Vivian Riley Chapter 12
It was strange to know that Nate knew about the most important part of my life, about my past now. I felt better, but for some reason, I got the feeling that there was more to come. Mullen’s death and Harvey Kozniac were somehow connected with Alexander or whatever identity he might use. According to Nate, Ron Mullen had used one of the codes to find out about its meaning, he couldn’t have known about the consequences.
But how was he connected to everything? How did Mullen fit into the puzzle? Kozniac was in on the plan as well, I hadn’t really cared about why he was doing Patrick Marshall Seniors dirty work. His son had used me as well, but that hadn’t ended too good either. Drugs and immigrants; just what was their plan? Why were they smuggling people? Did they lock them up into a camp as they had done with me? Was that one of their sources of never-ending assassins?
Nate was still sleeping, while I hadn’t been able to sleep at all, trying to figure out what Alexander and Briana were trying to do with all of that. And still, I didn’t have an answer to any of it. Instead, I watched Nate for a while, he’d been turning around a lot during the night, but I didn’t dare to wake him. He was actually really cute while sleeping. Maybe I should cut the ties between us to protect him, but if I did, maybe he really would follow Ron Mullen’s footsteps and get himself killed?
Alexander’s men were very fast with stuff like that. Maybe I should ask my contact about Agent Ron Mullen, maybe he had been onto something bigger? Something more than just those numbers? I sighed and turned to lie on my back, staring at the ceiling. Nate was in too deep, leaving him would be equivalent to pulling the trigger my self, so I had no other choice but to stay. On the other hand, staying with Nate didn’t seem too bad.
Early the next morning, I heard a silent clicking sound, coming from the door, since Nate was still sleeping right next to me, I snuck out of the bed and cursed my self for not having my knife under the pillow like I used to have in my apartment. I snuck towards the door, just when it opened. The guy was dressed in black; a black mask covered most of his face. Before he had the chance to do something to Nate, I covered his mouth with my hand and used my weight to force him back into the living area. A slight pain on the side of my hip reminded me that the guy was not here to mess around, so I pushed him hard to get some space between us and turned on the light.
Glaring at me he put on a fighting pose, showing that he knew what he was doing. With an annoyed sigh I made the first quick step, kicking the knife out of his hands; having the knife so close to him wasn’t good for me. He followed my example and attacked me silently, making as little of a commotion as possible. Having someone hear wasn’t good for him either. As soon as he was close enough, I wanted to grab him to put my arms around his throat, but a sound coming from the bedroom distracted me for a second.
It had been long enough for my opponent to grab me and put his big, muscled arms around my throat, choking me just when Nate opened the door still sleepily. Nate froze watching us in horror. The guy was sure he had me and didn’t think of anything when I grabbed his upper arms. Quickly I forced him to lower himself a little bit, leaned my hip forward and thrust it backward and up while pulling my upper body downwards. With a big tumble over my back, he fell to the ground, I quickly followed him, pushing his body down, my legs around his torso and my arms around his throat this time, pulling him down onto the ground.
I couldn’t say how happy I was that nobody lived below Nate’s apartment, there were only some basements! Nate only stood there in shock, looking into my eyes as I chocked a big guy, probably three times my weight and a lot taller than me. He tried to get me off of him, but I didn’t budge until he stopped resisting and I let go of him. “Do you want to keep him to interrogate him or will I get rid of him?” I asked with a serious look at Nate, “He’ll have to die either way because he’ll tell whoever sent him and they will send more to go after us!” “You seem to be used to doing stuff like that…” Nate said with a pale face and sat down on the couch, “Who is he?”
“No idea yet, he didn’t introduce himself before he tried to attack you with a knife!” I said and tied the guy up neatly with a rope from my bag; a girl had to be prepared at all times! “Me? What did he want from me? And what knife?” he asked watching me closely. “Well, he broke in, and came straight to the bedroom when I surprised him and forced him back, the knife should be underneath the couch I guess. I kicked it out of his hands!” I explained and looked down at my waist. Fuck, I had actually liked that top! While pushing him out he seemed to have had the chance to cut me and totally ruin my shirt!
“You’re hurt!” Nate said shocked and jumped up from the couch, while I pulled off my t-shirt, “Such an idiot!” Using my top to clean the wound a bit, I followed Nate into the bathroom where he sat on the edge of the tub, pulling out a first aid kit. “Nate,” I said in a soft voice and held his shaking hands still, “It’s just a scratch, you don’t have to use everything in there, a simple wound dressing will do the job all right, I’m fine!”
“It seems serious!” he said and tried to get a look at it, “You should see a doctor!” “I’m fine!” I repeated and put the dressing on quickly, washed my hands and cleaned up the rest of the blood on my skin and sat down on Nate’s lap. Gently I kissed his forehead, his cheekbones, his nose and his lips, “I’m fine… That’s nothing, really!”
“So what are we going to do with that guy now?” I asked and pointed over to the still unconscious man. “We won’t be able to just drop him somewhere, right?” Nate asked and I shook my head quickly, making him sigh, “I’m still trying to get used to the thought of you being able to fight that guy in the first place…”
“That’s my life, you know?” I mumbled as we moved over to the sitting room and sat down on the couch, “But as you can see, I’m not good for you! I’m going to get you killed if I stay!” Nate sat down beside me, pulling my legs up onto his lap, “How often do I have to say it? I don’t care! I want you to stay, I want to spend the rest of my life with you! And if it ends up being an hour only, I’d still want to spend it with you!”
“You must be crazy!” I said and felt tears flood my eyes, again, “Staying with me, knowing who I am!” “I don’t care, I love you and that’s everything that matters to me!” he said and let his hands wander over my legs. Slowly his hands wandered higher, over my hips up to my face and wiped away the tears, “We’ve known each other for a while now, but I never thought you’d cry that easily!” Gently he stroked my cheek, comforting me, “But I think I like it, you always seemed very unapproachable and strong. That’s one of the things I like about you.”
I chuckled quietly and leaned my head against his shoulder, still crying I said, “And I never thought I’d cry ever again when I left the camp for good!” Nate wiped away my tears again and smiled wearily, “I’ll take care of that guy, you’ll relax and calm down again, and we’ll talk later.” Still gentle, he pushed my legs off, stood up and walked over to the guy on the ground.
“Nate!” I said shocked and jumped up as well, “Don’t!” “I am a federal agent; I’m like a police officer! I’ll write a protocol that he tried to kill me or something and I acted out of self-defense!” “Nate, don’t do that!” I tried again, trying to get Nate to stay away from the guy without hurting him, “You’ll have his blood on your hands! I don’t want you to have to live with that!”
“It’s fine, Vi, I’ll protect you!” he said and pulled our attacker towards the door, “He did hurt you!” “Please!” I said and felt those annoyingly stupid tears flood my eyes again, “I don’t want you to be forced to carry that burden because of me!” “But you want to put the weight of his life on your shoulders as well?” Nate asked visibly upset, “That’s something I don’t want, what do you think about that? You’re hurt and I don’t want you to be hurt even more! I know what it means to take a life!” “I’m sorry,” I whispered and put my arms around his neck, “I’m sorry for always hurting you!” “I’m sorry as well,” Nate whispered and had his fingers in between the bones on my shoulder faster as I would have thought possible!
When I opened my eyes again, I was lying on the couch, cuddled up in a blanket. The guy and Nate were both gone and I didn’t dare imagine what he would do to him or what he could do to Nate! He was a trained assassin, unlike Nate! Worried I jumped up from the couch and got dressed while my phone checked on Nate’s coordinates. With my phone in my hands, I ran out of the house towards the slowly moving signal.
I couldn’t have cared less that it was pouring raining, or that I was completely soaked by the time I reached Nate and that guy. Slowly I approached them, making sure not to make a sound to scare Nate since he was holding up his gun, pointing it at the still tied up assassin on the grass. It was still rather dark, the sun hadn’t been able to brighten up the morning yet and the clouds and the rain seemed to make it almost impossible.
I was only two steps away from Nate when I heard the gun recoil. Quickly I jumped forward, covering his eyes with my hands. Normal human beings were able to handle seeing a dead body but realizing they had just killed someone usually messed with their conscience. I didn’t have a conscience, so I was fine with it. Most people weren’t able to cope with the knowledge of having killed someone and I really didn’t want Nate to suffer because of me.
Nate didn’t move for quite a while, so I left my hands on his eyes to keep him from seeing the dead guy on the field. The continuing rain slowly washed away the blood that kept dripping from the hole in his chest.
Nate’s body had been still for quite a while, when he finally moved again, placing his hands on mine for a moment before pulling them down. “I’m fine, Vie, I’m really ok!” he said quietly with a convincing sound in his voice, “He won’t tell anyone about you!” “Are you stupid?” I asked shocked myself and felt tears in my eyes, “Would you really destroy yourself for me? What are you going to say? What were you thinking? Using your work gun! That’s what we have the black market for!”
“Oh… you’re right…” Nate said with a sigh, “I don’t know, I’ll think of something like he was trying to rob me or something…” That gave me an idea, “That’s actually not that bad… I’ll prepare the crime scene because there is no reason why you’d come here into the field unless to kill someone! Go home, put on some jogging gear and take a run to go over there!”
With a sigh, I pointed over to a building, perfect for the crime scene. It was high, old and had lots of older gunshot holes in already. While Nate had gone off without further protest, I heaved the untied corpse over to the house. Carefully I made sure that the grass and pollen from the field were washed off as well, I used his hands to touch the wound and placed some bloody prints on the wall, pretending he would struggle from the shot, falling backward and finally dropped him onto the ground. Luckily it was still raining, washing away the last bits of blood on the field and my footprints.
By the time Nate returned, I had talked to a guy to get me a gun from the black market, everything was set and I only needed to fire another shot past the planted prints to make sure they would believe him about the crime scene, most importantly about the cause of death and the things that lead to it. The gun was ready and in the dead guy's hand, I had convinced a few people to agree he had bought it a few days ago and had used his hand to pull the trigger to make sure the forensic team would find residue on his hand, proving that he had fired the shots.
The story I had come up with was easy and simple, considering where in New York we were it was very plausible as well. Nate had been jogging, thinking about something like Mullins death or so, when he ran into the guy, he tried to shoot Nate and so Nate had been forced to defend himself. While Nate had been off to take the car back and get changed, I had made sure that the story was believable and waterproof, at least believable for the CIA.
Shocked Nate looked at the scene I had created and over to the field, I didn’t even have to ask, I knew that he was worried, that he was curious as of how I had done that and probably why as well. “Do you do that kind of stuff often?” he asked and forced himself to look at the corpse. Quietly I nodded and looked at everything again, making sure not to leave a trace of my presence. Nate was obviously afraid of what I had done, probably worrying if I’d do something like that to him as well, maybe that was the only good thing I could ever do for him while he knew who I really was. Protecting him from what he was doing to protect me.
Quickly I explained what he was supposed to say and what he had done before I left. After all, I couldn’t be there once his colleagues would show up. I only waited for him to have called his boss, kissed him one last time.
Warily I waited, paced up and down Nate’s apartment; everything was up to Nate, how he’d explain what had happened and how. I could only hope and keep my fingers crossed that he’d be a good enough actor to make them believe he’d been attacked. Just to make sure he was doing fine I hacked into the CIA’s security systems with an almost untraceable worm and watched as Nate was being questioned. My mouth almost dropped as I recognized the face. He had trained me in a few different fields like swimming and maths, two things I had hated when I was a kid, including him.
I had never known his name, not even his number code; he had made me call him teacher if it was necessary to talk at all. Other than the formulas and the techniques he had never spoken much anyways. Now he stood there and silently watched Nate being interrogated. My nerves were on adrenalin, the hair in the back of my neck stood straight and my heart started to beat faster.
He was good, he might notice Nate’s nervousness, his tension, and his doubts. After all, Nate knew what had happened, he knew what he had done and he knew about the consequences. For a few moments, I wanted to go and get Nate, protect him from the danger he didn’t know of yet! But if I would show up and get him out by force they would know immediately and they would get back-up immediately. They would track us until the end of the world; we wouldn’t be able to escape, not even with my training.
Slowly I took a few deep breaths and forced my self to calm down. Everything seemed to be a threat, Nate going to work seemed to be a threat, him leaving the house seemed to be a threat and simply sleeping in his bed seemed to be the biggest threat! What would have happened if I hadn’t been there? Nate would be dead by now, murdered in his sleep with no chance to defend himself! I took another deep breath and sighed, I had to trust in Nate and his abilities and all I could do to support him was to stay here and patiently wait. I checked the time again and figured it was time to wake up for Nate’s girlfriend and worry about him, so I took my phone and gave him a call, planning on leaving a message to support his story.
When someone picked up the phone I spun around to check for the video feed, realizing that my teacher had vanished from the interrogation room. “Who is there?” the voice asked and I stopped breathing for a moment. It was him… “I’m Vivian, Nate’s girlfriend… where is he?” I asked composed with a touch of worry, “Are you a friend of Nate?” “No, I’m certainly not! Where was he this morning?” “That’s why I was trying to call him, he wasn’t here when I woke up, it’s been a while already and usually he wouldn’t go jogging for that long!” I explained and paused for a moment, “But if you’re not one of his friends, why are you answering his phone? Did something happen to him?” “He simply had a little encounter with a burglar, but he is fine so far!” he said and sounded a tiny bit skeptical, “Where is his gun?” “His gun?” I asked surprised and rolled my eyes, “Well, usually he has it with him whenever he goes jogging, the area is a bit fishy, you know. It’s not here anyway. Why? What happened?” Slowly I increased the panic in my voice, sounding convincingly worried. “Nothing, Miss,” he said and sounded rather annoyed, “He’ll contact you once he’s done…”
When he had hung up the phone, I let out a relieved sigh and sank down into the chair. Nate was fine so far. They had no choice but to believe his story… I had no choice… Gosh… I wouldn’t know what to do if they would keep Nate locked up for longer.
I just didn’t know what to do anymore, so I sent a text to my contact, hoping he would be able to help me with those emotions. But he didn’t reply. Maybe he was busy? Impatiently I paced up and down Nate’s kitchen, waiting for him to call or text or contact me in any way possible!