Unleashed Ch. 08bycassandraharper©
"Will you do me a favor? If I ask you about Jessica's past lovers, would you tell me?"
Marc eyed Eithne skeptically as he put down his toast. "There's just something I would like for you to enlighten me about," he said never breaking eye contact with Eithne's hazel eyes.
"And what exactly would that be?" Eithne asked taking a sip of his coffee.
"I've been doing a little research."
"And?" Eithne asked shrugging his shoulder.
"How is it that for the last eight years there has been no records of an Eithne Brennan Forrester? Either you disappeared off the face of the earth then suddenly reappeared or you're an imposter."
Eithne smiled leaning back in his seat as he casually looked about for Jessica and her sisters. "What do you want to know?" he asked opting to tell the truth instead of lying.
"Everything. Who are you?"
Eithne smiled again shrugging his shoulders, "I don't know, if I were to tell you everything it could take all day. My name is Eithne Brennan Forrester. I was born in Dublin, Ireland—"
"Smart ass," Marc said on a chuckle. "You know exactly what I'm talking about. You graduated high school with high honors yet didn't attend university even though you had a fully paid scholarship. Instead you entered the military at the age of seventeen and suddenly at the age of twenty you disappeared and eventually resurfaced the beginning of last year. That's what I want to know about."
Eithne snorted taking a sip of his hot coffee. "You've really done your research, lad." He smiled leaning forward into his seat, his smile slowly melting into an expressionless mask. "What I tell you remains confidential unless you want to come up missing, do you understand?"
Eithne relaxed into his seat. "What I'm about to tell you not even my parents are aware. Since you already know, there's no beating around the bush. I was absent for the past eight years because I am a part of the SIS or what you Americans would call the MI6 under the DI (Defense Intelligence). I guess you could call it the special forces."
"Holy shit. You're a part of the Military Intelligence section 6? That's like the FBI or the CIA," Marc said astonished.
"Want to say it any louder?"
"Sorry," he apologized putting his voice in check.
"For those past six years I traveled to twenty five different countries tracking down the scum of the earth."
"So you're not just a simple military man?"
"If only," Eithne said on a chuckle. "I've killed more people than I'd like to admit."
"Hold on, you said for the past eight years so what happened to the other two?" Marc asked confused.
Eithne gritted his teeth and took a deep breath. "I was sent to Bratislava to investigate possible terrorist activity against the UK—things got a little out of control."
"What do you mean?"
Eithne didn't like drudging up his past, but he trusted Marc which was the reason why he was confiding in him. "We had tracked our man to a small village of about one thousand inhabitants. The bastard had his men barricading the village, raping the women and children, stealing their money, and just exploiting them." Eithne had to calm himself. He had begun to see red thinking about it. "The order was to bring him in unharmed so that night we infiltrated his domain and found his men..." He couldn't continue. Describing to Marc the atrocities he had witnessed was too much. He couldn't handle it. Even now he was seeing the piles of dead bodies, the little girls made to prostitute themselves for the soldiers; he could smell the stench of blood tingling his nostrils...
"I went A-wall," he confessed. "There had to be over three hundred men when I got there, but by the time I left there were at least fifty. I brought him in like I was told to—at least what was left of him. My superiors told me that I was too much of a wild gun and that I needed to take some time off with the psychologist to get analyzed. I told them they could kiss my arse and was MIA for the last two years until they finally found me off the coast of Madagascar. As of this year I'm on leave."
"Until they need you," Marc said.
"They can still kiss my arse. I told them that they would be lucky if I changed my mind and went back."
"Would you ever?"
Eithne shrugged. "I don't know. Now that I've had the time to think about that part of my life and the things that I've done or seen, I don't know if I'd ever want to pick back up where I left off. I don't like the thought of killing people just because the Big Man says that it's okay. I've done a lot of crazy things in my life and I've killed a lot of people, but I believe in justice. I'm not going to sit here and pretend as if there is no corruption going on in the world, but I'd like to think that everyone deserves a fair trial."
"I never thought that I'd be looking at a black eagle in the flesh."
Eithne snorted, "That's in my past until I have to go back and as far as you know, I'm only Eithne Forrester the struggling artist. Understood?"
"If Jessica ever finds out—"
"You don't have to worry about that. The only reason I knew about your records is because I hacked into your government documents. Don't worry, I do background checks on everyone. At least you're keeping up with the artist façade," Marc said nodding his head in approval.
"Façade? Who said that it was ever a façade? Give me thirty minutes and I can draw you a picture of the Mona Lisa better than Da Vinci could have ever created it," Eithne boasted. "Now about my question. Jessica's past lovers?"
Marc took a bite of his breakfast in deep contemplation. "Well, ever since Big Man Whitaker's death, Jessica hasn't really been in relationships...but there was this one guy. Charles."
"Charles? Just Charles? No last name?" Eithne asked looking up at the ceiling thoughtfully.
"I never liked the guy so I never paid him any attention, but he just upped and disappeared one day."
"And you don't have a last name?"
"Would you let me think for a second you blood hound," Marc said beating his brain for memories. "Charles...Ryder. Yeah Ryder. Some wanna be big shot. I hated his guts and was glad when they broke up. Why?"
"Will you help me locate him?' Eithne asked downing the rest of his coffee.
"What are you up to?"
"Nothing much. I just want to see what my old competition looks like."
"Are you planning on beating the shit out of him? Because if so—"
"You're not going to stop me."
"I was going to say let me tag along. I still feel as if Jessica's excuse for their breakup was bogus. I think that fucker said or did something to her because afterwards she just wasn't the same. I want to get my hands on him."
Eithne smiled nodding his head. "All right, but I'm not going to let you have all of the fun."
Marc laughed. "Consider him found as of yesterday."
"That's all I'm asking for."
"What are you asking for?" Jessica said interrupting the men's' conversation. Her stomach dipped at the look on Eithne's face as his hazel green eyes roamed up then down her body. He crooked his finger in her direction, raising an eyebrow when she didn't come to him like he asked. She dragged her feet towards him, listening as her sisters finally entered behind her with her niece babbling in broken baby jargon.
"What is it?" she asked finally standing in front of Eithne. She watched him lick his lips and sighed right before he kissed her.
"Morning," Eithne told her softly.
"Yeah," Jessica said then cleared her throat as she turned around to rummage through her bags. "Here," she said as if she was bored, slamming a bouquet of flowers into his chest. "I thought you might like these."
"Dandelions?" Eithne asked confused.
"Yeah, a client gave them to me and I didn't want them so I figured I'd give it to you instead of throwing them away."
"Thanks, I guess," he said uncertainly. He had never been given flowers by a girl before. Actually, he had never received flowers a day in his life.
"Do you like them? Because I can always throw them out."
"No, they're...lovely," Eithne said as he curiously eyed Marc. "Besides, I heard that every flower has a meaning."
"Why yes," Grecko interrupted eagerly. "Did you know that Dandelion was actually an old French name adapted into English? It used to stand for loyalty and faithfulness, but somewhere along the Victorian period it came to represent love's oracle and coquetry. Cool isn't it?" she asked overzealously.
"You have to forgive her," Dasha told him when he began to frown. "She's somewhat of a flower enthusiast. She can keep going for days."
"Ok. That was strange," he told them absentmindedly tapping the bouquet up and down in the palm of his hand. "Any who, you ladies were up quite early. What was that all about?"
"We were just having a girls' morning out," Jessica said not wanting to divulge the fact that they had spent three hours that morning at a floral boutique to find the perfect bundle of flowers to give to him. She would have died from embarrassment if she ever had to admit that fact.
"At the office?" Eithne asked confused.
"You said that a client gave you these flowers which would mean that you girls were at the bridal shop this morning. How did you spend a girls' day at the office?"
"What she meant to say is that we stopped by the office first to check up on our storage then we went out shopping," Grecko rectified holding up some shopping bags.
"Then why didn't you drop the flowers back home beforehand?" Eithne said suspiciously.
"What the hell is this an interrogation?" Dasha interrupted getting frustrated that Eithne wasn't accepting the flowers with a big smile and kisses like Chun Li normally did. Flowers always got her inside of those panties.
"Dasha, stop being so defensive," Grecko muttered glaring at her.
"I'm just saying that we spent the entire morning looking—ow! What did you hit me for?"
"Yeah, what did you hit her for?" Eithne reiterated. They were acting strangely.
"I didn't hit her," Grecko denied almost wincing at the look of nervous panic on Jessica's face.
"Yes, you did."
"You kind of did, sweetheart," Marc said nodding his head in the positive before changing it to the negative. "I forgot to tell you man, sometimes Grecko has weird ticks...if she eats...too much sugar," he lied horribly.
"Really?" Eithne muttered dryly.
"Anyway, that is beside the point," Jessica yelled unaware that she was speaking loudly.
"And what exactly would that point be because the three of you are acting strangely, even the baby is acting more normal than you are and she's trying to swallow someone's car keys," Eithne pointed out.
"Give me those." Jessica snatched the keys from her niece giving her a stern frown that had her hiding her adorable little face in her mother's chest. "The point is that if you hate the flowers give them to me and I'll throw them out." She didn't mean to snatch the bouquet out of his hands, but now that she had them she would dump them in the trash. Getting flowers was a stupid idea for girls, she surmised.
"Give me back my flowers you Indian giver," Eithne told her grabbing them before they fell into the trash.
"Do you even know what an Indian giver is?"
"I do, you," he told her poking her in the chest with the Dandelion's yellow petals. "It's someone who gives a present then takes it back. Now you gave me these bloody flowers and I'll be putting them in water. And if you dare touch them before they have wilted, you'll regret it." He turned his back with a grin on his face. It had all snapped into place in his head when he caught the big look of disappointed painted upon Jessica's beautiful face earlier. She had gotten him the flowers herself and was too proud, maybe even too embarrassed, to admit that they were from her. Therefore, he would cherish them. He wouldn't hurt her pride or her feelings by confessing that he knew her little secret so he played along instead.
"You don't just throw out perfectly good flowers."
"Didn't I tell you that it would work?" Dasha whispered to them with an I-told-you-so smug grin on her face. "Now you give him that present that we picked out today and he's all yours."
"Really?" Jessica asked huddling in a circle with her sisters, all three unawares that they looked like a group of football players strategizing the next play than a group of women with two curiously watching men, conniving a plan to make someone fall in love.
"Yeah, and I think that you should just go for it. Give him the present, throw him over your shoulder, take him to bed, then dominate that D," Dasha said already envisioning it in her mind.
"There's no possible way that Jessica could hang Eithne over her shoulder like a ragdoll. Have you forgotten how big he is?" Grecko told her slapping her upside the head.
"You're going to stop hitting me. So I messed up with my explanation, it doesn't mean that you have to jump on my back because of it. What I meant was that you tell him to toss you over his shoulder and take you to the bedroom where you'll dominate that D."
Grecko rolled her eyes in exasperation even though she couldn't deny that she wanted to laugh.
"What are you all up to?" Eithne asked crossing his arms about his chest.
"Hush! Don't you see that we're scheming?"
"Ignore the blonde, please and give us a few minutes. We're having girl talk." Grecko turned back to her sisters then nearly burst into laughter when her daughter's slobbery mouth landed on her own. "Go play with Daddy and Uncle Eithne," she told her putting her down.
"Guys, you told me that this courting thing was easy. You give 'em flowers, you buy 'em gifts, and you feed 'em. So far this is not going so well. What am I supposed to do now?"
"Stop listening to Dasha," Grecko said clamping her hand over her sister's mouth when she attempted to speak. "She thinks like a man whereas what you need is a woman's perspective."
"Don't listen to Grecko, Jessie, she thinks that she's always right," she said removing her sister's hand. "Step one has already been implemented, all that you have to do is take him out to dinner and give him the present. Be yourself and tell him jokes. Humor wins everyone over. It works all the time for me."
"I don't know any jokes. You know that I've always been horrible at telling jokes!" Jessica squealed about to have a panic attack.
"Stop it. If you start to scream, I'm going to dump you in the Jacuzzi. Don't you think that we have already prepared for this?" Grecko told her. "That is why, Dasha and I will be helping you out on your date."
"We're going to give you an ear piece and help you along when you stumble. All right?"
"Ok. That works."
"Good, team work on three," Grecko said with a big smile putting her hand in the middle of the circle.
"I'm not saying that. It looks too lame."
"Team work on three, Dasha," she gritted after Jessica willingly placed her brown hand on top of her own.
"But we'll look like losers," she whined.
"If you don't put your hand on the pile within the next three seconds, I'll confiscate all of your new toys," Grecko fiercely whispered sounding like the mother that she was.
"Not my new toys," Dasha said thinking about her A.K. 47, her sniper's rifle, and her baby, the Glock 23. She threw her hand on top of the others then mumbled a 'team work' only because she had to.
"See that wasn't so bad."
"Vy zapugivat," Dasha said with a frown.
"I'm not a bully, thank you very much. Stop griping like a baby and get over it."
"What are you three up to?"
"Nothing," they answered unanimously.
Jessica cleared her throat loudly getting Eithne's attention, "tonight we're going out to eat I'll pick you up at seven-thirty." She turned on her heels scooping up her niece then following her sisters out of the kitchen.
"Why do I feel as if I'm the woman?"
"I think I have a pretty good idea of what they're up to," Marc said clearly amused.
"So do I."
"It's safe to say that Jessica has a crush on you."
"How cute." He ran his hand through his hair trying not to blush. That woman was too cute and sly for her own good.
"What do you think that they're up to?"
"Marc, do you really want to know?"
"There's no way that I'm doing that," Jessica said shaking her head with vigor while her sisters dragged her closer to the door of the day spa.
"Yes, you are. You've already taken the ibuprofen thus making it too late to back out."
"How do you know that I don't like taking ibuprofen? Maybe I take them with my coffee or when I'm bored," Jessica whined no match for the two of them. She knew that she should have protested when Grecko suggested leaving Taimane at Marc's parents' house for the weekend. There was no possible way that she could be manhandled if Grecko was occupied with the baby stroller.
"I don't want to get a wax. I don't even need epilating. There's no bikini hair to epilate. Epilation is not necessary," she ranted not embarrassed that she was making a scene in the boutique. She definitely was not acting like the cool, calm, and collected mob boss or the happy, bubbly wedding planner right now. But Jessica didn't care. She had heard the stories of waxing gone wrong and she refused to be one of those victims. Besides, she wasn't even the hairy type.
"Hi," Dasha huffed slightly out of breath after they fought their way to the receptionist. "We're here for the Whitaker appointment."
"Right this way," their overly animated receptionist told them, guiding the way while her very high pony tail whipped about her head. "Who exactly is this appointment for?"
They pointed at Jessica who was vigorously shaking her head.
"I'm sorry ladies, but we only allow the client receiving the epilation inside of the waxing room."
"Yves," the receptionist replied.
"Sorry Yves, but there's always an exception to every rule especially in this case," Grecko told her signaling for Dasha to open the door before shoving Jessica inside the room.
"I change my mind, I'd rather get my head cut off," she said attempting to rush out the door after they dropped her down on the bed.
"Well, you're not getting your head cut off and nothing is going to save you from getting a Brazilian wax. Now, take off your skirt. You're not wearing panties, right? They tend to chafe and cause irritation after a wax."
"Jessica this is not going to hurt. I guarantee you."
"Dasha, you always say that and it's never true."
"Oh yeah? Name one time that I was wrong," she said with her hands on her hips.
"How about that time when I had a frigging ninja star embedded in my left ass cheek and you said that it would be as simple as pulling off a band-aid? Well, it wasn't. And I wasn't able to sit down without a donut for two weeks!" Jessica replied.
"I'm human, I make mistakes," Dasha said bashfully.
"Wow, we have a full house today," the esthetician stated announcing her arrival. "Which one of you is Jessica?"
Once again Dasha and Grecko pointed at their sister even going as far as taking a step away from her as if she was disease ridden.
"Look," Jessica reasoned deciding to comport herself as an adult instead of a child throwing a temper tantrum. "I know that normally it takes months to schedule an appointment with your salon, BUT I have changed my mind. I just don't feel like coming in with perfectly healthy skin and leaving with a bad case of folliculitis or even worse staphylococcus aureus. So don't be offended if you watch me walk out this door."
"She must be a first timer," the esthetician said, to the other two women, on a chuckle.
She nodded her head then turned to her cabinets to retrieve several pamphlets and medical certificates of satisfaction. She took about fifteen minutes explaining the spas safety requirements and regulations then another fifteen convincing Jessica that it would all be over with before she could blink an eye.