an explanation! Feet don't fail me now, she thought as she ran down the steps. She felt a lot better as she exited the building, and she wondered why. She hadn't gotten yelled at by Control; that was always a reason to celebrate, but...

As she got into her car she realized something. Control was wearing a normal tie, not a bow-tie. A red one with little yellow decorations on it. She beamed. The tie she had bought him on the trip they had taken to Washington together.

Deborah suddenly felt great.

But as she slipped into the seat belt, a black feeling washed over her.

Control usually wore those horrid bow-ties. Why was he wearing a regular tie today? And why that tie, the tie she had given him?

Did Michael tell her to deliver the message on Control's order? Why would he do that? Knowing Control, this can't be a good sign. Nothing is coincidental with that man. What does it all mean?

She started the car and screeched out of there.

"I hate this job," she groaned.

Deborah felt like hell.