CHAPTER16-The Events that Followed
I sat there in the hotel room looking around wondering how my life had gotten this far and I still managed to make it out alive. Now that I was back and safe, Logan asked me four times if I was planning on leaving again before he decided to take a shower and get ready for bed.
I took advantage of this opportunity to go through the contents of the box Jill had left for me in the event of her death. What I found surprised me the most. She had files on every member of the entire fifty I had picked. Things that shouldn’t and didn’t come up on any of our background checks. These files were very thorough, too. But then again, Jill was always amazing at investigative work and human intelligence collection. There was something in particular that caught my eye more than anything though. It was a small brass key that looked antique.
I took the key out and there was a small note attached to it. When I opened it I was a little shocked at what I read.
I’m sure if you’re reading this I’m dead already but I wanted to give you one last piece of advice before I left you alone. The men and women you picked for your team are good but I’ve always had an inky feeling about them so I checked them out farther and the files show what I found. Do with it what you will. You’ve always been the best profiler I know, degree or not, so I’m sure you can make the best decisions from there.
The key belongs to a safe, that’s hidden in The Library of Congress, on the first floor in the Criminology section. It was an old family secret passed down through the generations. What better place to have secrets hidden? Anyway, now I’m passing it on to you to do with what you want. Once you put the key in a combination pad will pop out. The combination is the day you assigned me to your team. There are instructions in there on how to change the combination as well as some other documents I think you need to go through with a fine tooth comb. I’m warning you though; I don’t think you’ll like what you find.
On a more personal note, I was assigned to kill you, yes. But, I never had any intention of doing that. I made my father believe I was still in the game and was going to do whatever was necessary to get him what he wanted, but the truth is, I came home one night and over heard him and my mother talking about how she set this whole thing up to get me to do what she wanted so I could help out her brother. I refused to look at her as a victim anymore and knew the only family I had was with my team so I continued to put my loyalties with you, without letting on to anyone that things had changed. I’m sorry if I hurt you, I never wanted that. You were and still are my sister and I’m grateful for everything you gave me or taught me. Others will be just as lucky.
I’m sorry if the things you find in the safe upset you but I knew you had to know and decide for yourself. Once again, I’m sorry and I hope you have the life you should have had from the start.
I fumbled around with the key for a few minutes thinking about what I just read. What was it Jill was doing on the side, and how is it even now, from the grave, she’s coming back to be a vital part of my team? She was always very good, I think even more so than I gave her credit for. I had just started putting the things back in the box when Logan came out of the bathroom.
“What’s that?’ He asked.
“Oh, just some things Jill left me in case something happened to her. More stuff for me to go through, you know. Personnel files and things on the people in my unit.” I answered as casually as I could.
“Well, it definitely looks like she was stepping up and taking the reins when you were gone.” He said.
“Yes, that it does.” Even though something about what she said seemed off.
Something about the way he said that and acted so nonchalant made me extremely uncomfortable. But I wasn’t going to let him think that.
I fumbled through everything once more then stuck the contents of the box into my briefcase I had brought with me. It had three different locking mechanisms on it so I was sure there was no way Logan would be able to unlock it, at least not without my hearing him trying.
With that we both lay down for the night. The night had definitely taken its toll on both of us and we both quickly fell asleep. Maybe because we thought the danger was past us and maybe because we were exhausted from the past few weeks. Either way, sleep hit us hard and fast.
I woke at about 9:30 a.m.. Way past my usual time for getting up. Logan was already awake and sitting at the table drinking his coffee. He had ordered us breakfast. Something I’m going to have to get used to I guess. I got up and quickly scrubbed my face to refresh myself, before going to the restroom and coming out to eat. Logan said the food had arrived moments earlier so it should still be hot, and he was right. It was delicious. I loved bacon, eggs, pancakes, and sausage for breakfast. I loved the fact that I didn’t have to cook it even more. Some people say meat is murder and I agree. Very delicious murder.
After breakfast Logan said he had to run out to get a few things so I took this opportunity to shower. I didn’t want to leave him in the room alone with the files I had retrieved from Jill. I trusted Logan somewhat but not completely yet, thought I wasn’t sure why. Something had been irking me since I first met Logan and his army of workers and I couldn’t figure out what exactly it was. Maybe this new information Jill left me will help me decipher this. It took me all of five minutes in the shower, including getting dressed and I was back out in the sitting area before Logan arrived back. He seemed a little surprised to see that I had already showered and was out. Either way he tried to hide his surprise.
We sat down to talk but as soon as we started there was a knock on the door. I went to check to see who it was, and again, it was room service. This time with a huge bouquet of flowers and champagne. I have to admit I was a little overwhelmed. Logan tipped the butler and he went on his way.
Logan sat me down and started talking to me, and what he said blew my mind. “Rain, I’ve never met anyone like you. You’re the most beautiful, loyal, faithful, dangerous person I’ve ever met and you know I’m head over heels in love with you. I’ve wanted to ask you this since the day I first seen your picture come across my desk. Will you marry me and allow me to adopt your children? I’ll give you the world, all you have to do is say yes.”
I sat there dumb founded for what seemed like hours. I looked down and he was holding a ring. It was a white gold band with small diamonds placed around it about every half inch. It wasn’t a normal wedding or engagement ring for people that had money but it was completely perfect for me and something I would have chosen for myself which made it even more perfect. I was so shocked and taken back I wasn’t sure how to respond. I knew I loved this man, which was a first for me. The only lingering question was did I love him and trust him enough to let him be a major part of my life for the rest of not only my life but my children’s life as well? I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to say at that point, so I just shook my head yes.
I knew I loved this man and I knew he had done a lot for me, but whatever this feeling was I needed to get it solved and quick. Especially, if I was going to marry this man.
At checkout time we left on our way to head back to Atlanta. Logan was so excited I said yes he couldn’t quit talking about how great everything was going to be and the wedding plans. I was excited too, and was actually thinking about the wedding but the things that Jill had passed on to me captured my attention a little more.
Logan seemed to notice this and asked if I was getting cold feet.
I gave him a brief, “No, Logan, I’m not. I told you I love you. I just have a lot on my mind with the new things I learned from what Jill left me last night and with school. I’m so far behind right now; they’re probably going to fail me.”
He smiled when I said that. I was wondering what was so amusing but he finally spoke up. “Before we go home we need to stop by the office. There’s someone that wants to meet you.”
I was a little unsure but agreed. A few hours later we were pulling up to the Winters Building and being ushered inside because of the rain. Once on the top floor there was a man in the conference room waiting for us. Berdina said he had just arrived so he wasn’t waiting long. We went in to greet him and I immediately apologized for my lack of professional appearance.
He smiled at me and said he understood. He also informed me he knew all about my military career. He was one of the few that was in the loop about everything and was very impressed with the way I handled everything, especially after being retired for almost five years.
I stammered out the best response I could. “Mr. Hogrefe, with all due respect, I don’t understand why you’re here, much less why I’m here right now, so maybe you can explain it to me. Otherwise, I would prefer to get back to my children for a while before coming back to work.”
He was a kindly old man and smiled at me. “My dear, you’re here because we know how brilliant you are. We also know you’ve been going to night school so you can work and raise your children. You graduated at fifteen and could’ve gone on to graduate college before the age of eighteen but instead you chose to serve your country. You’re pretty much only taking one class at a time so you don’t get too overloaded and have more time to spend with your children which means it’s going to take you most likely about five years to finish your degree at the rate you’re going. Am I correct?”
“Yes, sir. I am going about things slowly because as much as I would love to have my degree now I would much rather spend more time with my children and be a better mother. Yet again though, you didn’t answer my question. What am I doing here?” I was still hesitant as to what was going on.
“Ha ha ha, I like her, Logan. She’s straight to the point. To put things simply my dear, we know you’re brilliant, but we want to see how brilliant you really are. If you look at my computer there are a number of tests set up for you to take in order and see where you rank in those. From there we’ll know where you stand with your degree and what classes you still need to take. Obviously, weapons and self-defense aren’t one of those classes though.” Again he chuckled looking at me.
“Wait a second here, Rain, What exactly are you going for with your degree?” Logan asked.
I responded, “Criminology with an emphasis in Forensic Psychology for the Advanced Development of Homeland Security. Basically it’s a fancy way of saying I’m going to be a profiler.”
He looked a little stunned at first but what he said next made me laugh hysterically. “Aren’t you already? I mean, you pretty well have everyone pegged as soon as you either see them or meet them.”
Mr. Hogrefe and I laughed about it but actually Logan was right. I do pretty much profile people as soon as I see them or meet them. Oh well, I guess that means I’ll be better at my job.
I gave in. “Okay, Mr. Hogrefe, you have my attention, what am I doing?”
“Well, Ms. Harvey, there are seven programs on my computer for you to go through. It will probably take you the better part of the next three days to do so, but we would like for you to do it so we can score you and see how much more you need to do to finish your degree.”
“I’m agreeing to do this, but I only have one question. Where do you come from and why exactly are you interested in me and my degree now?” I couldn’t contain my curiosity anymore.
“Well Ms. Harvey, if you didn’t have the security clearance I couldn’t tell you this, but I work for the joint chiefs of staff for the President and in the Pentagon occasionally. Your name has come across our office numerous times and when you picked this career field to go into it was red flagged for us. You’re the best, simply put, and we want the best working for us. Therefore, we want to see how much talent you have as of right now so we know how long we have to wait to extend a job opportunity to you.” His response made me roll my eyes. The president.
I laughed at this man then. Really, he wants to give me a job working for the government? Isn’t that a little redundant considering I’m still contracted through the government.
“Okay. Let’s get this started then, but I can guarantee you something, it won’t take me three days.” He didn’t seem as amused by my confidence then, however.
With that both Logan and Mr. Hogrefe left the conference room to go back to his office and I sat down at this man’s computer. It was set up to where the only thing that could be opened was these programs. Like I couldn’t get around that if I wanted too. Anyway I started on the first program and had it done within a half an hour. It showed me I scored a 99% on it. I was actually very proud of myself. Over the next five hours I completed the next five programs scoring a 99% or 100% on each of them, which was surprising because most of this stuff, actually all of it, were things I hadn’t covered in class yet.
Logan and Mr. Hogrefe walked in when I was on the last few questions of the last program saying I needed to wrap it up for the day. I smiled knowing this was my last one. I finished the last few questions and again scored a 100%. Afterwards I pushed the computer over to Mr. Hogrefe who started going through it and looked at it in utter disbelief.
“What, Mr. Hogrefe? You look as if you’ve seen a ghost. Did I do something wrong?” I asked quickly seeing the face he was making.
“No, my dear, it’s just that no one has ever scored this high on any of these tests even going through the classes. You see, these tests were conducted by Harvard scholars that now work at the Pentagon. They said it was impossible for anyone to pass these on the first try, or even the second for that matter. I must go now to talk to my boss. I will be in touch Ms. Harvey.” He added as he scurried out of the conference room and to the elevator.
I quickly ran to catch up to him in order to hand him one of my cards and he was out the door as quickly as his old feet would move him looking like he was being chased by something of the supernatural.
“Well I guess you’re smarter than we all thought huh?” Logan asked.
“Logan, I really don’t care how smart a piece of paper says I am; all I care about is being a good mother and provider. Now, can you take me home to see my kids? After all, it is a Friday and I want to spend as much time with them before work on Monday.”
He smiled at me that most sincere smile and we walked out holding hands with my head on his shoulder, well on the side of his arm since he’s so tall. Berdina smiled at us when she watched us leave.
We arrived home almost an hour later. Hmmm, well, I didn’t realize it then, but Logan pretty much does live with me now. This seems to have become our house. That’s definitely something we’re going to have to talk about.
The kids were so rambunctious to see us I thought they were going to go crazy. They filled us in on everything we missed over the past few days while Rory sat on Logan’s lap and loved on him while telling him her stories. I was so happy to see the way the kids seemed happy. I couldn’t bear the thought of anything hurting them or making them unhappy.
All of a sudden, Logan decided we should take the kids to Disneyland for the weekend. The kids never hesitated. They sprinted head long up the stairs to try to do their own packing. Of course, Ben and Andrew helped them, along with packing their own bags.
Soon we were all packed and in the SUV ready to go when out of nowhere I got a very bad vibe. I screamed for everyone to get out now. It didn’t take long for Ben and Andrew to have Rory and Jesse out of the SUV and away from it as far as possible while Justin and Logan were only a few feet away looking at me as if I had lost my mind.
I looked under the SUV and sure enough there was a detonation device armed to go off within five seconds. I jumped up and ran for the other side of the yard as quickly as possible with Justin and Logan hot on my heels. BOOM!!!
“What the fuck was that all about?” Logan and Justin asked simultaneously.
“Well, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that someone doesn’t want the contents of Jill’s box to be discovered. Either way, it looks like the Disneyland trip needs to be put on hold until next weekend. I have somewhere to go. Ben, Andrew, Justin, get the kids inside and make sure they stay safe please. I’ll call you as soon as I know something.”
“Sure thing, Boss.” They said together.