Shackled Ch. 08byStory_Spinner©
Emma and Hansen left the shop and walked around the corner. Mrs. Chan had filled a big bag with groceries and insisted they take it.
"Won't hurt our disguise at least," said Hansen, knowing full well that they weren't even disguised to begin with.
"What do we do now?" said Emma.
He looked across at her. He was feeling a little more relaxed now. He didn't like the way she'd asked for so much back at his place, but he understood where she was coming from. She didn't have experience in these situations. She would have to understand that when it came to this sort of problem, then he had the answers. She might be smart, but he was trained in this.
Baby steps were needed. One thing at a time. If they got too far ahead of themselves, they would miss a detail and disaster, or worse, would be the result.
"Didn't I say I was taking you on a date?" he said. "I think we should go to the movies. Do you like the movies?"
He started to walk down the street and didn't even look back to see if she was following him. When he got to the next intersection, he turned back to her and said, "If you're a really good girl, we can sit up the back where it's dark. There's a waiting list of broken hearts waiting for me there."
He laughed and started to cross the street.
Emma had no choice but to follow him. What surprised her is how he could be thinking about movies when they were trying to stay alive. Still, she found herself grinning as she took off after him. "Hey wait up! You run off on me and one or both of us go boom. Now I don't have much experience with relationships, but not sure that would be the explosive kind that I'd want to be a part of!"
Hurrying to keep up with his strides, she patted her hair, tucking it behind her ears as her braid began to unravel. "I've been meaning to ask if you have a brush."
She could practically hear him grumbling on the inside, but bumped his hip as they moved down the street and further into town. Her hands slipped back into his as she spotted the theater. "It has been years since I've seen a movie. Seems a little strange that now I have no job and running for my life that I would stop to enjoy one."
While it was a bit of a depressing thought, she was still smiling, her face bright and cheery. The flush of her cheeks brought out the sparkle in her eyes. "So are you treating me to popcorn too? If you do, I might let you cop a feel in the dark." She teased and giggled at her own little joke.
A brush, Hansen. Did you hear that? You're about to go to war and she's worried about her hair. Hehehe.
For Christ's sake, fuck off will you?
I can't. I am you.
Emma bumped into him when he stopped near the theater. Her hand slipped easily into his. He nearly shook it off, but he decided it felt good and left it there. He rationalized it would be better to look after her if they were close to each other and you couldn't get much closer than holding hands.
He felt like his head was going to explode. He needed drugs, but he couldn't tell her that. If the voices didn't stop soon, though, he would do something. Something bad. That wouldn't help anything.
Her voice, as always, brought him back to reality. He smiled. She thought she was really going to see a movie. He was fine with that.
"Yeah," was all he said. "It might help you relax."
He gripped her hand tighter and they walked towards the theater entrance. He kept a close lookout on the street for SPF's, but they had been surprisingly thin on the ground today. There must be a reason. They usually maintained a discrete, but constant, presence.
She was giggling at her jokes. That was a good sign. She would stay relaxed as long as she was with him.
"Yeah, that might help you relax too," he said. "But I've already copped a feel of you during the night. If you really want to relax, surely you can give me more than that?
He could play this game....
He stopped at the front doors of the cinema. There were a few customers in the line and not many more waiting in the foyer. It was still too early for movie goers. He turned to her and leaned towards her, his mouth brushing her ear.
Hey, that felt good.
"When we go up to the ticket counter and they ask to swipe our cards, don't do anything. I'll pull out an old paper card that looks like a standard money card. No one will know. The guy behind the counter will then give us two tickets. Ok?"
He pulled his head back a little from her ear to look at her face. She nodded. He returned his mouth to her ear.
"Good. Then we'll just sit here in the foyer for a few minutes and someone will come out and announce a movie that's not on here. We'll follow him. Ok? Now wrap your arm around me like we actually get on and we'll walk to the counter. This place will be loaded with cameras. We can be sure there'll be no facial recognition software with a direct feed back to the SRP, but it doesn't mean they might not be monitoring the live cameras. It would be a fluke, but it does happen," he said. "Now, Irish, pretend like you like me."
He turned her face, put one hand on the back of her head and gave her a firm kiss on her lips for a few seconds. He pulled his head back and winked.
"All for the part, Irish," he said, "all for the part."
Yeah right, fuckhead.
Oh, you're sulking.
Don't like to see me have some fun?
She was nodding as she listened to him intently, feeling that familiar tingle race down her spine as his lip brushed against her, his breath warm. She wanted to tilt her head to the side and expose the slender milky white column of her neck to him. Wanted to feel the brush of his warm lips against her bare skin and mentally shook herself again.
Just follow directions, she was good at that. Listen to his words and put them into action. She could do that. No problem. Sliding her arm around his waist as she had done after their first meeting, she leaned in, prepared to make it look good. But his hard kiss had stunned her a moment. She blinked at him as he winked and drew away. Damn him! All for the part, her ass!
Moistening her lips, she shrugged slightly and let her body bump close to his, her arm around his waist, his around hers. She hooked her fingers around a belt loop and held on as he pulled her in. They went through the motions as she pretended to be the doe eyed smitten girlfriend.
"You know, I'm a little disappoint, Liam. You had me going there for a minute. I was sure you were bringing me to see a real movie, as crazy as it seemed." Turning slightly, she gazed up him, not in the least upset, but more curious. "What kind of adventure are you taking me on now, hmm?"
Unable to help herself and for a little payback, she toyed with the short hairs at the nape of his neck and nuzzled his neck, teasing his earlobe with her lips as she spoke. "All for the part, Liam, all for the part." She teased softly.
Emma certainly followed his instructions to the letter. She held her arm around him and pressed in close to him. She felt warm and soft against him and he found that he didn't mind it at all.
He rolled his eyes at the voice.
I really need those drugs.
You really think it'll be that easy to get rid of me, Hansen?
Emma spoke again. She was good at getting rid of the voices in his head. He thought it might be sign. Jess had kept the voices at bay....
"We're are going to see something, but I doubt we'll have time to take in a movie."
She rubbed the back of his neck and nuzzled into him with her face. Then she lifted her head slightly and her lips toyed with his ear lobe. It felt good, but....
"Hey, I'm older than you," he whispered. "Show some respect, Irish. Crikey, next you'll be trying to get my pants off right here!"
He looked down at her and couldn't help smiling.
"I guess I deserved that," he said. "Not that it was unpleasant at all. Now let's get to the counter, we can't just stand around here canoodling." He gave her a light tap on the butt and looked at her with a cheeky grin before walking towards the counter.
The guy at the counter was young. He had sandy hair and pimples. "Liam," he said and nodded.
"I thought you two were going to stand in my foyer all afternoon," he said, looking pointedly at Emma. "I was about to book you a room next door."
Hansen laughed. "Sorry, the lady here gets understandably frisky any time she's close to me."
"Watch it, Paul, I can kick your ass any time I like."
"That you can, Liam," he grinned. "Understandable it is. I guess you're looking for some tickets to a movie."
"Sure am. You know, new girlfriend and all."
Paul looked at them.
"How many new girlfriends can one man have?" he said.
"That ass kicking may not be far off...."
"Ok, give me your card."
Hansen dug into his pocket and pulled out something that looked like a credit card, except it was made of cardboard.
"You don't need the special card here, Liam."
"You can never be too careful, Paul. Remember that," he said. "Never."
Paul nodded, swiped the card and gave it back to Hansen. He waited for a couple of plastic tokens to be printed and then passed them to Hansen.
"I hope you enjoy the movie, sir," he said.
"Thank you. We will."
Paul looked over at Emma. "That's if she can keep her hands off you."
Liam laughed. "It'll be hard, that's for sure, Paulie, but hopefully she can manage it."
They took their tokens and went to sit on a couch in the foyer. Hansen held Emma close as they sat. He looked at her face and knew what she was thinking.
"Now we wait," he said and rested his head back against the couch, with his arm around her.
Emma wanted to know what he was up to. The suspense was killing her, but she dared not ask him. At least not yet. She would see soon enough, why not enjoy a moment of relaxation. Truth be known she was still tired, although the sugary treats and coffee had definitely helped.
Liam lay his head against the couch, his body seemingly relaxed, but something told her he was wide open and alert. Not much got passed Liam. Snuggling closer, she let her gaze shift around the place. Absently her fingers moved through his hair, gently running through his short cropped do, light and teasing.
After a while, Emma shifted and pressed her cheek to his upper shoulder chest, sighing dramatically. "If we stay here much longer, I'm going to fall asleep." She mumbled, her gaze drifting and connecting with the young guy named Paul. He shot her a grin and shook his head, apparently chuckling to himself. She ordinarily would be annoyed, but she didn't really care. It felt good being close to him. His warmth, his scent, the strength of his hard body made her feel safe...and strangely tingly. She decided to ignore the tingly.
Glancing back at Paul, she found him gone and the window closed and shaded. Just as quickly, he appeared in the hallway, wearing a bright red vest and glasses. A man of many trades? She doubted it. "Ladies and...erm...gents. Your special early morning showing of Casablanca is this way."
"Holy shit," She mumbled, "That's an old one."
Emma was getting right into her role. She sat on the couch next to him, snuggling in close with his arm around her. Her fingers were running through his short hair and he could feel their cool softness on his scalp.
He could also feel something else. He shifted slightly to give his erection some room and also because he didn't want her to notice. He wasn't overly embarrassed. Who wouldn't feel like this with a beautiful woman close to them, running her hands through their hair? It was only natural, but he didn't want to complicate things.
She shifted a little and looked up at him, her head nestled on his shoulder. He agreed. In their sitting position, the guns were starting to press into him, but he couldn't really get up and rearrange them in the foyer of the movie complex.
Hansen absentmindedly stroked her long dark hair.
"They'll come when they're ready," he said. "Just be patient."
Just as he said that, Paul appeared at the entrance that led to the theaters. Hansen rolled his eyes and got up with Emma. They walked towards Paul and when they were close enough, he said, "Casablanca? That's what you could come up with?"
Paul shrugged his shoulders. "Shit, Liam," he whispered. "You think I'm a movie buff, or something?"
He turned and led them down the corridor that led to the theaters. As they got deeper into the complex, there were entrances to the different theaters. They passed them all and went to the end where there was a door marked 'Exit'. Paul pushed on the door and held it for them to go through. As they passed him, he let the door go and it noiselessly shut itself in a single, smooth motion.
The hallway was narrow, so Paul let them walk in front of him. "Jimmy's waiting," he said. "Mrs. Chan has rung. He has what you want."
Hansen nodded at Paul. "Thanks."
"Not a problem. I have to get back," he said, "You know popcorn never waits. I won't see you. He'll probably send you out the back when you're done. Good luck."
Hansen nodded again. They turned away from him and started to walk towards the door at the end of the corridor. They were nearly at the door when Paul called out quietly.
They looked back. "Yeah?
"When the shooting starts, I'm in, ok," he said. He had his hand on the door they'd come in and was ready to go back out.
"What makes you think there'll be shooting, Paulie?" said Hansen with a hint of a smile.
"Just guessing," he said with a big grin.
Paul walked out the door and they resumed walking toward the other door.
"Irish?" he said.
"When we meet with Jimmy, let me do the talking. Mrs. Chan said he'd have something for us," he said. He knew that Emma would be confused. She wouldn't remember Mrs. Chan saying anything of the sort. But she had.
In the bag of groceries they were carrying.
They were at the door now. He knocked. "It's me, Jimmy. Liam."
They waited for a few seconds and then the door opened.
Jimmy was a thin, red-haired man with what was an attempt at a beard splotched over his face. He was pale and tall and he looked like a techno geek.
He led them into the room and it was lit up with gadgetry everywhere. Lights flashed and there were well over twenty screens showing various scenes, some of the city and some of other places that Hansen didn't recognize.
Jimmy led them into the center of the room where there was a small table and some chairs.
He motioned for them to sit down and then he sat opposite them.
He smiled at Hansen.
"So what brings you here?" he asked with a smile on his face. "As if I didn't know."
Hansen smiled back at him.
"Oh, you know, the usual. Save the world and all that shit."
"How many tries is that at saving the world?"
"Not sure, but try and try again is my motto," he said with a chuckle.
"It's always fun, that's for sure," said Jimmy. "Now let's get down to business...."
Emma tried her best not to gape at the mass amount of gadgetry that Jimmy had store in his room. It was mind boggling. He easily put her lab to shame as far as computers went.
While the boys talked, she let her gaze shift over the place, taking in the details, wishing with itchy fingers that could go tinker. She almost laughed out lout at that idea. Liam would probably have a coronary. Stay put, don't touch. Be seen, not heard. Gotcha.
She bit down on her tongue, listening intently to the two of them talking. They seemed to be old acquaintances and it seemed as though Liam was definitely no stranger to toiling with danger. Of course...that was sort of a given considering the man was a walking arsenal.
"Right." She heard Liam respond, his voice almost rough and at that point, she felt him slide a hand over her thigh, giving it a squeeze.
She turned her gaze to Jimmy. His hazel eyes met her own. "Mrs. Chan tells me you need a computer. As you can see, I have plenty. But what I need see is your chip. Make sure we have the right components for the lovely...lady."
Emma glanced over at Liam who gave her a short nod. She wasn't entirely fond of how Jimmy was eying her. As discretely as possible, she leaned forward a little and slipped her hand down the front of her shirt, wiggled and then pulled out the disk.
Jimmy's smile turned into a leer, "Nice trick."
She held it before his gaze between two fingers pinched tightly, but as he made a grab for it, jerked it back. "Sorry, only I touch it. If you're as clever as you seem to be, you won't need to touch it."
Gone was sweet little Emma, replaced with a hard gaze and firm mouth. There was no way in hell she was gonna let him put his hands on what she had fought hard to keep safe.
Hansen could see Emma wasn't taking to Jimmy. The guy was the best at what he did, but his social skills left something to be desired, even compared to his own. He tried to reassure her, putting his hand on her thigh and giving it a light squeeze. He wasn't sure it improved her demeanor. Jimmy was trustworthy and she needed to trust him.
Jimmy reached over to take it out of her hand, but she pulled back from him.
Hansen was impressed with her spunk, but this was going from bad to worse.
And you're here to help her, you fool.
I thought you'd gone.
"Fuck me, you two," said Hansen. "You need him, Emma. I can't help you without knowing what's on the disk so that Jimmy can organize the required hardware and software. And you," he said glaring at Jimmy, "need some fucking serious social skills. Now get on with it or I'll get the fuck out of here and you can work this whole fucking thing out for yourselves."
All three of them sat there in silence. Hansen got up and walked to a bank of screens. He scanned them and saw one that was permanently on the entrance to Mrs. Chan's shop and also one was on what used to be the entrance to the pub Carl was hiding in. Correction, used to hide in. Now, the entrance was mainly rubble after the SPF operative had carried Carl's bomb out in his underwear. His nuts were somewhere in South America now. It gave Hansen an idea, but for now these two had to sort things out. He turned back to them.
"So? Can you kiss and make up or do I go outside, shoot someone and make some money for a change?"
For a moment Emma still hesitated. She knew that he was right and she supposed if he trusted Jimmy, then so could she. If he kept his hands off of her and his eyes on the info, not her chest. "I'm sorry...a little jumpy I suppose." She mumbled and shifted.
Clearing her throat, she palmed the chip and then opened her hand, letting Jimmy pick it from skin. She did her best not to frown as his fingers lingered a little longer than they should. "May I watch?" She asked Jimmy, indicating that she wanted to move around to where he was at.
Jimmy grinned, "Suit yourself."
Liam let out a little snort and rolled his eyes towards the heavens as Emma stood. She slowly walked around, jamming her hands in her into the pockets of her jeans. Jimmy swiveled around, rolling to his work area. The disk soon vanished in one of the ports and for a moment Emma felt sick. If something went wrong, ten years of research would be down the tubes.
Puffing out a breath, she straightened and rolled her neck and shoulders, moving away. Maybe watching wasn't such a good idea. Her head was beginning to hurt. Squeezing the bridge of her nose, she moved to pace the room.
"I swear, Jimmy," he said, "if you weren't the best at this, I would have put a bullet in your red head a long time ago. I still might fucking do it."