ENDS

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36- Midnight

Third person p.o.v.

“ Has she been fed today?” The tall almost albino man asked from outside the room as he handed a file in his hand over to a lady they referred to as Jeanie.

She was like the crew’s magician; Jeanie could make any traces of evidence whatsoever disappear, from a piece of paper to an entire shipwreck and to add she only needed a matter of seconds to get it done.

Jeanie was found by Matthias seventeen years ago. She was a street rat as described by Soldo, learned how to hustle and survive from the age of six.

She crossed paths with Matthias when she tried to rob him of his wallet when he went for a technology innovation conference in Bujumbura, Burundi.

Little did she know that an experienced one could tell another from movement, body language and steps.

“You can hand over my wallet now” were his first words to the nine year old girl after she ran past him, making sure to act like she had dropped the basket of fruits she was carrying in her hand and left with an apology.

He followed her from a distance till she got to where she hid in between a terrain of houses blocked by abandoned vehicles.

He assumed she had been sleeping in one as a bed.

He caught her trying to count the contents of the purse and her shock could be tasted if it was a flavor.

Shock, not fear.

The purse in question was nowhere in sight, and so was the basket of fruits.

And that enticed Matthias, her confidence in her skills had eliminated any iota of fear that could be found.

“ Where are the fruits you’re selling?” he asked once she handed him back his money and coupon for a meal at a restaurant downtown.

“ I don’t sell fruits”

Her response made him understand that basket was also stolen.

He admired her courage and stretched out his hand to her.

“ Let me take you for a meal” he said and waited till she accepted his offer.

The little girl glanced down at the sacs she had managed to weave into a gown and looked back at him, when she realized he wasn’t backing down…. She took his hand and that was how Matthias adopted Jeanie as his daughter.

Till this day, she missed her father but life had to go on.

After collecting the file, she nodded and the man looked satisfied with the answer.

“ There’s a cleanup needed at maroon route, they got away” were his final words to her as he walked away.

She released a sigh and knew there’ll be a lot more cleanup’s similar to this because of the current chase they were on.

She didn’t want to be part of this mission. For one, She actually liked Hunter even if she was a lot older than she was and that was why she never acted on it.

Secondly, definitely she wanted him to pay for killing her father in any form; be it torture or jail term but not to the point of killing his daughter.

That was their plan.

Bait him with the little girl but kill her in the end.

Hurt him, that’s okay by her. But the child knows nothing.

She knew this was going too far, anyone with a sane mind knew this was going too far.

But no one had the guts to say so.

Deep down, she was tired of the circle but she had no idea how to call it quits.

In as much as she loved her father, she hated the fact that he had brought her into a world of drugs, deceit and murder.

Jeanie opened the door to the room open to check on the little girl.

And there she was, snuggled so weakly against Santiago’s body.

She looked so white and frail, almost like she was a ghost. She looked so dry that her lips were chapped and she was breathing in heaves.

Santiago looked at the verge of tears as he held the girl so close to his body wrapped with some sheets.

The sight was heartbreaking to see, anyone who had a conscience couldn’t stand to watch.

Jeanie never knew how much compassion she had in her until she saw Louisa’s state. A tad bit longer and she might shed tears.

“ Please help me… one more night and she’ll die” Santiago pleaded to her.

Jeanie feared Pedro more than anything and helping Louisa escape would be defying a lot of laws punishable by him.

But was that enough to stop her?

“ Pack up, we leave at midnight”

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