Element (Book 3)

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Ch 10 - She Has Our Baby

We sat before the man, no one saying anything. Blossom wasn’t entirely comfortable, and from how closely she was sitting next to me, I figured that our guest is the person who had her so freaked out, and I wasn’t ok with that.

Especially since I had no idea who he was.

“I guess I’m going to have to be the one to break the silence. Who are you?” I asked him.

He frowned. “You don’t know who I am? How can you not know who I am?”

Conceited much?

“I have no clue why you would think I know who you are,” I said, deadpan.

“Funny, since I founded the organization that has been your enemy for the longest time,” he commented.

My eyes widened at that. “You’re Gerhard Nolan?”

“Glad you realize now why you should’ve known that in the first place,” he said, deadpan.

Ok, so maybe he has the right to be conceited.

Confession time- I actually didn’t know what this man looked like before now. I mean, I hadn’t even really heard of him until I found out that he’s Nick’s father. To me, Genesis had founders, but I didn’t care enough for their history to find out who its founders were.

“What are you doing here though?” I asked him.

“I came to talk to your fiancée, except she won’t even look me in the eyes,” he replied.

“She believed for a long time that she killed you. She’s not sure of your intentions,” I said knowingly.

“Noelle, I forgive you. I knew you were sent to kill me in any case,” he told her.

Her head shot up in his direction. “You did?”

“It’s the reason why I survived the shot to begin with. Your mother caught word of your mission and she warned me. You were a child and you shouldn’t have been used like that. I understand that it wasn’t your fault and that you were only following orders,” he explained.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered.

He sent her a smile. “I know you are.”

“That’s not the only reason why you’re here,” I commented.

“No, it isn’t,” he replied just as the doorbell went.

I got up to answer the door and I didn’t expect to see the people behind it. “Jayme? Thales? What are you doing here?”

“We were summoned,” they replied before walking in.

“Fantastic! You’re here. Now we can get down to business,” Gerhard said, switching on the TV. He went on to type something using the digital keyboard.

“Uh, what are you doing?” blossom asked him.

“Calling my son, well hacking his laptop,” he replied.

“You won’t be able to reach him. He’s hidden himself pretty well,” Thales commented.

Gerhard scoffed. “There’s no place on earth that Nicholas could hide that I wouldn’t find him. I taught him everything he knows, which means I know him like the back of my hand.”

I was about to argue when Nick’s face popped up on the screen. It looked like he was typing something on his laptop and instead got interrupted by our faces. His eyes widened when he realized that we were watching him.

“Dad?” he said.

“Didn’t I tell you to come back?” Gerhard asked him.

“I’m following up on a lead,” Nick argued.

“Nicholas, don’t make me repeat myself. Come back to the States. I expect you here within the next four hours,” Gerhard instructed.

“But dad-”

“Nicholas,” Gerhard said in warning.

“Fine! I’ll be there in four hours,” he replied before the screen went black.

“What the hell is going on? Where is he?” I asked.

“He’s in Montreal. What’s going on is that the four of you are running a rogue investigation into my son, and I need you to stop,” Gerhard told us.

“Why?” Jayme asked.

“Because you’re not going to get anywhere. I’ve tried explaining this to my son, but he just refuses to listen to me, so I’m hoping that by explaining things to you, you can get him to drop this,” Gerhard replied.

“It’s a wild goose chase,” my brother said knowingly.

Gerhard nodded. “I don’t know why he refuses to accept that much, but it is. Somebody’s trying to keep him distracted, and it’s worked, but I cannot allow him to keep his eye off the ball any longer. He’s putting his life in danger and falling further and further into the trap. I need to stop him before he’s in too deep, and I need your help to do so.”

“How can we help?” I asked.

“I need the three of you to utilize your relationships with him. Xander, you’re his friend, and that’s what I need you to continue to be. Noelle, I know your memories have been tampered with, but you’ve known Nicholas your whole life and I need you to try as hard as you can to remember your memories with him and use your relationship with him to help him. Jayme, I know that there’s something going on between you and my son, and I need you to explore that,” he explained.

“You know that Nick is gay?”

“You’re ok with me being with him?”

“How do you know my name?”

“I’ve known Nick my whole life?”

I think you can pretty much guess who said what.

Gerhard turned to Thales first. “I’ve known that my son is gay since before he probably admitted it to himself. He’d like to believe that I don’t know or that I’ll be disappointed in him, but I don’t care. I love my son for who is completely.”

He turned to Jayme. “Your father and I do not have the best of relations, but from what I’ve found out, even he understands your relationship with my son. I approve only because I don’t think there’s anyone better suited for him. You match him on every level, and I can see why he likes you.”

He turned to me. “I know your name only because I tapped your phone calls with Sergio. I needed to find Noelle.”

He turned to blossom lastly. “You have known Nick your whole life. It’s really complicated, and unfortunately a story I’m not the one to tell. Your mother requested that she be the one to reveal everything to you, which is why I need your help to find her.”

“You know that Margaux’s missing?” I asked.

“She’s the reason why Cypher was attacked to begin with,” he informed.

“I don’t understand. Why would they take Margaux of all people?” Jayme asked what I was thinking.

“She’s the most brilliant bomb maker, strategist, biomedical engineer and biochemist. With her brain, you can do many lethal things,” Gerhard replied.

“I knew Margaux was secretly badass, but you’re talking about someone whose knowledge in the wrong hands could end the world,” I pointed out.

He shot me a dry look. “Why do you think we need to find her?”

“Have you tried seeking out my brothers?” blossom asked him.

“It’s what I’m bringing Nicholas back for. His wild goose chase is going to get him nowhere. His talents are needed here,” he replied.

“Why recruit just us though? What about your agency?” Thales asked.

“Things on that front are a bit more complicated,” Gerhard said.

“I think you owe us an explanation at least,” I argued.

He sighed but nodded anyway. “I’ve come back and taken up my position as leader once more, but my organization lost its way without me. So much has changed and for so long they’d convinced themselves that they were doing what Viola and I envisioned for the organization, but they lost their way and ended up doing their own thing honestly. Viola leaving them was the final straw and that’s when they became this rubbish organization. I’m still working on fixing things, but I cannot be seen associating with Cypher people. However, what my people probably will never understand is that Margaux’s kidnapping is bigger than the feud between our organizations.”

“She’s the love of your life,” I realized.

“What?” the other three people in the room asked with as much shock as I had.

Gerhard frowned. “How did you figure it out?”

“Winter mentioned that you’re set on looking for the love of your life, and with the way you’re going on about Margaux’s disappearance, it all makes sense,” I explained.

“How?” blossom asked.

“Viola and I both knew that we were never meant to be together, and fate must’ve had the time of its life with us, because Margaux and Sergio realized the same thing about their own relationship. The four of us met by accident really, and Margaux was pregnant with Tyler and Tyson at the time. I fell in love with her, while Sergio fell in love with Viola. Once the four of us realized our weird situation, we just went with it. Viola and I got a divorce, and Margaux and Sergio did the same. It obviously took years before Sergio and Viola actually got married, while Margaux and I had a complicated relationship from the moment we decided we were in one. We got married in a court, but we knew it was safer for her to keep the Solano name rather than take up mine. She disappeared a day before Noelle shot me and that’s the last time I saw her. I tried to get Silver to tell me where she was, but Silver isn’t my biggest fan since she feels that I broke her brother’s marriage apart, so she refused to tell me,” he explained.

“Hold up, hold up, hold the fuck up! What you’re saying is that you’re technically Noelle’s stepfather and Nick’s father, Margaux is technically Nick’s stepmother and Noelle’s mother, Sergio is technically Nick’s stepfather and Noelle’s father, and Viola is technically Noelle’s stepmother and Nick’s mother? The two of them just swapped around parents?” my brother asked.

Gerhard nodded. “Pretty much.”

“That is so messed up,” blossom and I said simultaneously.

“Like I said, fate had fun with us,” he responded.

“I’m guessing your nuptials were a secret to Genesis members?” Jayme asked knowingly.

Gerhard nodded. “In fact, aside from the four of you, my son, Silver, Sergio, Viola and Margaux, only Vladimir Iskra knew.”

“Zuri’s father?” I asked, surprised.

“He was my best friend,” Gerhard informed.

“I’m sorry for your loss,” blossom told him.

“Thank you. I’ve lost a lot of people in my life which is why I’m hoping you’ll understand why I cannot lose my wife. I’ve already spent so many years away from her,” he said.

“Speaking of which; where have you been?” my brother asked.

“In a coma,” Gerhard informed.

Our eyes widened. “You’ve been in a coma for six years?”

“I was in a coma for five years, on life support actually. While I knew that Noelle would try to take me out, my plan to stop that from happening didn’t work too well, and it took Franco a long time to find a way to get me out of the coma,” he responded.

“My father got you out of the coma? I thought you said you don’t have the best of relations with him. Why would he help you?” Jayme asked in confusion.

Gerhard folded his arms. “As I’m sure you know, your father is a collector of things, and I happened to have something he’d been bugging me about for years. I made a deal with him that he could have that thing if he made sure that I made it out of the assassination attempt alive. He delivered, and I finally gave it to him.”

“What was it?” I asked.

“The map to an ancient treasure of The Order of the Kricxs,” he replied.

“The Order? What does he want with treasure that belongs to The Order?” blossom asked.

“You know of The Order?” he questioned, frowning.

“The two of them apparently host the souls of Raganor and Ellysia,” my brother gladly informed.

Gerhard’s eyes widened. “Are you aware of what that means?”

We nodded. “We know what it means, hence our confusion.”

“I have no idea what Franco wants to do with the treasure, or what the treasure is for that matter,” he replied.

“We need to find out what it is and stop him if it turns out to be something he shouldn’t be messing with,” I said thoughtfully.

“My dad is very touchy when it comes to things he wants,” Jayme argued.

“If Noelle and Xander host the souls of Raganor and Ellysia, then they technically trump whatever his reasoning is for wanting the treasure,” Gerhard argued.

“Except I agree with Jayme here. We all know just how persistent Franco is, and he’s not going to let this go easily,” Thales countered.

“Wait, so does that mean Franco is an enemy or ally?” blossom asked.

“Well, he’s made it clear that he’s neither our friend nor ally, but I don’t know about the enemy part. What we do know is that he always has an agenda, and until we know what his current agenda is, I don’t think he’s a threat. I’ve already made the mistake of doubting him once, so I’m doing the opposite this time round,” I replied.

“I agree and only because Franco doesn’t always have bad intentions. He’s just probably the most misunderstood person there is,” Gerhard added.

I spotted the relief on Jayme’s face. It can’t be easy for him, knowing that people are always suspicious of his father, so for him to hear these words must be relieving. He’s still hanging onto the fact that somewhere inside him, Franco is a good person.

We spent the next three hours sitting and talking about different things. Blossom caught up with Gerhard and he filled in some gaps for her with regards to her time spent at Genesis and their bond. We also filled him in on everything we’d gathered in terms of the investigation into the Zero imposters.

We were interrupted by a knock at the door and blossom went to answer it. “Nick.”

“Ellie,” he breathed, engulfing her in a tight hug. By the looks of things, she hugged him back just as tightly.

“You’re a whole hour early,” Gerhard said amusedly as Jayme stood up. He and Nick locked eyes and a slow smile appeared on Nick’s face.

“I know,” he said before walking right up to Jayme and landing a hot one on him.

And the Nayme shippers couldn’t have been happier.

“I’m sorry,” Nick whispered.

“Well damn! After that, you should be forgiven,” Thales commented, which blossom smacked him upside the head for.

She’s my soul mate.

Jayme laughed a little, visibly blushing. “He is.”

It’s so weird to see them like this. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I ship Nayme myself, but visually it’s a bit odd since Jayme is slightly taller and bigger than Nick, though Nick has clearly proven time and time again that height and size have nothing to do with being a great agent.

Not that Nick is tiny anyway; he’s just a little shorter.

And now I’m rambling.

“What are you doing here of all places?” Nick asked his father.

“These four have been investigating the same thing you have, and they’ve reached the same conclusion I have,” Gerhard told him.

Nick scowled and turned to Jayme. “You think it’s a wild goose chase?”

“None of it makes any sense, and maybe that’s because it’s not meant to. Distractions never connect, and that’s exactly what we think is going on here. What we don’t know is what you’re being distracted from,” Jayme told him.

Nick sighed, running a hand through his hair. “My latest mission involves some very high up people.”

“Just how high up?” I asked.

“Government leaders kind of high,” he replied.

“Who authorized the mission?” Thales asked what I was thinking.

“My stepmom,” Nick informed.

“Margaux?” Jayme and I said simultaneously.

Nick nodded. “She’s the only person in on it since she’s been my handler for as long as I’ve been a Cypher agent. Only she knows everything related to me because we figured out that it was safer that way. When we realized that Ellie had been sent to kill my dad, she knew that soon enough, they’d come after me, so we created Agent Zero. There are many rumours about me and my work, and most of them are true because I’m badass like that, but some of them are just ridiculous. Margaux knew that if I had a reputation like that, it would at least throw the agency off from finding me. I worked for Cypher, but I didn’t do things the way the other agents do; kinda like Xander and his team.”

“Hold on. You said Margaux knew that they were coming after you. Are you saying that the agency is trying to kill you or recruit you?” I asked him.

“The latter. You see, I don’t know much about them, but I do know that they have access to probably the best and most advanced technology there is in the world, hence how they’ve managed to make noodles of my sister’s brain. She’s their puppet, and for the past six years, I’ve been trying to infiltrate them so that I can find a way to not only stop them, but find a way to undo their damage on Ellie, but like I said, these people are too good,” he explained.

“I’m confused about something here. You’re a Cypher agent, and Noelle was sent in to Genesis to pose as a candidate to get close enough to kill your father. My confusion comes from Noelle’s side of life. How the hell did she end up working for the agency, and how did her parents not stop this?” Thales asked probably the most important question ever.

Nick took blossom’s hand and traced her scar. “Do you remember how you got this scar?”

“No,” she replied.

“A fire; she told me that she was there with a girl with her, and I’m pretty sure that the story her brothers told us was absolute bullshit,” I jumped in. She eventually told me what the nightmare was about.

After we almost killed her.

“You mean the mysterious fire that’s not on record at Cypher?” Jayme asked, to which I nodded.

“It’s not in Cypher’s records because it was a Genesis event,” Gerhard informed.

“The twins probably told you a bullshit story because they weren’t even there. A whole lot of the things you guys think you found out from Ellie before her memory was wiped again was lies. She knew she was lying, but she had her reasons. I know one thing for sure though, so before you even think it, don’t. Her feelings for you and anything she told you with regards to your relationship is true. She’s really in love with you, even if she lied to you,” Nick told me.

“I don’t doubt that much, and I know she lied to me. At this point in time, I have no idea what’s the truth and what’s a lie, but the one truth I know can’t be contested is how blossom and I feel about each other. No amount of technology or lies is going to tarnish that, so you have nothing to worry about,” I responded, wrapping an arm around her shoulder.

She smiled, blushing, while he smirked. “Good. I wouldn’t want to have to deal with you because you broke my little sister’s heart.”

I sent him a smirk right back. “I’d like to see you even try to mess with me.”

What? I have confidence in myself too.

“Alright macho children, we get it. You’re both super agents. Cool it,” my brother joked.

“I have a question- when Elle moved in with you, Sergio and your mom, did the two of you know about this side of each other? Was your mom in on it?” Jayme asked.

“When Ellie’s dad found out that she was living with Karen, Milly’s sister, he was confused. None of us had heard from her in a while, and neither did we know about her whereabouts, so to have found her so easily raised flags with us. My mom suggested that we have her move in. She didn’t recognize me at first, but somewhere inside of her, she was aware of the bond we already had, which is why we clicked so quickly. It was during Xander’s mission in Germany that she finally started to remember fragments of memories with me in them. Franco and Frankie were helping her with that. She had one distinct memory about our time when we were training with Black, and she asked me about it. That’s when we sat her down and explained things to her. She told us about how she was in connection with the twins and Ayah again thanks to you guys, and she was able to piece together a lot from what we’d shared with her. We obviously didn’t anticipate her being taken and having her memories messed with again,” he replied.

“So Sergio knows a lot more than he’s letting on?” I asked.

He nodded. “While my mom, my dad and my stepmom chose to serve only their agencies, he became a double agent. He’s a Cypher agent whose main mission is the FBI. He was sent in to work his way up the organization since it would allow him access to some documents that Cypher would need through time. We all know how that story ended.”

Finding out that Mr Solano is a Cypher agent was both surprising and not surprising at the same time. I mean, it would explain so much, but at the same time, there’s still something about his side of this whole thing that just isn’t right.

Not that I would voice that opinion.

“Do you know who attacked Cypher?” I asked Nick randomly.

“Nope! I’ve been trying to figure that out, but I’m getting nowhere. It’s not the agency though. There are three new groups on the block, and all three are yet to truly reveal themselves, so I’ve been following breadcrumbs, but that can only get me so far,” he replied.

“But the agency clearly knew about the attack since they were able to take Noelle,” Gerhard commented.

“True, which made me question if they really have Margaux, or if it’s the group that attacked,” Nick added.

I sighed. “Which means there’s a new group that’s clearly almost as good as, if not as good as an agency we already know very little about.”

“The spy world is getting more complicated by the day, which leads me to believe that something big is brewing and we need to figure from which direction, fast,” Nick pointed out.

“Are you a part of The Order of the Kricxs?” Thales asked him.

“How do you know about The Order? Did Ellie tell you about it?” Nick asked.

“You know that I’m in The Order?” blossom asked, wide eyed.

He nodded. “You joined while you were on your mission to kill my dad and I caught you out. You assured me that you were being careful, so I let you proceed.”

“So you’re not a part of it?” Jayme question.

Nick shook his head. “That’s the one part of this world I wanted, and still want nothing to do with.”

My brother scoffed. “Well, that’s not going to happen.”

“Why not?” Nick asked, frowning.

“Elle isn’t the only one who’s in The Order,” Jayme hinted.

Nick’s eyes immediately shot to me. “You’re in The Order?”

“Raganor,” is all I said.

“Ellysia,” blossom added.

“For fucks sake! Are you kidding me? Please tell me you’re kidding me! I’m being punk’d aren’t I? This is all some dream and I’m going to wake up and find myself in Bali next to Jayme on the beach,” Nick said dramatically.

Glad to see this side of him still exists.

“Would you calm down and tell us what the hell has you in such a mood?” blossom told him.

“You mean aside from the fact that you two have just complicated my life further?” he asked.

“What are you talking about?” I asked when I realized that there was more to his rant.

“Where’s Sunny?” he suddenly asked.

“Sunny? What the hell could you possibly need Sunny for at this very moment in time?” blossom asked.

“Well dearest sister, Sunny’s got Mulana,” Nick said, effectively stunning blossom and I as our eyes widened.

“She has what?” Jayme, Thales and Gerhard asked.

“She has our baby.”

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