The Center: Best Served Cold Part-8

The Center: Best Served Cold -
Part Eight


Becca has been having nightmares, all of them involving a certain Mr. Green and how he ruined her life. Now Green's whereabouts might be known and Becca will do whatever it takes to make sure that he doesn't get away from her this time, no matter what the cost.


Author's Note: Here's Ch. 8. I was able to write this and seven at the same time the other day because I had a lot of free time on my hands. Any other chapter might be a bit delayed because I'm going to be pretty busy the rest of the week but I'll try my hardest to get nine up before the week is out. I'd like to thank djkauf for the editing.


Chapter Eight:

“You going to be ok?” asked Stella as she handed me a glass of water.

I only grumbled my thanks. The two of us were sitting in an empty classroom, waiting for the Head Mistress. It’s not every day that you get called into a meeting because you were arrested for running like a lunatic through the streets of a quaint English town in your bra. Ok, in hindsight I probably should have put a shirt on before I ran out the door but I was so certain it was Dekker. I groaned and took a sip of the water, it was ice cold but I didn’t care. Stella was sitting next to me, smiling. I think she was trying to reassure me that everything was going to be all right but I knew better. I think I’m losing my mind. I was so certain it was Dekker. He was there, I saw him.

I groaned and took another sip. After my streaking incident, the officer took me down to the station. He filed a report and the four of us---me, Stella, Emma and Karen---had to wait for a chaperone to pick us up. There was a lot of confusion on the part of the police. Stella made up a quick lie to explain things. Apparently, I had a teacher from my old school who was obsessed with me and stalked me. I got a restraining order and changed schools. Then I thought I saw him in the lingerie store and decided to chase him down. It was a pretty good lie and luckily, we didn’t have Lola with us to ruin things. Seeing as I was so distraught at the time, crying and everything, it was a believable one too.

But that didn’t stop them from filing a report or get me off the hook. I was now on academic probation if you could believe that. I wasn’t even a member of their school and the Head Mistress was coming down on me hard. Apparently, she does that when someone embarrasses her school like that. I was wearing half the Chairmont uniform after all. As soon as the chaperone picked us up from the police station, we were escorted back to the school, not able to finish our town visit. When the others got back to school a few hours later, everyone was already talking about it. I apparently was big news. They were already spreading the craziest rumors too, most of them absolutely ridiculous. I was everything from a Serial Streaker to a Serial murderer.

“Do you think it was still him?” asked Stella in a soft voice.

I know she was trying to give me the benefit of the doubt. I sighed. “It sure looked like him. But once I got around that corner, he was gone. I don’t know how to describe him.”

Stella nodded. “We didn’t see anything,” she said softly. “One minute you were there, laughing with us and the next you freaked. We tried to run after you but the woman in the store stopped us. Karen had to pay for your bra even before we were allowed to leave. Then as soon as we got out the door, the cop was there.”

I nodded. “Thanks for all the help. If Karen is still talking to me after this, I’m going to have to make it up to her.”

Stella smiled. “I think she might be in love with you.”

That threw me. “What?”

Stella nodded. “She definitely idolizes you. The whole time we were at the police station, waiting for them to finish questioning you. She kept going on and on about how cool you were how she was the luckiest girl in the world to have you as her roommate.”

I sighed. That’s all I needed. What did the Japanese call them, oh yeah otakus. I had my very own fan girl now.

Stella was about to say more but didn’t get a chance because the room door opened. We both turned and looked and in walked the head Mistress, Miss Pennington. She wasn’t alone though. With her was a tall man in a gray suit. He had black hair that was going gray on the sides and a pencil thin mustache. He was holding a large manila envelope in his hand. He looked at the two of us but his eyes lingered on me for the longest time. Miss Pennington walked over to the teacher’s desk and sat down. She looked at the two of us and frowned. Then she looked at me and shook her head.

“When I agreed to allow the three of you to come to my school, Miss Logan,” she said, not knowing my real name. “I was told that you would do things low key and that you would do nothing to draw attention to yourselves or to embarrass my school.”

“Embarrassing the school was not my intention.”

She held up her hand. “I know it wasn’t your intention but you did so nonetheless.” She sighed. “I am to believe that the man you supposedly chased through the streets was someone of interest in your investigation.” I nodded, she sighed. “Be that as it may I have contacted your superior and have asked her to remove the three of you from my establishment.”

I was outraged. I jumped to my feet, clinching my fists. “You can’t do that. You can’t interfere with this investigation it’s too important to me…to us. If you try to stop this so help me God I’ll…”

I stopped myself. I was acting like a crazy woman again. I sighed and dropped back down into my seat. Miss Pennington gave me a look. I think it was supposed to scare me but considering all the scary people I’ve been up against it was pathetic. I shot her a look of my own. I didn’t think she was intimidated and I didn’t care. If this bitch tried to put a stop this, I’d bury her.

Miss Pennington continued as if my outburst never happened. “I have contacted your superiors and they have denied my request. They believe that this incident of yours was brought on by stress and lack of sleep and I am inclined to agree. The police have several witnesses, including your three companions and there is no evidence that the man you were chasing was even there.”

I looked at Stella and she mouthed “sorry.” I smiled weakly at her. I couldn’t be mad at her, she was just telling it as it is. After I calmed down earlier, I realized that Dekker wasn’t there. I’m not sure why I saw him but it drove me nuts that I did. I’m not sure what came over me. All I knew was that I needed to get to Dekker and kill him. I wasn’t thinking straight and I was reckless. I groaned. I could just hear Mrs. Fine now, berating me for this major goof up.

“I know he wasn’t real,” I finally admitted.

Miss Pennington smiled. “You are to see the school counselor as soon as this meeting is over. Your Mrs. Fine tells me you’ve not been sleeping well for a while and that you’re suffering from nightmares. In order to stay in my institution, you are required to speak to Miss Drake and maybe the two of you can get to the bottom of these problems of yours.”

I nodded but inwardly I was screaming. Not another freaking shrink. What the hell was wrong with these people? I didn’t need a shrink.

Miss Pennington got up from the desk and walked over to the man who up to this point was standing like a soldier, silent and creepy.

“This gentleman is Inspector Munroe from MI5. He would like to ask you a few questions.”

She smiled at me and walked out of the room, closing the door behind her. As soon as she was gone, Munroe walked over to the desk and sat on the edge of it. He didn’t say anything for a few seconds, staring at the two of us. I think he was sizing us up, much like the two of us were sizing him up. When he spoke, there was no emotion in his voice. “You and your team inserting into my country was not a wise thing to do without proper procedure. I should have all of you deported for this incident.”

I bit my lip. Fat chance of that happening. Stella put a hand on my shoulder, cautioning me. I took a deep breath and spoke. “I wasn’t informed that this was an illegal op.”

Munroe stared at me. “Not illegal, unsanctioned. You were well under the radar, Miss Howe, until you pulled that little stunt this afternoon. It’s a good thing no one was hurt. All we need is an international incident on our hands.”

My little stunt? It’s not like I was firing my gun into the ground. I was chasing a supposed nut job through the streets. In the end, I was the only nut job but it was hardly anything dangerous. “I don’t see where I caused a problem, sir?”

This time Munroe smiled. “Don’t try to play dumb with me, Miss Howe. I know all about your mission. I had a nice long chat with your Colonel Harris and your Mrs. Fine. You may have fooled Pennington with your cover story but I know the truth. There are a select few in world governments that know of your kind. It’s not a very large circle but it is growing larger by the day. You may not have thought you were a danger but I know better. I’ve seen the videos; I know what your kind are capable of doing. “

“Our kind? You make us sound like we’re inhuman or something.”

Munroe smirked. “Isn’t that what you are?”

I wanted to tell the guy to fuck off. But Stella beat me to it. Ok so she didn’t swear at him. She smiled sweetly. “There are some of us out there that are dangerous, Inspector. But we’re not them. The place we live and work for, we’re trying to protect people.”

Munroe snorted. “All the while hiding behind that American flag of yours.”

That pissed me off. “We’re not hiding behind anything. We’re not here to harm you or your people. We’re looking for a lead on a criminal, one criminal, an American criminal. It is vital to the national security of our nation and yours that we find this criminal and bring him to justice.”

Munroe snorted again and threw the envelope on my desk. “He’s not here. I ran a check on your Quentin Dekker. He’s quite the well connected man. Your FBI has had him flagged on the no fly list for weeks. If he showed up in this country, my people would have caught him by now. Interpol is looking too and they’ve got nothing as well. It’s like he’s disappeared off the face of the Earth. So whoever you claimed to have seen was not Quentin Dekker. That little stunt of yours this afternoon was reckless and foolhardy. People could have been hurt, it’s a good thing you weren’t armed. If you had been we’d be having this conversation in a jail cell and not a class room.”

I didn’t even look at his envelope. Instead, I asked the question I really wanted to know. “Can we still run our op?”

He smirked. “I don’t have the authority to shut you down.” I nodded. But he wasn’t done. “But just because I don’t have the authority that doesn’t mean you won’t be monitored. You have forty-eight hours. If you don’t find what you’re looking for by then I will blow this thing wide open and ruin everything that you and your team have worked so hard to cover up.”

Forty-eight hours? I groaned, what a prick?

“That’s not going to be enough…”

Stella cut me off. “We can do it in that time. Thank you for being so lenient with us, Inspector.”

She flashed him a big smile, really putting on the charm. It didn’t work of course. He grunted, snatched the envelope out of my hand and stormed out of the room.

“You can’t be serious Stel,” I said, moaning.

She smiled. “Of course I’m not but he needed to hear that. That guy was a dick; I wanted to punch him in the face. He was just trying to pee all over us, show us who’s top dog around here. He doesn’t have any real authority; he was just blowing smoke.

I smiled at her. “You’re the best Stel. I’m not sure what I’d do without you.”

She leaned over and gave me a hug. “Don’t say that too loud, Mattie might here then we’re both in trouble.”

We laughed at that. Mattie is and always be my best friend. But Stella and I were close too, closer than close thanks to our bonding. Dr. Tipps said we were like sisters now and I could see that. She felt like a sister, like someone I could cry to when things got really bad.


“Are you secure?” asked Kit.

I looked around the room. I was in my temporary dorm; Karen was down in the common room with the other girls. Everyone went there after dinner, probably to gossip more about the crazy streaking American girl. I don’t care. All I care about is finding Dekker and making him pay. I know, I’m Broken Record girl but I’ve had some time to think since this afternoon. After leaving the empty classroom, Stella went one way and I the other. I had to report immediately to the school’s counselor, Miss Drake. She was a kind person, with a big smile and a happy disposition. But just like Dr. Tipps, I didn’t want to open up to her. There was just something about her that rubbed me the wrong way. Besides, I wasn’t really in the sharing mood. But the best part, she wasn’t Tipps so she didn’t know me.

So I laid it on real thick. I used that fake cover story Stella concocted for the police. I put on the water works and everything. By the end of our session, she was hugging me and crying right along. Adults are such saps, especially ones with degrees. She told me if I needed time to myself that while I was here I could forego any classes for the whole week. How sweet was that? Unfortunately, I knew Mrs. Fine would chew me out for that. So I reluctantly told her I was fine and that maybe a few hours rest might do me some good. So she had me excused from dinner so I could go to my room.

The first thing I did was report in to Kit. She was indifferent about my arrest and actually had a few jokes. I took them in good spirit. Then she said the Boss Lady called. Mrs. Fine wanted me to report in as soon as possible to give her the rundown. I knew what that meant though. It was her chance to bust my balls---figuratively of course. So after dinner---which I skipped---I waited until Karen slipped off for a movie. They were watching, you guessed it, the new Harry Potter movie. I wonder whose suggestion that was.

“I’m good to go,” I said to the Specialist on my laptop screen.

It didn’t take long for Kit’s image to disappear and to be replaced by that of Mrs. Fine. She was scowling, that woman never smiled. I did though; it was a small one, an attempt to lighten the mood. I don’t think it worked.

“What a fine mess you’ve made, Rebecca.”

I groaned. I was in serious trouble if she was using the full name. “Any mess made is mine and mine alone, ma’am.”
There was no way I was going to allow her to penalize the others for this.

She nodded. “I’ve read Specialist Rodriguez’ debrief and yours as well.”

I typed mine up as soon as I got back to the room---during dinner---and sent it along through Kit.

Mrs. Fine sighed. “Is there any proof that you actually encountered Dekker?”

I wasn’t expecting that question. I figured she was going to be like the others and say I was imagining him, too. After all, I was the only one who apparently saw him. But she was right in a way, asking me the way she did. I had no proof, so I shook my head. “I don’t think I imagined him though.”

“It’s hard to believe otherwise with the evidence against your claim.”

I nodded. But I had some time to think about it actually. At first I was convinced that he was a figment of my imagination too. Then I remembered he was a few feet ahead of me. It was plenty of time to get away. There was after all, a door there. It was locked when I got there but that didn’t mean it was when he got there. Maybe he opened it with a key and locked it from the inside. It was a possibility, right? So I shared my theory with Mrs. Fine, she listened intently. Then she started to type on her keyboard, she spoke to someone off screen. She looked haggard, like she’d been overworked.

“Is something wrong ma’am?”

She sighed. “We’ve had a situation here. I don’t want to say too much, even over this secure connection. But that thing you and I were talking about, the one we have feared. I believe it might have come true.”

The thing, what thing? I wracked my brain trying to remember. Then it came to me. Oh God, she was talking about the traitor. “You can’t be serious?”

“I’m afraid so. We have a team investigating right now and a possible lead. That’s all I can say right now at the moment but I’ll keep you apprised of the situation.”

I nodded. “Will it affect my mission?”

She shook her head. “Not sure at the moment. As soon as I get pertinent information I’ll pass it along.”

I nodded. Then someone stepped up behind her. I didn’t see who it was but they handed her something. She looked at it and nodded. Then she turned back to the screen. “We just checked out that dead end of yours. “You’re right, there is something there. That door is the back entrance to a popular nightclub, the Hellcat. Intel is a little rusty but we believe there might to be a small apartment above it.”

I was just grasping at straws but this might actually work. I couldn’t believe it.

Mrs. Fine sighed. “Rebecca, when you decide to sneak into the place for a look, I think it might be wise to take some back up. Maybe someone who can walk through walls.”

I smiled and flushed. “Will do, ma’am.”

Mrs. Fine nodded. “That will be all for now, Sergeant. After you’re done with your recon, I want a full report. There’s something going on here, something that doesn’t quite fit with the pieces being laid out before us.”

I nodded.”I’ll make sure we have better pieces.”

Mrs. Fine didn’t say anything more before her face disappeared from the screen to be replaced by Kit’s smiling one. “So are we going to the club tonight?’ she asked.

I sighed. It must have been fun to be paid to eavesdrop. “Not yet. I want to do some recon on the place first to make sure it’s worth our time. Can you contact Brad for me and see if he can sneak out tonight.”

Kit smiled and I blushed. She didn’t say anything other than “will do, Sarge” before her face disappeared as well. It was replaced for a second by Barry. I opened my mouth to say something but he clicked off before I could. I sighed. What the hell was that all about? Ever since we shipped out, the two of us have been like complete strangers. When I called Kit earlier and sent her my debrief, he barely spoke two words to me. Now he was completely ignoring me. Was he pissed that he was stuck in the van during the whole op? I mean what a way to tell someone but the silent treatment was kind of childish.


I stood on the curb, shivering in my thin hoodie, waiting for my ride. The large stone building of Chairmont stood behind me, looming like a gray ghost in the night. Its stone spires were like sentinels, staring down and keeping a watchful eye on me. I tried not to look, I already felt bad enough as it is. It didn’t bother me about sneaking out, that was actually kind of fun. It was lying to my friends.

Everyone thought I was up in my room, sleeping it off. But in truth, I stuffed some clothes underneath my blanket and went out the window. An old building like this had ivy clinging to the walls and lots of old stones jutting out for handholds. I was glad that I took the time to allow myself some rock wall training. It helped a lot on the wall, scaling it without the use of a rope.

Gideon would have been proud. I shivered. English nights were cold, too cold. Though I didn’t feel most of it, some of it did get through. It was a dull ache, throbbing into me. I hated this feeling; it made me feel as if I wasn’t in control. Lately it was all about control with me. I controlled the outcomes of my fights by knowing when the punch was going to come by hearing it and I controlled the outcome of my pain by suppressing it. In some respects, I even controlled the outcome of my own actions, too. Ok that one was stretching a bit but I sure felt like I did. The cold was one thing I couldn’t control though and I didn’t like that. The only other thing as bad as the cold was Barry. I tried calling him back to talk but he was standoffish at best. He barely paid attention to me, more interested in whatever minimal task that Kit assigned him to do. I was the only one in our group that out ranked Kit and Samson. I thought about asking for a commission for Barry but then I thought about his non-leadership qualities. He definitely wasn’t the guy who should be in charge.
Hell, I shouldn’t have been in charge either. But I guess Kris and the Colonel saw something in me that they didn’t see in others.

The beeping of a horn drew my attention away from my thoughts. A black car was pulling up to the curb, the driver got out on the wrong side again. I’m never going to get used to that. He looked at me, grinning a toothless grin.

“You the one I’m supposed to get, ducky.”

I nodded. “My friend?”

“We’ll get im next.”

He walked around and opened the back door for me. I smiled and climbed inside. He shut the door gently and got back into the car. I just about buckled my seat belt before he took off like a rocket. I was thrown back into the seat, a bit jarred. Who the hell taught this guy to drive, Mario Andretti? I groaned as we lurched around the big circular path in front of the school and headed down the road toward the M5. Chairmont was sort of built into a forested area, away from everything else. It was real pretty especially at night. With all the lights twinkling in the rooms and from the two spires on either end of the building, it looked like a medieval castle.

“You don’t sound like one of em green skirts.”

I smiled. “I’m from Detroit.”

“Ah a Yank, huh. Don’t get too many of you around ere, love.”

“I’m here for a concert.”

There was no point in lying to him. So I gave him the fake life that Mrs. Fine set up for us. He talked my ear off so it was worth it. As soon as we got on M5 and started zipping down the road, he wanted to know everything about me. I tried my best to remember, my Connor thing having worn off about an hour ago. I was still a little woozy from that fading. It only made you dizzy when it came and when it left. It was hard for us but I wondered what Connor must feel. Not that I’m feeling sorry for him but he must have a head full of crap. I can’t imagine he’s ever going to use any of it. But it makes me wonder how much stuff he’s got rattling around in there?

After about twenty minutes, the cab left the M5.

St. Bernard’s School for Boys was just really down the street from Chairmont. Unlike Chairmont though, it looked like a school. It was a gray block of a building; it was even surrounded by a ten-foot tall chain link fence. It was kind of depressing to look at, more like a prison then a school. I got out of the cab and told the driver to wait while I went to get my friend. He smiled and winked, I rolled my eyes. I put in my earpiece and tapped my choker throat mike. Brad was supposed to meet me at the tree on the outskirts of the school grounds, just outside the fence. I found the tree but Brad was nowhere in sight.

“Eagle calling Owl, do you copy, over?”

Ever since Mrs. Fine said they were having a problem at the Center, possibly a traitor in their midst, I was hell bent to stick with formality now and just use the code names. It was kind of corny but it did make me feel more like a spy.

I tried raising him again but there was no response. I panicked a bit and walked toward the tree. I started to look around it, worried that something might have happened to him. It wasn’t like Brad to get caught; he could after all walk through walls. I looked all around the tree, including up into it but he was nowhere. I sighed and fell against it, huffing. As soon as I did so, a hand landed on my shoulder. I stifled a scream and snapped around. A human shape came out of the tree, tall and blonde. I could of kicked his ass but instead I couldn’t help but smile. Brad started laughing as he stepped all the way out of the foreboding oak.

“You should have seen your face,” he said through his laughter.

I smacked him in the arm. “You almost got shot.”

His eyes drifted down to my belt. No Reta wasn’t there. She actually was still back in my room but I had something much better. Kit sent a care package along for me, concealing it in the bushes. After climbing down the wall, I went and retrieved. It was a little plastic case, inside was a single P Gun and six darts. If you’re not familiar with what my little friend does let’s just say it involves a deadly toxin that comes from a place that you don’t want to know.

I’ll give you a hint, there’s a reason we call them “pee” guns. You can eww now.

I tapped my holster, turning my thigh so he could see the gun.

“Is that what I think it is?”

I nodded and he grimaced. “How many of those did you bring?”

I knew what he was thinking and the answer was definitely no. He wasn’t ready for a gun yet. He’d only had minor small arms training. Most of his powers training dealt with how permeable he could get himself by testing what kinds of things he could pass through. Apparently, the only thing that seemed to really slow him down was solid steel. So as long as the nightclub walls were made of concrete or granite than the two of us were good to go.

“You’re not getting a gun,” I said finally, looking him straight in the eye or trying to at least, he was taller than me. “You’re not ready.”

As far as I was concerned, I wasn’t ready either. But after you have it thrust upon you there’s really no choice in the matter.

He didn’t say anything. Instead, he followed me to the car. The driver made a comment about the way he looked and his size but neither of us said anything. Brad was getting his game face on apparently. We got into the back and let the cabbie speed us toward the town. We both sat with the middle open, staring out the window. I kept casting glances at him when I thought he wasn’t looking. I caught him doing the same out of the corner of my eye. Every part of me wanted to reach over and take his hand but I didn’t. I kept telling myself over and over again that I was with Barry and he was a big complication. But every time I thought it, I kept seeing the kiss over and over again in my head. I actually found myself licking my lips and when I closed my eyes, it was Brad’s face I saw instead of Dekker’s. I’m not sure if that brought me comfort or more misery.

After about another twenty minutes on the road, we were finally pulling into the town. It looked different in the dark, especially without a bunch of green clad girls running around. I found it hard to believe that that was only five or six hours ago. Ok more like eight but who’s counting. The point was that the officer who arrested me told me he didn’t want to see me around again, at least the whole time I was in the country. I’m not sure if that was a warning or a chance to save what little pride and dignity he had left. It’s not every day that a nearly topless girl goes running down the street you’re patrolling. Even after I gave him my statement, I think he still thought it was some kind of practical joke.

The driver stopped the car in front of Tesco’s. He turned around and held out a business card. “We have to be called ahead of time for rides. When you two luver birds are done, you give me a call, all right?”

I nodded and took the card while Brad opened the door. He ran around to my side before I got a chance. He opened the door and I melted a bit inside. No guy’s ever opened a door for me. When I was a guy, I was lucky to even think about looking at a door when there was a girl nearby. I can honestly say that I was a bit of an idiot when it came to women. But Richard was always a bit of an idiot. Yeah that’s right; I referred to my old self as a different person. It was something we concocted at the Syndicate to help us adjust better to our new lives. I sighed. Thinking of that place brought back a lot of bad memories.

“So” said Brad as he pulled his coat closed. “Where’s this club?”

“This way.”

I led the way as the cabbie drove off. I stuck his card in the pocket of my hoodie. I didn’t really need it now because it was dark but it was the only coat I had, besides the two school blazers. There was no way I was going to walk around after hours in one of those, though. In fact, my entire wardrobe was improvised. While the others were in the Common Room, I snuck into Stella’s room and borrowed a skirt and tank top from her. They weren’t really my style but they were better than the clothes that Mrs. Fine was trying to put me into. Never again am I letting her decide what I’m going to wear. She has absolutely no fashion sense whatsoever.

“Kit told me what happened today,” said Brad as the two of us walked along. We were pretty much the only ones on the street. “She said that you saw Dekker and chased him into a dead end alley.”

I sighed. I knew what he was trying to do and frankly, it wasn’t going to work. “Did she tell you how when I got into the dead end that Dekker seemed to have miraculously disappeared?”

He nodded. “But he went into the nightclub right?”

I smiled. He was so sweet but he believes that about as much as I did. “That’s what we’re going to find out.”

We finally got to the dead end and I pointed out the door to him. He rubbed his hands together and reached for the knob. He was all set to do his thing when I heard something. I snapped around, pulling the P Gun from its holster. I scanned the dark. Because I was on my own, I didn’t need to hide my eyes behind the contacts. They shone bright purple, cutting my gaze through the darkness. I found what caused the noise. There was someone at the end of the alley, staring at us. She was a girl about our age with bright blue hair and an improvised Goth wardrobe. There were a lot of piercing all over her face and several in her ears. She looked like my kind of person, all except for the lurking of course.

I lowered my gun and motioned Brad away from the door. “Who are you?” I called in a threatening tone.

“Oy” she said, not bothering to move from her spot. “You can’t get in there until tomorrow night. They’ve got that place locked up tighter than a drum.”

“You didn’t answer my question.”

She smiled; I saw the flash of her tongue piercing. I shuddered. “You can call me Jasmine if you want.”

I nodded. “Do you frequent this club a lot?”

She smirked. “What do you think?”

Brad stepped forward. “We’re looking for someone. He would have gone through this door earlier today. Tall, blonde hair, walks with a cane.”

Jasmine sighed. “I know ‘im. He comes and goes as he pleases. He’s not home now though.”

“We’re not friends of his.”

Her smile got bigger. “Then you really want to come back tomorrow night. When the club is kicking, he bails. If you want to do some snooping I suggest you do it then.”

I nodded. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear but what choice did we have. She was probably going to stand there all night staring at us. There was no way that we could walk through the wall with her constantly watching us. So I sighed and nodded to Brad, telling him mission over. He slumped his shoulders. I think he was kind of looking forward to doing something on this mission. I was too, in fact. So far, it’d been nothing but sitting around and being bored. Well besides my little streaking incident earlier today that is.

“You’re sure he won’t be here tomorrow?”

“The guy’s got a major stick up his ass. He’ll definitely be gone tomorrow. You can do all the snooping you want and the best part, no one’s going to pop in on you if you’re in the club already.”

She flashed us that smile again. I smiled back. She had a point.

Brad walked over and put a protective arm around me. I think he thought she was some kind of mugger or something. Fortunately, I could take care of myself but I didn’t protest. I kind of liked having his arm around my waist, Barry be damned. He’s been an ass lately so he can miss out on the better things in life. I leaned into Brad, putting my head on his chest and the two of us slowly walked past the girl, back in the direction we came from.

Photo Credit: Model AJ Stewart

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