21: Sacrificial Lamb
The truth Callie Quinn realizes on a Monday morning is this: Micah Harkness loves his baby daughter desperately, but is not cut out for full-time fatherhood. He hasn’t said anything to anyone, and never would offer up such information voluntarily, but taking care of Jenna alone after his fiancée’s suicide is killing him. He’s lost twenty pounds in the six months since the funeral and the bags under his eyes need their own luggage tags.
She knows it’s not just the late night feedings, diaper changes, and housework. She sees the way his eyes linger on the assignment log, the way his feet jiggle during meetings, and the tap-tap of his pen whenever he has to hear someone get assigned a job he thinks should be his. He’s a nomad, a mercenary. He’s not Mr. Mom.
She’s been waiting her whole life for full-time field work. Chomping at the bit and driving her brother absolutely nuts. She’s passed all the proficiency tests. So why, two days after receiving the green-light from Jonas, does she sit down across from a tired Micah and make a proposition?
It’s easy. Micah loves his daughter, but he loves his freedom. And Callie loves Micah.