Hema quietly closed the door behind her and Cassandra. If they were quiet enough, then David might not even know that they had left.

The lights came on in the living room as soon at they crossed the threshold.

“Welcome back,” David said. Even though he was sitting on the couch he seemed quite stiff. “I hope that you both have a good excuse for being gone. Hema, you know that you are not supposed to leave. Cassandra, you know that it is dangerous for you to be out of the compound.”

Cassandra remembered the argument that David and Hema had had earlier in the day. She had accidentally overheard the argument.

“So, you are the only one that can leave whenever you want? We were trying to help. We were doing something that you were too scared to do,” Hema replied.

“How dare you talk to me like that! How dare you do anything to put us at risk!”

“You have been doing nothing these past six years. You only sprang into action when you thought she was going to die,” Hema said as she gestured to Cassandra. “You only reacted because you could not bear for it to happen again. You are not the only one I miss her as well. We all miss her, in case you have not noticed. Cassandra here can’t take her place or bring her back.”

Cassandra had been trying to make herself as small as she could. She perked up when she heard Hema’s last few sentences.

“I know that,” David said. “That still does not give you permission to leave. We could have been fortified by now if you both had been here, you were expected to be here.

“Oh, so what happened now? Did we get an e-mail? Was there a hint in something QT found? Maybe you are reading too much into things again.”

“Hema,” Alex said from behind Cassandra. Everyone jumped at the sound of his voice. Cassandra wondered how long he had been standing there. “Something happened while both of you were out. We are still not sure if it is the Agency or something else, but I also believe that we should be more prepared.”

“What happened?” Cassandra asked, glad that the conversation had moved from just David and Hema.

“May I, sir?” Alex asked.

David just waved his hand.

“George has been shot. We do not know any other details, yet. He was on the phone with David at the time.”