Page Ch. 06


"Okay, good night," I say as I stand to leave.

After she hugs me good night, I head to my room, make a visit to the restroom, and finally strip down for bed. Sliding between the cold sheets, I lay there tossing and turning as depression settles in about Page. Knowing she's alright gives me little solace at the moment due to the uncertainty of everything that is happening. Initially, sleep comes in fits as I wake periodically aware of Mom's movements around the place. I finally dose off the last time when I hear her flush the can and close the door to the bathroom.

I awake to the doorbell going off around 9:00AM. Groggily, I get out of bed and pull on my sweat clothing. My head is pounding again as I make a visit to the bathroom to empty my bladder and grab one of the pain pills. I join Mom in the kitchen, where she's got a nice big pitcher of orange juice mixed up.

"Who was at the door?"

"The press."

"I can't think about that right now, I need to take this," I say pouring myself a glass and downing the pill.

"We'll keep them at bay until we have our story straight. You want some eggs this morning?"

"Yes, that'd be great. Did you have groceries delivered?"

"I told you I'd -"

"Now, I know where Page gets it from, she's just like you."

"I'll take that as a compliment."

I sit silently watching her fix a couple eggs over easy, toast and some coffee from my Keurig. She sets the plate in front of me and then begins fixing her own. When she joins me we begin eating. Looking around, I can see that she's done more than take inventory and get groceries ordered. The kitchen is cleaner than it was when we left over a week ago. I'm not a slob, but she'd done a deep clean.

"Yes, I cleaned a little. I also got rid of the drink you'd poured and the pack of cigarettes. You don't need any of that mixed with those pills or on top of what we're up against. You'll need your wits about you."

"Okay, I wasn't thinking clearly last night. I don't smoke much, but sometimes -"

"It was a bad habit I had many years ago, I'll take the blame."

"I'm a grown man. I know it's bad for me and I should have known mixing them would be bad."

This idle chit-chat seems to be aimed at saying nothing of importance in a potentially compromised room, so I finish up my breakfast and put my dishes in the dishwasher. She does the same and we head back to the family room.

Inside she praises me, "That was good, you didn't say anything that might give away -"

"Well, I've been a paranoid wreck for the last week or so."

"Yeah, I guess this is all new."

We sit and discuss everything she's done so far. She's mapped out where all of the devices are with the exception of my bedroom. She's put an IMSI catcher up; it's evidently a way to intercept cellphone calls. Then she finally tells me she's been in contact with Reba this morning. She's looking at her watch when we hear the doorbell.

"There - I'll bet that's them now," she announces.

She heads to the door with me on her heels. Looking through the peep hole with her hand on a gun that's in a holster behind her back, she turns to me and says, "Stand out of sight." As I stand behind the door, she turns the handle, opens it and speaks through the door. "Please let these people pass," she says as a dozen questions are hurling at her from reporters outside. "My son will not be talking to the press during this ongoing investigation. Please try to understand that he is recovering from a very traumatic experience and will attempt to answer your questions in due course."

Two women come through the open door with their hoods up and dark glasses followed by someone that looks like a bouncer from a high end bar. Ushering them in Mom closes the door, while holding her finger to her lips. Once inside Reba removes her hood revealing a blond wig. Page follows suit and reveals she has a dark black wig with curly hair. The agent remains at the door as the rest of us walk back to the family room. Reba is behind Mom, then Page and me. I'm dying to hug and kiss Page, but settle for holding her hand as we walk back to the semi-secured room.

Inside the room, Page and I embrace one another tightly. I grimace ignoring the pain and whisper raggedly on the verge of crying, "Oh, God I'm so happy to see you. I thought for sure you were gone."

"I should have waited up for you, then we would have both gotten rescued."

"No, you did the right thing. You heard the shots against the van, didn't you?"

"Did that lummox shoot at us?"

"Yeah, he had a silencer, but he hit the van with several rounds." Looking at my Aunt Reba and Mom, "Why didn't you tell her?"

"We didn't want to upset her any further," Reba says.

"Well, if you'd run slower we might both be dead or abducted. He was much bigger than the first guy that attacked us. In a panic, I shot him as he was trying to nab me."

Page hugs me close, "I'm so sorry, Ry. This is all my fault." I grimace again and Page looks at me worriedly.

"Alright, stop that," Mom says sternly. "Things happen! I didn't expect this set of events, but crazier shit has definitely happened and will happen when you're in this line of work."

"Rama is right," Reba says. "This is just the start. As you get involved, there are often changes in plan and adapting to those changes is a skill to be honed."

Page is arguing that she should have been told. The three of them are talking shop, but I want Page all to myself, I don't want to share her with anyone or any agency. As much as I want to hear more, I'm feeling tired and simply want to go back to bed with my love, my sister and evidently my wife. It's all rushing in on me. They're talking across each other and I can't keep up with everything. Page is adamant that she be kept in the loop on everything concerning me or she's done.

Actually, her exact words are, "You keep me in the loop about anything that effects Ryan or I'm fucking done!!!"

She'd spit those words out like she would and maybe even could kill someone with them, just like the night she'd arrived here. The conversation is suddenly at a standstill as the three of them stand there silently. Reba and Mom are looking at me like Who the fuck is he? I don't know what they want from me. I hold up my hands and start backing for the covered doorway.

"I'm sorry, I've got to go lay back down, my head hurts and my meds aren't kicking in yet," I say looking at them.

"We need to get this room fully secured," Reba says.

Before I can get out the entryway, Page is pulling me back, "What meds are you taking? What happened to you Ryan?" she asks lifting my sweat jacket and t-shirt to look at the bandage there. "What the hell happened to him?" she asks them.

"It's not a big deal, I got a little burned from the muzzle as I shot my attacker," I answer trying to calm her.

Before I can say more, Mom informs her, "The doctor thinks a bullet glanced his skull."


"It all happened so fast. He knocked me out as I shot him. It's taken a lot out of me and I've been worried sick about you maybe being held for ransom or blackmail or God knows what. You all do what you need to do about security, I just need to go lie back down."

Page is fuming and shoots them both a disparaging look like I've never seen from her, "We'll discuss this further when I've had a chance to calm down. You can go ahead and bring the crew in to do the full security sweep."

"Is the guy at the door part of the security crew?" I ask before ducking between the curtain and the entryway.

"Yes, he's physical security and will be here until we've gotten the condo secured," Reba says firmly.

"I thought we were leaving things in place."

"No, we've gotten what we need for now. We're taking it all out - a full sweep."

"But we're still remodeling this family room?"

"Yes, that was in the works regardless," Mom says. "I didn't know you two had wrapped up the back tracing."

"That was what Page was working on with me," Reba offers. "We're pretty sure they know we're onto them."

"There is definitely something in or behind my key rack," I say.

"They're going to get everything, even the ones I placed," Page says. "Let's sit here for a time while they do your bedroom."

Page and I remain standing together as a flurry of things begin to happen. Mom is down the hall talking to the security guy, while Reba starts making calls. Within a short period of time I can hear multiple sets of feet heading down the hall towards my room. I'm hugging Page tightly on my right side for the longest time, but my legs are wobbly and I eventually take her recommendation to sit on the sofa. While I'm sitting, she inspects the stitched knot on my head and places another kiss on it. Three head kisses in such a short time have me feeling like a child.

Page sees my perplexed look and asks, "What?"

I don't want to tell her, but am compelled to be open, "You're the third person to kiss my head in less than a day and before you ask, the third was Natalie. She came over before Mom arrived, I got a really weird vibe from her. She was all -"

"She better not have touched any of my stuff," she says emphatically.

"Yeah, she tried -"

"I will fucking END her!"

Her jealousy is warming my heart, but I need to smooth this out, "I didn't tell you that so you would hurt her. I'm trying to be open with you. She came over to check on me and it felt weird and a little forced."

"Did you tell Mom?"

"No, it didn't seem important and I was flustered. It happened right after Gary called to check on us. He offered to pay the ransom if there was one. I didn't know what to tell him because I'd just gotten off the phone with Mom and she'd told me it was being handled."

Page sits beside me and hugs me tight avoiding my left side, "You need to tell Mom and Reba what you can remember. She might be another player or involved somehow."

"Okay, I'm just so glad your back safely. I don't know what I'd've done if you'd been hurt."

"Yeah, same," she says softly.

Reba comes back into the room with a thick looking case. Mom follows her in and says, "Well, that's the five in your bedroom. Two different types, so they are probably different players. This case will prevent them sending or receiving signals. We'll get the whole mix off to the shop when we've gathered them all."

"Ryan told me that his ex-girlfriend, Natalie, paid him an odd visit last night before you got here, Mom."

"Was she ever out of your sight?"

"She wanted to use the restroom before I made her leave."

"Hmm, she could have been attempting extractions, but it could also have been a new or additional placements," Reba says thoughtfully.

"We'll have the guys check for prints and see what she might have been up to."

"We're going to go lay down for a while," Page says.

"You're right," Mom replies. "You both need some sleep. Reba and I will try to set a path forward that meets everyone's expectations, okay?"

"Thanks," I say hugging Mom. "You know I love you?"

"I know and I know this has been quite a shock," she says squeezing me tightly.

Hugging Reba I say, "I love you too, Leda."

"Go to bed the two of you, but keep it down in there the apartment is still rife with these things," Reba says laughingly patting the case.

Page leads me to the bedroom and closes the door behind us. Momentarily, it feels odd to be teased about noise, but as I watch her quickly strip down, I realize that someone has already made a prioritization of sex over sleep. The next moment, Page is pulling my sweat clothes off of me and pressing me toward the bed. The sheets are still a mess from where I'd left them this morning and I scoot over to make room for her. When she joins me our lips meet and I relish her tender kiss. It feels and tastes like that first night as a hint of smoke is in her hair.

She kisses down my midriff working toward the burned side. There she plants light kisses around the bandage and comes back up to my face. "I'm so sorry about all of this Ryan," she says and leans in to kiss me deeply. Our tongues play back and forth anxiously as she runs her hands across my smooth chest and I grope hers in return. Her nipples are both tight as I lightly tease them with my index fingers.

When we break the kiss, I ask, "Were you smoking?"

"No, it's from Reba. Now lie back and be quiet like your aunt instructed mister," she says firmly.

"Yes ma'am. You're playing more games, aren't you?"

"Reba's teasing made me think of it. We don't have to play, but we do have to do this," she says as she sharply impales herself on my engorged cock.

"What are the rules, if I do?"

"Silence," she says deviously twerking me.

"Oh fuck," I whimper. "That's not fair and I'm not ashamed of who I love."

"I said we don't have to play. I missed you and your injury has given me a terrible fright," she whispers sadly as she presses her little star pierced nipple to my lips.

I can't resist sucking it into my mouth as my hands find her hips and I hold on for the riding I'm being given. There's an urgency in Page I haven't witnessed before. She's not as wet and the intense gripping of me with each entry is pushing me toward climax quickly.

"There's no rush," I whisper as I release her nipple and look to her face, where I see tears streaming down from her closed eyes. "Oh, sweetie," I say hugging her toward me and pressing my mouth to hers.

Her lips move against mine, "I thought I'd lost you, Ry." Sniffles and raw emotions flow out of her, but her pace is slowed only by the angle. "I thought they'd gotten you and then I find out they shot at us. You mean everything to me," she says resuming her previous position and putting her pierced nipple back in my mouth. "Please, suck it like that first night."

She seems to be attempting to relive that memory and I can only oblige. Her need is strong and her emotions pull me in too. Nibbling gently on the ring, I feel her fluid begin to release and we slide together more easily. The comfort of our bodies together is indescribable. I know she feels it too, as she relaxes slightly and moves less jerkily. Our bodies move together lovingly bringing pleasure and solace.

The time apart we experienced seems to make this reunion very important to both of us. Her pubic mound has short stubbly hair that rubs against mine, adding to the sensation of newness. I move my lips to her other teat and suckle there like I never have. I love the way her small breasts fit in my hands and I squeeze them gently as she emits a small moan. Her hands move to my face as she feels my beard and runs them through my short hair.

The scent of our love making fills my nose, spurring me to rise and to meet her every downward motion. We are generating very little noise even as our climaxes are eminent. I can feel her clenching me tightly as she works me inside her. I have no idea how she knows what I want or need, but it is like we have been lovers forever.

I hear her breathing become jagged and then suddenly gasp as she pushes us silently over the top. Our combined fluids drip out of her onto me as she lays herself upon me to recover. Her tears still flowing, she strokes my short hair and beardy face. I awake slightly as she dismounts to lie beside me. My love has me as I drift away to sleep.

I awake violently some time later from dreaming about the attack. I am in tears and gasping for air. My throat feels raspy like I've been yelling.

Page is beside me consoling me gently, "It'll be okay, Ryan. You did what you had to do."

"I killed a man."

"He was trying to kill us; you did what anyone would have done."

It may be true but it isn't changing how I feel. "Hold me tight," I plead.

"I am."


"I love you," she whispers in my ear.

She kisses me there and all over my forehead. Then she uses the sheet to dry the tears that continue to flow down my cheeks. My world is upside down and Page is the only thing that is right in it. I cling to her as if she is life itself, never wanting to be separated from her again. There is a faint throbbing in my head and I drift back into murky blood soaked dreams.

Significantly later, I awake to the sounds of drilling in the family room. Page seems to have awakened just prior to me and is getting dressed.

"Let's go see what they're doing," she says encouraging me from the bed.

I slide off and get some new clothing to wear: underwear, jeans and a polo shirt. We leave the bedroom together and find Aunt Reba and Mom supervising two guys in white bunny suits. The ceiling and walls of the room are paneled in a textured material that I gauge must be sound proof. It has a reflective surface similar to that of the curtain Mom had placed over the entryway which has been retrofitted with a pocket door in a metal-clad frame. Turning to inspect this I notice a shiny black interface near Page's eye level over the light switch.

I'm thinking it's a scanner, when Mom affirms this in a low tone, "It's a retinal scanner."

"So, is it safe to speak?"

"A few more minutes and we'll be able to close the door," Reba answers.

Looking at the window I notice that they are tinted somehow and it's getting dark outside because I see lighted lampposts. Page must see the same thing since she moves to the window to inspect the coating and some type of automated blind system. From this side it just looks like the same fabric of the special curtain but when she taps it, there is a metallic sound. Moments later she is looking at new instruments in the media center. There's a keyboard interface and some type of remote. The two men finish their tinkering and hand Reba a tablet.

"All done for today; we'll be back to finish phase two tomorrow."

I'm wondering at that as Mom escorts them out and comes back to the room. Reba has the keyboard and nods her head to Mom and she puts her eye to the scanner and gestures downward by the door, which slides closed in response. Then she motions upward and it slides back open as do the blinds.

"Now you try, Ryan."

I turn back toward the new door and repeat her gesture to close it after bending to scan my eye. It slides closed and I notice that there's a latching noise. Then I reopen it with an upward gesture.

"Cool, it locks; right?"

"Yep. Now you, Page. It's learning our biometrics," Reba says.

Page repeats the whole thing and then Reba does it for herself. When she's done she closes the door and leaves it.

"What's phase two?" I ask.

"We're putting in a panic bunker."

"Underground; don't we need permits and stuff?"

"We've got approval already. There'll be entrances from this room and the master bedroom," Mom says firmly.

"I'm glad you are taking my requests seriously," Page says. "I'm not continuing unless I know he's safe."

"Couldn't I just move?"

"No, Ryan, we need to keep this as low profile as possible. Workers already started removing some of the earth today hidden beneath the drywall we already took out. Starting tomorrow, workers will be removing more earth and that'll need to be hidden too. We'll hide a few more large loads but we'll need to move the bulk of it at night. So we'll all need to be out of here, we're thinking the party New Year's Eve will give us a good window to do the removal."

"So where's the hole?"

"There's a panel over it underneath the carpet. When it's done, there'll be an air tight sealed door. It won't take extreme abuse, like a missile, but should withstand armor piercing bullets until help can arrive."

"Okay," I say, but then feel like we're just moving ahead without getting much information. "Look, I appreciate everything you two are doing for us, especially your decision to, to read me in somewhat. But you've hardly told me anything I can understand. What the heck is going on here?"

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