The Fire Within

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Liam

Declan called someone that would remove the dead cat and I took Dawn to her room. She has calmed down a bit and I am helping her unpack. She is sending some boxes to her brothers’ house so I don’t bother with those.

I open a box and I see that it’s her underwear and bras. I clear my throat and I slide the box away from me.

“I’ll let you handle that box,” I say as I move to the next box. It’s the books she owns so I carry it to the bookshelf. “Is there a certain order you want these books in?”

“There is a list in the bottom of the box,” Dawn replies and I sigh. I go to dump the books out when she stops me with a cold glare. “Please be careful with my books. They’re expensive and I don’t like folded papers.”

I roll my eyes and I start taking the books out. I put them in three different piles then I get out the list and I study it before starting to organize the books the way she wants them.

When I finished, I got the bathroom box and I brought it to the bathroom. I put everything in a place where I think it goes. I put the makeup neatly on the countertop beside the sink, fix her perfumes and smell goods, put her shower things in the shower, then I fold the box and walk out.

“I’ll do the rest later.” I nod and we leave the room. “We need to go shopping.”

“Why?”

“Furniture,” she says and I roll my eyes. “Don’t roll your eyes. If this house is going to be a little more bearable, we need furniture.”

The brothers heard us coming down the stairs and they met us at the bottom. They then hand me a debit card and I see it is under my name.

“What is this?” I ask and all three siblings smile. “What’s going on?”

“We all pitched in and got you a debit card that will always be filled. It is your payment for putting up with Dawn for three years,” Declan explains and I shake my head, trying to give the card back. “We can’t take it back. Dad won’t let us. And if you ruin it, he’ll give you a new one. If you don’t lose it, he’ll talk with you personally.”

I look down at the card and I shake my head in denial.

“This isn’t some kind of sick joke, is it?” I ask quietly.

“Definitely not. That would be mean,” Dawn asks and I look at her. I then look at her brothers.

“Thank you... This means a lot to me,” I whisper and they smile. They then pull me into a group hug.

When we pull away from each other, I put the card in my wallet.

“Now, let’s go shopping,” Dawn says excitedly and her brothers laugh. I stay silent, not knowing how to act. “Oh wait! We’re supposed to be undercover! Follow me! Liam, you can stay here and look ugly.”

“Not possible,” I reply and Dawn rolls her eyes.

“You’re right. You can’t stay away from me,” she says and I glare at her. “Bye, ugly duckling!”

They run upstairs and I sigh. I go to the kitchen to look around. It’s big and spacious. There is an island in the middle. A lot of counter space. A lot of cabinets. A pantry. We get to keep the fridge, oven, and microwave. There’s a stovetop on top of the island. We also have a nice sized sink and dishwasher.

The countertops are gray and the backsplash is black. The cabinets are white. Whoever built this house had good taste.

I go to walk into the living room when my phone starts ringing. I take it out of my pocket and I look at the caller ID. It’s the director.

“Agent Cross speaking,” I answer.

“Agent Cross. I spoke with Governor Ozric to tell him I need you for a short mission. He agreed that you will have to take his daughter with you on this one.”

“Why can’t I bring her back to her father?” I ask.

“Because your target is going to be at the location in one hour.”

“What’s the information?”

“The con artist we’ve been chasing has some clients going to a bar. I need you to get as much information from them as possible. We need that con artist now,” Director says and I sigh.

“So all I am doing is indirectly interrogating some criminals about another criminal? All the while babysitting the governor’s daughter? Not dangerous at all.”

“Just get it done, Cross. Keep me updated.” Director hangs up the phone and I sigh before putting my phone in my pocket. I turn around to find the Ozric siblings staring at me.

“What was that about? Who are you interrogating? What’s dangerous? What’s happening? Can I come with you?” Dawn asks and I give her a flat look. “I’m not sorry.”

“We’re going to a bar.”

***

Director lied. This is a club. Not a bar.

He sent me all the information I needed while we were getting ready so I subtly scan all the faces around us.

This is a suit and tie kind of club so we are all dressed nicely. The boys had to go to a local tailor but Dawn already had a gown.

She looks absolutely stunning.

She is wearing a skin-tight one-shoulder floor-length black dress with a slit up on leg to her upper thigh. She curled her hair in loose curls then applied smokie-eye eyeshadow and dark red lipstick.

She did some other things with make-up that I don’t know but she looks like a goddess. Of course, I can’t say that out loud. She is only my mission.

We find a booth in the back of the club and we sit around the table. My eyes land on the clients and I tense. How am I going to do this?

“So you’re trying to find out about a con artist?” Dawn asks, leaning closer to me so I can hear her. I nod and she smiles. “I got this.”

Before I know what is happening, she gets up and walks over to the bar, close to the clients. She orders a drink and sips it. One client of three comments on her drink and she smiles at him.

What the hell is she playing at?

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