Author's Note: Thank you all for your patience; and your comments. All is appreciated and welcomed.
The story is fictional. It contains mainly F/F action as well as a plot that I hope you'll enjoy. It's a slow-churned piece and thus, gratification is everything but instant. Also, do check out the previous chapters if you want more juice on the characters. They're not listed in order but the titles are sequential as follows: (WIT)At First, Blind Borne, Escapade, Felon Failing Fallen, Just Juxtapose, Material Martyr and Nosh Nothings, and Queens Question.
That said, do enjoy the story. Please don't forget to comment....it really does help the process 8D
There's always more to come.
Dropping under the radar was easy seeing as they were never even on it. Mavin dropped Zeke at one of her apartments in the City with just a vague request for him to head back to the family house if he didn't hear from her by midnight. He'd argued that they were better off together where they could watch out for each other. Mavin had told him not to worry. It was too early for him to be worried. She had said a quick farewell and speed off to parts unknown, leaving Zeke to trudge up the snowy sidewalk heading to the apartment building.
It was only about two hours to midnight, and waiting for Mavin wouldn't necessarily be difficult. He walked up the lobby and into the elevator. The apartment was in pristine condition, very unusual for Mavin's busy bee habits. He stripped down and began his own meticulous pre-bedtime routine.
Mavin burned rubber despite the icy roads. Within minutes she was back at the twins' crib. She hadn't even sucked in the warm air from within the duo's lair when they came bursting at her.
"Man oh man, do we have news for you!" They said together and Mavin felt her blood stopping in its many tracks.
The tall butch sat silent for about five minutes. There were still so many unanswered questions.
'How could you?' Came to mind.
'Why?' was next in line.
'I thought we had a common trust.' Was a lofty successor.
Point blank, none seemed appropriate. She knew deep down that given the twins' predilection for underhand business deals, she couldn't put it past them that they'd do something like this. Still, she couldn't help but feel immensely irked.
In a flash, the twins had berretta barrels aimed at their heads. Before she could even think, her fingers were stroking the triggers; a gun in each hand. The twins didn't freak out and she didn't seriously expect them to.
Sian spoke first in that high, smooth, voice of reason. "Wait Mavin, and think about this; it won't solve anything."
Sam chimed in next. "Yeah man, you need our help."
"I know." Mavin replied with amazement in her tone, "But I can't help but wonder why you want to help me when your primary motive is very clearly, to help yourself, even at my expense."
"Mavin, it was just business."
"No Sian, it was personal," Mavin muttered under her breath "personal though irrelevant at this point in time."
"So why do you care?" Sam voiced, leery of the cold gun kissing her face.
"How much?" Mavin asked detachedly.
"How much fucking money did you get for it?" Mavin spat. Zero to sixty in 2.5.
"750." Sian answered, disarming and sweet.
"Just...like...that." Mavin sneered.
"Yes, Mavin just like that." Sian sighed.
"And what did you do with it?" Mavin whispered.
"Look around doc. You're swimming in it." Sam chuckled despite herself.
Mavin tilted her wrist and fired a bullet in a wayward direction. The bullet hit a server stack and it overloaded in a crackly ruckus. "I promise you Sam, the next one won't be a miss."
"Fuck it Mave! That was expensive hardware!!" Sam shouted.
"You sold my past to the highest bidder!!!" Mavin thundered back.
"It was immaterial and can't be corroborated!!!!" Sam screamed.
"So you're an expert on my past now?!!!!" Mavin bellowed.
"Both of you quit it!" Sian fumed. "Mavin, I'm sorry for what happened and we should have told you sooner especially if we ever thought it could be used against you. But the fact of the matter is, it's already out there and someone was willing to shell out for it."
"Who- And I swear if you give me some bullshit about protecting privacy, I'll fill your skull with lead." Mavin said through her teeth. "Who bought it?"
"We only know the representative of the buyer. Her name was Natalia Wolff."
"Was?" Mavin's eyes narrowed to slits.
"She's dead." The twins said together.
"What?" Mavin scoffed, holding the Berettas firm.
"She had some sticky deals with the Russian mob." Sian explained casually; rolling her eyes at the memory.
Mavin pulled her guns down and absorbed the information. "You have exactly 12 hours to find out where it is."
"Fine, what are you going to do about Montgomery?"
"I'm going to see the Senator. You need to keep an eye on Horizon & Beyond. I need all the action 3 days deep."
"You got it." The twins watched her leave.
It was all coming together now. Mavin pretended her conversation with the twins was a figment of her imagination. However, now was not the time to deal with distrustful friends. She instead, placed a call to Joann. She needed to work the inside now. She had to figure out why Jack Ross suspected her of Bellinda's kidnapping. It had to be more than just the dislike she'd assumed.
Joann was very willing to help if it meant finding her best friend. She agreed to talk to the Senator and set up a private meeting on behalf of the dark woman. She would press the man hard and call Mavin back with the details.
In the meantime, Mavin needed to talk to Zeke.
He waited in the shadows with only the sounds of the tide to keep him company. The air was humid with the salts but still excruciatingly chill. He had to fight his bones not to get impatient. Though, that didn't keep him from cursing out loud in three different languages.
"This needs to be wrapped up as soon as possible. Leave no loose ends." The voice surprised him as it came from an unexpected source.
"Yes, I understand. I've been very careful. Now you have something for me?" He eyed the salt and pepper haired man in his attire that was designed to make him blend in with the dark.
"Here's a third. The rest you'll get when it's done." The man handed him a parcel.
"And our agreement?" He asked as he examined the content.
"It holds. You'll be settled when the job's complete."
"You had better be sure; I've gone through enough hassle for you already."
"No, you've hassled for reward. The next time I see you, it must be finished." The man said in a low tone and disappeared in a direction.
Wale sighed and stashed the parcel in his coat pocket. He had to play this game right if he wanted to guarantee his ends. He waited a bit longer before he jogged along the beach to find his car.
"And get this: the hit put on Jose was meant for me but they didn't know that, since I hadn't officially taken over." Mavin said through a mouthful of strawberry and vanilla pancakes. She was running on about 2 hours of sleep and only slightly delirious.
"Right, so if it was an inside deal, it had to be someone who didn't fully know the administrative details. Any new hires maybe?" Zeke wondered. His body too powered by adrenaline. The past four nights have just bled into each other. And now, they only spoke in terms of hours. And time was running short. They were in Mavin's uptown apartment early in the day.
"A good bunch but two are most suspicious."
"Okay, but how does that all tie in with Kurt Pryce?"
"Remember AJ Morris? He and Kurt are bosom buddies."
"Morris doesn't look like he's capable of buying a hooker, let alone a hit."
"Exactly! But that's the diversion. We wouldn't expect that from him though he has Kurt's resources at his disposal. Certainly, Kurt has access to those who handle his dirt."
"True. But why take such drastic measures?" Zeke shoveled his eggs and drowned it with iced tea.
"You're the army general and you're asking me?" Mavin scoffed, still in a tizzy but Zeke ignored the jab.
"But this is civilian business!" He almost chuckled and pushed his plate away.
"Yeah, well Kurt is into a lot of uncivilized dealings, so I'm not surprised."
"But then, why go after you...or your girlfriend?"
"I'm guessing that error was made back when the wrong head got shot." Mavin paused as the memory cut through her fresh.
"Then again, her father's the head of the HELP committee."
"And Pryce is looking to add another member of congress to his menagerie."
"Well, that makes sense but he can't possibly expect to get away with kidnapping the senator's daughter. There's gotta be some bargaining point that we're not seeing."
"That's where I come in."
"You? How?" Zeke's brows flew up.
"Hassan Bakare." Mavin said slowly.
"Aww shit. How did that get dug up?"
"You'd be surprised at what some women are capable of."
"So...wait, that's in the open now?" Zeke asked again, truly surprised.
"Yes it is." Mavin mumbled, her mouth suddenly going sour. Or at least it felt that way.
"Wow, man. Can't imagine what you did to prompt that." Zeke chuckled, "Did you fuck her sister AND her best friend at the same time, and she caught you, in her bed?"
"What?!" Mavin rolled her eyes. "What the hell are you talking about?"
"I mean, for whoever leaked it to have done it, they must have had a serious grudge. And with you, there are only so many reasons a woman would have a grudge with you." Zeke explained.
"No, bro I didn't fuck anyone over." Mavin sighed at the irony as it had been the other way around. "I'd certainly feel better if I had."
"Well, what's the plan now?"
"I'm gonna speak with Senator Ross within the next 3 hours pending my inside hook up. I want you to scope out Pryce and keep an eye on his kid too. I want to know everything. I have this sinking feeling that we're running out of time."
"Alright, I'll get on that. What about this Montgomery guy I keep hearing about?"
"You don't know him?"
"He's not of my unit. I may know of him but we're not pals or anything."
"Well, since that's your line of work I'll let you decide how much you want to know about him."
"Aight, let's get going. I want to try and save as much of this holiday as I can."
"I thought you were having fun."
"Ah you know what they say; there's a fine line between-"
"Yeah yeah, cap it. Let's finish this."
************ Senator Ross' office ***********
"So you see Senator, it's not so much a question of gain, but a situation whereby we can both serve the masses to whom we are so dedicated." Kurt Pryce paused, while the Senator perused the file on his desk.
"I hope you realize how utterly irresponsible this notion of yours is. In fact what gave you the idea that I'd even be interested in this sham you call a bill?"
"Well, I cannot stress enough how beneficial this will be to you and your Washington cohorts. With your help, this bill has the potential to enable multi patent transfers and expand research clauses to allow focus testing."
"'Focus testing', so that you can further justify dastardly side effects and use people as guinea pigs?" Jack Ross sat in his comfy chair eying the squeaky-shoed man before him.
"Oh come now, Senator. This is after all, America." Kurt smiled, "It would behoove you to consider the benefits of my proposal."
"I already have and it's wanting. Now Mr. Pryce, you may show yourself out." Ross had had enough. He was rarely surprised at much these days but for a second, he could feel the vestigial twinges as Kurt Pryce tried to dress up a bribe in 'good deeds'. "And if you don't mind, do so in a timely manner. I would not want to hassle my security detail."
"Very well." With a smile, Pryce rose up from his seat opposite the senator. "I must apologize for my forwardness. Perhaps another day, you might see the good in us working together."
"Or perhaps not." Senator Ross said, and just then two of his guard detail appeared at the double doors.
Without much else, Kurt Pryce gathered his case and made his exit. He felt sullied by the encounter but took solace in the tens of other worthy senators who would be willing to share his pie.
Zeke tapped his fingers on the wheel as he eyeballed his sister. They were parked in the middle of an empty lot, speaking over the purr of their engines.
"Okay, I'm going to speak with the old man." Mavin said slowly to Zeke, snapping away the cigarette that had been burning without much help from her. "We'll meet up later, D-town."
"You'll be good?" Zeke let his brain absorb the perimeter in periodic intervals.
"Subjectively... Yes." Mavin smirked as she saw Zeke's eyes do their paranoia jig.
"Alright, I'll go maintain." Zeke nodded, "Keep me posted, though."
"Sure." Mavin sighed and shifted gears.
Zeke nodded again, and revved his engine. "I'm thinking Tokyo, for the summer?"
"Amsterdam in the fall..." The butch leaned back in her seat.
"I can hook it up." Zeke confirmed, and held out his fist.
"Do your thing, I'll catch you later." Mavin pounded it with hers and pushed her shades down from her hair.
With that, both fired their engines and pulled off in opposite directions.
It had begun to rain buckets by the time Mavin arrived in Staten Island. She was cleared through security and soon found herself being ushered into the Senator's abode.
And of course, no sooner had she laid eyes on Senator Ross, when he began on a tirade delivered in a thick brogue.
Mavin stood still and allowed him to run his mouth. She figured he was being protective. Besides, to whom else could he possibly turn his anger? He was just as much in darkness as anyone else.
But as she stood there, her ears began filtering his speech, and she consciously began registering his tone. She immediately took note of his posture. His words became clear and she realized, he was accusing her of something.
Mavin thought her stomach would be fall through her jeans. But she held her composure. There were far more important things. And it seemed the old man needed to get his story right.
"Senator Ross..." She cut in, and did not spare the chase, "I have some intel on where she might be." Mavin said in her timbre.
"Of course, you would! I ought to arrest your murdering ass right now." He was pacing now, "Tell, me what do you want? You want money? That's always the case in these things."
Mavin rolled her eyes and slipped her thumb and middle finger in her mouth. She forced her breath and sent a piercing whistle through the room. "If I may have your attention, Senator: We are short on time, I don't do screaming matches and I'm not in the mood to negotiate your ignorance. Granted, I'm sure you feel helpless. But make no mistake about how much I care for your daughter. I've been looking for her and as promised, I have some useful details that you might be able to use better."
Mavin waited for input from the dark haired man, "Senator?"
"Why do you sound like that?" Ross responded.
"Unrelated history." Mavin said with finality that few would test.
Jack's features relaxed into a poker configuration. He took in the tall dark, woman. And she was tall. Built like a bloke and yet there was a well-worn softness about her. And he had questions, but decided they could wait. His beloved daughter was far more important now. "What do you know?"
"I have coordinates of about three possible locations. But based on the timeline, I'd say the closer two would be the most likely." Mavin said mirthlessly.
"What do you need me to do?" Ross asked.
"Whatever you can, these guys are connected and whatever step we take needs to be covered. I need you to not speak to the press. Not yet."
"Well then, who are these people?"
"I have to consider the head of a new pharma company as a suspect."
"Does the head have a body, possibly with a name attached?"
"Yes. But the less you know the better. You must trust me on this."
"I must say, you give me very little to go on. But for Bellinda and Joann..."
Mavin held her breath as the Senator mulled his thoughts for a few moments.
"Okay." Mavin smacked her palms together. "I'll need a direct, cold line to you. Nothing tapped, nothing bypassed. Otherwise, we'll have communication issues."
"Yes, yes. Call my hand mobile."
"Alright, for your part, you need to go about the dailies as usually as you do. I'll get to the bottom of this."
"Forgive me if I'm speechless." The senator said and Mavin took that as the end of their meeting. She turned with the aim of making a quick exit. Meeting in-laws was always left her wanting an antacid.
"But you can't expect me to sit around doing that." Jack Ross said aloud when Mavin was out of earshot.
In the next moment, he was snatching up the receiver and placing a call to Montgomery.
The ride had been ridiculously bouncy. At the same time she couldn't really conclude that she'd been moving. Suffice it to say, she was slipping in and out of consciousness and felt like there was a heavy blanket of something viscous weighing down on her.
That sensation was quickly juxtaposed with the feel of cold, prickly and somewhat moist texture on her face. She tried to open her eyes but the white was impossibly bright. She would've tried again had she not succumbed to the heavy blanket.
***********Few hours later***************
She couldn't be sure of how long had passed. But the texture had certainly changed. And she seemed to be floating through a tunnel of blinking lights. Again, the blanket took her to depths unknown.
*** Outer borough freeway ***
"I don't think your plan worked eagle one."
Mavin almost swerved her Jeep when she heard the interruption cutting abruptly through the silence in her wireless earpiece. Before she had time to recollect her composure, Sam she could tell, made haste to inform her that the 'Old Man' had set his dog after the dark butch.
Mavin didn't bother to blink. She had been expecting the worse and that was about close to it. Now she just had to wait for Zeke to confirm his end of the gig. In the meantime, she gave the Twins their orders. She was still nicked about the Bakare situation but, she would rather conclude, business was business. She couldn't believe the Twins would have a personal vendetta in that regard. Still...
"Get him off my tail." Was all Mavin was inclined to say. Truth of the matter; it was all she had to say.
"Right on." The link was severed and Mavin had her silence back.
She drove casually for a while, teetering on her edge but waiting for her brother's call. It finally came as she made a third entry onto the freeway. She had nothing to worry about, she was certain the Twins had jammed local grid communications, in just the right pattern. With new access to the satellite and its functions, the main grid would remain intact but Mavin's route would be selectively shrouded.
Zeke came in on the open communicator. "I'm all set here."
"And that other thing?"
"I put Riky on it." Zeke replied.
"I still think she overreacted. If I didn't know better I'd assume she was guilty." Sam was saying aloud, to no one I particular.
But as lifelong habit, Sian responded anyway "Given the circumstances, I think she did pretty well."
"She fried almost half of the servers." Sam grumbled.
"Could've been worse." Sian replied in a singsong tone.
"Well, it's locked in history as is, so it's already at worst."