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Undefined Affections's avatar

Fashionable Rogue

Elijah turned around in his chair as he waited for Kyle to arrive. His gaze was fixed on Isaac, and he blew smoke in the techie's direction. It seemed that most of Leyla's team had bad attitudes. Elijah had an excuse, for his situation was not pretty, and he was old and cranky. What he didn't like were mouthy youngsters. Youngsters like Isaac and Leyla.

A door opening and closing sounded, followed by the soft thump of feet on stairs. A small chair with oversized glasses and white labcoat appeared, holding a small rectangular case in one hand. Kyle was the better doctor in a 300 mile radius. Without waiting to be told, Elijah pulled up his sleeve and held out his arm to Kyle.

The child opened the rectangular case, and a holographic screen popped up. That was pushed in front of Elijah's chest to get an x-ray, while Kyle proceeded to stick a needle into Elijah's inner elbow to take blood.

"I've been researching, and I've found that your blood has a natural immunity to the virus that's going around. I've been giving transfusions to sick patients, and they've been healing." Kyle said.

Elijah nodded. "And my other condition?"

"I need more time for that."
Calette_Sentrinde's avatar

Obsessive Dabbler

Isaac was working quietly on his own screen, apparently oblivious to Elijah and Kyle on the other side of the room. The smoke didn't bother him- on the contrary, he rather liked it. He'd quit smoking himself, years back, and the second hand smoke was as close as he got these days. Briefly, he glanced up at Kyle, then went back to his own work, sending out rapid fire emails to Leyla's contractors and then pulling up the login for her banking information, only after locking Eli's system out of his laptop. Leyla wouldn't want this tracked.

Leyla trusted few people with her finances, but Isaac had been working with her, and, briefly, with her father before her. He had a good head for numbers. For a few minutes, he typed away at the screen- calmly, at first, and then, frowning, more furiously. Finally, he put the laptop down on a desk, glancing up at Eli. He waited until Kyle seemed to be finished, and then cleared his throat.

"Excuse me.." He still wasn't sure what to call this man. Reaching up, he touched his earpiece to get Leyla, so that she could overhear. "There's a problem. Your account is locked."

Leyla halted in the middle of the hallway, already turning around to go back. "Locked," she repeated. "What do you mean, locked? You know the passes."

"Yes. They aren't working. It's locked tight."

"Can't you hack it?"

"I tried." Isaac was one of the best computer hacks out there, and Leyla paid him handsomely to work for her instead of anyone else. If he couldn't get in to her accounts, nobody could- and that, indeed, was a problem. "There's a file pop up on the screen, but it won't open without your scan."

"I'm on my way."
Undefined Affections's avatar

Fashionable Rogue

Elijah looked up from Kyle's work to glance at Isaac. "Guess I forgot to mention that. Must've slipped my mind." He nodded, pulling his sleeve down once Kyle got all the needed blood. "I had it locked on the off-chance that she wasn't willing to give me the money." He didn't remember when he'd done it. Perhaps just a few hours before arriving at Leyla's doorstep.

Kyle frowned at the next smoke stick Elijah pulled out. "Have you been using that gum I gave you?"

Eli blew out some smoke. "Yes, and it's been working well."
Calette_Sentrinde's avatar

Obsessive Dabbler

"I know," Isaac answered, glancing up at Eli with a quirky grin. "I hacked your locks within a few hours of their popping up. These are different." These were some serious stuff.

A moment later, Leyla walked back into the work room, pulling Isaac's laptop towards herself across the desk and tapping a few keys. When a file popped up demanding identification, she set her thumb on the laptop's scanning pad impatiently, reading quickly. "What the hell?" She hit a few more keys, then shoved the laptop back at Isaac. "See if you can break it."

Settling her hands on her hips, she looked up at Elijah flatly, then looked back at Isaac. "Can you do that somewhere else, please," she asked quietly, before turning her gaze to Kyle as Isaac packed up and left the room quickly, wanting to avoid the impending storm.

Finally, Leyla decided that if Kyle wanted to stay, she didn't care. "Apparently," she began, raking her hand through her hair. "My father decided that until I marry you, I'm cut off." Cut off by a father who was already dead. "Do you know why that's so damned important, Elijah?" Oh, yes, her father's letter had given her his name. Why would he insist that she marry this old man, just so that they could work together? "I'm more than willing to join forces with you without that little addendum." Joint accounts, hell, she would give him her passes if he wanted them.

She wasn't keen on marrying this man- he was older than her father, for pity's sake! What had her father been thinking?
Undefined Affections's avatar

Fashionable Rogue

Elijah took another drag on the smoke stick before Kyle took it away. He just pulled out another as he glanced up at Leyla. "Your man there seems a bit frustrated by my locks." He wasn't a fool. The first locks that had popped up had only been meant to distract and keep Isaac occupied. The more he tried to break into the account, the tighter the locks would get until it wasn't possibly for anyone but Elijah to access him. He was the only one who knew the way.

"Your father and I set this up, just in case you weren't thinking of complying. He asked me to put those locks in place and activate them at the right time." He shrugged. "It was a different time when the arrangement was made. Marriage is completely binding, the ultimate trust. We can't trust each other if we just shake on it. Deals get broken easily that way."

Elijah stood and went toe to toe with Leyla. "I think you should stop underestimating me now."
Calette_Sentrinde's avatar

Obsessive Dabbler

"Ultimate trust?" Leyla was reining back her temper, hard. "You think all of this is going to make me trust you?" She didn't feel like trusting him, particularly, just then. If her father had wanted to give him the money, he should have just done so! Elijah wasn't building trust, he was shredding it to pieces and forcing her into a corner.

And her father had helped him do it! Leyla couldn't help but feel incredibly betrayed.

"I'm through underestimating you," she waved a hand, frustrated, staring back at him without budging an inch. "But make no mistake, I'm not trusting you either." Far from it.
Undefined Affections's avatar

Fashionable Rogue

"Not trust in me, princess. Trust in the agreement. I trust that if you break this alliance, I can deal with you as I see fit." Elijah blew smoke through his nose as he continued to stare down at her. "Trust between people like you and me has long since become obsolete. Even my men and I don't trust each other, but we have an understanding. We have an accord, an agreement, and alliance. Trust has nothing to do with it. They just trust that I'll be paying them so they can fill their stomachs and sate their lusts with local women."

Kyle piped up. "That reminds me, Eli..."

Elijah nodded, still staring down at Leyla, not backing out either. "Just take it from this one's account. You know the codes."
Calette_Sentrinde's avatar

Obsessive Dabbler

"I don't trust any of this."
Leyla was seconds away from spitting in Eli's face, and she was practically quivering. This was no alliance, this was a bloody hostile takeover. He had taken control of her funding, he had given pass codes to her funding to his staff- people Leyla didn't even know. He had her, for all intensive purposes, working for him, and the men he had supposedly given her control over, he still referred to as his. To top it off, she wasn't at all convinced he didn't have anything to do with driving her out of her home!

She gained nothing from this 'agreement', and she didn't agree for a second.

"Frankly, your 'agreement' seems one sided, and I am not going to be treated like some pawn in all this."
Undefined Affections's avatar

Fashionable Rogue

"Dear Sparrow, you've been a pawn all your life."

With that, Elijah turned away to walk with Kyle out of the safehouse. Silence hung between them as they walked up the stairs and out the door. He leaned back against the wood once they were under the sun and looked down at Kyle. The woman just shook her head at him.

"You told me before that you had no intention of initiating this." She chided.

Elijah blew more smoke from his nose. "She's the only one who can free me."
Calette_Sentrinde's avatar

Obsessive Dabbler

For a moment, Leyla stood in the empty room, trembling with anger, staring at the door Eli had gone through. She wanted to break everything in sight, take out her fury on his space, but he would only replace it- with her money in his pocket, it wouldn't even be difficult. Why did he need her, anyway, if he had the money, if he had everything he wanted?

She would be better off taking her chances with the damned government!

Gritting her teeth, she stalked up the stairs. Her bike was just outside, she didn't have to stay here and take this-

The door was locked. Disbelieving, she tried it again.
Undefined Affections's avatar

Fashionable Rogue

Elijah watched Kyle walk away, back to her home, before he tapped on his earpiece. "What do you think you're doing?" He asked Leyla as he took a long drag on the smoke stick. He continued to lean against the door, arms crossed over his chest. "Thinking about breaking our agreement?"

If she was, there was only one way out for her.
Calette_Sentrinde's avatar

Obsessive Dabbler

"This is not our agreement," Leyla spat, kicking the door before she ripped her earpiece off, dropping it on the stairs and going back down, leaving the main room and brushing through the halls. Elijah didn't like not having a way out, she knew there had to be more than one door. The others would be locked, too, she knew that just as easily. Finally, she settled in a small, empty room. It was probably storage once, but she'd picked up a portable cot along the way and had shoved it into a corner.

Quietly, simmering, she settled herself into another corner, back to the wall. She pulled out her gun, checked its ammo, and then stared at the door, brooding. She had been stupid, stupid to follow him into this trap.
Undefined Affections's avatar

Fashionable Rogue

Elijah entered the safehouse once more. The door locked itself behind him as he descended the stairs, heading into the main control room. It was empty, thankfully, and he sat down in his usual place and pulled up different maps and one camera view. There was a hidden camera in every room, more than one in the larger rooms. The one he currently had up was the storage room in which Leyla sat.

"If we're going to survive and get anywhere, I need to know why you're so angry." Elijah spoke to her through a speaker that was limited to just her room so only she could hear. This would just be a one on one between them so they could level with each other. "Don't use me as an excuse. You were angry before I even showed up."
Calette_Sentrinde's avatar

Obsessive Dabbler

Didn't men know when to just back off for an hour or two? Leyla closed her eyes, focusing, breathing in and out in tightly controlled breaths. "I have a right to be angry," she said flatly. If he'd been watching her for so long, he knew that her childhood had been nothing but training to take over her father's position, and then he had gone and died on her, leaving her to figure out the rest on her own- but all of that was apparently pointless, because, as Eli had put it, she was a pawn.

Just a pawn.

"I may have been angry before, but I was dealing with it," she added through gritted teeth. "Don't pretend you didn't push it." He had her locked up like some kind of dog, had stolen everything she had, and he had the nerve to say he wasn't why she was angry? "You would be angry too."
Undefined Affections's avatar

Fashionable Rogue

"I'm an old man. I don't have the capacity for anger anymore. It's a waste of my energy." Elijah said simply as he leaned back in his chair, propping his feet up on the control panel in front of him. He didn't have to worry about accidentally pressing buttons. They only reacted from heat of skin.

"Tell me about your mother."

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