We’re back in the refuge for all of five minutes before my mother comes roaring down the hallway in a flurry of outrage and whipping her white blonde ponytail about her face.
“How dare you?!” She shrieks, glaring daggers at Blaine.
“God damn it,” Blaine mutters as my mother puts on her I’m-so-intimidating face and gets ready for what is probably going to be several minutes of pointless yelling.
“You left, without permission, on a mission that wasn’t cleared by me and infiltrated a recruiter compound!”
Her voice has gotten so high that I’m certain that every dog in the UK has just woken up screaming.
“Yes. Is there a problem?” Blaine replies and I stifle my laughter. It really is a waste of time to chastise Blaine. Besides, he’s older than my mother. To him, she’s just a screeching child.
“Is there a problem?! Of course, there is a problem you imbecile! What if you were followed, or you didn’t get everyone and they’re reporting back!” she stops to take a breath, thank Christ, and then continues in a much more manageable tone. “This was an unsanctioned mission Blaine and there will be consequences.”
She swivels around on her ridiculously impractical stiletto and I just can’t help myself.
“Actually, this mission was sanctioned. We had permission from Hank to do what was necessary and your word that you would provide whatever was required. Well, we required Blaine, so I suppose you’ve kept your word.”
The look she throws in my direction would melt the kidneys from a more cowardly man than I. She continues without a word, no doubt to go and complain at length to my sheep of a father.
“Back to the room guys, we need to get our stuff and get this back to our people,” I say, and we head out.
“What’s the plan, Rookie?”.
Blaine will be a help for all of this, I just know it. He’s never left a mission unfinished and I know he’ll take this one to the very end. He won’t give up until we’ve got Gwen home.
“We get the crap we grabbed from the compound back to our people and go through it with a fine-toothed comb. There must be something in there.”
“You won’t ask, so I’ll just say it. I got a few more loose ends to tie up here, but I’ll be along the second they’re done,” Blaine says, and I’m not surprised.
“You’re finally leaving the dark side, huh?”
“I woulda left years ago but there’s too much activity this side. It seems to me that all that’ll change now that your girl exists. It all seems to be focussing on your Gwen and you’ll need all the help you can get to bring her back. So, I’m in Rookie.”
He claps the back of my shoulder and heads off to the back of the refuge, no doubt heading back to his gym/apartment that we first found him in this morning.
“Do you think he meant that?” asks Oliver, wisely waiting until Blaine has disappeared around the end of the far corridor.
“I hope so Olly, I’d feel better having someone like him on the team,” out of the corner of my eye I see Olly throw her a bit of a sceptical look and she elbows him. “He’s a, uh, difficult personality, but he’s dang powerful and he seems pretty loyal to Derek. So yes, Olly, I think having him switch teams is important.”
She rolls her eyes at him as I open up the door to our room and head straight to my duffel to stow my weapons. The boxes from the compound are already here, no doubt thanks to Blaine, and the others start getting ready too. I can’t help the little spark of hope in my chest. We might have a lead, several leads even, and the maps we found might lead us straight to Gwen. Not to mention the intel this will give us on the Recruiters in general. This could be big and my only focus is getting home and digging through these boxes.