"We're in a tricky situation as it is." He told Seneca. "We don't have much of a choice. She's working against these people too, so maybe, just maybe she'd be willing to work with us. The enemy of my enemy and such."
It relieved Mikael too that it was only a gang. Sure, him and Jaiden had gone at it, and sure they were in some deep trouble. But he had been stalked by worse and survived. And he was sure Seneca had too.
He just nodded at her words, unsure just what kind of plan they were going to come up with. All they had to go off of was some name, no one he recognized. However were they going to find out who it was and why they were meeting there?
When the food arrived Mikael answered the door, shooting the guy posted outside their house a dirty look before paying the man and bringing the food back inside. He set it all out on the coffee table and glanced at Seneca. "We'll wait on Chester to call and go from there. For now let's eat."
The gang had money to spare, but a raid like the one they’d been planning would definitely dip into the reserves. If everything went according to plan, they would profit from taking down their rival for at least a little. That was if everything went right though. The list of names Adrianna chose was sitting on his desk, so Jaiden set to planning.
Paying attention to the work was difficult though. He couldn’t help but question if he could trust Adrianna, and, on the other hand, he wondered if he had been too harsh with her just then. If that was not enough to keep his thoughts occupied, Jaiden also looked at his phone every couple of minutes trying to work up the courage to call his brother to report what had happened.
Running his hand through his hair, Jaiden took a swig of the beer he had retrieved from the fridge. He needed a drink. A real one with a lot more alcohol than beer. He had work to do though, and that meant that he couldn’t get plastered just yet. Back to the details of the raid the next night. He had to keep people at base, and someone watching Mikael and Seneca. The numbers were definitely starting to thin.
After writing names and crossing them out several times, things were finally set. The guns and ammo went to the guys in the raid, and hopefully they wouldn’t waste too much since money would be low until they could make some more revenue. That meant calling Mikael for drugs, which could really work out in Jaiden’s favor, or really not. Leaning back in his chair with a groan, Jaiden finished his beer before grabbing his phone. He dialed Trent’s number before he could stop and think about it too much.
Alex took Adrianna to the nearest bar, As they headed in she knew she still looked like s**t, but at the moment she just didn't care. They headed straight for the bartender, Adrianna intent on getting as drunk as she possibly could. Alex managed to grab two bar stools and he sat down on one as she took the other.
"What can I get you?" Alex ordered himself a beer and then looked to Adrianna. "Vodka. Just bring me the bottle." She heard Alex let out a soft sigh, but he didn't say anything as the bartender brought them their drinks. He set the bottle and a glass in front of Adrianna and she poured the alcohol to the brim, shooting back the alcohol as quick as she could.
"I know Greg was your friend, Addy, but you have to understand, crying over him is just going to piss Jaiden off more." Alex took a swig of his beer and looked over at her. "He was a traitor, not worth shedding tears for. I know what Jaiden is thinking, and the more you seem upset about Greg the more he's going to keep thinking it. Addy, I don't believe your a cop like him, but maybe try to keep off Jaiden's radar for awhile? Don't avoid him, but don't go seeking him out either. Give him some time to cool down. He's going to have a lot to deal with these next few days."
She nodded, taking his advice to heart. As much as she wanted to drink until she was numb she couldn't afford to get drunk enough that she started letting things slip. Especially not now. After a few more drinks they headed back to the hideout, Alex thinking it was for the best she stay in the room they had set up for hr there.
"You can only fight to be yourself for so long before you FORGET who yourself is."
“That is if she is still on our side. Remember that little detail about her and Jaiden.” Seneca reminded him. At least the food came, so they could worry about their next step of action later. While Mikael got the food, Seneca moved to the window again. She watched the man in the car across the street for a few seconds. He was definitely not professional. Only one gun as far as she could tell, and even that was in the seat next to him instead of at the ready. No, the only thing that they had to worry about was a phone call to the rest of the gang.
A plan was starting to form, but it would certainly require some help from Adrianna and Chester…well, at least no interference from Chester. Mikael was right, it was time to start doing things their way, and since when did two highly-trained assassins hole up in a house because they were being watched?
Stepping away from the window, Seneca rubbed the back of her neck. Mikael was already setting out the food. She went over to help, deciding not to mention her so far half-assed idea of a plan until they knew a little bit more. “You’re right. Can’t really do anything until we know what Chester is thinking. So, I’m thinking a comedy tonight.” She added the last part as she grabbed the controller to look up movies on demand.
At her words Mikael frowned. He had actually forgotten about Adrianna and Jaiden's little tryst. "Well s**t, there goes my plan." He thought for another moment. Could she be convinced to see logic and help them? "Either way, we're going to need to talk to her at some point." He needed to know where Adrianna's mind was at the moment.
He watched Seneca as she continued to stare out the window. "He doesn't look too dangerous. Probably have to worry more about him calling for backup." If they could take him out before that though, they would stand a chance of moving around without being followed. They needed to find a new place to stay, and that was the first thing he was going to talk to Chester about when he called back. Mikael would feel sorry for whoever the poor guy was they would have to kill, but it needed to be done if they wanted a chance at being able to move around freely.
He didn't mention this to Seneca though and he was unaware she had her own planning going on in her head. He took a seat on the couch and started shoveling food on his plate. He nodded when she spoke again, agreeing to her movie genre choice. "We're going to have to actually go see a movie one of these days." He told her before taking another bite of his food.
“Yeah, Greg was undercover for the cops. No, everything else is set for tomorrow night.” Taking a deep breath, Jaiden listened to the voice on the other end. He had known Trent long enough to hear the thinly-veiled anger in his voice. Already pacing in the small room as he spoke to his brother, Jaiden finally grabbed the paper with the names on it and left his office. He glanced over at Adrianna just when Alex took her into one of the rooms before looking back down at the ground and answering Trent, “I’ll be right over.”
With that, he hung up the phone and went to the main area of the hideout, calling everyone together. It did not take long to tell everyone when their shifts would be for watching Mikael and Seneca and who would be going on the raid. Adrianna would have the shift right before the raid, and then she would be watching over the hideout with one other person. Safest place for a potential cop. Even beyond that though, it was the safest place for her not to get hurt. “You all have tonight off other than shifts watching the dealer and his wife. Be here and sober tomorrow at midnight.”
Jaiden immediately went to the garage, knowing that Alex and Chris would take care of making sure that everyone would have the necessary weapons and information. He grabbed the keys to a blue Nissan and hopped in, not starting the engine right away. He fully expected to come back from his meeting with Trent with new bruises and bleeding. It was his fault that Greg somehow snuck in under the radar.
Jaiden was well aware that Trent, like most gang leaders, used violence to keep people in line. Not just one person, but anyone else that saw. What better way to keep gang members scared than to show them that even the second-in-charge could be punished for screwing up?
Adrianna allowed Alex to lead her to her room, leaning against him for support. She wasn't near as drunk as she wanted to be, but she was tipsy enough that it was slightly difficult to keep herself upright. She wished she could go home. All she wanted was to mourn by herself, in the privacy of her one bedroom apartment. Yet, on the other hand she wanted to be able to look to Jaiden for the comfort she needed.
And just how messed up did that make her? She was depressed over Greg's death and she wanted to seek solace in the arms of his killer. But Jaiden was the only person who probably could make her feel better. And he wanted nothing to do with her at the moment, since he highly suspected her of being connected to the police like Greg was. She wished she could tell him she was innocent and mean it.
She knew the smart thing to do would be to get out as soon as she could. She should call her boss the first chance she got, report what happened, and tell him she wanted out. He would let her after all that had happened. He wouldn't want two dead agents on his conscience. As she was toying with the idea Jaiden called everyone into the main room of the hideout and she made her way down the hall, resting against the wall when she got close enough to hear him. Just seeing him standing there made her realize she would never be able to leave him. Even if it meant the death of her, she couldn't walk away from him now.
She listened to him give orders, nodding her understanding of her own. Adrianna watched him leave and she wondered where he was going, wished he was still talking to her. She headed back to her bedroom and closed the door, letting everyone know she wanted to be alone. She wouldn't dare try to get ahold of the chief while she was in the hideout with everyone else, but she wanted to spend the rest of the night as alone as possible so that the next day she could stop moping and set to showing Jaiden he was wrong.
"You can only fight to be yourself for so long before you FORGET who yourself is."
Adrianna was a wild card, but they had to contact her. “At least we need to know where she stands if we really get ourselves up a creek.” Not that they hadn’t already done just that. Seneca went to grab sodas for them, placing them on the table as Mikael commented on their current watchman. “My thoughts exactly.” Both of them were thinking it. Take out one of the guys on watch. Seneca wanted to know if they could get Adrianna to let them alone for her watch. Then they would have at least two hours, and Adrianna wouldn’t be blamed for them getting away when another man showed up dead.
“We don’t happen to have a sniper rifle in any of those cases Chester gave you, do we?” There was no need to fully hide her plans from Mikael. He would need to be involved one way or another. The real question was what they would do once they had that window. Try to go after Chester, try to get more information from Jaiden, or just get the hell out of that house and to a safe place? Although Seneca was definitely starting to think of playing a new angle on Jaiden now that he was getting closer and closer to breaking her cover anyways.
It was dinner time though. Finding a movie to put on, Seneca sat down to eat. She managed to eat enough, but her appetite was obviously lacking with everything going on. Once they were both done, she cleared the table. Dishes were rinsed and left in the sink, and leftovers went straight into the fridge. Grabbing her phone, Seneca then sent a text to Adrianna. There was no point in waiting to at least find out whose side she was on.
As you probably know, we're in deep here. We could really use a favor right about now.
That done, she went back to sit on the couch, leaning against Mikael with her head on his shoulder as they watched the movie.
At her comment Mikael rolled his eyes. "Seneca, we're already up a creek. I think we'll need her if we start heading over the waterfall." He joked, his eyes glancing back to the front door. It was as if he was waiting for something to happen, like their watchman to burst through the front door or something. He was really on edge and filled with a bunch of pent up energy that he needed to work out. Maybe later he'd talk Seneca into sparring with him. He was sure she had some energy she needed to get out too.
He smiled at her in thanks as he opened the soda and took a drink from it. "You think she might help us out? If not we don't have to wait for her watch. We could always take out the one and make a run for it. No one would even know where we went." The only problem with that was if he wasn't set up to deal for Jaiden they had no way of getting to Trent. And he thought Jaiden might take it personally if they killed one of his men. "I think so. There might be more than one, actually."
He could tell throughout her meal that Seneca wasn't much in the mood for dinner. His appetite hadn't diminished in the slightest, regardless of the danger though and he was pretty sure by the time he was finished he had eaten enough for the both of them. Seneca went and put the food away and then returned to his side, resting against him as they continued the movie. After a little while he asked her, "What did you plan on doing with that sniper rifle? Taking the watchman out?"
Almost as soon as Jaiden stepped inside his brother’s office, one of Trent’s several thugs grabbed him. He didn’t even have time to say anything before Trent started in cursing and swearing. Jaiden tried to explain, say that it wasn’t his fault. They had done a background check on Greg and Adrianna several times. The cops were getting good at hiding their operatives. He couldn’t really explain any of that though. Not before a first connected with his side, knocking the wind out of him.
There was an important mission tomorrow, and Trent knew better than to do too much damage. That was probably the only reason he didn’t walk away with a swollen eye or something worse. A single mission was nothing to stop three of Trent’s goons from connecting their kicks with Jaiden’s sides several times the second he hit the ground though. At least one broken rib before his brother finally called them off.
He could only slowly crawl up onto his hands and knees, gasping for air and coughing in pain in turn. Trent came closer, circling his brother in a manner that was both nonchalant pacing and extremely threatening. Jaiden stayed where he was, not even looking up at Trent even when he spoke. “Don’t let this s**t slip again. That new girl. Wasn’t she connected with Greg?”
“No! I mean, sorta, but I already have her being watched and doing another background check. She’s got nothing to do with it.” Jaiden couldn’t look up at Trent, knowing his brother would see the fear in his eyes. He already blurted his disagreement out a little too quickly to try and keep Adrianna out of the conversation. Trent had stopped circling, obviously looking down at Jaiden as he thought. Both of them knew the answer was a little too quick, but only Jaiden could feel his muscles tense and his heart pound.
“You seem awfully trusting. Not interested in her, are we?”
“No. I just…I wouldn’t have let two cops in under my watch. It was just one screw up.”
Trent was silent for an unnerving amount of time. Finally he rolled his eyes and walked away. “Don’t let me catch you screwing up again. Next time I won’t be so nice. Now get out of my sight.” Jaiden didn’t have to be told twice. He managed to get up despite the pain and leave as quickly as he could.
By the time he got back to the hideout, Jaiden was definitely feeling the pain throughout his torso. Although there was no sign of the beating he’d taken so long as he kept his shirt on, it was obviously that he was stiff and hurting when he walked into the place. His breathing was also off; shallow and sometimes hitched because it hurt to take too deep of a breath. A couple of the guys cast glances his way, noticing something off. Only one opened his mouth to ask, but a single look from Jaiden silenced him before he got a word out.
Adrianna wasn't exactly sure when she had fallen asleep, but she was awoken by blaring music. Her eyes opened and it took her a second to remember where she was when she didn't immediately recognize the bare, unfamiliar room. She groped in the dark for her phone, knocking it off the bedside table before finally getting a good enough grip on it to stop the loud sound. The tipsiness from earlier seemed to be wearing off, but her coordination made it obvious she was still slightly inebriated.
Her eyes ran across the text message from Seneca, having to read it a few times before her tired and buzzed mind could completely make sense of it. Yes, it was obvious she knew they were in trouble, how couldn't she? But she was in trouble herself at the moment and probably wouldn't be very useful to them without getting herself killed for it. Jaiden would probably be just a little too trigger happy if she kept screwing herself. Love or not, he would kill her if he had to, and she knew it.
It really depends on what you need. Look, I'm on watch duty for a bit tomorrow. If they let me go alone, we can talk then.
She watched the message send and then deleted her inbox and outbox. Setting the phone back down on the table she headed out of the room in search for something to drink that wasn't alcoholic. As she passed by a group of the guys one of them let out a low whistle and she turned to shoot him a glare before she continued on her way to the fridge. Glancing down at herself she blushed furiously, forgetting the only spare set of clothing she had left there was a pair of short night shorts and a tank. She hadn't even remembered changing into them.
Just as her hand seized a bottle of water she heard a door open and close. Glancing up she saw Jaiden walk in and again wondered where he had been. She watched him walk across the room and noticed the way he moved. It was obvious he had been to see Trent, probably to explain what had happened and her heart ached for him. She wanted to see if he was okay, but knew she should just keep her distance. Especially after the look he shot one of the guys who opened his mouth to say something.
"You can only fight to be yourself for so long before you FORGET who yourself is."
She could not exactly disagree with Mikael’s statement that they were already up a creek. They both knew it. It was a coin toss whether Adrianna would help them or not. After all, she was supposed to be a cop infiltrating a gang, but love did funny things to logic and a sense of duty. “I don’t know.” She finally answered with a slight shrug. “I’d rather have more than one watch to get done though.” At least that would give them time to do something more than just run.
Even sitting against Mikael, Seneca couldn’t really stay still. She tried not to move too much for his sake, but she had too much energy. Even after the run that morning. There was nowhere to go, and she felt trapped. That was never a comfortable feeling for an assassin. Even though they weren’t in any immediate danger, the idea of being stuck in a house made her antsy.
At least Mikael’s question brought her attention to something else. At least he would not even think twice about the fact that her first thought was to kill someone in their way. “Yeah. He’s too far for a handgun, and I think that if we get any closer, they’d call for backup. We can’t just run to a new place though. We’ll need to relocate, but…we’ve got to find a way to Trent and the information Chester wants. That’s the only way we’re going to figure out what’s going on.” Seneca reminded him.
A plan was starting to brew in her mind, but Seneca doubted that Mikael would like it. It would require her to have another ‘talk’ with Jaiden and play this one closer to her chest than any assassin would like. It would keep Mikael safe though, and that was what was most important to her. She wouldn’t tell him until they heard from Chester though, and even then, she wasn’t sure when she would tell him her thoughts.
Not being able to tell Mikael only made her more uneasy though. Even the movie could not keep her attention for more than a few minutes at a time. Finally, deciding she was moving around too much anyways, Seneca got up. “I need to workout. Care to join?” Seneca doubted that she was the only one that could use to get rid of some energy. Besides, as horrible as it sounded for how much she cared about Mikael, she could really use to hit someone right then.
Mikael agreed that more time would only help them for the better, but if they didn't have more time they needed to focus on somewhere they could lay low first. "If all we have is a small amount of time the smartest thing to do is find a new place to stay. Once we're there we can figure everything else out without having to worry about watching our own front door for someone to come charging in." He knew she wanted more time than that, but they needed to agree as to how to spend that time.
He nodded when she mentioned getting to Trent. But they couldn't do that without a safe place and a connection to the gang. Which brought them back to square one. Unless of course they wanted to go in, guns ablazing, and get themselves killed. Which, for obvious reasons, wasn't an option. "We wait for Chester then, and after that we'll figure out a plan."
Mikael laughed when she mentioned a workout. "I was thinking the same thing." He stood up and shut off the TV, heading to the workout room. "Just because I like you doesn't mean I'm going to take it easy on you." He called over his shoulder at her. Knowing that she would follow him, he didn't bother waiting for her.
Jaiden made the mistake of glancing over at Adrianna on his way to his office. He wasn’t angry at her. He couldn’t be angry for something she may or may not have done. The anger was almost at himself for not being able to trust her. For being paranoid enough to even question if she was in league with Greg. That didn’t show on his features though. Not when he looked at her. Only the worry that Trent would do something to her, especially after the meeting.
All he wanted was to hold her, traitor or not. Jaiden dropped his gaze to the ground, reaching up to run his hand through his hair to hide the awkward silence between them. That failed when the movement caused him to wince though. Going into his office, his gaze drifted over all of the paperwork. There was so much to do, but he would deal with that tomorrow.
For now, he just grabbed a few beers—not wanting to worry about getting up to grab them from the fridge later—and sat down. Even sitting her though, especially when he first sat down and his bruised back pressed against the chair. He popped open the beer and started drinking, idly searching through his desk for painkillers. He’d had a small bottle there at one point, but it had apparently disappeared in the interim.
Adrianna met Jaiden's gaze, trying to show him just how concerned she was for him. She thought she saw worry in his eyes before he looked away, but she could have been imagining it, the emotion was gone so quickly. He walked away and her eyes followed until he was out of sight. If anyone noticed, she was sure they'd just chalk it up to her being scared of what he might be thinking.
She returned to her room without speaking a word to anyone. She tried so hard to think of something other than Jaiden and when that didn't work she tried to go back to sleep. She laid in bed for an hour before giving it up entirely. Five minutes later she found herself outside Jaiden's office door, arm raised to knock. Without giving herself the time to think of the consequences she knocked and opened the door, walking into the familiar room.
"Hey." She said to him, noticing the empty beer bottles littering his desk. "I hope I'm not intruding. I just....I was worried about you and I wanted to make sure you were okay..." Her eyes fell to the floor, not really sure how he was going to respond. But if he was going to scream at her she may as well quit torturing herself by prolonging the inevitable.