Chapter TWENTY FOUR
The week passes by in a blur, between your usual Spectre workload, the addion of those training sessions and your secret meetings with Ford and Paxton to plan your breach on a known mafia stronghold, you've hardly found a moment to stop and think..
You spend almost every evening with Ford, though most nights he still doesn't actually seem to sleep.. Whenever you wake in the middle of the night to an empty bed, he can usually be found in his study reading or in the sofa watching MMA fights..
Now with only two weeks until the hearing, you're running out of time to find answers.. You, Paxton and Ford sit in the parked Black SUV at the bottom of the winding road, that leads up to the De'lucca's intricate iron gates..
Sitting in the drivers seat, Ford flicks open his shiny silver laptop on the center console.. In the passenger seat beside him, you radiate nervous energy, buzzing while pulling on a pair of thin leather gloves to match the rest of your getup, black lace up boots and a midnight black catsuit..
Paxton toys with his snipers rifle in the backseat, the familiar sound of several sharp clicks as he assembles it's final pieces.. "Sending coordinates of the vantage point to you now, Axe.."
Jackson types away at a furious pace and Paxton's com-device chimes a faint bleep..
Hunter grumbles his reluctance to tge plan for the millionth time.. "Are you sure about this Ellerie?"
You twist in your seat to look at him, you give him a smile that's about one hundred times more confident than you actually feel.. "Not one bit.."
He takes one last look at you before he jumps out of the car, setting off at a jog toward the location Jackson scouted and marked out for him..
You turn back to Ford.. The vulnerability in your voice is obvious when you speak.. "You're gunna get me through this, right soilder? I'm counting on you.."
He looks up from the screen, reaching out to stroke a thumb across your cheek.. "Sunshine, its gunna be a walk in the park.."
You know he's only saying that to make you feel better.. You both know that what you're about to do is incredibly risky and the very definition of insane.. "Mmhmm yeah.. I got this.." You suck in a few deep breaths, revving your self up..
You reach for the door handle when Jackson's hand shoots out, clasping your wrist gently.. You turn back to face him, his expression serious.. "If things go sideways, Ellerie... I'm coming in after you.. You hear me?"
You take his hand in you own, that is now shaking ever so slightly from the excitement and apprehension of being back in the field of covert ops.. He watches you so carefully, you can see the concern all over his face and the faintest hint of something else, there in his eyes.. Fear.. He's afraid for you.. "You better, Soilder.."
You lean in and kiss him, tender at first, but soon you find yourself pouring all of your passion into that one display of affection, hoping he can feel all the emotion you're trying to communicate.. You're heart pounds and everything around you screeches to a halt while you're suspended in that one perfectly transcendent moment..
When you pull pack, his breathing is staggered and his face has been reset to the expression of a man on a mission..
You give him one last smile and he nods before you slip out of the car door.. You remove the black trucker cap from your jacket pocket and pull it over your head, tucking your ponytail through the loop at the back.. Lifting the black bandana around your neck to cover the bottom half of your face as you press the receiver of your comdevice in your ear and begin your checks, setting off up the hill, jogging towards the entry point Jackson has advised.. "Athena in position one, await response.." You keep your voice quiet, soon Paxton's voice echos in your ear..
"Copy Athena. Apollo in position one, clear line of sight, await response.."
There is a pause before Jackson's deep voice rumbles in your ear.. "Ares has eyes inside, Apollo hold your position, monitor east perimeter patrol. Athena you're good to make your way to position two on my mark.."
You slip along the hedging untill you reach an exposed part of the seven foot stackedstone wall surrounding the property..
A wall that you're supposed to scale..
How fun for you..
Watching from the SUV though the hijacked security system, Jackson directs the op.. He waits for the first patrol to pass before giving you the go ahead to move.. His countdown plays in your ear, you back up a little giving yourself enough room for a small run up.. "Three, two, one.. Go.."
You run at the inverted corner where the two walls meet, pressing a quick step on each side as you launch yourself upward.. Your fingertips grip the top of the wall and you haul yourself to the top, flinging your legs up and over, landing feet first on the perfectly manicured grass on the other side with a soft thud..
You peer around making sure nobody has spotted you before taking off at a sprint across the open lawn towards the second position.. The property has several structures all built around the main house, you slip behind one of the guesthouses and wait for the next window of opportunity..
"Athena, you gotta curious-gorge on your six.." Hunter warns and you crouch lower, shrinking into the darkness just in time to see a slender, fair-haired security guard round the corner.. His hand flys to his hip as he tries to reach for his gun when he spots you, but you're already on him.. You slip around behind him, one hand over his mouth, one arm around his neck, applying a precise pressure to the soft tissue in the crook of his neck..
His body goes limp, slumping lifelessly to the ground.. He will be out for at least half an hour.. "Update, Athena?" You grab the guard by the ankles and drag his dead-weight into the shadows, tucking his body against the building where it won't be seen.. The guesthouse must block Paxton's sightline to you because he checks in again, sounding a little worried..
"Clear.." You move from hiding place to hiding place at Jackson's command.. True to his word, he leads you through the maze that is the De'lucca Estate, untill you reach the Eastern end of the enormous wrap around porch..
You duck beneath, waiting for two burly guards to pass overhead.. You hold your breath, listening to the heavy stomp of their boots above you..
Jackson's whisper in your ear steadies and soothes your racing heartbeat .. "When I cut power to the security system you'll only have 60 seconds until the next patrol passes.. On my mark, Athena.."
The guards round the corner to the front of the enormous mansion, out of sight.. "Now, Move.."
You spring out from beneath the porch, pulling yourself up swiftly and silently using the white iron bannister.. Moving to the third window from the left, you fish a long thin strand of nano-wire from the sleeve of your catsuit.. Bending the wire into a loop, you expertly slip the hook between the crevasses of the window, popping the lock..
You push agasint the pane and the window swings open, you climb inside, bobbing down just in time to hear the next guard pass by on his patrol outside.. "Ares? I'm in.." Whispering low, you don't dare move untill you have Jackson's go ahead..
The particular window you just jumped through happens to be the only access point to the house that happens to be a blind spot in the De'lucca's security cameras.. "Looping the security feed.. Now.. You're good to go.."
You rise to your feet, straightening up as you peer down the hallway.. You know there are fewer guards inside the house, Jackson's count was at twelve.. since they're paid to keep people from getting inside in the first place, that makes sense.. Still, he had warned you to be on the look out for more..