Chapter Nine: The Agreement
Luka walked into the bathroom and sighed with pleasure as he used the urinal. Fancy hotel, he hoped Ariel hadn’t broken her bank account to get it. He flushed the urinal, then turned to the sink and washed his hands.
He glanced up into the mirror and paused when he saw red eyes.
“Nice to see you not freak out this time.” Lukas said with a smile.
Luka touched the mirror, confused.
Lukas laughed. “I’m still in your head, but looking into a mirror makes it easier to imagine me here with you, so you can see my mouth move, though it’s yours.”
Luka touched his mouth, and Lukas laughed harder.
“How are you doing this?” Luka asked as he stared at the red-eyed version of himself.
“Not sure. I tried it when we were kids, and you freaked out; thought you were possessed.”
“So, it was you trying to communicate with me?” Luka asked, confused.
“Why do you hate me?” Luka asked as he looked at himself in the mirror and felt insane.
Lukas laughed. “I don’t hate you. I’ve just been holding a grudge, plus, we both fell for the same woman, and I was jealous.”
“Is that why you call me Detective Dog Shit?”
Lukas laughed as he shook his head. “Partly. And the fact that it was your fault, Lizzie and I were put to sleep.”
“What?” Luka asked as he stared into the red eyes. “My parents…”
“They only did it after you had flipped out Because you thought you were possessed, and you kept thinking about Howie’s death and was slowly losing yourself. So, I kept myself upfront and left you with Lizzie in the corner.”
“Why didn’t you talk to my parents, then?”
“Really? And tell them what? Hi, my name is Lukas, your son created me to kill the man who killed his best friend.”
Luka sighed. “Fair point.”
“Look, now that we can communicate, maybe we can work together. All I ever knew before; was killing those who deserved it. But since we met Ariel, I can see through her it’s still not good, even if they deserve it…”
“You miss killing.” Luka said as he watched his dominant alter.
Lukas didn’t admit it or deny it, but Luka could tell by the way his lips curved, and his eyes bore into him, his alter misses killing. And from what they told him happened at the hospital, Lukas is good at it.
“How is Lizzie?” Luka asked as he changed the subject.
Lukas sighed. “Still upset over what had happened in the hospital, but I think Ariel had calmed her pretty well. But I don’t think I’ll let her out again for a while.”
“So, she’s the one who had beat on that kid, huh?”
Lukas nodded. “You were getting picked on about what had happened; because, as we all know, kids can be cruel. You were crying so hard, she started to cry with you, and before I knew what was happening, she switched, and jumped on the kid and started pummeling him. It took a lot to reel her in and lock her away.”
“Is she dangerous to be let out?” Luka asked as he studied his alters face and eyes.
“No more than I am, as long as no one hurts, Ariel.”
“I’m glad you two care for her so much.” Luka said with a sigh.
“Don’t forget, Luka; I love her as much as you do.”
Luka nodded. “How are we going to do this?”
“Work together.” Luka said as he watched Lukas sigh.
This is the strangest thing he has ever done, talking to his reflection. He shook his head; he feels like a freak now.
“If you had asked me last year or even earlier than that, I’d have said, never going to happen. But since we met Ariel, there’s just something about her…”
“I know what you mean.” Luka said with a nod.
“I can’t promise to never kill again, especially when Ariel is in trouble, but I can promise to keep Ariel safe, and only kill when there’s no other solution.”
Luka nodded. “I guess that’s the best I can expect from an alter who was created specifically to kill.”
“Kill those who deserve it, don’t forget that.”
“Right.” Luka said with a nod. Luka thought of something as he looked at Lukas. “Will I be able to see what you do and remember, now that we have communicated?”
Lukas laughed. “Are you afraid of what you will see?”
Luka huffed. “More like, I don’t want to watch another man screwing my girlfriend.”
Lukas laughed his booming laugh. “I don’t think this changes the amnesia. But I can have Ariel tell you every sorted detail…”
Luka grunted. “Not even funny.”
“It is; a little.” Lukas said with another laugh.
“Can you do me a favor?”
Lukas eyed his host. “Depends…”
“Next time I’m getting my ass kicked, can you switch with me, before they break my ribs and cause internal bleeding?”
Lukas laughed as he shook his head. “You’re the one who had put me to sleep. It took Ariel screaming my name to wake me up.”
Luka nodded. “No more pills.” He promised.
Lukas smiled. “Good.”
“Okay, so we’ve agreed, no more pills, no more killing, unless absolutely necessary, and we all keep Ariel safe.” Luka said with a smile.
“Sounds like what we were already doing.”
“Yeah, well, now we’ve agreed on it. Makes it a little more permanent.” Luka said as he watched Lukas.
Lukas nodded. “If that is what you need for me to stay, I agree.”
Luka sighed. “Thank you, Lukas.”
“Don’t you just feel like a complete nutcase, talking to me?” Lukas said teasingly.
“Yeah, complete.” Luka said as he rolled his eyes.
Lukas laughed, and Luka watched as his eyes turned to their normal blue. He left the bathroom and paused when he found Ariel standing just outside the door.
“I would check on you, but I heard you talking to yourself.” She said as she watched him.
Luka grinned as he pulled her into his arms. “I was talking to Lukas.”
She smiled as she wrapped her arms around him. “Oh?” She asked as she looked up at him. “Did he agree to your terms?”
He shook his head. “No terms. Just an agreement.”
“Oh.” She said with a smile. “That’s wonderful.”
“You don’t seem surprised that we communicated.” He said as he watched her.
She sighed as she laid her head on his chest. “I knew you two would find a way.”
He sighed as he held her. “Don’t you want to know the agreement?” He asked as he kissed the top of her head.
“I already know it.” She said as she pulled back and looked up at him. “I know you two too well not to know. No killing unless necessary and always protect me.”
He laughed as he shook his head. “You know us all too well.”
“But of course.”
He sighed as he pulled her against his chest again. “I love you, Ariel.”
She sighed against him. “I love you too, Luka.”
Ariel hung up the phone and looked at Luka and Abraham.
“What did she say?” Abraham asked as he watched the emotions play over her face.
“She said that if we go to her home country, we had better have backup.”
Luka and Abraham looked at each other, then back at Ariel.
“What kind of backup?” Luka asked.
“Big guns, kind of backup.” She said, then took in a deep breath and let it out. “She said, If you think the corruption in our city here is bad, you haven’t seen my government.”
Abraham grunted as he covered his face with his hand. “How are we going to do this?”
“I just hope it’s not her.” Ariel said as a tear slid down her cheek.
Luka was at her side so fast; she had to look up into his eyes to make sure it was still him. He smiled down at her, his blue eyes sparkling as he pulled her into his arms. She sighed as she leaned into him.
“I hope it’s not her too, but we still need to be sure. Because if it’s not her, we will need to do some more investigating.” Luka said as he held her close.
“Let’s get going.” Abraham said as he stood from the chair and looked at his watch. “Plane leaves in two hours.”
Ariel nodded as she pulled out of Luka’s arms, then headed to the room to pack what little she had brought here. Luka followed her and packed his small bag.
They met Abraham in the hall and locked the room, then returned the key to the reception desk and made their way to the car.
The drive to the airport was quiet.
They checked in and waited to board the plane. Once on-board, Ariel leaned against Luka and closed her eyes. Eighteen-hour flight with a layover and it will feel like an eternity.
Ariel stretched as they left the airport of a small city in Abadaum. Luka carried both their bags and tried to flag down a cab.
“Here, let me try.” Ariel said, then whistled, making both men cover their ears.
“Where to, pretty lady?” A driver asked as he pulled up against the curb.
Ariel told him their destination in his language as she and the guys climbed into the back seat. The driver smiled at her, then drove them to their hotel. Ariel thanked him and gave him a tip as they exited the car.
“Okay, now what?” Abraham asked as he looked up at the expensive hotel.
“Now, we act like tourists and plan our vacation.” Ariel said with a smile as she headed towards the enormous doors.
Luka looked at Abraham. “How is she affording all of this?”
Abraham laughed. “She’s not, buddy. You are.”
“What?” Luka almost hollered as he looked at the expensive hotel. They’re going to break his bank.
“Or I should say, your alter is.” Abraham said as he slapped his partner on the shoulder. “He insisted that Ariel always be pampered.” He said with a laugh as he headed into the hotel.
Luka could swear he heard Lukas laughing. He shook his head. Leave it to The Sapphire Dreamer to have money stashed away somewhere.
Luka caught up to Ariel at the check-in counter.
“Yes, I would like the penthouse suite.” Ariel said as she talked to the man behind the counter.
“That is five hundred a night, Miss. Are you sure?” The man asked as he looked Ariel up and down.
Luka came up beside her and placed his arm over her shoulders. “Just give the lady what she wants.”
The man looked at Luka and shook his head. “Two-bedroom penthouse for three days…”
“Actually, there is no limit to the days. We’re not sure how long we will be here. We are meeting a friend here, and we may be here for a week or more.”
The man looked up at her with his eyebrows furrowed, then sighed as he went back to typing on the keyboard.
“That will be a thousand-dollar deposit.” The man said as he looked up at her with a smug look on his face.
“That’s highway robbery.” Luka said as he glared at the man.
“It’s okay, love.” Ariel said as she reached into her purse and pulled out her wallet.
Luka stared at the large bills in her wallet and shook his head. Lukas must have taken her to his private bank.
“Here you go.” She said as she handed the man ten crisp one-hundred-dollar bills.
The man’s eyes widened in shock as he counted the money. He used the marker on them to make sure they weren’t fake and let out a loud sigh, then handed them back to Ariel.
“We don’t charge until you check out. And there’s no deposit.”
“Didn’t think so.” Ariel said as she took the money back from the man.
The man handed them each a key, then turned from them. Luka took Ariel by the arm and led her to the elevator, where Abraham was waiting for them.
“Remind me why I shouldn’t hit him?”