Edward sauntered into the Warehouse with Ekon, a limping Garrett and Rodriguez. He sidestepped the construction going on above in the club and headed down the concealed stairs past the club office. He led the guys down into a flat basement area then gestured to a grilled lift.
"The warehouse is under the club. This lift will bring us down further," he informed.
The three stepped into the lift, Edward pressed the switch and it proceeded down. Garrett eased some of the pressure off his uninjured foot and leaned more on his crutch. He had arrived three hours ago and was escorted to an apartment across town where Edward ran his background checks. He was also told he could stay there for the time being and would be contacted whenever he was needed.
Edward cleared him for a go and had him sworn in along with Ekon and Rodriguez as the witness. He was expected to sign a contract as well which Edward said they'd have to do at the warehouse with Marcus. The lift came to a stop and the men stepped off into a wide room. It was scarce of any much furniture except for a sofa to the right and a small desk beside it. A woman sat behind the desk with a large semi-automatic in view strapped to a holster on her thigh.
"This is Daeyna. She's our opening act," Edward introduced. "When we have guests coming in unattended, she's responsible for direction. Additionally too, if anyone comes down here that shouldn't, her gun usually solves that issue too."
Garrett and Ekon nodded.
Edward walked further down the hall until he came to a set of black doors. He knocked twice then opened them to reveal Marcus organizing his desk. He directed the two men inside and shut the door behind him. Garrett went over to one of the chairs and took a seat to rest his leg. Ekon followed suit and Edward stood in the middle between their chairs. Marcus finished organizing the papers in front of him and then leaned back in his chair. He looked up at Edward.
"Debriefed and sworn in," Edward said.
Marcus nodded. He was dressed in black slacks and a crisp white shirt. His tie was thrown over a post behind him and his jacket around his chair. The cuffs of his shirt was rolled up and a few buttons open. His hair was combed back but a few wavy ends managed to break form and curl around his face.
"Garrett," Marcus started, "There's a lot to say I suppose, you being here, but I don't want to know any of it. Whatever of your past life that you left behind is now nonexistent. This is your new life."
Garrett nodded without hesitation.
"I'll have our in house doctor take a look at your leg so I know when you'll be functional. For now, rest. The apartment is yours, free to use as you wish."
Garrett nodded again.
Edward playfully slapped him on the shoulder with a smile.
"You'll be fine. Once you're healed, we'll run you through the training."
Marcus moved to Ekon next.
"My intention is to set up a guard detail for myself. I trust Edward with my life but he can't watch over me by himself. My men are instructed to protect the business so that I can focus on making more money. I need you to get up to speed as soon as possible"
Marcus focused on Edward now, running a hand through his hair. He was still slightly jet-lagged since their return.
"There's a camera in the main lobby angled slightly towards Exit 21. It turns at thirty-second intervals. Unfortunately, Ekon and Ellen were caught out of frame. Ellen isn't suspicious but Ekon was seen with me. Henry pieced it together."
Edward sighed. "Did Daniel find out anything else?"
"The men who came after us were ex-military dropouts. At least I can tell Henry thinks I'm a cheap shot"
Garrett laughed. "Actually, I think I'm the cheap shot of the group"
Marcus grimaced as Garrett said that. "You do know why I shot you, right?"
Garrett smiled. "The DA gave me a hard time after I was transported to intensive care. A few of the officers that came to my rescue was my alibi. That I was trying to stop you. Henry didn't believe it but he backed off. I managed to get a few painkillers from the nurse before I sneaked out to get here."
Marcus looked at his leg. "We'll get that back to good as new. I made sure not to hit any arteries"
"I know you were trying to remove me of suspicion, so thanks" Garrett stated as he rose to his feet. Edward allowed him and Ekon to exit the room. He signaled to Daeyna. She took over to have them sign the contracts and escort them back upstairs. Edward turned back to Marcus.
"So I take it you're heading back to get some rest now?"
Marcus was throwing on his jacket and rubbing his temples. "Yeah"
Marcus followed him out and decided to take the car with the other guys. The four men piled in and headed off.
"Hello!?" Ellen shouted through the keyhole. It was now 6PM and no one had come to her all evening. She has woken up from 1PM but idly laid in bed until her stomach started to make its presence known. She banged on the door all evening but no one came to her rescue. Eventually she had calmed down by 4:30 but still no sign of life. Ellen gave up by now. She walked into the bathroom and decided to take a shower. After washing off, she wrapped the towel around her body and went back into the bedroom.
She eyed the closet. She hadn't checked it earlier but slid it open now. A hamper was in the corner, filled with Hanes and Fruit of the Loom boxers that smelled freshly washed. A few large, plain T-shirts in black and white lined the hangers and some jeans, joggers and sweatpants. Ellen worshipped the invisible gods. She pulled on a fresh pair of boxers and a white T-shirt. After further inspection she found some bandages in a box next to the hamper and wrapped her arm. As she finished up, she could faintly hear a voice shouting downstairs.
Heavy footsteps were coming. Ellen slammed the closet shut and fell on the bed as a key was shoved into the door. It swung open and there stood Edward. He had a tray in hand with food. She practically ran to him and gave him the biggest hug she could give under the circumstances. Edward chuckled softly after she pulled away.
"Marcus is giving Rodriguez one for not bringing you food," He explained.
Ellen nodded as she nibbled on half of her sandwich. That explains it. She suspected Rodriguez was one of the guys she saw earlier that approached Marcus.
Edward did a once over of her outfit. "I guess you found my clothes," he smiled.
Ellen playfully made a stinky face. "These are yours? Unbelievable"
"Yep. Those idiots gave you my room. So now, I have to use the guestroom downstairs"
"Oh boo hoo," Ellen smirked, sipping her water. "Sucks to be you"
Edward left her with the tray and went back to the door. "I'll be booking your flight for Monday morning. We've decided to send you back."
"But don't be fooled. I've got an eye on you."
She shooed him away. He shut the door and she heard the lock turn. Continuing her eating was when she realized how playful she was a few minutes ago with the same man that hit her twice back in her apartment.
Well, I did take the log, she reasoned.
In a few hours, she'd managed to meet two murderers, escape with a prisoner, break her arm and travel halfway across the world. Not to mention being in a shoot out. It was all....exhilarating. In hindsight, Ellen knew this wasn't a trip for fun but she'd always been so focused on studying that she forgot what fun was like. Sure, Dani compensated by dragging her to nightclubs and lunch dates but....
"Shit!" Ellen exclaimed. "Dani's probably freaking out!"
She had completely forgotten about her bestfriend. But then, did Dani actually notice she was gone? The weekends were normally quiet for her since Dani knew she liked to sleep in so it could be a high possibility that her friend hadn't even noticed. Conveniently, she'd be back by Monday and no one would be the wiser.
Ellen munched on a plate of Doritos. She shifted it off the tray and found a small phone underneath. A sticky note was on the screen.
"Use this if you need something"
She analyzed it closer and knew instantly that it wasn't Marcus's handwriting. She'd read his pages far too much to not pick that up. She surmised it must be a note from Edward. The phone wasn't chipped and had no cell service.
"How am I suppose to use this!?" she questioned.
A second of static sounded then she heard Edward over the speaker. "It's like a walkie-talkie"
She jumped. The phone flew out of her hand and onto the sheets.
"You jerk!" she seethed.
Edward laughed. "I'm not stupid enough to give you a phone with cell service Ellen. There's a switch on the side that activates the speaker. Otherwise, if you need nothing, mute it."
Ellen picked up the phone and checked the button. "Fine, asshole. Thanks"
"Here to serve"
With that, the line went dead. Ellen pressed the mute button and put it on the nightstand. After sleeping all day and now with a full belly, she had nothing to do. Boredom was beginning to set in. She unmuted the phone.
"Hey Edward, could I get a TV up here? Or like a tablet with some games?"
The static cleared but no one answered. "Hey asshole!"
"For fuck's sake, what do I have to do to get some entertainment-"
"Can you shut up!?"
Marcus's deep voice came through the speaker. Ellen froze. She muted the phone and threw it aside. She hadn't expected that. After sitting there for what felt like an eternity, she heard footsteps again and then the door opened. Marcus stood in the doorway dressed in grey sweatpants and a white V-neck. A 30" inch TV was behind him on the floor. He picked it up with ease and stepped into the room.
There was a short dresser to the left of the bed. He deposited the TV there, plugged it in and turned it on.
"The wi-fi is already set up. Feel free to watch Netflix or whatever" He murmured.
She took the remote from him and he sauntered out.
"Thanks!" she said softly.
He flicked his hand in response and left.