The Secret Thief

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Chapter 5

Simon would be angry. Uninvited ears were everywhere. Phone calls were last case, emergency use only. Follow protocol unless the situation was so dire there was no other choice.

Is that where their situation had gone? Were they desperate?

No. But if she didn’t call, they just might be.

“We’ve been compromised.”

“You’re over reacting. She didn’t recognize me.”

“Recognize you? You’re lucky she didn’t call the police. She saw your weapon you know. What the hell were you… ”

“You should have warned me she was home.”

“I tried. I didn’t know she was coming. I sent you a message as soon as I could. You…

“We don’t have time for this Agent M.” He said. Cutting her off these days was becoming tradition. “Get to the point.”

She’s been compromised.” Agent M repeated stressing the important word.

“How?”

“The break in. It wasn’t random, it was them.”

“You don’t know that. The perimeter was clear.”

“It was them.” A statement. There was no doubt. He took the information weighing the possibilities.

“You know this how?” He asked.

“They took a sample, her hairbrush.”

“Hmm.” He was unimpressed.

“Simon,” she resisted to urge to call him an idiot, “her hairbrush. Now they have DNA.”

“Bring her in.”

“We can’t bring…”

“Bring her in now.” He ordered. “Tonight.”

“Jesus Simon,” She sighed. “Were you ever seventeen?”

She was doing it again, belittling him. His agent was calling him a fool to his face. He hated it but he held his tongue. The project was all that mattered.

“What are you getting at?”

“If we take her like that, tonight without warning, she will never forgive us. Everything we’ve worked towards will be lost.”

She made her point, once again showing how ignorant he was.

“Options?” He said, laying the ball in her court. Let her work it out.

“The motel.” She said. “They could have bugged our current location. If so we need to find out what they might have learned before we clear it. That’s a three days at least but its three days I can explain. If our fears are confirmed, then we’ll move to the safe house. I’ll find a way to justify a complete move if it comes to that. Besides both are close so she’ll be able to stay in school…”

“Stay in school?! If they have DNA they know who she is. We can’t…”

“In school but with a team on her.” She added. “And not just any team, the best. They must not be discovered.”

“I don’t see…”

“Simon, the game has changed. It’s not about keeping her hidden anymore. It’s about keeping her.”

“Fine.” He said thinking all the cloak and dagger to give a seventeen year old girl the illusion of freedom was ridiculous. Carlos’ entire plan was ridiculous.

“And,” she said, not finished yet, “we need to send a message, make it known that we will not mess around.”

The line was silent. Simon could not decide if he was shocked by her suggestion or impressed.

“A hit,” he replied finally. “Taking her into custody is out of the question but bloodshed is not? I thought you said she was in a delicate state.”

“Her state is my job.” She snipped. Simon could so easily pull her strings. “This crisis is yours. Take someone out. I don’t care who. Break their ranks, scare them off… Is this a problem?”

He almost laughed. Executing a hit had never been a stumbling block for Simon. But he needed a target. They had checked the general vicinity of the house after the break in and came up dry. Now that they knew at least one other crew was in town, he must look again. A mile out, five, maybe include ATM cams this time… He just needed a face.

Like she said, a message must be sent. Who it was, didn’t matter.

“Fine.” He replied. “I’ll set it up.”

“Good.”

“You better be sure about this.”

She clenched her teeth. She knew what she was doing. He was the wild card. Ever since they lost Carlos, Simon had brought nothing but disorder. And now they were forced to pull out all the stops.

“What about Marco? Is he on the move yet?” She asked, knowing the answer already.

On the other end of the line Simon squirmed. He hadn’t trusted her assessment of the project the last time they spoke. He thought it was too soon to bring him in. After all, Marco was their last hope and Simon would not let himself believe they were that lost already.

And all this, she knew. Disorder. This would have never happened with Carlos.

Carlos. For a second, and only a second, she let herself think of him.

“We can’t wait any longer.” She said clearly, this time without blame. She needed action, they needed a leader. “Simon, we cannot fail.”

“He’ll be on a plane in the morning.” He said and that was all.

The line went dead.

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