Vivian Riley Chapter 13
It seemed like hours had passed when my phone finally started to ring. “Nate?” I asked as I picked up the call, “Are you ok?” “Sure, why shouldn’t I?” Nate asked, sounding normal. “I called you this morning when I woke up, what happened? Some guy picked up your phone, telling me you ran into a burglar! Are you alright?” I asked worried, sticking to the story in case someone was listening. Nate took the hint and I heard him sigh, “Yes, but I’ll tell you about that later, I’ll come home in a little while now, so don’t worry, honey!”
“Are you sure?” I asked, sounding worried, “Please take a cab now, I don’t want you to run into any bad guys on your way back!” “I think I’ll do that…” he agreed and whispered, “I’ll see you in a bit, and Vi, I love you!” “I love you, too!” I whispered and couldn’t believe how good it felt to tell him those three words and mean it. Even though I wasn’t sure if I was capable to feel those emotions, but at least at the moment, it felt right and good.
With my phone back in my pocket, I pulled out my other phone and wrote another text to my contact, telling him that I thought that I had fallen in love, asking what I should do about it. But again, no reply. Maybe he was really busy and would contact me whenever he was ready. As soon as the text was sent and the phone was back in my pocket, I returned to pacing through the kitchen until I heard a scraping sound at the door, a key was pushed into the door and with a clicking sound, it opened.
Frozen in my movement, I watched as the door flung open and Nate walked in. Surprised he stopped and looked at me, as I ran forward and jumped into his arms, “You’re back!” “I guess I am,” he said and chuckled, while closing the door behind us, “You look horrible, did someone torture you while I was with the CIA?” I chuckled and put my feet back on the ground.
“I wasn’t, at least not really,” I admitted and kissed his lips, “I was worried about you, so I checked up on you over the feed from the security cameras around the interrogation room and the guy, I’ve known him from the camp! I thought he might know and hurt you!” Understanding my concern, he nodded, “He was a creep, he asked really specific questions as well!” “He was trying to find a weak spot because you were friends with Mullen. Or at least something like it! He was probably sent by Alexander along with the assassin. Maybe he was supposed to investigate your death and hide all the evidence afterward.” I explained and let my fingers play with the hair in the back of his head.
Nate’s hands slowly moved over my body, pulling me close against his chest. A shiver ran through my body and I pressed my lips against his lips in a passionate kiss. A knock on the door almost made me jump, but Nate only sighed in frustration and opened the door. An older woman in a pant suite stood there with a crest in her arms. “We found this in Mullen’s car, it’s yours, isn’t it?” she asked, not even bothering to say hi or even take a look at me, “Weren’t you looking for it?” “Oh, yes, I forgot that I had it with me in his car, I must have left it there or something! Thanks, Agent Montgomery!” Nate said surprised and took the crest from her, she looked at Nate again and sighed, “If I wouldn’t have seen the two of you at work every day, I would have thought you two were friends! Either way, I also wanted to express my condolences because of Mullen. He’s been a great Agent and colleague.”
“Thank you,” Nate said again and wondered how she could have meant it with Mullen and him being like friends. “You should rest, I’ve heard what happened, so I’m grateful you’re ok. Losing two essential members of our team in such a short time isn’t good.” “Thanks,” Nate said again and kind of smiled at her a little.
“You’ve always been doing a great job, so take a day or two before you go back to work, we’ll need you at full power once you’re back!” she said and looked at me for the first time, “You seem like a nice person, make sure he rests a lot, have a good day!” Without another word she turned around and left.
For a little while, we stood there, wondering what she had meant, but I was happy that Nate’s colleagues seemed to be nice at least. With a sigh, I pulled Nate back inside, closing the door behind us. He went over to the couch, the box in his hands. “What’s wrong?” I asked as he stared at the crest in his hands. “It’s mine, but I don’t know how it got into Mullen’s hands… I only showed him once, but he laughed because he thought it was very childish, so I hid it in my apartment and never pulled it out again. How did he get it?” Nate wondered and I was alerted immediately, “Don’t move, don’t open it, just give me a minute!” In my bag, I looked for the detector and quickly scanned the box, but there seemed to be nothing explosive inside. Carefully I put my ear closer to the crest, trying to listen to what was inside, but it was totally silent.
“Does it feel like it is empty?” I asked calmly and stood up again. “Well, there seems to be something inside. It’s not heavy though!” he said and I nodded, “Ok, where is your crest? Where did you put it when you hid it?” Confused Nate told me and I made my way to look for it, but instead of a wooden box, I found a shoe carton, pulled it out and brought it over to Nate, “I found this instead, is it yours? It feels very light, so I don’t think there is much inside.” “Not mine, no…” he said and shook his head.
Carefully I opened it and found a note. “What’s inside?” he asked curiously. “A note…” I mumbled surprised and looked at it, “It’s a number… Do you know what it means?” Nate shook his head after reading the numbers, thinking about what he knew about Ron Mullen. “Ok, so what could it be?” I asked, approaching it like it was a part of a job, “It could be a phone number, no, maybe a part of it, but it’s too short. An address, coordinates, a locker… what was the number of his locker at work?” “Not sure, but they only have one letter and two digits, not four digits,” Nate said, wondering what they could be.
I pulled out my phone and typed in the four numbers as coordinates, but ended up somewhere in the middle of nowhere, too far away to hide something. Maybe it was a locker at a train station or something. With a sigh, I looked at Nate, “Any idea’s? You’ve known him far better than me. If he wanted to hide something, where would he take it? Or try to think of it like this, did he have a place where he often went to? Like on a regular basis?”
“Don’t know if anyone would want to hide anything there, but I know of a place he went to, almost every day!” he said, looking a little uncomfortable, “But if you want to go there, maybe we should change wardrobe…” Annoyed I rolled my eyes, “Let me guess, a strip club?” “Correct!” Nate said with a wry smile, “He’d been nagging me to come along, telling me he’d make a proper man out of me! I’ve picked him up from there a few times when he was too drunk to know whom to call…” A silent tear ran down his cheek and I felt myself drawn to him, to console him, to embrace him.
“I can go myself if you don’t want to go!” I said as I hugged him, “It’s ok.” “No!” he said, “I need to go there… This is about Ron’s testimony, I need to go.” “Fine…” I smiled at him, “So we should go and change our clothes, maybe I need to go to my place for a minute to get some stuff though.” “Your place?” he asked curious now, “Did you just say, we’re going to your place?” Chuckling I nodded and put my arms around his neck, gently kissing his lips. Instead of getting changed, he directed me into the bedroom, pulling me close against his chest and onto the bed.
It was already late evening when we finally showered and went off to my apartment so I could get changed and get a few things to be prepared for anything. Nate was seriously surprised to find my apartment only a few minutes from his away. “So my apartment is different to normal peoples’ apartments… It might look normal, but it’s not…” I said carefully, as we approached my door. “What do you mean by different?” Nate asked, “Are you hiding weapons under your pillow?” “Yes, it helps me to sleep,” I said and unlocked my door, leading him into my apartment.
“But you don’t have anything in my apartment!” Nate said and I smiled, “I have you, for some reason, I can sleep better when you’re there. But as that guy proved it would have been better if I had something in your apartment as well.” “Oh…” Nate mumbled as he looked around my apartment, “It looks so normal…”
“That’s what it’s supposed to look like!” I said and chuckled, walking over to my wardrobe to get a change of clothes, suitable for a strip club. “Supposed?” Nate asked, “Isn’t this your home?” “I don’t have a home, this is just a façade, and because I need a base, I can’t carry around all of my equipment, it’d be very suspicious and horribly inconvenient in a chase.” “Sounds plausible…” Nate said and looked at everything he could see.
When Nate turned around again, he saw me and his mouth dropped open, his eyes wide open as well. While he had been busy exploring, I had changed my clothes to look quite a bit like a stripper. “What?” I asked, making sure I looked like I wanted to and not like something else, “Something wrong with the outfit?” “I can’t let you go out like that!” Nate managed to say breathlessly.
“Why not?” I asked and checked my look in the mirror again. “There are going to be a lot of drunk guys out there! I don’t want to share this view with anyone!” he explained and couldn’t take his eyes off me, but I started to understand where he was coming from. “What are you? Seventeen?” I asked chuckling and smiled, “We are going to a strip club, what do you suggest I should wear?”
For a moment it seemed like Nate was lost, it was obvious that I couldn’t go in jeans and a big jumper. “Maybe something… more? This outfit does show an awful lot of skin…” he mumbled as he approached me, “Whenever I see your skin, I want to kiss every inch of it!” “Wow, wow, wow, slow down, horsey!” I chuckled as Nathan let his fingers slide over my skin, “We still have a task to fulfill! You do want to know what these numbers are for, don’t you? So don’t get distracted now!”
Nate sighed but nodded, “I want to know why he had my crest!” “Ok, so tell me all you know about that club!” I asked and looked through my clothes if I would find something that would do the job, but also keep Nate happy. “Well, as far as I know, it’s one of the biggest clubs in the city, Ron always said the girls there were the prettiest and the sexiest and even though it’s not officially on the >menu<, they have rooms up above to take girls or guys up to. Sometimes they call some of the guests up to dance and they are allowed to keep the tips they get!” he told me and I decided I was dressed quite right to get to go out back in case we wouldn’t be able to get to a locker or something.
I put a few knives and a gun into a handbag, along with a few ropes and clothes to wear when we were done. The last thing I needed was something to prevent the metal detector to go off or show what was inside my bag. I had a device just like that. My bag was like one of those Asian trick boxes, if someone would search it, they would find random things I had put in to appear normal and the clothes and a bottom of the bag. I grabbed a coat and kissed Nate, “We’ll get in there, and once we’re back, you’ll get a special show!”
Nathan smiled, probably imagining what the show could be. With this new event to look forward to, I was able to convince him quite quickly to not make a fuss about my outfit after all and come along to the strip club. For all, I knew the numbers could mean something else entirely, but I had to try. I had the feeling that those numbers had something to do with me.
Quickly I tied my red hair up into a neat ponytail, my bangs fixed with hairpins, put on black gloves, a necklace with a light blue pendant and black satin sandals with heels. Just to be on the safe side, I put brown boots into the bag as well; running in high heels wasn’t one of my most favorite activities. After checking my things again, I looked at Nate, “So, are you ready to get a taste of my world?” “Is that why you packed a knife?” he asked suddenly insecure, “Because going to a strip club is going to turn out just as dangerous as >waking up in the middle of the night< because an assassin is trying to strangle you?”
“That’s nothing special for me,” I said with a sad smile, “Stuff like that happens a lot, only usually I’m the one attacking and usually I’m successful! But I like to be prepared for everything.” Nate nodded and led me back out of the building, and together we walked towards the club.
Once we had reached the club, I was glad to hear voices again since Nate hadn’t said a word the entire way. The bouncer looked at me from head to toe, his eyes glued to my very deep neckline, showing quite a bit of the turquoise bra I was wearing underneath the tight dark red dress that just about covered my butt before he returned to my face. “Enjoy the show!” he said and let us pass.
“Have you ever been inside?” I asked Nate as we followed the noisy music down a hall. “No, I’ve never been a fan of clubs like this…” he admitted and I smiled at him as he asked, “Have you?” “Not in here, but in others, sometimes as a girl waiting to be picked up by a guy, sometimes as a dancer….” I trailed off, leaving the rest to his imagination. As we entered the club, the acoustic level suddenly seemed overwhelming, keeping us from having a conversation.
Since we wanted to get out back we wanted to use plan A, getting me to get on stage and get access to the back like that. If that wouldn’t happen fast enough, I’d fall back on plan B, getting Nate to be hot for me, paying for a room to get busy. For a while, we were dancing and I started to feel sorry for Nate, having to come here with me, having me turn him on like that, knowing I couldn’t give him enough attention for at least another hour! In all the time I had spent with him so far, I knew what made him lose his mind, and what I did and what I wore, made him crazy and that was a fact! His jeans seemed a whole lot tighter than when we left my apartment!
After an hour of dancing and enjoying the other half naked girls on stage, I decided I couldn’t torture Nate any longer, so I pulled him towards a wall, just to get out of the crowd and follow plan B. As far as I had observed so far, the club owner didn’t like to see people making out too much, so they pulled everyone out back eventually. Once we were out, I didn’t care if it was to kick us out or to send us up to a room, I would handle that easily. For now, we needed to get over to the door though.
After gently pulling Nate close against me, I pulled my hair over one shoulder, giving him better access to the other side of my neck. Nate took the hint and started kissing my neck, feasting on what I gave him. In the meantime, I had the chance to observe the rest of the strip club, all the guys and girls watching the dancers, dancing, and drinking. Security wasn’t yet interested in us, so I dared to close my eyes, simply enjoying Nathan’s lips on my skin.
“Excuse me?” I suddenly heard a voice shout in our ears, “This is a club, not a love hotel! If you could please, refrain from publically showing your affection that would be great!” To my surprise it wasn’t one of the bouncers, it was a man in a suit, tall, handsome. His hair was pitch black, his eyes green, framed by dark glasses and he looked at us with a mix of annoyance and boredom. “Sorry!” Nate said and smiled at him with a smirk, “It’s just so damn hard to keep my hands off her…”
He let his gaze wander over my entire body and the other guy followed his eyes, exploring my dress and finally nodded, “I get that… still, if you guys are that horny, maybe it’s time for you to go home or to a hotel!” Realising that wouldn’t go anywhere, I forced my self to turn pale, I increased my breathing, rolled my eyes and pretended to faint.
I had expected to slide to the floor, instead, I felt Nate’s arms catch me and lift me up into his arms. “Viv!” he shouted over the music, sounding worried, “What’s wrong?” Sorry Nate, I thought and remained unconscious. Apparently, I did a great job, because the guy suggested to put me down on a bed and get me some water to drink. I felt Nate walk through the crowd, holding me close against his chest. “You can put her down there!” the guy said and I heard his footsteps go away again, “I’ll get the water, stay there!”
Once the door was closed again, I opened my eyelids just a little bit to make sure we were alone. “Nate! I’m fine, just pretending, get rid of the guy, don’t let him call an ambulance, think of something if he insists!” I whispered quickly and closed my eyes again before the guy returned. Nate had gently placed me on a bed and sat down by my side, softly stroking my face, just when the guy returned.
“How is she?” he asked, “Will I call an ambulance?” “No, she’ll be fine, I’ll take her home once she wakes up. I think she didn’t eat properly today… you know how women are with their food… She just needs to eat something and measure her blood sugar.” Nate explained as if that happened all the time around him. “Are you sure?” the other guy’s voice asked and I heard him sigh in relief, “I’ll get someone to make sure you are staying in there, they’ll escort you back into the club later. If she doesn’t get better they can also call the ambulance for you! I’ve got to get back to work!”
The door closed and Nate and I were alone. “Phew… that was close…” Nate mumbled and bent down to kiss me, “I didn’t see any lockers or proper rooms, maybe Mullen was just messing with me. Once again…” “Don’t worry, I’ll find a way. There are rooms upstairs, probably just for VIP. We’ll still get there!” I said and got out of the bed. “What are you going to do?” he asked, worried again. “Well, we’ll be going through those shafts. We’ll be gone as soon as we can!” I said with a smile and grabbed my bag, “The other possibility is to knock the two bodyguards out and walk through the door, the only problem is, there will be security cameras!”
“The shafts it is!” he said and sighed, “You sure about this?” Smiling I opened the shaft, climbed in and crawled through it, listening to Nate following me quietly. As silent as possible we made our way through the old ventilation system, luckily the club was so loud that they wouldn’t hear Nate’s breathing and the sound of our bodies sliding through the rectangle metal pipes.
Once we reached another room, I glanced through the bars of the cover, trying to see if the room was clear. And we were lucky, at least so far. Gently I lifted the cover, crawling through the opening, holding the cover for Nate, “There is a computer; I can hack into the system and find out if they have lockers and what kind of rooms they have!” It was kind of funny to watch Nate climbing out, it didn’t look like he had done that before. Maybe I’d have to take him to a training ground to get him used to tasks like that.
I pulled out my torch and got a good look at the room, before handing it to Nate and sat down to hack into the clubs system. “Ok, we’ll have approximately five minutes before we have to leave. Their server will probably detect me quickly and they’ll send someone to find out what’s going on in here. I can switch off their cameras, so we can simply walk through the hall, but that’ll only give us about half an hour!” I explained and glanced at Nate for a second. He seemed to enjoy the thrill of danger.
Once I was done with the cameras, I quickly worked on the plans. But instead of lockers or rooms, I found a laboratory! Gosh… how I hated it when stuff like that happened. “Nate… We have a problem. The reason for those bodyguards was that they didn’t want us getting a chance of sneaking around. They are having a lab upstairs!” quickly I took another glance at the plans and erased everything, but the cameras that I had done, “I want you to go, down the hall is a door, it will lead you straight to an emergency exit, walk down and go home!”
“Go home implies that you’re not coming?” Nate asked with a fierce expression, “And what kind of lab?” “Drugs, Nate,” I said with a sigh, “They are producing their own drugs, mixing them into some peoples drinks or selling them, no idea, don’t want to know, but the chemicals they are using are not good for any living creature! And no, I’m going to pay them a visit.” “I’m coming along!” he said and glared at me, “You’re not going in there on your own!”
I sighed and rolled my eyes, “Since I don’t have time to discuss this, fine, come along, just don’t freak out up there, please! And most of all, DON’T try to protect me!” As fast as I could I pulled out my jeans and the brown top I had brought and got changed. Sneaking up on anyone wasn’t good in high heels! I put on socks and slipped into the boots, attached a rope onto my jeans, took a knife and the torch and shoved everything else into the bag. “Ok, so let’s get this party started!” I said with a smile and tied my hair into a new ponytail as some had gotten loose, having my hair fly into my face wasn’t handy during combat.
After a quick glance through the door, I waved Nate to follow me and we rushed down the hall and through a door to get upstairs. Silently we snuck further but the door leading to the lab was locked. I sighed frustrated, well, their security guys already knew we were here, so what the hell. I turned around and smiled at Nate, “Don’t try to copy that, please!” With that, I spun around quickly and kicked the door just next to the lock with my boot and the lock broke through.
The door spun open and I walked in, “The party’s over!” I glanced over to Nate and whispered, “Watch your back, I can only hope your combat skills are good, otherwise… that’s the last chance to get out of here!” For a second the few scientists looked at us in confusion, “You won’t get away with this! You’ll be shot in less than five minutes!” “You wish!” I laughed and told Nate to keep an eye on the scientists, not to let them touch anything, while I killed their computers with a virus. Once I was done, I heard the footsteps of men, coming closer to the lab.
“Gosh, they sure took their time!” I chuckled and hit the two scientists unconscious, getting Nate to help me tie them up so they wouldn’t disturb us during the fight. “Now we have a little water leakage downstairs in the club, the virus I used also triggers the fire alarms, giving everyone a nice shower while also setting off the internal alarm so they think there’s a fire and leave the club!” I explained to Nate as I smiled at the first guy coming through the door.
He was fit, broad shoulders and lots of muscles; especially in his thighs… he was probably the fastest. But despite his enthusiasm, he only got to taste my boot as I spun around, dodging his approach with a cartwheel. “Now, that was fun, what else can you do while your friends are still fighting the stairs?” I asked and winked at Nate, “Come on, or I’ll get bored!”
He tried again and this time I stepped closer, turning around, grabbing his arms and throwing him over my shoulder into one of the glass tables and the chemicals. Number one didn’t get up anymore. Finally, the others had reached the top of the stairs and entered the room. When they started to shoot, mainly me, because Nate didn’t seem like a threat, I dodged, pulled out a few knives from my boots and threw them. Gosh, I loved those boots… I had improved them by attaching knives almost everywhere possible. The knives had killed another two, while the other three had simply dropped their guns, the knives sticking in their arms. Ouch… that hurt, I'd had that before as well and it hadn’t felt great!
Quickly I jumped onto the table and kicked everything out of my way, preferably towards those guys, knowing that any of those chemicals would also burn like hell. And if not, the shattering glass would still hurt. Once I was closer I did a somersault off the table, landed in front of one of the guys and kicked him hard into the gut that he flew back against the wall. By the time I got to look at the other two again, they had recovered from the knives and the glass splinters and tried to attack me again. They were more skilled than the first, which felt better since I didn’t think of it as fighting if they were way under my experience and weight… although they probably weighed three times as much as me!
Nate seemed to have caught up with the scene and threw one of the guys over his shoulder, so I busied myself with the other two, keeping them off of Nate. One guy grabbed me, trying to choke me, so I pushed my hips back, forcing him to bend over me and jumped, easily flying over his head, just as his friend tried to shoot me. Ah well. Another one down, two to go. Quickly I dodged from his uncoordinated shots because his strong arm was still useless because of the cut.
I took my chance when he had to change the magazine and jumped at him, ramming another one of my knives in an upwards motion into his stomach, under his ribs, piercing his lungs and his heart. “Are you ok, Nate?” I asked and pulled my knives out of the five guys. Just to make sure I plunged one of them into the first guy's heart and looked at Nate. “Fine… I’m fine…” he mumbled, “Are you always approaching a drug lab like this?”
“Nope, that would be reckless. Most labs are better protected, but this is just a small one. And they piss me off because they don’t have what we’re looking for!” I said chuckling and poured a bottle of plain water over the scientists’ heads, “Are you doing this because you want to, or were you forced to?” “We were forced to!” the agreed immediately and I sighed annoyed, “Fine, I’ll pretend to believe you!” I knocked them out again and Nate helped me pull them down the stairs, and out through the back door.
“Ok, stay here for a second; I want to make sure they won’t make any more drugs in here! I’ll be right back!” I said, dropped the scientist behind a dumpster and ran back inside. Nate didn’t even have a chance to protest. One my way I knocked another few guys out ran back upstairs. One look around was enough to confirm that it was empty, except for the seven dead guys of course. With a sigh I grabbed a few chemicals from the shelves and mixed them together, I spilled the liquid in the middle of the room and made a trail of high percentage alcohol to the broken door.
That would give me a few seconds to get down the stairs. I pulled a match out of my bag, set it on fire and threw it onto the trail, once I was sure it had caught fire, I leaped down the stairs and out through the door just as the lab and all the chemicals and traces exploded. “Wait for only one more minute!” I called over to Nate and ran towards the street to get a car.
Backwards I drove into the alley behind the club and stopped it, leaving the engine running. “Let’s get those two in the trunk and drop them at the police station!” I suggested, knowing Nate wouldn’t want to let me kill them because there was a small chance that they were actually being held captive, and being forced to make the drugs. Willingly he helped me, “By the way, where did you get that car from?” “Do you really want to know?” I asked and chuckled, “I borrowed it and we’ll leave it in front of the nearest station. And no, we’re not going inside, because they’ll ask too many questions and try to put down my contact details and what not. Since I don’t exist, they’ll simply lock me up as well, probably linking me to all kinds of murder cases.”
“Fine by me…” Nate said with a smile, “At least write a note so they know what’s going on!” “Ok, in my bag is another pair of gloves, you should wear them while you’re in here!” I said seriously and smiled again, “There should also be paper and a pen.” I parked the car in front of the next station and took the note from Nate, quickly writing about the drug lab, the two scientists, insisting on being innocent and forced to do it, about where I had stolen the car from and the plates of the car. I also wrote down that it wasn’t a joke.
After that, I folded the sheet and put it into an envelope along with the keys. They had been in the car. Who still hid their car keys inside of their cars? Nate dropped the envelope through the door and we ran around the next corner and down the street. Chuckling and panting we came to a halt, looking at each other. “That was a very easy job, just that I probably won’t get paid for that one…” I chuckled and pulled out my coat to hide the blood stains and my knives and my goosebumps…
“It was strange watching you…” Nate said after a while and took my hand, “I wanted to protect you from those guys, but before I was able to even jump up, you had him on his back, only whimpering! I didn’t know what to do… but it was exciting!” Chuckling I nodded, “If you want I can teach you some things, like how to properly crawl through ventilation shafts!”
“And I thought about taking you to a gun range, teaching you how to use a gun!” Nate laughed and nodded, “Well, the last time I crawled through anything was when I was a kid! But I guess it would be nice to have you teach me!” I stopped and smiled at Nate, “Do you remember our first meeting in New Zealand?” Nate nodded and I smiled even wider, “Well, the Senator, the one that was killed by a shot through his chest… That was me. The morning when you met me in that café.”
Nathan looked at me with an impressed expression and I chuckled, leaned into him and kissed his lips. Immediately I felt his arms close around me, pulling me in closer and intensifying the kiss. “How was that about a special show afterward?” I heard Nate’s hoarse voice as our lips parted, making me chuckle again. “Well, we should go to my place so… I’ll have to get rid of the blood on the knives as well…” I said as I pulled him down the road, still holding hands.