Element (Book 3)

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Ch 11 - Check Up

“Your assignments are due next week Thursday. Also, don’t forget your test on Tuesday,” Professor Stevens announced.

“My god, why the hell would we enrol to this?” my brother asked as we packed up our notes.

“Tell me about it. We’ve just spent three hours listening to one man tell us about a kidney, a kidneyfor heaven’s sake!” I said dramatically.

He laughed. “I don’t even know why we’re taking medicine to begin with. We’re both excellent field agents, so I don’t really see a life for us in the medical world.”

“You’ve never thought about retiring?” I asked curiously as we left the lecture hall.

“Not really. This is the only life I’ve known, and I mean, dangers aside, I love it. Besides, I do more good out on the field than I would in a hospital,” he argued.

“I get what you’re saying, but I don’t know if I’d want our kids to be introduced to this world,” I commented.

He nudged me, smiling. “You said our.”

I giggled. “Yes Nicholas, mine and Xander’s children. I don’t plan on having children with anyone else.”

“Glad to hear it blossom,” my handsome fiancé said as we reached him. I smiled and went up to kiss him.

“Aaaaw, where’s my boyfriend?” Nick whined.

“Cypher’s sent through a mission, so he’s prepping for us,” Xander informed.

“Us? And do they know that he’s prepping for one of their missions?” Nick asked.

Xander scratched the back of his head, making me bite my lip at the sight of his V. “Uh, you see, what had happened was...”

“Spit it out!” Nick snapped.

“Alright geez, calm down. Cypher knows nothing about Thales, or that Jayme’s back, and yes, that includes my team. Like I told him, they’ve deemed him, blossom and the twins traitors, and they don’t quite believe that you’re Zero, so we thought it better for Jayme to stay with Thales. They were working on finding you and working out the whole imposter thing, and since that’s now off the table, they’re going to be on comms for this mission. It’s technically a solo mission for me, so we’ll be set up to two frequencies and comms. Nigel and Aziel are in charge on the Cypher end,” my fiancé explained.

I looked at him amusedly. “And who told you that we want in on your little mission?”

He pouted. “Are you really going to let me go out there by myself with all the danger around?”

“Yes,” Nick and I replied without thinking twice about it.

“How? How are the two of you still so in sync?” he huffed.

“Da family bond never dies mon,” Nick said in a Jamaican accent, making me laugh at the priceless look on Xander’s face.

“What the hell was that?” he asked as we walked to our cars. We were planning to head back to the apartment since we all took our cars because Xander’s classes finished early.

He was just here now because he missed me.

“That was me being me. Don’t have new expectations now,” Nick said dramatically.

Xander chuckled. “I would never.”

“Good, because while I’m probably one of the most dangerous people on the planet, I’m not about to start acting like some stereotype villain or macho man. It ain’t my style,” Nick said.

“Shut up Nick,” I told him.

“Bitch,” he mumbled, making Xander laugh while I stuck my tongue out at him.

We reached our cars and Nick got into his and drove away without saying anything. “He’s such a child.”

“Makes it hard to believe he’s Zero huh?” my fiancé added amusedly.

I snorted. “I’m still waiting to see that with my own two eyes.”

“You don’t believe him?” he asked.

“Oh I do. I just really want to see Nick kick someone’s ass. Then and only then, will I believe that he’s the same person who was whining in my ear for a whole hour this morning because I finished the milk,” I replied.

Xander laughed. “That’s what that was about?”

“I was seconds from shooting him in the thigh when you stopped him,” I said as I nodded.

“That’s violent,” he said as he laughed.

“I have very violent thoughts, and the moron knows this. He’s trying to test me,” I informed.

He raised an eyebrow. “Test you for what?”

“My tolerance levels,” I replied.

“By whining? What’s he testing in that way?” he asked curiously.

I shrugged. “My patience levels?”

“I don’t think it’s going to work out like that. If he’s testing that side of you, then the tests would need to be way more complicated,” he pointed out.

“Why test that side of me to begin with?” I asked.

“I guess I see where he’s coming from. It’s not a bad idea trying to find out what we’re dealing with here, though judging from the look on your face, you’re not on board,” he noticed.

“It’s not that I don’t want to be on board, but I mean testing sounds a hell of a lot like something the agency would do to me, or at least it sounds like something I won’t enjoy having done to me. I just...” I trailed off, not knowing how to finish off.

“You just want some peace for once,” he said knowingly, to which I nodded.

“There’s nothing more that I want for you blossom, and deep down you know that, but unfortunately, this is your reality. As much as I’ve loved our time together in our little bubble, we need to get back to doing what needs to be done so that you no longer have to worry about tests or being someone else’s puppet,” he argued.

“I hate that you’re right, just for the record,” I told him.

He pulled me into a hug, kissing my forehead. “I know you do, and I promise we’ll figure everything out so that we get to live normal lives; or at least as normal as life can get for us.”

“I’m going to hold you to that. I take it we’ll discuss everything back at the apartment?” I asked.

“Yep!” he replied.

“Ok. I love you,” I said.

He leaned down and kissed me. “I love you too my beautiful future wife.”

He waited for me to get into my car before getting into his. I drove out and he was right behind me, until I noticed a familiar car following behind. I kept an eye on it as I changed lanes, and it copied my every move, confirming things for me. I just hoped my fiancé would trust me and not follow me as I took an unexpected exit.

And because I’m blessed when it comes to him, he didn’t.

Instead the familiar car followed after me and I drove to a location that didn’t have too many people. I parked the car and headed into the empty diner across the street, before my visitor joined me minutes later.

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

“Calm down, I won’t blow your cover. I’m just doing the routine mission check up. Management is concerned that you’re getting too close to the target,” he commented.

“Too close? Let me this straight. The whole point of my mission is to get close enough to the target to get him to trust me, and yet you’re telling me that management thinks I’m basically doing too well on the mission? Am I getting this right?” I asked, deadpan.

“It didn’t make any sense to me either, but when I spoke to Izzy, it’s almost as if he’s afraid that you getting too close might lead to something big,” he explained.

Something like me regaining my memories.

“Something like what?” I feigned innocence.

“I don’t know El. You know that I’m just looking out for you, which is why I volunteered to come instead of Rasta. Something hasn’t been right since you came back and everyone notices it. There are a lot more secrets and I swear I thought I saw your file the other day and it looked like it doubled in size,” he said.

“Doubled? What would that mean?” I asked.

“Well, none of us know about your time away. We only know that when you came back, you had to be isolated from all of us for two weeks, so I’m guessing it might have to do with information based on your time in isolation,” he replied.

They must’ve run tests on me.

“Well, I know nothing except that I remember nothing and that my mission is to get close to Six, get information from him, then get rid of him,” I told him.

“That’s my girl, but will you be able to do it? You know, with you getting so close to him and all?” he questioned.

“I’m not in love with him Hugo. I’m just making him believe that I am. The only person for me is Izzy,” I replied.

Man, it turned my stomach upside down just saying that.

“I don’t like that bit all that much, but as long as you’re not with the enemy, then I’m fine. By the way, I found this. It has your project name on it, so I thought you might want to have a look at it,” he said, handing me a flash drive.

“You found it or you stole it?” I asked knowingly as I took it from him.

“Hey, I would never want to wake up with no memories of my life, and given the fact that like I said, your file has doubled, I figured that that may some valuable info on it. Whether you choose to check it out is up to you, but you know that I’ve always been on your side, so I just want you to be safe,” he said sincerely.

“Thanks Hugo. I really appreciate this,” I told him.

“It’s no sweat El. Now, I’ve kept you long enough, and I’ve got what I need for the mission report. Get out of here,” he said.

I stood up and hugged him. “Stay safe and tell Izzy that I love him.”

There’s no way he would.

“Yeah, I’m not doing that,” he said, making me laugh.

The memories that I do have of Hugo are all friendly and he really is my friend, however, that’s not to say that his loyalty is with me over the agency. Much like I think I played him, he could be thinking the same thing with me, which is why I knew I had to watch my words.

I got into my car and drove to a gas station, asking Jayme to come and meet me there. I asked him to bring with him this cool gadget he and Franco worked on that kills any tracking devices active within a one mile radius, which should be enough to kill any tracking device the agency might’ve put on my car.

“According to the data here, it killed three tracking devices, two of which were on your car,” he commented.

“What about the other one?’ I asked.

“It’s on you,” he replied, walking around me. He was using some sort of scanner and it beeped when he reached my shoulder.

“There you are,” he said before pulling the thing off.

“I knew something was off,” I commented. Hugo must’ve put it there when I hugged him.

“And you were right, which means the stick he gave you in itself may either be a trap or their way into our systems, but I have a feeling it’s nothing good, so the risk is quite high here. I suggest we go back to your place and talk to the guys about it,” he said.

“Alright, I’ll meet you there,” I told him.

He nodded and got into his car and drove off, while I drove to a different place. I was going to go to the apartment, but I just needed to make this one stop. I arrived and knocked on the door, and Winter was the one to open it.

“What’s going on?” she asked.

“Hugo came to check up on me, and I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. I’m hoping you can fill in the gaps for me,” I said as I walked into the apartment.

“Well what do you remember about him?” Carter asked me. He was sitting at a desk, typing on the laptop.

“I remember that he’s a good friend and he always looks out for me, which is why I’m here,” I said before telling them about our meeting.

“Well, with Hugo things are honestly not that straightforward. We all know that he cares greatly for you. The two of you became really close on your mission to Cairo a couple of years back, but you were much younger than you are now, and he’s one of the people most dedicated to the agency’s cause, so this is a fifty-fifty kind of risk. He’s either trapping you on behalf of management, or he genuinely cares and wants you to find out what’s on the disk,” Carter explained.

“So what do I do?” I questioned.

“You go and talk to your fiancé about this, and then you get ready to face whatever consequence comes with viewing whatever is on that stick,” Winter said.

So she was thinking the same thing I was.

Whether this was a trap or not, I had to know what was on the stick.

I left the apartment they’re staying in for the meantime and headed to mine. I was only a few minutes behind Jayme, but I was a whole hour behind my fiancé. When I arrived, I went to kiss him, even if he didn’t look visibly worried about me.

“What was that about?” he asked.

“The agency has officially done its first mission check up. They sent through a friend, but I had to run the whole thing by Carter and Winter first for clarification. They basically think the same thing that I do, that while Hugo is a friend, he might also not be loyal to our friendship, but rather to the organization,” I replied.

“I assume Hugo is the friend?” Thales asked, to which I nodded.

“Brilliant thinking calling Jayme to disable the trackers,” my fiancé commented.

“It only made sense. It’s better than blowing up my car,” I pointed out.

He laughed. “You did that to Aziel’s car last year.”

“I did what?” I asked wide-eyed.

“To be fair, your memories were still far from your agent side, so you were a bit stupid, so you blew up the whole car in the name of not being tracked by Franco,” my brother explained.

Xander rolled his eyes. “Of course you know about that.”

“Hugo gave me this,” I informed, giving my fiancé the flash drive.

“Did he say what’s on it?” he asked.

I shook my head. “If he’s being a true friend, then I don’t think he genuinely knows what’s on it. He told me that my file back at the agency has doubled in size since my return, and that he stole that because it has my name on it.”

“So this could either be a trap, or their way of tapping into our side of things?” Nick asked.

“That’s what Jayme said,” I pointed out, making him wink at his boyfriend.

Thales rolled his eyes. “If he’s being a true friend, it could be a source of vital information on whatever the hell it is that they’ve done to you.”

“I agree with every option, but I’m also pretty sure that we have to find a way to access the information on it, without encountering too much backlash from our decision,” Xander pointed out.

“You mean without them getting access to anything,” Jayme clarified, to which my fiancé nodded.

“Well, a brand new system could allow us to do that easily, but this flash drive isn’t just an ordinary flash drive, which means it requires a certain system. I only know of one person who has such a system, and there’s no way on the face of this planet that he’ll let us connect the flash drive,” Jayme informed.

“Your father,” the four of us said knowingly.

“He would kill us if we did it in his absence too,” he added.

“So what do we do if there’s no reaching him?” I asked.

“Nick can find him,” Thales reminded.

“That I can do, but what happens when I do?” my brother asked.

“Then we head to Poland,” Jayme informed.

“Poland?” Thales and I asked, while my fiancé seemed to have an idea of whatever is in Poland.

“One of your father’s command houses?” he asked.

“Not one of, the most important one,” Jayme corrected.

“How do you know about it?” Nick asked Xander what I was thinking.

“When blossom was taken by Black, the satellite frequencies were messed with, and the instructions came from Poland. Franco informed us then that it was one of his command houses, and it’s also when he realized that he was being dragged into this whole thing,” Xander explained.

“So, who’s going to state our case to him?” Thales asked.

“It would make sense coming from blossom herself. As I mentioned, Franco has a soft spot for her, even if I don’t know if he was using her or not,” Xander suggested.

“Alright, and when would we leave? What about the Cypher mission?” Nick asked.

“This is more important,” my fiancé replied.

“And how do you plan to tell Cypher that you don’t want to take on a mission?” I asked him.

He shrugged. “I’m just going to tell them that I’m busy.”

“You’re theiragent Xander. There’s no way they’re letting you just refuse a mission because you’re busy, and this mission is time sensitive,” Jayme pointed out.

“I’m with Jayme on this. Whatever’s on that flash drive isn’t that important, especially since we don’t know what it is. I say we work on the mission first, and then we can work on the hard drive. Besides, if you refuse, it will raise questions and they might end up finding out about Nick, Jayme and Thales,” I added.

“Alright, I hear you. You said we though. Does this mean you’re going to help me on my mission?” he asked.

“It makes sense to. It will save time for us. Now, what’s the mission about?” Nick asked.

“We’re breaking into SyDITech to steal a prototype they’re working on. Cypher believes that it’s an important piece in a bigger plan by the BNK. They seem to be making their presence known again, and as a new and improved organization,” my fiancé explained.

“That sounds like a basic job, except for the fact that, oh I don’t know, SyDITech is known as one of the companies with the most complicated security system. Who did Cypher think was going to hack into it?” my brother asked.

“Blossom,” my fiancé said lowly.

“For a moment there I was sure that you said me,” I said.

“Nigel, Aziel, Alac and Kai all agreed that she would be able to do it. Since they don’t know about the three of you being here, I couldn’t say anything, so I just went with their idea,” he explained.

“So blossomisn’t going to be doing the hacking,” Thales said, deadpan.

“No, that’s on you and Jayme,” my fiancé replied.

Nick raised an eyebrow at him. “And what are blossomand I going to be doing exactly?”

“Please stop saying blossom like that. Thanks,” I said sarcastically.

“Someone’s sassy,” Thales teased.

“You and Elle are going to be handling a different wing of the building each. None of you are killing anyone, but since security is so tight and it includes people, then you’re going to need to knock some people out,” Jayme informed.

“And what is your job?” I asked my fiancé.

“I’ll also be doing the same thing. We’re going to meet up at the vault and then you and blossom are going to work the biometric scans while I go and retrieve a file from the CEO’s office,” he replied.

“Why are we doing the hard job?” Nick asked.

“You’re not. Getting into the CEO’s office isn’t going to be easy for Xander. He too has to work on a biometric system,” Jayme responded.

I was confused. “You can’t hack the systems from here?”

Thales shook his head. “The moment you try and hack these systems from the outside, they set off an alarm at the security company, which is the last thing we need. We wouldn’t be able to cover our tracks in time.”

“Ok,” I said.

“What’s the estimated time of mission?” Nick asked.

“If everything goes according to plan, everything should be done in thirty minutes,” Jayme replied.

“Which offices are we breaking into?” I asked.

“The New York offices. We’ll leave as soon as the plan is completely laid out,” my fiancé responded.

“Alright, fair enough,” Nick said.

Nick and I cooperated as we were clued in on everything, and we offered assistance and ideas where need be. By the time we decided to call it a day, we had a foolproof plan in place and we agreed we’d be leaving the following day. We wanted to get it over and done with.

“Nigel and Aziel are on board, though they’re suspicious of how quickly Imanaged to put the plan together,” my fiancé informed as he walked into our room.

I tied my hair in a ponytail before facing him. “What did you tell them?”

“That my beautiful, smart, sexy and incredible fiancée helped me,” he said, smiling mischievously as he came to wrap his arms around my waist.

“Mhmm. What’s with the ass kissing?” I asked.

“I want to take you away for a while,” he said.

I scowled. “To where?”

“It’s a surprise,” he replied.

“Ok, let me try a different approach. Why?” I asked.

“Well, besides the fact that I want to spend time with you, your birthday is coming up , and-”

“My birthday?” I asked, eyebrow raised.

“You know, the day you were born,” he taunted.

I glared at him. “I know what a birthday is.”

“I don’t understand your confusion,” he admitted.

“How do you know when my birthday is? Not even I know when it is,” I responded.

“That doesn’t even surprise me. I know because your dad told me, and I’m pretty sure that he would know when his daughter was born,” he explained.

“Makes sense,” I said lowly, looking down.

He tilted my chin up, making me look into his amber eyes. “What’s wrong blossom?”

“I think I want to meet my dad; well see him again,” I confessed.

“Are you sure? I mean, with everything going on, and especially with the agency watching you,” he argued.

“I know, but we can have a video chat with him right?” I asked.

He nodded. “We can try to make the whole thing work. I’ll see what he says.”

“Thank you,” I said, smiling.

“Anything for you my blossom,” he said before kissing me. We were interrupted by Jayme running into our room.

“Uh guys, sorry to interrupt but we have a huge problem,” he said.

“What is it?” we asked.

“You need to come and see it for yourself.”

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