Grace Carpenter wasn’t like anyone I’d ever had to dig up info on before. She had moved her way up the New York Times through hard work and dedication. Not by fucking her bosses like so many others have done. She also wasn’t one you could bribe. In fact if you tried she would go that much harder to find out what you were trying to hide. She was ruthless, fearless, she was going to be a huge problem.
From what I could gather she didn’t have any concrete evidence that Lucas was linked to any kind of underground activity. That however didn’t stop her, she knew he was involved and she was determined to bring him down or at least expose him to profit herself. Grace had made a lot of enemies on her rise to fame but it appeared she had made a few friends as well.
I watched her from my car as she sat alone drinking a cup of coffee and typed on her laptop at a local coffee shop. I could see the frustration on her face as she chewed on her bottom lip and pushed her glasses forward. Grace could be a bombshell if she tried but instead she wore her long blonde hair piled in a messy bun upon her head. Her glasses weren’t fashionable but functional. Still she was undeniably pretty no matter how much she tried to hide it.
Grace was getting a little too close for comfort for Lucas and now it was up to me to decide how big of a threat she actually was. I hoped she was just a minor inconvenience, something I wouldn’t have to put my all into. Following some girl all over the city wasn’t exactly my idea of fun. I already had all the information on her work computer copied. She kept all of her files encrypted so even now I had a guy working on it. Now I needed access to her personal laptop. Just a few minutes would do but she didn’t leave that thing alone for more than a few seconds at a time.
Seeing Grace get up I watched as she hailed a cab and followed behind her making sure to always be a few cars behind. If I had any luck she would head home and maybe I could sneak in while she was in the shower. Or maybe she would leave her laptop at home while she went out and caught dinner with a friend. My luck sucked because the cab stoped in front of a busy bus station. Why could she be going here?
By the time I parked she was already well inside. Was it worth it to try and walk in and find her. I didn’t think so. She could be anywhere in there. She could be on a train or she could be standing straight in front of me when I walked in. I was pretty sure she knew who I was. I mean if you are doing a story on Lucas you would be lead to me.
Just as I was about to leave I saw her walk back out. Whatever she had done she hadn’t stayed inside long. She was definitely up to something, something I was determined to find out. This time as she hailed a cab I followed her to her office. It was late enough not a lot of people were still there so it wasn’t hard for me to get in the building and up to her floor. It helped that I had already done this once and had a lot of the codes on my phone.
My luck is finally struck as I saw her laptop bag sitting in her office with her walking down the hall to the restroom. Hurrying in I opened her bag powering up her laptop and typing in the password that I had used to crack her work computer. “Fuck,” I muttered when it didn’t unlock. This was going to take even longer. Most people didn’t stray too much, Grace however was an exception.
Aggravated I pulled a zip drive out of my pocket throwing it in and hitting the commands to make it break her password. I swear Lucas didn’t pay me enough sometimes. When her password flashed on her screen I quickly typed it in switching drives and starting the transfer. I knew time was not on my side and I was surprised she hasn’t already came around the corner. I watched the bar fill slowly wishing I could speed it up.
Hearing a voice I looked up swearing as I moved to position myself to see where she was located at. She was on her cell phone pacing on the other side of the hallway. “I don’t care what he said. I’m not backing down and I’m not afraid. You can’t be that high up in office and think you are untouchable. You know I don’t back off. How do you think I’ve made it this far.”
Shaking my head I was glad at least she wasn’t on Lucas at the moment. The computer file was almost done so I tried to listen to her and watch pulling it the second it was done. Powering off the computer I shoved it back into its bag. Grace was still pacing in a way that would make it hard for me to sneak out and not get caught. I needed a distraction, I needed her to not come to her office. I needed to not have to kill her before I knew for sure it was needed.
"I don't have time for this ok. I know what I'm doing. I appreciate your concern but really I'm not worried. Look I have some things I need to do before I head home and it's already getting late."
I knew that was my cue to either find a hiding spot or to find a way past her. She wasn't facing me so I stuck close to the wall as I slipped out of her office and further into the darkness of the open room. I paused seeing her turn and for a moment I thought she had heard me.
I watched as Grace pulled off her glasses and pulled her hair down from its messy bun. I paused watching her cautiously. From my current position she would still be able to see me. She wouldnt be able to say for sure who I was but she would know their was a person standing against the wall.
As she started walking to her office I slid further away from her and into the cover of complete darkness. I was close to the hall but I could see in her office and saw as she sat down. He brows burrowed together as she looked down at her laptop bag. Pausing I tried to remember if I had put it back from where I had found it. Surely I had, this wasn't my first rodeo.
Coming to the hallway I looked back once more before disappearing. Once in my car I allowed myself to take a deep breath. Pulling out my phone I called Dax our best hacker, "where are you?"
"Safe house 8, what's up?" was his reply.
Pulling out into the busy traffic I headed his way, "I have some more files I need you to decode."
Dax laughed, "that's my shit man. I'm almost done with the other files you gave me."
Looking at my rearview mirror I made sure no one was following me. Tonight had been interesting and damn if I couldn't get the vision of Grace shaking her long blonde hair free from my mind. The damn girl was beautiful. It would be a shame to have to kill her. Maybe she had moved on from Lucas, maybe she had nothing on him.