2009-09-26: Crashed Into You



Date: September 26th, 2009


And I crashed into you / Like a runaway train. / You will consume me / But I can't walk away.

"Crashed Into You"

Washington, D.C

The apartment of Tracy Strauss is usually relatively pristine. It's mostly tidy. There's a stray newspaper on the glass coffee table. It's well-decorated. Nice. She has expensive taste, but the apartment is also comfortable.


Except for the spreading puddle on the floor, the chunks of ice. Sirens outside. Every single thing, at this moment, for Tracy, seems like it's crashing down. It's only been seconds since Cairns shattered onto the floor in front of her. She stumbles back, bumping into a dining chair— in front of a vase of roses. From Ivory. They wobble, tipping over and spilling water over the edge of the table to join what's left of Cairns'— which is nothing recognizably human. Swallowing her fear slowly, she goes to the window, looking this way and that uncertainly. Red and blue lights flash in the distance, rotating specks down below, barely reflecting on her elegant white curtains.

Fighting to think clearly, she jogs across her apartment — cringing as she steps across the slick, wet floor in her black pumps — and crouches down to pick up the purse she dropped when she caught the key. She plucks out her phone… and calls.

BMW. Expensive. Federal Tags. Steamed Windows.

Wherever it's parked doesn't really matter. Not at the moment the phone on the dashboard rings. Even though the person the phone belongs to is heavily engaged in a private discourse with one of the other Senators secretaries. That's right, Ivory Wynn is having a go with someone else's assistant… but he can't really seem to concentrate. Not with that insistent ringing going on. Reluctance is all over his features as he has to fight to pull his lips away from the redhead that he's manage to woo to… wherever this vehicle is parked. His eyes travel over to the phone, just in time to see the words 'Tracy' flicker into the Blackberry. He has to kind of reach his hand up to push the redhead's face away, "I need to take this! Wait a second!" And the Answer is pressed as he smiles, bringing the phone to his ear.

"Hi Honey. Working late?" comes the joking tone from Mr. Senator, even as the redhead has decided to attack his neck with her mouth. Nom.

In a much colder situation, Tracy looks around her apartment as if someone else may jump out of the shadows. She presses against the door of her apartment. She peeks over behind her, reaching around her opposite shoulder to twist the lock. "S… Senator…" She doesn't sound like herself — not as Ivory knows her. "I… I didn't… I think— that someone is out to get me." Blue eyes roam across the apartment. "Oh God…"

Ivory's voice immediately becomes even more confused. His hand reaching out to push at the advances of the secretarial female that's trying to keep him distracted. "What? What's happening? What're you talking about?" Ivory's confusion is also littered with concern. He's definitely worried about the explanation that's likely to come pouring at him in a second. His mind is shifting from sex to Senator in the short meantime.

Tracy is usually quick to get back in control. The difference tonight is that she doesn't know what to do — and that is not a feeling she is remotely okay with. She blinks a few times, her troubled face, unseen by Ivory, regaining some manner of composure. "I don't know how much time I have…" She flattens against the door. "Someone— from Malden's… office… came. He thought that I had something to do with the charity scandal," she explains slowly. "He had— " Oh God. The accounts. She jogs back to the table and bends down, plucking a half-soaked, half-brittle piece of paper from the floor. "Proof, but I didn't— " She might be running out of time. "He called the police."

Senator Wynn's eyes go wide. He can't believe that he's hearing this right now. Not at all. "Leave. Right now." is ordered through the phone as he leans his phone between his shoulder and ear. His other hand moves to starting his car. "Get downstairs. Back door. Head three streets over to that Irish Pub on the corner." Wynn is already well versed in handling this sort of thing it seems like. "Don't. Talk. To Anyone. As beautiful as you are, I need you to be invisible." He drops the phone back into his hand. "I'm on my way."

"… What?" Dry-mouthed, Tracy is having a hard time comprehending that the Senator wants her to basically run from the law. But if it'll buy them time, and prevent her from being arrested for something she didn't do (never mind what she did do)… maybe it's her best choice. "I'll be there in ten."

"Five." Senator Wynn explains. He knows all about the D.C. Law Enforcement it seems. "They'll be sweeping the surrounding streets in ten." comes the next part of the explanation, since Wynn is a little bit too quick with his answers. And that's why he's trying to help out his new advisor. Even though she's, well, going to be out on a limb right now. Just hanging. Dangling. Waiting for a hero.

Tracy is already out the door, running down the hall, crumpling the accusing document into her pocket. Her heeled steps bang-bang-bang on the stairs, loud enough to echo into the phone — her only answer. Reply? No, she's too busy running. She all but flies out into the night air once she reaches the back door.

Ivory just hangs up the phone, still looking as nervous as he can muster up… before the nervousness kind of fades. It's not until his lips curl up into a bit of a smile does he turn to look at his passenger. Who doesn't seem to be a secretary at all, considering the fact that she's wearing a police uniform and is currently pulling her hat back onto her head. With a nod from Ivory, she winks at him and blows a kiss, before peeling herself out of the car. Ivory's door closes and he watches her through the glass as she walks back to her squad car. He keeps on looking, turning his head and peering out the window to his left. A neon sign hangs down, illuminating his car and the surrounding area: Irish's Pub.

* * *

If Tracy took her car, she parked it out of sight. Head down, she walks at a brisker-than-usual pace toward the pub on the corner of this particular street; a street she knows well, an establishment she's never been to. Not exactly her style. She gives the front of the building a briefly skeptical look before glancing to and fro and pushing her way inside, her hands tucked deep in the pockets of her black coat.

It only takes a couple of steps inside for Senator Ivory to step out of the shadows and right next to her. "Keep walking. It's me." is all he says, as he reaches to keep her arm in a firm grip while he moves towards the bar. There's a door next to the bar, actually. And that's probably where he's headed. "Don't turn around." Because there's some flashing lights going, via some squad car that 'just pulled up' and some loud door slamming. They're going to have to pick up their walking pace if they want to get out of here before the cop arrives. That's for sure.

Tracy is instantly reluctant about this whole cloak and dagger business and it's more than obvious on her face, but then, her features are already dark and tense as it is. She doesn't miss a step. She gives cold, dismissive glares to anyone who glances her way without looking them in the eye. Mostly, she doesn't look up at all.

Just as Senator Wynn leads her through the bar's door, a familiar redheaded officer comes in the front door. She notices the bar door swinging closed and then just… proceeds to head over to the bar and order herself a drink. She takes off her hat and tosses it on the bar to signal her Off Duty status.

Meanwhile, Ivory's digging in his pocket for his keys and looking behind him, as he guides her out of the back door. "Get in." The headlights of his BMW light up and he's already breaking away from her to walk around to the driver's side of the car.

Tracy heads straight for the BMW as indicated, opening up the passenger side and dropping in. "Tell me that you believe me," is the first thing she says once Ivory's inside. "I didn't do anything." Well, that's a lie— but she didn't do what Cairns accused her of. She just looks over at the Senator with a frank expression. "Ivory, what the hell is going on?"

"I don't know what to believe. But I'm getting you out of here." ivory says, starting up the car and shifting gears. "Stay low. We're not out of the woods yet." is all he says, before his foot slams on the gas, wheels spinning for a moment, before the BMW tears off out of the alley and onto the road, turning and speeding off in a direction that's not the Pub and not Tracy's apartment.

Tracy glances out the window and slinks down in her seat, keeping down while looking up at Ivory. She's regaining her usual focus, at least until she has more time alone to think. "If we could just go down to the police station, we could just sort this out," she suggests rationally.

"We're going to my place. You're going to stay there, while I see if I can't take care of this problem of yours." Senator Wynn hasn't even looked at her yet. He's too busy peeling this way and that to make sure he's not being followed. Where the hell did he learn that from? Magnum P.I. "But I have your word that you had nothing to do with any of it? Right? Not one bit?" Ivory watches his mirrors closely.

"None." Tracy's arms fold uncomfortably in her unnaturally slouched down pose. "Someone is obviously trying to … frame me. There's supposedly evidence of my purchases using the money that was supposed to go to St. Jude's through Malden." Despite all the help Ivory is offering her (so she thinks), her upward gaze turns sharp on him. She's a sharp lady. "I was using the expense account." That Wynn gave her. In other words: you don't have anything to do with this, do you?

"…" Ivory is almost ready to pull over. Right now. "What?" He looks over at Tracy and blinks. And then his eyes roll. "Are you serious? If you even think…" Wynn reaches into his pocket and comes out with this Blackberry. There's some clicking to bring up the internet and then the bank site. "Here. Check it." And the phone is tossed off towards her lap. With a bit of an extra 'umph' because he's hurt she would even look at him accusingly.

An anxious look passes from Ivory to the phone before Tracy actually plucks it from her lap. She would, normally, keep her skepticism, hold on to her suspicion until she knew for sure. The theme for the night is 'when in doubt, trust Ivory,' however, and it seems to continue. "Then we have nothing to worry about," she says as she eyes the displayed information. She'll … lay low, and everything will be sorted out in the morning. Everything… except that one thing named Cairns. "I'll just— wait until this blows over, figure out who's responsible, hunt them down and— " And what, Tracy? Recent memories of what she's capable of flood in. Her vindictive instinct cools off. She just looks out the window.

"Nothing. You'll do nothing." Ivory says, making sure that his tone is about as authoritative as it can be, while he's weaving through traffic and trying to find the quickest route to his place. It's the safest place right now. And he's not even speeding. Just driving. Briskly. "You're going to let me do it. I know people. I can make this go away. But I have to know /everything/." Ivory peeks his head off towards the side, before he continues with the driving. "I'm not going to let anything happen to you. I promise." Aw. He almost sounds like he cares.

Everything? Maybe not everything. Tracy leans against the door, running a hand through her hair as she ventures a look back at Ivory. There's more than just a money scandal weighing on the advisor's mind and her normally collected gaze looks almost … vulnerable, flashing with— no, it couldn't be tears. Tracy looks away without answering, watching the familiar landmarks pass by.

* * *

An Hour Later…

Ivory Wynn's Apartment is way bigger than Tracy's Apartment. The fact of the matter, though, is that he's gotten Ms. Strauss to a place of refuge. Right now, he's over at the sidebar, pouring a couple of drinks. Drinks that are going to be very much needed. He drops ice in his and moves off away from the bar, to wherever it is that Tracy has chosen to sit herself down. He's not smiling, as he usually is. He actually looks more like he's worried that there are going to be cops all up in his apartment soon. He keeps looking at the windows and the door, just to make sure that nobody's going to come busting in. For once, even Senator Wynn doesn't have anything to say. He just offers her the drink.

Tracy never got the chance to take her coat off at home, but she's taken it off here at Ivory's. The neat blue, white, and black dress she wears is less strictly modest than what she seems to normally don around Capitol Hill, but it's still classy. Designer. At present, Ms. Strauss is sitting on the couch, at the very edge, looking down at her hands that press together at her knees, stiff and sullen. "Thanks," she says quietly, taking the glass. Gratefully. She downs almost half of it immediately.

Ivory takes a seat next to her and just sets his glass down on the table in front of them. "Tracy. Listen to me." Ivory says, making sure to keep his voice calm and level. He's definitely scooting himself closer to where she is, just to make sure that she's feeling the love. Feeling that he cares. Because he does. It's written all over his face. "I made some calls. Things are already in motion to clean this up. We can probably have the real culprit in our sights within 72 hours." And now it's time for him to try and make her smile. "Hey. Think you can tolerate my little apartment for that long?"

The real culprit. She's the real murderer. Tracy's bothered gaze follows Ivory. His attempt to lighten her up seems to crash and burn, since she tips her had down and stares down into her glass. It takes awhile, but a smile does appear, even if it's on the wry side. "Your apartment, I can live with."

"As much as I hate to be a gentleman, right now, you can have my bedroom. I'll take the couch." Ivory says, pushing himself up to a standing position and moving off towards where his home desk is. "You should probably get some rest. I'll run out for you, tomorrow, and pick up anything you need." Wynn snatches up a small pad and grabs a pen, bringing them with him and over to where Tracy's sitting. "Anything you need. It's on me."

Unnaturally quiet, Tracy watches the Senator go about his apartment, preparing for tasks to help her out. She's appreciative, but aside from that softer look in her somewhat dismal face, it barely shows. She stares at the pen and notepad in front of her before her eyes rove up to the man holding them.

"Ivory…" It's second time she's used his actual name tonight instead of 'Senator'. Tracy sets her glass beside his on the coffee table and stands up slowly. She studies his seemingly well-meaning expression, his features, everything, trying to figure out if she should do what she's about to do, but in the end, it doesn't matter. One hand goes to Ivory's collar and his advisor is suddenly kissing him.

There's a look of innocence that's written all over Ivory's face. He's not exactly sure of what's about to happen. Instead, he just kind of continues holding the notepad and pen in his hand. He's completely oblivious to whatever it is that Tracy is planning. Especially right now. He just kind of tilts his head, until her hand invades his collar and then his eyebrow is raising. "Tracy?" There doesn't seem to be a chance for him to continue asking what he was going to ask… because she's kissing him like the dickens. As a male and a powerful Senator, Ivory Wynn does not shy away from this. Not in the least. In fact, the notepad and the pen are dropped to the floor, in favor of Ms. Strauss becoming wrapped in his arms.

Tracy has had a hell of a day. She just needs to forget. And be with someone who seems like they care. All of the Senator's various influences seem to build up and crash into this particularly well-timed moment, given how strong-willed she is now: a hand at the side of Ivory's neck, pressing on with the kisses as close as humanly possible. She's not letting go of this politician any time soon.

Ivory doesn't just seem like it anymore. He does care. At least, that can be assumed by the way he's drawing his hands up Tracy's body and bringing both them to grab her around the face. Passion comes from all the frustration of the past week or so. He's been trying to make this happen via flirting and now, a scandal later, it's going according to unplan. Not too shabby for a helpful Senator. This is probably the best way to 'say thank you', really. He's not going to be letting go of this political advisor any time soon, either.


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