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Leonard DePesci

The only people I listen to are my heart, my stomach, and occasionally a beautiful woman.

0 · 780 views · located in Manhattan, New York

a character in “In Mafia Vita”, as played by LostRiver

Description

Leonard DePesci

The New Kid

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Full Name:| Leonard Allen DePesci
Nicknames:| “Leonard Ethan Carmanio” - His birth name, “Leonard Evan DePesci” - Name given after Witness Protection, "Leonard Carson Milo" - Undercover alias, “Leo” - Used by nearly everyone, “Hawkeye” - Military codename, “Python” - Undercover codename
Age:| 27
Gender:| Male
Orientation:| Heterosexual
Originally From:| Brooklyn
Currently Living:| Upper West Side
Occupation:| Drug runner for the Genovese, but is also able to help out with identifying counterfeit bills and forgeries due to his history. However, people just assume he learned it from his father (they don’t know how he really learned it).

Likes:|
+ Smoking- He knows his lungs are already pretty bad, but he’s been addicted since he was a teenager. He’s tried quitting several times, but every attempt has been in vain.
+ Everything Old-Fashioned- Everything from cars to clothing to music. Some make fun of him because he is only 27, yet loves the romanticism of olden days.
+ History- Along with his love of everything old-fashioned, he is a bit of a history nerd. His favorite period to read about is medieval.
+ Summer- From the sun to the beaches and everything in between. On his travels he learned how to surf and has loved it ever since.
+ Children- They just get to him somehow. Maybe he’ll have some of his own if he finds the right woman.
+ Exercise- He’s not an exceptionally jacked man, but that doesn’t mean that you doesn’t love working up a sweat.
+ Feminine Women- He dislikes wimpy, needy women, but he also loves a nice, strong, elegant girl.
+ Traveling- As a con, he was always traveling, but he never got sick of it.
+ Art- He had to do a lot of research when he was forging paintings. Art has always spoken to him. He loves all art but hates art snobs.
+ A Good Meal- What can he say? He's a man.
Dislikes:|
- Sickness- He will always deny that he is ill unless he’s dying.
- Reporters- Although he hasn’t really had to deal with them too much, he has always hated them. When he was telling one war reporter about an surprise enemy assault, the reporter kept hassling him despite the fact that he had just nearly been killed.
- Winter- Being a ‘child of the sun’, as he likes to call himself, everything about winter makes his skin crawl.
- Being Told Off- He has a bit of a big head and hates being told he is wrong especially if it is rudely done.
- Isolation- As much as he likes being alone when he is angry or depressed, he’d much rather be in a crowd.
- Being Late- Call it OCD, but he has a little tick whenever he or anyone else is late for something.
Fears:|
~ Getting Caught- He will never admit to it or show any sign of fear, but he has been scared of being caught since he got the job. Even in the military or as a con he was afraid of getting caught and being sent to prison.
-Betrayal- He knows that the other agents are good people and many of them have been in the business far longer than he has, but he is still afraid that they may turn on him when the going gets tough.
~ Never Settling Down- He’s only 27, but he has always imagined himself finding the perfect woman and settling down with her for life. He knows that his history and his current occupation could put his family in danger – after seeing what happened to his mother – but that doesn’t stop him from selfishly wanting someone to spend the rest of his life with.
Secrets:|
1: Directly after his second tour of duty was over, he left the rest of his family behind and became a con man of sorts. He never did anything big – mostly forgeries and stealing things that people barely missed. After his big mess-up [see History] he came back and told everyone that he simply travelled the world which was true to a certain extent. Not even his sister knows what he was and he plans on keeping it that way.
2: He’s an undercover agent, which he is clearly hiding from the Genovese and everyone in the business.

Hobbies:|
- Shooting- He normally does it to release some pent-up feelings and such.
- Flirting- People don’t really see it as a hobby, but it’s something of a game to him.
- Training- He loves to stay in shape. Whether it’s running, lifting, or sparring, he’s always up to par with his colleagues.
- Sketching- It’s reminiscent of his old con life. He refuses to paint anymore because he’s afraid he will slip back and start forging again, but his sketches are quite beautiful sometimes.
Talents:|
- Aim- For someone so young, he is extremely talented at shooting although he rarely uses his gun. He hates killing people unless it is necessary. This is what made war so difficult for him.
- Acting- He has basically done it his entire life.
- Painting & Forging- On his own, he’s pretty good at painting, but his real talent it forging a painting. He is able to get everything right down to the brush stroke. Though he does not paint anymore.
Deficits:|
- Impulse- He has a habit of rushing into a situation without thinking about it, but has been working on it since he went undercover.
- Disobedience- He has a hard time following orders that he doesn’t agree with. He will often do what he feels in his gut.
- Annoying- He is sometimes (often times) thought of as overconfident, bold, and cocky.
- Inwardly Over Self-Critical- Despite seeming overly confident on the outside, he is constantly beating himself up on the inside.
Weapons:|
- Stand 9mm FBI issued semi-automatic
- A knife or two- Normally at his ankle
- His mouth- Really, it is more of a defense, but can also be used as a weapon if necessary

Personality:|
One thing that is always evident about Leo is his confidence. Whether you think that he’s overconfident or not, it’s clear that he’s okay in his own skin. Despite the fact that he acts as if he think he’s the greatest guy in the world, inside Leo is constantly telling himself that he’s not good enough. Throughout his life, it has always been better for people to think that he’s brash and annoying rather than think he is small and weak. He likes to show off and be the hotheaded guy that people not-so-secretly hate.

It seems odd that after witnessing the murder of his mother, Leo could still be so naïve and young. He has always been the new kid. Whether it was in the military, as a con-man, or as an undercover agent, people have always seen him as the newbie who’s too cocky for his own good. Sometimes it gets annoying that people never know how much he has been through in his short life, but to a certain extent, Leo prefers it that way. There have been multiple people in his life who Leo has seen become bitter and cold due to the trials that life has thrown at them. Though Leo has never blamed them for becoming like that, he has never wanted his life to take that turn. He never wants to be the stereotypical war-hardened man. To Leo, being the young rookie means that people care enough about you that they’ll stand by you in times of need, but not so much that you get asked about your past.

Throughout his life of Witness Protection, combat, and being a criminal, Leo has had multiple people telling him that he cannot trust anyone. Even his father whom he looked up to told him so before he was murdered. With all his role models telling him the same thing and with everything that Leo has seen in his life, it makes it hard for him to not listen to them. He never acts it, but Leo is as cautious as a deer. He is constantly looking over his shoulder for someone who might hurt him. This may be the stem of his sheer disobedience.

Despite everything about is personality, Leo is a man who focuses on honor. Even as a con, if he said something, he meant it. He might twist his words or not tell the entire truth, but he was always honest. Especially with the people he cares about. He hates anyone who goes against their word and will do whatever it takes to stay away from them. If someone is willing to trust him, he is willing to defend them to his death. In addition, he very rarely sacrifices his morals unless it is for the greater good. His is a man of integrity and esteem.

Leo knows that he is young and still has his whole life ahead of him, but ever since he enlisted, he has dreamt of one day settling down with the right woman and maybe even having children. You would not guess this by the absurd amount of flirting he does, but it has always wanted to have someone that will stay by his side through thick and thin. After seeing so many men who don’t have families and their names simply disappear after their deaths, Leo has wanted someone to be there when he dies. He doesn’t want to be forgotten. He wants someone to mourn him.

Despite his child-like nature, Leo loves everything old-fashioned. Not only does he love vintage items like cars, clothing, and music, but he also loves the mannerisms of olden days. He is a true gentleman, holding doors open for women, and always respecting a strong, feminine woman. He is chivalrous and honor-base and has always dreamed of his life and death being one for the books.

History:|
Since he was a child, Leo has always wanted to go undercover. His father was the hero of Leo’s life and he always wanted to be exactly like him. However, Leo’s dreams were squashed as his father’s cover was blown and he was murdered, shot between the eyes, by a man whom the police never found. Leo knows that it wasn’t the crime boss himself because he would never get his hands that dirty, but he has no doubt that the boss was the one that called for his father’s murder.

While the police were still searching for his father’s murderer, Leo, his mother, and his little sister, Gloria, were stuck waiting, knowing that they were the next targets. The night finally came when Leo, Gloria, and their mother were eating dinner and a phone call came in. Leo’s mother picked up the phone and then dropped dead. To Leo, the kitchen window seemed to smash in after his mother dropped with a bullet in between her eyes. The two siblings simply stared at their mother’s blank face for a moment before Leo took action. He knew that the gunman would be coming for them next so he picked up Gloria and dragged her to their safe room hidden inside the walls of their home. Leo guarded his little sister as they heard the killer walk through the room before leaving, probably off to tell his boss that the children were still alive.

Leo and Gloria only came out after the police showed up and were almost immediately whisked away to Witness Protection. They were placed in Washington, D.C. with an older woman named Susan Turner and their names were changed from Leo and Gloria Carmanio to Leo and Gloria Turner. The two children were emotionally traumatized by the fact that they had witnessed their mother’s murder. However, Susan took them in with open arms and cared for them deeply. Though the children never forgot the murder, Susan nurtured them enough that they could get back on their feet.

Gloria and Leo’s lives moved on and, despite Gloria’s protests, Leo decided to go to college for law enforcement. He learned all there was to know about being an undercover agent and then changed his mind. Without Gloria’s approval – which he almost always made sure to get – he enlisted and left Gloria, Susan, and what could have been a promising future, behind. After his first year and a half tour, he requested a second and got his wish based on the fact that he was such a good shot for someone so young.

Leo saw a lot in his three year span overseas and when he came back he had a lot weighing him down. At that point in his life, he was confused by everything that he had been through and left his makeshift family again to travel with the money that his parents had left him. His first stop on his travels was California where he met his new hero and father figure. He told Leo that his name was Sam, but Leo is still not sure that he was telling the truth. At first, Sam was simply a mentor who taught Leo about life, love, and everything in between. However, one sunny day when Sam was on his way to Leo’s apartment, he saw Leo impressing some girl with his painting skills out on the beach. Sam watched in amusement as Leo talked the girl into giving his lucky paintbrush a kiss. The girl did just that as her hulking boyfriend came over angrily. Sam almost stepped in to save Leo’s hind when he saw that Leo was miraculously talking the man down from beating him to a pulp. When the man finally walked away with his girlfriend – who disceatly blew Leo a kiss over her shoulder, Sam finally sat Leo down and told him what he really was. A con-man.

That was the beginning of the end for the new duo. From that day on, Sam taught Leo everything he learned about forging, manipulation, and fake driver’s licenses and they travelled the world together, forging famous paintings or stealing the real ones. Their lives were as good as a couple of con-men could have it. It all came crashing down on the two when, on a trip back to New York, Leo saw Gloria walking around outside the gallery that they were about to steal from. He stared at her for only a moment before Sam’s voice registered in his earpiece, screaming at him that the police were on their way. That one minute ruined Leo’s new life with his father figure.

As the police finally came to arrest them, Sam was the one that took the fall. He told Leo to leave and never look back. In any other circumstance, Leo’s pride and honor would have told him to stay and go down right next to Sam. However, Leo got caught in the confusion of the moment and ran for his life. Like a true friend, Sam never ratted Leo out. He went to prison for his crimes and Leo stayed in New York. He returned to his sister who had stayed in New York for college and she and Susan – who was now fully grey and wrinkled – gave him a tearful and angry welcome home. Each of them only asked once about where he had been to which he answered that he had need to get away after combat and has decided to travel a bit. It was halfway to the truth and the two women accepted it. It never came up again and Leo went to work rekindling his relationship with both his sister and his old mother-like figure.

After everything has calmed down, Leo decided to never go back to his life as a criminal out of fear that it would be the cause of harm to either Gloria or Susan. He took his old college degree and went back to do what his father had done and what he had wanted to do since he was a kid. He went to train to become an undercover agent.
Leo knows the dangers of what he does and has seen it firsthand with his family, but that doesn’t stop him from loving what he does. He lives to see the man that killed his father and mother behind bars – or with a bullet between his eyes.

Miscellaneous:|
- He drives a classic black Chevy Impala.
- He has multiple small scars from combat, but his worst is an indent-like hole on his left shoulder.
- His only tattoo is a small tribal hawk in the middle of his back.

So begins...

Leonard DePesci's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jess Garcia Character Portrait: Leonard DePesci
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Leo DePesci

Leo shivered slightly in the frosty winter morning air and pulled his jacket closer with one hand while the other reached up to the cigarette in his mouth. He took it between his middle and pointer fingers and pulled it out of his mouth with leisure. Leo placed his mouth in an ‘o’ shape and blew out, creating a smoke ring that lifted into the air before disappearing as the wind blew through the streets again. Leo looked down at the cigarette and sighed lightly which turned into a short chain of raspy coughs. He had tried quitting before, but he attempts were always in vain. Almost every one of the attempts had been for his sister. Whenever she would try to get him to quit he would stop smoking in front of her, but secretly do it behind her back. He always hated lying to her and had actually tried quitting a few times, but he knew that he’d most likely spend the rest of his life smoking cheap cigarettes.

Leo shuddered again as another gust of wind blew his dirty blonde hair backwards. In retrospect, he probably should have dressed warmer for the wintery weather. Gloria would probably nag him about it later. As Leo went to take another drag of the quickly shortening cigarette, a feminine voice was heard behind him. “Those things are going to kill you someday.”

Leo turned slowly with a smile, recognizing his little sister’s voice badgering him as always. “Gloria, fancy seeing you here.” He blew the smoke out from his lungs and then threw the cigarette to the ground, stepping on it with the tip of his toes.

Gloria looked from the crushed cigarette to Leo’s smug face. She squinted her eyes at him and crossed her arms across her chest with a mocking frown. “Fine I guess I’ll just be leaving then.”

Leo chuckled and stepped up closer to her. “C’mon sis,” he said, placing his arm around her shoulders, “T’was a joke.”

Gloria shook her head with a content sigh and smiled up at her brother as she slung an arm around his waist. The two stepped across the busy street and into the small coffee shop. They ordered the same coffee – black with a teaspoon of sugar – as they did regularly on mornings that Leo didn’t have work and Gloria didn’t have class. They were sitting at a booth in the back corner of the café, sipping their coffee when Gloria finally leaned across the table with a serious look and was about to break the silence. However, before she could say anything, Leo leaned across table as well and shook his head. “I know what you’re going to say, and I don’t really want to hear it. I’m meeting with the liaison today. Her name’s Jess Garcia,” Leo took a pause and then elaborated on why he had said her name, “Because I know you’re going to look her up as soon as you can. Gloria sat back in her chair with a look of defeat on her features. She looked down at her paper coffee cup and another moment of silence passed between the siblings.

Gloria finally looked up at Leo with a sad smile on her face. “You’ve always wanted to be just like dad.” Leo gave her the same sad smile and opened his mouth to reply, but Gloria cut him off. “I’ll never be able to change your mind. You’re too damn stubborn.” Leo let out an amused snort and Gloria tucked a strand of blond hair behind her ear before continuing, “Just-just promise me you’ll be careful.” Leo nodded and winked at his little sister as they both sat back further in their chairs.

“When am I ever not careful?” Leo questioned with a nod and a wink.

Gloria rolled her eyes and gave him a disbelieving snort as she muttered, “All the time.”

Leo let out a genuine laugh at the truth in his sister’s statement before glanced at his silver watch. Garcia’s press conference would be starting soon and Leo had planned on being there on time. He stood from his seat and picked his coffee cup off the small table. “I’m sorry, Glor, but I gotta go to this press conference.” He swung around the table and leaned down to kiss his sister on the forehead. He grabbed his keys, coffee, and phone from the table and headed for the door, but not before looking over his shoulder and calling, “I’ll call you later and we can talk about that new boyfriend of yours.” With that, he was out the door with a smug grin. Gloria was left sitting at the table, shaking her head at her brother’s teasing. It was a wonder to Gloria how her big brother was so lighthearted when he was about to go undercover as a drug runner for a crime boss.


Leo pulled into the parking lot of the FBI building and killed the engine to his old car. He ran a hand through his hair before leaning over the console to pull the glove compartment open and grab his ID. As he pulled his ID out of the small box, several papers fell from the box. Leo cursed himself and went to pick the papers off the floor when he suddenly stopped. On the floor in front of the passenger seat was a small pocket-sized picture of Leo, Gloria, and their birth parents from when the children were very young. Leo picked the picture up delicately, as if it were made of glass and looked at the faces in the picture. He used to keep the photograph in his wallet up until he had started his life as a con-man. That was when the picture had been tucked away for safe-keeping. He hadn’t wanted to be reminded of his old family.

Leo stared at the picture for a moment, feeling a sudden strange attachment to the old picture. He was becoming exactly like his father. It was what he had wanted to do since he was a child. Then why was it so weird to finally be doing his dream job? Leo shook the thoughts out of his mind and checked his watch. The press conference was about to start and Leo was about to be late for it. In a hurry, Leo threw the picture and the rest of the fallen papers back in the glove box, grabbed his half empty coffee cup and ID, and hurried into the building.

By the time Leo had gotten inside, the press conference was already underway with Jessica Garcia talking to the mass of reporters with large cameras and microphones. Tossing his empty coffee cup in the nearest trash bin, Leo attempted to step into the room. However, the reporters filled the room almost completely and Leo had to settle with leaning against the doorframe in the back of the room.

Leo grinned to himself as he watched the woman at the podium speak to the nosey reporters. They were like sharks. Never satisfied and always willing to rip your arms off for a good story. Leo had to admit that the woman was good at not letting them do exactly that.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kole Marinos Character Portrait: Jonathon Genovese Character Portrait: Kalista Ross Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese Character Portrait: Jess Garcia Character Portrait: Leonard DePesci
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Jess could now remember why she hated reporters with a passion. Their faces were like that of a bird of prey, searching for the slightest slip-up on her part to seize and blow completely out of proportion. Their questions were much more awkward than usual, hungry for information about the latest scandal.

"Agent Garcia, is it true that the gas explosion wasn't an accident and was in fact an attack aimed towards Agent Frank Karpathy?" What? Where the hell had that come from? She managed to keep her composure, although she wasn’t sure how. “I can’t confirm that at this present moment in time, however, the evidence found by the forensic teams is strongly indicating that this was no more than a tragic accident.” She informed them. Yet another reporter stood to take the place of her now seated colleague. Okay, so they probably didn’t actually work together, but in Jess’s mind, they were all part of the great conspiracy against liaisons. Their aim? To make her job as awkward and as difficult as possible. “Agent Garcia, what about the raid on the restaurant two nights ago? What purpose did that have?” I hate you all.

“I received a tip off about activities that had taken place there in the previous few days, and we had sufficient evidence to act on that tip off.” But the reporter wasn’t done. “What evidence would that be?” Did I kill your mother in a former life or something? Jess was trying hard not to give a smart answer. The press would certainly seize that. She could already imagine the headlines. “FBI Liaison viciously attacks reporter with words!” She couldn’t afford to hesitate with these answers.

“Several of our agents had uncovered evidence of unsavoury transactions, all taking place within the restaurant in question and other, nearby restaurants that have connections with the original restaurant.” Come on. Ask me another. I dare you. Thankfully, the reporter didn’t and sat down. “Are there any other questions?” Jess didn’t doubt the fact that there was. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed a newcomer standing by the door. Judging by his appearance, he was the newest agent. A bearded guy, with glasses and hair that was getting too long, stood up, appearing eager. She resisted the urge to roll her eyes.

“Is it true that your predecessor was killed by a Genovese hit?” Was there nowhere that they weren’t willing to go? Jess had a sharp retort on her lips, ready to give them hell, but she held it back. “I’m not at liberty to say, I’m afraid. “ Murdock was tapping his watch out of the corner of her eye. “I’m afraid I’m just out of time, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for your time. I will keep you updated with any information on the gas explosion.” There was an unhappy murmur, but they packed up their notebooks, muttering to each other. Jess made it out of there as fast as she could without running.

She offered her hand to the new agent. “Leonard DePesci? I’m Jess Garcia. Come on, we’ll talk in my office.” She led the way, thankful not to have to deal with any more reporters. On reaching her office, she sank into her chair gratefully, reaching under her desk for the brown paper folder. She opened it, scanning the files inside, before sliding it towards him. “You scared?”

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“You’re persistent. I like that.” Dylan grinned. The exchange that took place after, however, soon wiped the smile from his face. Sure, he liked Kalista and all, but today was supposed to be their day. He didn’t want somebody else intruding on that. They hadn’t had very much time together. Sure, Dylan was introverted. But that didn’t stop him wanting days out with Kole or wanting to be able to show his father what he had constructed, what he could do. He was always grateful for those rare days, but hated when they were spoiled.

Dylan watched as Kole dropped to his level, feeling like he was five again. He was fifteen, and wanted to be treated like a teenager. It was all he could do to not allow a childish pout to appear on his face. “I know that normally it’s just us. I know I promised. I can’t make you leave, but something’s happened. I did something Dyl—" That was supposed to help? It was failing. Dylan wasn’t usually an angry person, or a jealous person for that matter, but both emotions were building up inside him. Even the expression on Kole’s face wasn’t helping. “I need to deal with it and she can help me.”

“Stop treating me like a child.” Dylan thought bitterly. He was about to say something, something similar, when Kole’s phone vibrated. He looked at it, and Dylan watched as his expression changed. “They need us at home anyways Bro. The park will have to wait, but Duke is coming with us,” Kole explained. Irritation began to build inside Dylan, which, when mixed with the anger and jealousy, was sure to make a lethal combination once all three had matured enough. But Kole’s next words lessened everything. “Charlee’s hurt. She’s apparently fine but they want us back at the mansion.” All the emotions were still there, but merely lessened slightly as concern for his sister took over. He would have to deal with everything else later. Of course, Kole’s next words spoilt it. “I don’t want to leave you.” While looking at Kalista.

That was when his anger and jealousy came to a head. “Come on boy. When you guys are ready.” He allowed a little edge of sarcasm to seep into his voice as he tugged Duke away, heading in the general direction of home.

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Jared wasn’t quite sure what to do. He wasn’t sure how long Jonah was going to be, and he didn’t want to interrupt him in the middle of a family emergency. The same went for Lincoln. After a little inner debating, he decided to leave. Jonah could contact him whenever the family situation was resolved. He pulled out his phone, sending a quick text to his boss. “Going for a run. Call me whenever you can and we can discuss business. No rush, I understand the situation entirely.”

He was dressed appropriately enough for a workout, even if he was a little cold. He knew that there was a small gym a short run away. It seemed like a good place to whittle away a little time. He headed out of the house, tuning out the commotion from upstairs. It wasn’t any of his business, and he wasn’t intending on interfering. Once out of the mansion, he set out at a nice, even pace. It was enough to keep him warm and raise his heart rate. Before long, he headed into the gym.

Exercise had been, and still was, his release. His therapist had suggested it to him after he had finally been weaned fully from the sleeping pills. At first, when his body had been a wreck, it had been difficult. But following a lot of perseverance, he had learned to love it. He had taken to fighting once his fitness had gotten back up, sparring with friends to see who was the best. This was a hobby that he had mentioned in his interview with Jonathon, and before he knew it he was sparring with the crime boss and his son.

The familiar atmosphere of the gym embraced him, and he fully relaxed. There was no business to be upheld here. If he messed up, there would be no side effects that threatened his livelihood. He loved his job, but it wasn’t without it’s pressures.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jess Garcia Character Portrait: Leonard DePesci
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Leo DePesci

Leo watched the reporters shoot question after question in Garcia’s direction to which she shot skillful answers back at them. Leo couldn’t say that he wasn’t impressed with the woman. She had a way of knocking the reporters down without seeming vicious to the cameras and Leo respected that.

Despite his respect for the woman, Leo found himself zoning out after the second question was asked. Half of Leo was still thinking back to the old picture in his car. Was he becoming his father? Did he want to be like his father? Leo found that he was asking these questions over and over in his head, but had no right or wrong answer for them. He had not gotten to be where he was in the same way as his father, but he was still doing the same job as his father had. His father had been killed doing the exactly same thing that Leo was about to get himself into. Was that really what Leo wanted out of his life? Somehow, Leo was able to justify it in his head by telling himself that someone had to do it, but in truth, Leo didn't know the real reason he wanted to go undercover.

Leo was brought out of his thoughts and back to the present as he heard ”Thank you for your time. I will keep you updated with any information on the gas explosion.” followed by a dissatisfied grumble amongst the reporters. With that, Leo knew that it was time to get out of the doorway. He straightened up, fixed his tie along with his unruly hair, and stepped away from the beeline of reporters heading toward the exit.

Leo looked around a moment before noticing Jess Garcia walking his way. As she reached him, she offered a hand along with a greeting. Leo simply took her hand, nodded his head politely, and proceeded to follow her through the hall and into her office. He kept a good, respectful distance behind her and reached her door as she was sitting down behind her desk. She leaning under her desk and produced a beige folder. As she paged through it, Leo sat down in the chair opposite her. She slid the folder over to him, along with her first question. ”You scared?”

The question took Leo by surprise, but he did not show it. Instead, he leaned forward to grab the folder before sitting back in his chair and nonchalantly flipping the cover open. As he scanned through the pages inside, Leo answered the woman’s question with the best words he could find at the moment. “Is there any right answer to that?” Leo paused and glanced up at her with half a smirk on his face. “I know how dangerous it is, but-” Leo paused again, searching for the correct words. “Somehow it’s not frightening.” Leo furrowed his brow at himself for a moment, wondering whether those were the words he was looking for, before deciding that he could think of nothing better and going back to paging through the papers inside the folder.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jess Garcia Character Portrait: Leonard DePesci
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"Is there any right answer to that?" Jess grinned. "Probably not." Leo continued on. "I know how dangerous it is, but-" He paused, and Jess found herself watching his face, looking for the traits that made a good agent. "Somehow it’s not frightening." He frowned, turning his attention back to the file in front of him. Jess watched him for another moment or two. She could remember her first assignment- but the difference was, she had been facing into the police department. The nerves at the start of the assignment surely couldn't compare. Although, if Jess would have known what lay ahead of her, she would have ran for the hills.

"My first assignment was in the good old police department. We were arresting a guy for domestic violence. I don't know why they chose me, a rookie. By the end of the night, I had kicked that guy in the stomach after he thought he'd go for the nervous looking brunette." She grinned at the memory. The detective with that team had passed it off as self-defense, and Jess had gotten away with a warning that violence was only to be used as a last resort. It was far from the last time she had used violence.

"This is going to be much more dangerous than that. This is the last time I'll get to talk to you for a while. Any information you find, you email it to me at this address or text me on this number. Both are untraceable. You only speak to me in person if it's urgent, and only in this room. The Genovese are everywhere. One of them could recognize me from the press conferences."

She felt much more than seven years older than him. She'd been in the force for twelve years, and it made her feel old. As she scrawled the number and email onto a scrap of paper, she wasn't sure if she wanted to join Leo in the field or if she wanted to stay behind her desk or if she just wanted to retire. Hang up the badge and go train newbies how to fire a gun.

But she knew inside that she was going to stay. Her life and soul was this job. Even when the paperwork was higher than her boots and they were stuck in a dead end, she would stick it out. She wasn't just Jessica Garcia anymore. She had left that person behind on joining the FBI.

"You're going to be implemented as a drug runner. You're not going to have many dealings with our friend Jonathon, but we need you to find information on the business dealings so we can bust them. We have several other agents on the inside, but at least one of them is a mole. Don't trust anyone. I'm not going to tell you who the double agents are, in case you tell information to the wrong one. I don't mean that to sound like you're going to screw up. I mean that if you couldn't get information to me, you might tell the mole, and we'd all be screwed. Details on your alias are in that folder. Take the sheet with your details, learn them, then burn the page."

"Any questions? On the case or being in the FBI overall. I don't bite- well, I do, but you're not a Genovese, journalist or someone in my way when I'm trying to get to a scene."

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Character Portrait: Jess Garcia Character Portrait: Leonard DePesci
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Leo DePesci

Leo watched the woman sitting across from him fondly remember her first assignment. He couldn’t help but grin back at her. From what he had gathered about Garcia beforehand, he had known that the woman was tough, but hearing her talk about an assignment as if she was being brought back to that day, brought a softer side to her that made Leo hesitate for only a moment.

Leo sat forward in his chair, placing the folder back on Garcia’s desk as she started speaking to him again. ”This is the last time I'll get to talk to you for a while. Any information you find, you email it to me at this address or text me on this number. Both are untraceable. You only speak to me in person if it's urgent, and only in this room. The Genovese are everywhere. One of them could recognize me from the press conferences.” Leo took the paper with the email and phone number and stuffed it into the inside of his jacket. He had known the dangers of this line of work. He would not have contact with anyone especially Gloria, and he only hoped that she didn’t come looking for him until it was all over. Leo gave a small sigh. It was for her own good. Who knows what would happen if they would do to her if they found out he was an agent. Leo shook the thoughts out of his mind. It only reminded him of what had happened to his mother when his father’s cover had been blown.

Leo was brought out of his own thoughts as Garcia began speaking to him again. "You're going to be implemented as a drug runner. You're not going to have many dealings with our friend Jonathon, but we need you to find information on the business dealings so we can bust them. We have several other agents on the inside, but at least one of them is a mole. Don't trust anyone. I'm not going to tell you who the double agents are, in case you tell information to the wrong one. I don't mean that to sound like you're going to screw up. I mean that if you couldn't get information to me, you might tell the mole, and we'd all be screwed.” The only thing Leo could think to do was continue to nod as she spoke. He had looked through the file and had understood, for the most part, what his role would be. He would be playing a small role, but that was better than nothing and certainly better than being too close to the crime boss.

A small part of Leo wondered if Garcia actually did think that he was going to screw up. She was telling him that she didn’t think he would, but was she just saying that to make him feel good? That same part of him also wondered if she even trusted him. Did she think that he had already turned on the agency? If she didn’t, Leo didn’t blame her. As she had said, they already had one agent flip on them.

“Details on your alias are in that folder. Take the sheet with your details, learn them, then burn the page.” Upon her request, Leo opened the folder again and produced the single sheet with his alias, his alias’ history, and the role he would be taking. He scanned the sheet and then looked up at Garcia again.

Leo wasn’t sure whether to just nod or say something, so he was glad that she took the initiative. "Any questions? On the case or being in the FBI overall. I don't bite- well, I do, but you're not a Genovese, journalist or someone in my way when I'm trying to get to a scene." Leo chuckled, glad that she had lightened the mood, if only slightly. Leo gave her a crooked smirk. “Leonard Milo?” Leo paused for a moment as if he were tasting his new name. It reminded him of when he and his sister had gone into witness protection. At least he gotten to keep his first name. That way, it was easier to slip into the alias. Leo smirked at Garcia and then continued, “Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?” Leo leaned forward, furrowed his brow, and asked in a joking tone, “In your honest opinion, do you think I look enough like a drug runner?”

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Character Portrait: Kole Marinos Character Portrait: Kalista Ross Character Portrait: Dylan Genovese Character Portrait: Jess Garcia Character Portrait: Leonard DePesci
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"Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?" Jess cracked a grin, raising her eyebrows at his next question. "In your honest opinion, do you think I look enough like a drug runner?" She chuckled, leaning back in her seat. "Oh, believe me. Appearances don't matter in this business. Often the most innocent are the worst. Experience is talking here. Both in NYPD and my time here in the Organized Crime Unit. That's why you should never judge on appearances. And, fortunately for us, the other side don't judge on appearances either. Which means we can implement almost anyone."

And they had used that to their advantage. Theo hadn't looked like a mole. Neither did Mick. In fact, nobody did. But, unfortunately for them, nobody looked like the triple agent they were either. Someone was, and that was what was troubling Jess. She could remember her brief with each and every one of them. They had sat in front of her as Leo did now, and she had been shown no reason to doubt their loyalty. That was a luxury she didn't have any more. Even as the liaison, the team leader, there wasn't a single person she could trust- except for herself.

And could she even trust herself? After all, she was passing on information to a traitor. Her situation was a lonely one. Sometimes, she was glad she had made the choice of becoming liaison. And then there were times like this, times when she didn't know what she was going to do or who she was going to trust. Even with someone who hadn't have time to meet the Genovese and be swung to their side, she was choosing her words carefully.

It always came back to trust. It was rare enough in this world, and she hated the Genovese even more for stripping that from her. Before she had gotten handed the case, she had always been able to trust her team and her leader. But not any more.

"You know what I hate, Leo? I hate people who betray my trust. Have you ever felt that? Have you ever been unable to trust anyone in your team? All because of one bastard and his band of merry men."

Beneath her words lay a disguised threat. She hoped he was smart enough to pick up on it. If you betray me, you'll have me and my gun to contend with. She didn't want to scare him. But he needed to know where he stood and exactly what she thought of people who sank to the lowest of the low.

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She was the first to reach him. "Hey, you alright?" He nodded, brushing off his hands. Kole appeared a few seconds later. "What did I tell you about sneakers Dyl? Always tie the laces and shove 'em in your shoes, it’s cooler that way," At that moment in time, Dylan didn't know if he was pleased or irritated. He was still fuming to himself, the anger overcoming the relief that they did care. He dropped his eyes, desperately trying to disguise what he felt until even he was sure.

"Hey kid, seriously, I’ve been an ass. Call me whatever you want. And you’re not even a kid anymore, it’s just always been my nickname for you. You know that right? You’re more of a man than even Lincoln. I will tell you what’s what, I just can’t do it here," Kole told him. Anger flared at the use of the word kid. And the way Kole took it back seemed like an afterthought, like he didn't really mean it and just said it so Dylan wouldn't throw a tantrum in the middle of the street. As the words came to Dylan, words he needed to get out, Kole spoke once again. "Dyl, sometimes your actions have unintended consequences, huge ones, that hurt people in a way that you can’t fix. That’s all I can say for now bud. Just trust me on this." That didn't stop the words from coming.

"You think that's what's making me angry? You calling me a kid or your weird mental breakdown?!" Dylan suddenly unleashed. "You talk about actions and all that, but you don't consider the rest of your actions! I don't care what you done! I don't want to know! It's the fact that you kept me in the dark! It's the fact that you didn't want to include me in the first place!" Now that it was out, there was no stopping him.

"If I'm more of a man than Lincoln, then treat me like it! Not all this running around keeping secrets! It's not the run or the lake that matters to me, Kole! It's spending time with you! If you wanted to talk to me about it, you could have spoken to me about it this morning! Sometimes, I just don't know, Kole! Is it me or is it my dad? Being friends with me, gosh, it's a great chance to get brownie points with my parents, isn't it?" He had been starting to wonder where his sarcasm was. Good to see it was coming to the forefront once again. "And, hey, if I have to give up a little time to spend with the kid, at least I'm learning a little about engineering and robotics!" He was on the verge of shouting now. Every ounce of betrayal and anger Dylan had felt in the last while, not just directed towards Kole, was pouring out. "I'll pretend to have an interest, just to keep him and his family happy! But I don't really care, so I won't tell him something that could possibly matter!" All of his anger poured into his tone. Later, he was sure he would regret his words, but not now. He shoved Duke's lead towards Kole. "Sorry to drag you into all of this, Kalista." He said, barely keeping anger from his voice. He turned on his heel, increasing both his pace and his stride. They couldn't be that far from home.

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Character Portrait: Jess Garcia Character Portrait: Leonard DePesci
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Leo DePesci

Leo’s question was meant as more of a joke than anything, but he was not surprised as Garcia proceeded to give him a straightforward, no bullshit answer. "Oh, believe me. Appearances don't matter in this business. Often the most innocent are the worst. Experience is talking here. Both in NYPD and my time here in the Organized Crime Unit. That's why you should never judge on appearances. And, fortunately for us, the other side don't judge on appearances either. Which means we can implement almost anyone." Leo gave the woman a grin and straightened his suit. “I guess I’m in luck then, eh?” He didn’t know if it was the right thing to be joking around with his boss, but he often had a hard time keeping the cracks to himself. However, he allowed himself a bit of a break considering that his next ‘boss’ would be a crime boss and he would definitely not be able to joke around with.

Garcia’s next statement felt like more of a threat to Leo than he cared for. "You know what I hate, Leo? I hate people who betray my trust. Have you ever felt that? Have you ever been unable to trust anyone in your team? All because of one bastard and his band of merry men." The intensity of her statement sent a jolt down Leo’s spine which he made sure to hide from her. They both caught the threatening tone in Garcia’s voice which she did little to quell and Leo knew it was not meant to be taken lightly. However, Leo didn’t want her to think that he could easily be spooked. And besides, he had nothing to worry about. There was no way in hell that he would flip on the agency.

Leo felt a small amount of anger well up inside him as he chewed over Garcia’s words. It was true that he hadn’t been able to trust anyone in a long time. What small trust he had left was with his sister, and even that wasn’t much. He loved her to death, but he never completely trusted her. Did he trust Garcia? Not in the least. And the problem he had was that he couldn’t figure out why he couldn’t trust her. He could figure out why he couldn’t trust anyone. It annoyed him to no end. He couldn’t keep anyone close because he never trusted them. He was not angry with Garcia’s words. He was angry with the feelings that they invoked inside him.

Despite his anger at his feeling, Leo found himself more frustrated by the fact that Garcia had such little faith in him. Leo’s real history was that his parents had been killed by an assassin hired by the Genovese; however, Leo didn’t know if Garcia had known that or the background he was given by Witness Protection. He was unsure as to whether Garcia had looked hard enough into his background to find his true story. If the WITSEC marshals were good at their job, Garcia wouldn’t know, but there was always a small chance that she had been persistent enough to find something.

In any case, Leo was slightly peeved at the fact that Garcia would think that he would flip on the agency and run with the crime boss when he had witnessed his own mother being murdered by someone hired by Jonathon Genovese. He had momentarily forgotten that she could have no knowledge of his true background. Leo leaned back in his chair, peering into Garcia’s eyes, speaking as earnestly as he could, and putting passion and only a small hint the anger he felt into his words. “Sounds an awful lot like you’re threatening me, Ms. Garcia.” Leo then proceeded to cross his arms on Garcia’s desk and lean forward, never taking his gaze off of her’s. “The Genovese killed half my family, Ms. Garcia. The day I go on their side is the day hell freezes over.” Leo was quick to catch his slip and shut his mouth, sure to not let anything else out. If she had no knowledge of his being in Witness Protection, that was how he was going to keep it. He mentally slapped himself for even letting that much slip out. He only hoped that Garcia didn’t decide to go digging around. However, he kept his unwavering gaze on Garcia, sending her the message that he meant what he had said and he was willing to prove it.

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Character Portrait: Jess Garcia Character Portrait: Leonard DePesci
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"Sounds an awful lot like you’re threatening me, Ms. Garcia," Leo said, crossing his arms and leaning forward until he was l
leaning on her desk. "The Genovese killed half my family, Ms. Garcia. The day I go on their side is the day hell freezes over." He stared into her eyes. As Jess stared back, determined not to be beaten, she saw something burning in his eyes. She saw her own ferocity reflected at her, the ferocity usually reserved for when someone dared to question her morals. Leo was determined not to betray them, it seemed. She leaned back, her eyes not leaving those of her new agent's.

"Yes, I am threatening you." She continued to watch him. "I lost one of my best agents six months ago because of the Genovese." She knew he would make a good agent. But she wasn't intending on telling him that Theo was still alive. She didn't trust anyone that much. "His problem was he got complacent. He underestimated the Genovese. And I am not losing another agent because of the same thing. I am warning you of how they can get to anyone. Do not underestimate their ability to draw you in."

"That hate, that anger at them killing your family, that is what you have to focus on. When you start to think, Maybe they're not that bad, you remember what they done. That was what kept me going. When I'm drowning underneath paperwork, I remember that the bastard killed my father. And that's what keeps me going."

They had always told her as a teenager that holding onto that hate and that anger would be bad for her. But it hadn't. It made made her a stronger, more determined person. She wasn't going to hesitate to pull that trigger if she got the chance. Letting go of that anger would have meant that she would hesitate. If she let go of the anger at Frank being killed, she might get a decent night's sleep every night, but justice wouldn't be served. And her life was dedicated to serving justice.

"Hate makes a good agent. It gives you a burning determination, one that will drive you until you see them brought down. You ask around, do a little research, you'll discover that most of the agents in this branch have some personal connection to the Genovese." Except Kole. She quelled the inner debate that was about to spark. Now was not the time to worry. "ANd you'll also hear that at some point, I have questioned their loyalty. I question everybody's loyalty. I'm a federal agent currently running an investigation into a mob family. Trust is one commodity I can't afford."

The sad thing was that it was true. Starting the investigation, she hadn't hesitated to tell the guy who she was running with in the park about herself. Cases were a no-no. But if he asked about her, she wouldn't hesitate to talk. But now, if she was running and a guy said, So, tell me about yourself, she was much more reluctant. For all she knew, he could be a Genovese trying to find out more to use against her.

And that led to a lonely life. It reminded her of her undercover days, the days when she had been only able to trust her team. Not being able to talk to anyone freely... It was far from pleasant.

She stared him in the eyes. In a way, she was still undercover. She was a human, seeking companionship hiding as a cold, hard federal agent.

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Character Portrait: Jess Garcia Character Portrait: Leonard DePesci
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Leo DePesci

Garcia, like Leo, stared back at him with the same ferocity. As she leaned back in her chair, Leo mimicked her, his gaze not leaving hers for a moment. His eyes wanted to waver as Garcia proceeded to tell him about her lost agent; however he kept them firm and steady.

“That hate, that anger at them for killing your family, that is what you have to focus on. When you start to think, maybe they're not that bad, you remember what they done.” How could anyone possibly forget that? The murder of his mother and father, having to change his name, all the depression and grief that the Genovese had caused in his life. How could he possibly forget that?

”That was what kept me going. When I'm drowning underneath paperwork, I remember that the bastard killed my father. And that's what keeps me going." Leo squinted his eyes at Garcia as if he were trying to figure her out. He could see that there was a part of her that wanted to quit this job; wanted to have an easier existence where she didn’t need to keep looking over her shoulder every ten seconds for either reporters or the Genoveses’ hired assassin. However, Leo could see that the same thing that drove him - the passionate hatred for the murder of a family - was what drove Garcia on. And that was where his confusion lay. Garcia had a deep-seeded hatred for the Genovese, but how long was she really willing to go on with this lifestyle? And how long would Leo really be willing to go on with this existence?

Leo snapped out of his own musing as Garcia continued to speak. "Hate makes a good agent. It gives you a burning determination, one that will drive you until you see them brought down.” And Leo would make sure that he saw someone brought down.

You ask around, do a little research, you'll discover that most of the agents in this branch have some personal connection to the Genovese. And you'll also hear that at some point, I have questioned their loyalty. I question everybody's loyalty. I'm a federal agent currently running an investigation into a mob family. Trust is one commodity I can't afford." Leo understood what she was saying completely, but still held his gaze strong, attempting to let her know that he would be one that would take them down or, more likely, die trying.

Leo smirked at Garcia, holding her eyes. “I’m not asking for trust, Ms. Garcia. I’m asking for the head of Jonathon Genovese.” He only paused momentarily to let that sink in and then continued, “And for you to know that whether you trust me or not, you can bet your ass that I’ll more likely die than watch him walk away for the murder of my family,” Leo paused to think over his words and then added, “And yours.”

Leo knew that what he had said may have been way out of line, but he had had a moment of passion and it was difficult for him to quell his anger. He’d probably have to learn how for the next time he saw Jonathon Genovese. In any case, he would not apologize for what he had said. Perhaps he could have worded it nicer and kept his voice lower and more respectful, but he had meant every word of what he had said.

Going into this job, Leo had to know the dangers of it. He had always known that he would probably be killed with this job. He had seen it firsthand when they killed his mother. And that may have been the one thing that he had worried about. He hardly cared for himself or his death, but the fact that if he were to be killed, Gloria would be alone with only their elderly, adoptive mother. In fact, he found that if there was anyway to die, he would want it to be avenging his parents’ murders. But he knew that Gloria would never be the same.

However, despite Gloria’s protests, Leo had selfishly gone into this job. And they had both known that sitting in that cafe only hours ago may have been the last time they would ever truly speak to each other face-to-face.

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Character Portrait: Jess Garcia Character Portrait: Leonard DePesci
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“I’m not asking for trust, Ms. Garcia. I’m asking for the head of Jonathon Genovese.” Jess grinned. “And for you to know that whether you trust me or not, you can bet your ass that I’ll more likely die than watch him walk away for the murder of my family,” Leo looked her full in the face. Jess stared back. “And yours.”

This was it. What- no, who she had been hoping for. He was like her. Nothing was forgotten.

Jess was suddenly extremely aware of her own mortality. She could be killed at any moment in time. Hers was a risky job with only one reward- vengeance. A bullet could come crashing through the wall and embed itself in her brain. A bomb could be planted under her table and primed to explode the minute Leo left- or any point before or after that.

Her eyes rose to the wall of awards behind Leo. She had earned every single one of them. And she wasn't going to allow Jonathon Genovese to take all that from her. She was stuck behind a desk- but hell, she was going to do the best she could from there.

She grinned at him. "That's what makes you such a good agent."

"Jonathon Genovese is a cold, heartless bastard- except when it comes to his family. They're the few people he cares about. He's got three kids. The oldest, Lincoln, is currently at college here in the city. The daughter, Charlee, is in her senior year." She accessed the file on her computer. "Dylan, the youngest, is a freshman. But he's smart, possibly smarter than both his siblings- something we can use. Our old techie was trying to get friendly with him, common interests and all that. He was going to try and get him to give us information."

She looked at Leo, a new fire burning within her. "I'm telling you all of this for a reason. Take it whatever way you wish." She glanced back at the screen. "Don't try and befriend the kid. Genovese will smell a rat- the mole was his friend, and now the new kid wants to be friends? You won't last long."

She had access to so much information, an arsenal of agents, and a burning passion. She didn't need to leave her desk- she had everything she needed, right at her fingertips.

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Character Portrait: Jess Garcia Character Portrait: Leonard DePesci
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Leo internally sighed in relief as a bit of the tension broke when Garcia smirked back at his comment. “That's what makes you such a good agent." Leo couldn’t help but crack a grin of pride back at his ‘boss’. That was high praise coming from a woman of her ranking. When walking in, he had seen the wall of awards that she had glanced at moments before.

Though his pride would never let Leo admit it, he looked up to the woman. Of course there was a part of him that didn’t want to be stuck in the same place for the rest of his life. That had to be the part of him that was still a con man. But nevertheless, he still placed Garcia on a high pedestal.

Leo focused back on Garcia as she began to speak about the rest of the Genovese family, and Leo continued to nod, absorbing the knowledge and letting it sit in the back of his mind for later use.

Suddenly, that flame was sparked again in Garcia’s eyes, forcing Leo to listen to her. "I'm telling you all of this for a reason. Take it whatever way you wish. Don't try and befriend the kid. Genovese will smell a rat- the mole was his friend, and now the new kid wants to be friends? You won't last long." Leo nodded slowly at her last statement, not quite sure how to respond. With his job within the Genovese, he probably wouldn’t be getting too close to the family, especially the kids, but Leo took in Garcia’s information anyway.

Leo let a moment of silence set in, getting mentally ready to leave her office. “So, this is it,” Leo stated plainly. It held no hint of nervousness, no hint of his usual pride, no hint of any emotion that Leo felt about the job or what he was getting himself into.

Leo looked from Garcia to his clasped hands and then back to her again. He was about to stand to leave, but he had one thing to ask Garcia and he didn’t know how she would react to it. “I just have one thing to ask.” Leo paused, chewing over the correct way to say it. “Did you ever think you’d find yourself here when you started out? I mean... just stuck here...” Leo’s brow furrowed as he thought over his words a moment and then shook his head. “I guess that was wrong of me to ask.”

Leo almost wanted to tell her about the ‘itchy feet’ - as his sister liked to call it - that he was prone to getting, but he didn’t want her to take him for the guy that would just up and leave when the going got tough. He wasn’t like that. The thing was that he just didn’t take himself for someone who could spend the rest of his life doing one thing.

This was the job that he really wanted and he knew that for a fact, but what if he never left New York again? Leo shook himself mentally. He had been having this war with himself since he had gotten back from his ‘travels’ and he always knew that this was the occupation that he really needed. So why was he questioning it when he was so close to getting exactly what he wanted?