“We’ve got nothing”
“You’ve got to be kidding me.”
“We’ve been here two days, two freaking days and we’ve got nothing!?”
“Dude calm down.”
“Don’ tell me to calm down. We can’t find these people, we’ve been sitting here for two days, and little miss-know-it-all just stays holed up in her room all day not helping in any way, shape, or form.” Let’s take a minute to think boys...now whose fault is that?
I decide to tune them out. It’s not like they’re helping me anyway and I had everything I needed. I apply the charcoal black lipstick over my lips before placing it in my purse. I glance at myself in the mirror. Not bad.
I slip my feet into a pair of heeled black boots with rime stones on the sides and around the rim. My hair is pulled up into a slicked back ponytail as usual, with a diamond clip for that look of elegance. My makeup is sort of dark and mysterious with a smoky eye look and thick black eyeliner. Black hoop earrings in my ears. Of course, then there’s the dagger strapped to my leg, the six throwing knives in my boots, and the handgun in my purse.
I walk into my closet and pull out my floor-length black coat, (what can I say? The color black goes with anything) and slip it on over my dress. My dress is floor length as well, and black (no surprise there) with a single strap over my left shoulder, rime stones embellish the right side along with a long slit, and it is mostly open back. Definitely wouldn’t be my choice in a dress but for where I’m headed it will do nicely.
I slip on the coat concealing the dress completely and stalk down the stairs while tying the sash. I grab my phone to check the time. Damn it I’m ten minutes early. I punch in the familiar number on my phone and hold it up to my ear as it rings.
“How far out is the driver?” I ask
“I don’t know about seven minutes, why?”
“Great,” I grumble “Thanks.” And with that I press end.
“Where the hell are you going?” I groan as I turn to face Cody.
“Must you know my every move? That’s a tad bit stalkerish if you ask me.” I retort “If I didn’t know any better I’d say you were a possessive ex-boyfriend.”
“Very funny, now where are you going looking like a raccoon?”
I place my hand over my heart dramatically, “You wound me, truly I’m wounded,” I say sarcastically “I’m meeting up with someone.”
“You’re going on a DATE!"
“Yes I’m going on a date in the middle of a mission,” I roll my eyes “No stupid. I’ve got a lead and I’m following it.”
“Why didn’t you tell us?”
I raise an eyebrow at him. Is he serious? “Please tell me that was a joke,” I state in a bored tone.
“Then let’s recite the last conversation we had shall we? It went something along the lines of this, and I quote ‘Nobody wants you here so why don’t you go back to the hole you crawled out of and leave us alone.’ Hence the reason I didn’t tell you, you told me to stay away.”
“Not when it comes to information about the mission.” He retorts, if this were a cartoon there would be smoke coming out of his ears by now I telling ya.
“Well then be more specific next time and we won’t be having this problem.” I shrug innocently, even though we all know I’m anything but. A car horn sounds from outside. Perfect timing.
“Well that’s my ride, see ya,” I state before turning to walk out, but Cody’s stupid and decides to grab hold of my arm. Big mistake mister. I grab hold of his wrist using my strength and intelligence to flip him over my shoulder twist his arm behind his back and pin him to the floor, the end of my heel on the back of his neck.
“Don’t. Touch. Me. Again.” I grit out before releasing his arm and removing my foot. He grunts and staggers to his feet. I didn’t throw him that hard did I? Oh well. Of course, by now the rest of idiots have joined us. Just freaking great.
“What’s going on in here?” questions Chase.
“Nothing” I start, “I was just leaving.”
“And where are you going?”
“You aren’t my father, or even mother.”
“She’s going after a lead without us.” Cody answers, he shoots me smug smile while I shoot him an icy glare.
“Why?” Chase asks. I inhale loudly my fingers pinching the bridge of my nose, my eyes close. These boys and their loyalty to each other is going to be the death of me I swear it.
“Fine” I snap “I’ll give you guys five minutes to get dressed in your best high-end club clothes.”
Jason raises an eyebrow. “Where exactly are we going?”
“You’ll find out soon enough.” I grumble, “Ten minutes starting now.” I watch quietly as they all turn and trudge up the stairs to go get ready, I sigh to myself, this was going to be a long night.
“So where are we going?” Devin asks as the limo drives us through the crowded streets of Chicago. I say nothing back and just continue to stare out the window at the many tall buildings we continue to pass.
The car ride has been mostly silent, except for the occasional question or comment from Devin. Chase just does the same thing I do and stares out the window, Jason fiddles with his phone in his hands and Cody, well, I’m ignoring the daggers he’s shooting my way. I’m telling you if looks could kill...let’s face it he’d be dead first.
The driver finally pulls the limo to a stop outside a Casino, and comes around to open the door for us.
“Why are we at a casino?” Jason asks, speaking up for the first time since we got in the car.
“I already told you, I got a lead.” I shrug as I’m the first to exit the vehicle and walk towards the entrance, the boys following closely behind. We stand in line, me in front Chase in back.
“How the hell do you expect us to get in there?” Questions Devin, “You have to have a membership.”
“Or a reputation” I answer before turning to the doorman and flashing an I.D. “They’re with me,” I state calmly, he nods and allows us to pass. I shrug off my coat as we enter handing it to one of the employees.
“How-” Devin starts but I interrupt.
“I know the owner’s son.”
“Know how?” Cody hisses quietly.
“He’s not exactly a good guy.” I pause, “But we came to an agreement a year back. He helps me and I keep the Agency off his back.”
“You’re helping a criminal?” Jason asks, disbelief evident in his tone.
“He’s not a really bad criminal. Just embezzlement and petty theft, occasionally a mugging. No one ever dies.” I respond while they all look at me like I’ve lost my mind. “Now this is the part where you wait here.”
“Excuse me?” Chase asks.
“He won’t talk to me if you’re all here. You can stay within earshot but you can’t come with me.” I say seriously.
“Fine,” says Chase. I nod back politely and head over towards the bar. The boys split up Jason and Cody scoping out the area, Chase sitting at the bar, and Devin heading towards the stage.
“Marcus,” I say as I approach the bar, setting myself on one of the stools.
“Thirteen,” he flashes me his award-winning smile, “What can I do for you? Need a drink?” He asks his Spanish accent seeping into his words. His dark brown hair was slicked back, his golden brown eyes looking at me playfully.
“No. I was hoping you could give information on this man.” I reply as I hold out a picture of a man in his late thirties. He was sporting long blond hair, crystal blue eyes, and had a long scar running down the side of his face.
“Those aren’t people you want to be messing around with chica.” He answers gravely.
“I am already aware of that.” I respond. “but I need to find him.”
He looks around as if waiting for someone to jump out and kill him. “He’s here now.” He pauses “He has a room on the second floor, where he takes people who, well, take his money. He gambles a lot and doesn’t always win but he’s not going to part with his money so easily.” He leans in closer to me “the bodies are found a month later and you can’t imagine.” He whispers.
“Thanks,” I say and begin scanning the floor for him.
“What now?” asks Chase as he walks up.
“Now we find him, and see just how easy it is to get his money.”
“You were listening to the conversation you just had right? This guy will kill for money.”
“Let’s hope so, or we would have come here for nothing. This may be the only way to get him alone.” I say just as I spot him sitting at one of the poker tables. “This should be fun.”
“If you don’t die first.”
“This is me we’re talking about. I’m not going to die, the rest of you on the other hand, well...” I trail off.
“What is your problem with us?” he asks
“I don’t trust you,” I state simply.
“Why? What have we done to you?”
“Not specifically you, I just don’t trust other agents.” I turn and start to walk off, I don’t need this right now. A hand on my shoulder stops me in place. Chase.
“Here,” he says as he holds out an earpiece to me.
“We need to be in contact with you, what if something happens?”
“To me?” I look up at the ceiling “Yeah pigs aren’t flying.” Comes my sarcastic and slightly, only slightly mind you, venomous reply. What can I say, following orders isn’t my strong suit.
He exhales loudly, “I’ll make you a deal” he starts “you take the earpiece and you can run the mission.”
I raise my eyebrows “The whole mission?” I ask with narrowed eyes trying to tell whether or not he was joking.
“Yes, the whole mission.” I give him one more questioning glance before reaching over and taking the earpiece out of his hands, I place it in my ear.
“Was that so hard.” He smirks at me.
“Yes, it was.” I glance at him “Why are you letting me run the mission?”
“I read your file,” I’m going to kill Zero, “you don’t follow orders cause you’re used to giving them.”
“So, you might just get along with us if you’re calling the shots.”
“Keep telling yourself that and you might actually believe it.” I retort before walking away and heading for the table. He may think he’s got me figured out but he’s got another thing coming.
I make my way through the crowds of people and take a seat at the table. All eyes turn towards me as I take my seat, everyone waiting for me to do something. I notice all of them give me a once over as if trying to decide if I was a threat. All eyes are on me but I keep my face in its usual blank mask as I take out just some of the cash I brought along. I turn towards the dealer.
“Are we playing or what?”