"I want a video of you cutting an X into the twerp's face sent to me by tomorrow evening."
Life After Lies
“Sweet dreams, bookworm.” With that, the door to the cell was closed and bolted shut, and I knew I would not be getting any sleep that night.
I downed another cup of coffee. Hooray for two hours of sleep.
Okay, I guess two hours was decent, especially since I'd thought I wouldn't get any rest that night. The events of the previous day were still fresh in my mind. I'd spent the entire night debating with myself over what to do about my current situation, and hadn't come up with a thing
Seeing out of the corner of my eye that the sun was just peeking up over the horizon, I glanced at the clock. 7:45 am. I sighed and brushed a stray hair from my face, looking down into my empty mug. One more cup of coffee...just one more...
Groaning, I stretched and got up from the table I had sat at all night. After having another mug of Java, I walked to the washroom to take a much needed shower, randomly picking up the PDA on the way. Accessing the camera, I could see that Noah was still where he should have been. All was fine...for now.
I usually get to thinking while I'm in the shower. This time was no exception.
So Noah didn't
know about the so-called “financial troubles” his family must have been going through around his dad's disappearance. I know it is kinda understandable to not tell your children about stuff like that, but I know for a fact that Noah is not stupid
. Lazy and a jerk, maybe, but not stupid. Maybe Wilshire had faked dying for a different reason. The head honcho would certainly be interested to hear about this, not to mention our client.
The clock sounded the hour-oh crap
. I had to be at work in fifteen minutes. Keys...license...ID...PDA... It looked like everything was there. Bullets of sweat forming on my forehead, I dashed down the many flights of stairs to the parking lot and jumped into my car. From there, I sped my way to work, breaking I don't know how many laws in the process.
As soon as I arrived, I was called to conference room B224. DeMiller, and to my surprise, Rhodes, were there, along with a few others that I figured where Rhodes' flunkies. After giving me a quick glance, Rhodes turned back to the computer on the table.
“Agent Umbriel,” he said, eyes fixated on the laptop screen, “we have tracked down an email address we are pretty sure belongs to my old friend.” He paused, expression suddenly turning to one of annoyance.
“However,” he continued, “we were not able to hack into whatever computer he's using to find his location. We'll be working on that. Please lead my employees down to the hostage's cell. They'll take pictures of the Wilshire brat, and you will report to me when finished.”
DeMiller looked directly at me and nodded.
“Whatever he says.”
“Follow me,” I told the lackeys monotonously. They all stood simultaneously, and I noticed an expensive looking camcorder in the hand of the only female. Silently, I led the three of them to cell A113, where it looked like Noah was dozing lightly. I made a move to slap him awake, but the tallest of the group put a hand on my arm, stopping me. I blinked in slight confusion, but it was obvious they knew what they were doing. I backed off.
The young brunette woman, stiff as a robot, walked to the prisoner. Gracefully, she bent down to look at him for a moment.
Out of nowhere, she raised her right fist.
Before I could even process what was going on, she'd unfurled those long, sharp, cat-like claws and struck him across the face.
Noah's eyes snapped open, head shooting up. Too shocked to even be angry, he stared at her with wide eyes, disbelieving. The woman stared back, seemingly unaffected by his expression or the drop of blood that trickled down his cheek. Her face showed not the slightest hint of emotion whatsoever. She was a professional.
Long hair falling over her shoulders, the henchwoman rose and took a few steps back. Apparently liking the expression on Noah's face, she swiftly took the camera and snapped two pictures. Just as quickly, she returned to where the other two were standing.
“We are finished here,” she said in soft, girlish voice. Too stunned to form a coherent response, I simply turned and let them out, making an effort not to look back at the Noah. There was something about that sight that made me queasy.
We walked back in silence I stole a glance at them as we entered the room. All three of them walked and moved as if they were one single being. It was kind of unnerving.
After returning the camera, I was instructed to sit until further notice. Throughout the entire process of Rhodes uploading the pictures to the computer and sending them, my mind was lost in awe. That had gone amazingly
fast. My eyes darted to the female minion. She sat with her hands folded on the table, one of her nails barely stained with blood. What was going on did not seem to move her to perform any sort of action. The other two did the same.
After a while, studying them became less interesting and more boring, and I turned my flat gaze to Rhodes. He and my boss were talking quietly while the businessman typed at the keyboard fervently. Although I wasn't in the mood for being nosy, my ears perked when I heard the word 'knife'.
“I swear, if this doesn't convince him I'm gonna have her...” the rest was inaudible, and I could only see Rhodes' lips moving. DeMiller said something back, and the conversation went on. After a while, when it looked as if they had reached some sort of agreement, the two shook hands.
The head of our little organization of assassins and kidnappers was in the middle of dismissing me when the familiar sound of a new email was heard from the computer. Mildly surprised at how quickly Noah's father had responded, the client opened it, looking as if he expected some sort of immediate surrender. Yeah, right.
I couldn't see what was on the screen, but it was pretty obvious that it wasn't good. Rhodes' face almost instantly flushed a violent red, his nails digging into the table. Letting out an angry sigh, he closed his eyes and massaged his temples.
“Agent Umbriel,” he dressed me through gritted teeth, “I want a video of you cutting an X into the side of the twerp's face
sent to me by tomorrow evening. Are we clear?” I looked to my employer for approval. DeMiller made no objection.
“Yes, sir.” Still looking extremely unhappy, my client gave me his camcorder and a designated email. I was then dismissed.
Moving as if in a dream, I exited headquarters and drove home, the expression on my face hiding the rancid feeling inside. It was painful and confusing. Why did I feel so bad for the guy? I couldn't really find anything too likable about him, and I should have been the last person on the face of the earth to care. I would be the one carrying out the torture, after all.
There was no reasonable explanation for the storm raging in my stomach. Why now? I'd done and received my share of torture when I was a kid, and will forever have scars to prove it. It was nowhere near the level of just outright physical torture, but pain and I were no strangers.
So why, again, did I feel like rushing to my apartment and vomiting? Was I really that nervous about this?
I nearly choked on some bile that had risen to my throat as I made the sharp turn into my apartment building parking lot. Okay, maybe I was that nervous. And a feeling in the pit of my stomach told me that it would only get worse from here.
I hastily parked my car and guzzled down some aspirin, some Tums, and a bottle of water. Then I buried my head in my hands and leaned on the steering wheel, letting the silence and loneliness of darkness consume me.
I stayed that way for a very long time.