It’s past dinner time. Anna, Ivy and Jane had gone to the room. I excused myself saying I have something to ask about the mission to Ms Fiona. It was Ivy who gave a disapproving look before I left. Of course she knew what I’m up to. I wanted to pay a visit to my combat master, Hugh Henry. I don’t think I’m going to call him formally after this. I want to tell him that I didn’t screw up the mission. I want him to know that I am capable of completing a mission even if didn’t exactly go the way we planned. I thought about our last goodbye. I felt myself blushing when I think about the kiss. That man is talented in every way. Since he no longer my teacher, I should figure out a way to address him. I thought of so many words that could fit as I made my way to the room.
As expected, the room was lighted. The door was closed which was strange. I combed my hair using my fingers quickly and adjusted my shirt before knocking the door. I heard his voice asking me in so I opened the door. The room was clean and empty. All the equipments and combat tools were gone. As how it was when I first stepped in this room, there was only a long table at the back and a tall figure standing still but this time he’s facing me.
A small smile crept on his face when he saw me. I stared at his perfectly build body under the tight tee and a pair of jeans that made his long legs looked longer. “Going somewhere?” I asked him because I have never seen him with a pair of jeans, especially in this room. Instead of answering me, he started walking towards me and said, “You’re not supposed to be here. It’s past your curfew.” The same old, righteous guy. I took a few steps forward, meeting him halfway. “I missed you.” I told him. He stopped at the words. “This is not right, Naomi.” He stated as a matter of fact like there is no emotion in him. I looked away and then cleared my now dry throat, “I don’t understand why it’s not right.” I walked away, past him. His eyes were on me. I thought of how Ivy reacted and now him. It irritated me. “You’re no longer my teacher and I’m only three years younger than you. This is perfectly normal.” I went on. “You’re a still a tyro.” He said dryly. I looked into his eyes trying to find some emotion and I found none. “You don’t want me?” I asked, not looking away.
He didn’t deny it but sighed loudly. Suddenly feeling exhausted I sat on the floor, not wanting to go anywhere but be with him even if he’s not feeling the same thing. God I’m pathetic.
Surprising, he came and sat in front of me. Few inches away. His gaze was soft, like the Hugh I met at the garden. The one that was not reluctant to show his true feelings. “You know, sometimes you change too fast, it scares me.” I told him honestly.
He scoffed a laugh. “I know, I have been acting strange with you lately. It’s…” he paused for a moment and hesitatingly brought his hand to the side of my face. I went still but didn’t move away. I waited for his fingers to caress my cheek but instead he caught a lock of my hair and played with it. It was odd. I didn’t what to do so I focused on his face and it was amusing. He caught my gaze and smiled. Well, that was one hell of a smile. My heart started to pound loudly.
“It’s not as exciting as you think, Naomi, to date a spy. It’s tiring and almost nonexistent. Dating and staying in relationship, that’s rare. It’s as though we are jeapordizing our career. I don’t know if you understand it.” His voice was low and maybe sad. I couldn’t guess what exactly going on in his mind. It feels like he’s saying half his mind and hiding something. I have not gut to ask what is really going on in his head since I barely know him and I’m fully aware I’m in no position to demand his thoughts.
“I have heard such things. But we can try. I’m not forcing you or what but you should know there something between us. You can’t deny it. I have seen it in your eyes.” I pressed on. It felt like I’m negotiating with him, not romantic at all but I don’t know how else to reason with him. I want him. That I’m sure of. In my past, the only guy I was attracted was Aaron but even him I didn’t try to hold on to him, to make him stay. What I feel for Hugh is different. I know I will regret if I simply let it go, the way I feel.
His blue eyes never stop staring at me. He didn’t reply to my words but I could see him trying to make a decision in his head. My heart was still racing and my limbs are stiff. No matter how many times we fought and got skin to skin in this room, this closeness is different. Sitting inches away and staring into each other’s eyes while opening up our heart. I don’t know if I will ever get used to this. I loosen my body, trying to relax and instinctively leaned forward. Hugh eyes met mine. As though reading my mind he too leaned forward, his lips brushed mine but pull back instantly as though he’s having second thought. Then, he returned after few seconds and we made out like there was no any sort of problem between us.
I woke up with my heart racing. The dark was too overwhelming so I struggled to sit up and reach the lamp on my table. I blinked a few times when the orange light illuminated the small radius around my bed. It’s just a bad dream, I told myself. The images were too vivid. It was Hugh. He’s been shot by one of the men I saw back at the camp. Drago’s men.
Probably I was thinking too much about Hugh before going to bed. Maybe that’s why I dreamt of him. There’s no reason for me to worry about him. It’s simply impossible for him to go down that easily in one shot. My dream was ridiculous.
I relaxed on my bed and stared down at my hands. They were intertwined with Hugh’s hours ago. Except for the unbelievable kiss we had, nothing improved between us, our relationship. He avoided my question and distracted me with his sudden ongoing question about my future. It was new and refreshing. There was lots of smiling and staring into each others’ eyes. Pretty much like a very cheesy date. Maybe I will meet him again later. Now I’m excited.
A sudden wailing of the fire alarm got me jolted awake from bed in rush. Each one of my friends woke up quickly. In no time we were out from our room. It was only us in our corridor. The other rooms are empty. A number of tyros came into view at the green garden. Every one of them in their night wear, “What is going on?” Ivy mumbled as we too reach the garden. The alarm stopped ringing in a minute time. “Is this some fire drill sort of thing?” A young girl asked us while rubbing her left eye. “Don’t think so, almost all the tyros are back at home for semester break. No point having fire drill when nobody is around.” Anna told the girl.
Miss Gabriella rushed to our spot in a white long gown. No doubt she got out of her bed right about now too. “Glad everyone is here. There’s nothing to worry about. Go back to your room.” Was all she stated, which was odd. A fire alarm went off in a spy school all of a sudden in the middle of the night, that’s not normal. Many walked back to their bloc quietly. We would have too if not for Ray’s grave face. Before we walked away, we saw Ray appeared from the administrative bloc and whispered something to Miss Gabriella. Both of them walked back to the direction they came from in haste. That whole thing pricked our interest. We instinctively followed them inaudibly.
Something was gravely wrong because the whole bloc was alive. Many staffs and agents were running around the building. None paid any attention to us. Ray and Miss Gabriella were too absorbed in their conversation to notice us following them.
“How could he?”
“We are doomed.”
“Two faced agent, who could have thought?”
“He betrayed the Angels.”
Those walking around us were murmuring almost the same words. Someone had caused this chaos. We were more curious than ever. Ray and Miss Gabriella stopped in front of a locked room just after the administration office section. She unlocked it while giving out orders to Ray. It took him awhile to catch us standing there, watching them. His jaw dropped opened in shock. Miss Gabriella noticed us too. “No way.” She said, shaking her head.
“What’s going on?” Ivy stepped forward. But Miss Gabriella eyes were sharp on me. I didn’t like the way she looked at me, almost apologetic. I frowned and received the same expression from Ray. “Miss Gabriella? Ray?” Anna asked, trying to get some explanation.
“You shouldn’t be here.” She stated though she didn’t sound stern. I had a strange feeling that she was saying that to me specifically.
“We traced him. And we found it. The connection. It’s unfathomable. Mr. Henderson will be here in an hour time.” An agent came running to our spot and reported. As though, we were not there. Miss Gabriella walked away with the agent in rush. We turned to Ray, who looked pale.
“Hey, you okay?” Anna went and stood in front of him. He murmured something to her, in a low tone. I didn’t catch what he said but it must have been about me because Anna turned around and eyed me in a very worried expression.
I stepped forward and demanded, “What the hell is going on? Something is so wrong and strangely I feel as if it’s related to me. Am I right?” Anna looked at me and then at Ray as though making a decision whether to spill it out or not. It was Ray that cleared his voice, “It’s Mr. Hugh Henry.”
I stared at Ray, caught unprepared. Why Hugh is being mentioned? “What about him? Is he okay?” Suddenly my dream surfaced in my mind. The thought of him getting hurt or worst…
“He’s still alive, right?” I choked out the word. Now to think about it, the idea of him getting hurt is not something that is absurd. In this world, world of spies anything is possible.
Ray seemed to struggle the word out. “It’s not that.” “Then what is it?” I yelled, getting impatience.
“He left.” He stated. I waited for more but Ray was still reluctant. “What do you mean?”
“Some files are missing. He probably ran away with it.” Ray started to pace in front of us.
“I don’t understand.” I said. “He left the Angels. He betrayed the Angels, us. He…” Ray paused. His hands were fisted and he trembled with rage. “He was a two faced agent. All this while, he was working with Drago.”
“No.” A sharp voice stopped Ray’s words. My voice. “That’s impossible and nonsense. Don’t say such thing about Hugh. He’s one of the fiercest and most loyal agents in Angels. He’s one of the best in the field.” I went on, my voice raised with the flow. “That’s what we thought until minutes ago. I’m not accusing him unnecessarily. This had been confirmed by Mr. Henderson himself.” Ray cut in and stated strongly. A pair of hands suddenly held me from the back. Only then, I realized that I had been taking steps back unknowing and almost fall down in daze. Ivy held tight on my shoulder. “Naomi, calm down.”
“No, I cannot believe this. I just…” met him just now. I didn’t mention the fact that I visited him secretly. My instinct stopped me. It may not be the best thing to say out loud right now, especially in front of Ray. Ray was still pacing around us in anger.
“I’m going to the office. Look, this is supposed to be discreet. You shouldn’t be here in the first place. Go back to your room and utter no word to no one. Don’t do anything stupid.” The last one Ray was directed to me. I could only stare at him. My friends nodded and started to walk away. Ray jogged to the administration room without looking back. The movement of agents in and out of the room increased. I had no idea we have so many agents here, or probably many returned in short notice. Everything seems real and tensed. For a moment I felt blank. I don’t know how to react. I want to know more. My brain cannot accept Ray’s words. There must be a mistake. Ray cannot be right.
My hands started to tremble. I clasped my hand together and instead of following my friends back to our room. I followed Ray. The whole office was in such a chaos that none stopped me from entering further into the room. I reached the most crowded room, Miss Fiona’s. Wanting to know more, I violently pushed everyone out of my way.
Almost everyone turned to my way, curious eyes staring at me in shock and some in disapproval. I ignored all the agents and staffs and look straight in front, at the messed up table. Miss Fiona sitting behind it while Miss Gabriella standing beside her. They were engrossed in the monitor in front of them. A strong hand grabbed my arm by force, stopping me. Without thinking, I threw a punch at the man in suit. Surprise registered on his face. My punch was not strong but still it made the room to go still and many gasped. Miss Fiona eyes met mine. Her glare was threatening. I came to a halt. It’s like her look froze me in place.
“Why there is a tyro in the room? What is everybody doing? Is this the time to forget your duty? Get her out of here! This second!” Miss Fiona angry voice broke the silence in the room. I jumped at her cold voice.
A few people came to drag me out but Miss Gabriella stopped them, “Wait.” She leaned down to Miss Fiona and whispered something. Miss Fiona’s eyes fell on me and after a few long seconds, she nodded. Miss Gabriella walked past the table and grabbed a whole of my arm. She turned me around and then brought me out of the room to hers which was few rooms away. I have never been to her room.
The glass door slide opened revealing an identical interior like the others, only the colours were dark. Brown painted wall and blood red carpet at the corner. The couch and the tables were black in colour. Miss Gabriella, in her white gown looked out of place. She released her grip on my wrist and then went to her computer. A few clicks later, she called me. I went to her side. “I know you respected and admired him a lot. After all he was your mentor. This must be hard for you to handle. I brought you here to show you the truth so that you would cause no more scene. Your act, to punch an agent could have cost your stay here. Knowing your position very well, that stunt you pull was not smart, Naomi.” Assessing my expression, she turned to her monitor and opened a folder. “I’m showing you this because you need to see this.” She stated while clicking on a file that reveal photographs. She clicked on one of the photo and it came full screen.
It’s a man’s picture. A face with scar on the right cheek. Though I have never seen this guy before, there’s something familiar with his eyes and the hair. The blue eyes and the long dark blond hair, exactly like Hughs’. “No.” The word escaped my lips in whisper.
“This is Desi. Drago’s man. We just found out. He’s Hugh’s brother, blood related.” Miss Gabriella stated. My blood could have gone cold. I stared at the screen like a fool. “No.” But yes, he must be the brother, the resemblance is there.
“This does not mean, Hugh is a bad guy.” I started to argue. Miss Gabriella stood and stared down at me. “Naomi, that guy is gone. He took the relevant information and ran away as soon as we found out. Just now, the alarm. It was him. He took off. That just proved everything.” Her words cut deep in me. “But…”
“Why would he hide the fact that he had a brother that is Drago’s man?” She asked me. I looked down at the screen. The more I stared at the screen, the image started to get blur. I blinked and my cheeks felt wet. Tears streamed down like a river and I couldn’t even bring my hand to wipe them. I felt numb. I looked at the familiar crystal blue eyes. The similarities were too good that my heart ached. The reality, the logics, the evidence started to dawn in me. My body felt heavy. “Naomi.” I heard Miss Gabriella’s voice, it sounded as though coming from distant but actually she is still standing in front of me. She watched me anxiously.
“Go back to your room, to your friends.” She commanded and a girl in formal gently touched my shoulder. She’s here to escort me out of this part of the building.
Whatever happened after that was a blur. The only thing I remembered was the image of Hugh alike guy on the screen. I couldn’t shake it of my head. The similarities between Hugh and Desi was obvious. Hugh Henry, one of the fiercest, talented and trusted agent, the senior that the tyros looked up to, the best trainer, my trainer, my love, is a betrayer, two faced agent. The whole Angels despise and had disowned him. But I couldn’t.
I walked into the last place I thought I would ever want to be at, my combat room. I sat in the middle of the room and faced the mirror. I couldn’t see myself. All I can see is the empty space behind me, where he would normally stand and watch me since the first day I met him. Automatically, my mind imagined him there, staring at me. I could see him but I couldn’t read his expression. “You’re not here. You ran away.” I said it out loud, as though the imaginary Hugh would hear me. I hugged my knees and looked at the wooden floor. “What should I do now?” I whispered to myself. Everyone out there decided to disown him. Easily they had put him under the ‘bad guy’ radar. He’s the enemy now. The system made it easy. I know I should follow the same way. But I couldn’t.
I found myself wondering what this mean to me? To us? To our newborn love? I believed that you’re the one for me. If he was only spying on us, then why did he do all the things he did with me? What was he thinking? I looked up again at the empty spot behind me, hoping he would materialize out of the thin air like he did the day we first kissed. He didn’t. I stood up angrily and glared at the empty reflection on the mirror. He’s not here. He went away. He got exposed, there’s no reason for him to stay. Certainly, I’m not a good reason for him to stay, at least long enough to give me some explanation I deserve. I’m just a clueless, stupid girl from the outside world who dreamt she could have what she desired without thinking about the consequence. I don’t matter to him. I was just a pass time while he spy for the man that is trying to kill me and my friends. Look at the irony. I fell in love with the man that is working with the Drago. I should stop all these bullshit feelings I’m feeling for him. I should erase every false memories I had with him. I should forget how he made me feel. I should stop loving him. My heart should stop thumping for him. But I couldn’t.
I walked out of the room while wiping my almost dried cheeks. I will not cry for the one that betrayed me. I could feel the anger rising in me. I walked away without looking back. I promised myself, I would never come to this place ever again. I don’t want to be anywhere that would remind me of the man I love and hate.