EMPTY

"I don't know how you do it, Kid."

Face, his back to Hannibal, closed his eyes, listening to the chuckling.

"The old Faceman charm never fails, does it?" Hannibal slapped him on the back as he headed out to the van, where BA and Murdock waited. He paused at the door, looking back quizzically when Face didn't follow. "Problem, Face?"

"No, no problem. I, uh, just have a call to make first. I'll be right out."

Hannibal tilted his head, cigar smoke spiraling slowly past the frown on his face. "Okay. Don't take too long, though. BA's on the warpath with Murdock again."

"Right, Hannibal."

He waited until the door closed before reaching for the phone. He dialed the number quickly, nervously.

"Hi, Anna? It's Jake. Look, I'm sorry I had to leave so quickly last night...no, nothing like that. Just a...family matter...no, it's all taken care of now. Anyway, I was hoping we could pick up where we left off, you know, before...what's that?...No, where did you get that idea?...Oh, I see. Well, yeah, I heard that on the news, but I had nothing...I know I asked you about that, but...look, Anna, it wasn't like that. I was just curious, that's all. I really just wanted to know more about you. What happened to your boss was just coincidence. Really...Yeah, okay...no, I understand."

He hung up the phone, sighing. Pulling on his jacket, he headed out to the van.

Murdock ran up to meet him, breathing heavily as he rubbed his neck. Near the van, Hannibal stood in front of BA, making placating gestures.

"Hey, Face! Finish your call? Another conquest set up, huh?" Murdock grinned, knowingly.

Face grinned back and winked. "The old Faceman charm never fails, does it?"