Author: Everis PM
Alex is a normal girl, except now she's being protected by an undercover agent. But she doesn't know that and she doesn't know why. All she knows is that he might somehow be connected to missing dad and her missing ex-boyfriend.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Romance - Chapters: 13 - Words: 28,675 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 7 - Updated: 08-12-12 - Published: 06-28-11 - id: 2927910
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Matt was truthfully not paying attention to his 'date.' He peered over his menu and past Bethany's bare shoulders and pinpointed the real reason he was dressed up and seated in an Italian restaurant. Alex was sitting at a round table on a lower level of the restaurant, seemingly engrossed in a conversation with Drake.
Matt knew she was distracted and he had been searching for signs. He watched as the corners of her mouth periodically slipped into frowns, caught glimpses of a faraway look in her eyes. Matt could tell she was thinking about something far more disturbing than she would encounter on a date with Drake. He only hoped she wasn't thinking about Jake. Matt had no idea of what Jake might have wanted from Alex's house, but he couldn't just jump to conclusions. Maybe Alex hadn't even realized Jake had broken into her house.
Matt was thankful that Bethany loved to talk. He only pretended to listen, when he was really watching Alex. Unlike Alex, Matt was more skilled at constructing his own facial expression, so Bethany never noticed a single thing amiss.
Half an hour passed. If Matt had intended this to be a real date, it would have been his last one with Bethany. The girl was superficial and much too talkative. He was sure she had never even heard of such a thing as a comfortable silence.
When they both had decided their date had come to an end, Matt paid, and he let Bethany drive herself home. He sat back in his own car, which was parked a row away from Drake's. Bethany had thought the date had gone well, and she actually expected to go on another one with him. Someone must have dropped her when she was a baby, he mused.
Not long after he expected them to leave, Matt saw Drake lead Alex out of the restaurant, his arm draped over her shoulders. She laughed at something he said.
If anything good other than ensuring Alex's safety had come from this night, it was that Matt had gotten a chance to appreciate how beautiful Alex was. He hated to admit that a lot of his time spent watching her was spent admiring her, but it was true, and it made him sigh. His life as an agent always came first, and he had never know any other life.
Drake's car started and pulled out of their parking spot. Matt waited a few seconds before following them. After a few minutes, he almost took the turn they missed. The one that would lead back to Dalestown. He frowned and followed them more closely, careful not to let too many cars between them.
He followed them to the hospital that Will was in. He parked just close enough to have them and the hospital doors in view and kept his car running to keep up the appearance. He hated multiple stops when he was tailing someone. It gave away too much, especially if whoever he was following was jumpy, paranoid, or simply observant. And, if what we had observed during dinner was any indication, Alex was all three of those at the moment.
He waited as Alex and Drake entered the hospital. He knew Eric would be just about done checking the functionality of the hidden security system in Alex's house by now. He would be receiving a text or call any minute now.
No sooner than he finished the thought, the screen of Matt's phone lit up. His entered his password and checked his messages.
Matt was not usually one to panic, but what he read raised a great, big red flag and sounded the alarms. Hastily dialing the current number for the Smith Company's emergency assistance line, he held up the phone to his ear. Aside from the ringing of his phone, the only sound in the car was the rapid drumming of his fingers against the steering wheel.
A click came through on the other end of the line, followed by the voice of a child. "Hi, what's your name?"
"Matthew Grant." Even in emergencies, the Smith Company had to make sure everything was secure. The little boy was replaced by the voice of the company operator.
"Mission Key?" The current woman's voice was deadly calm. To be honest, it both spooked and irritated Matt.
"Target B." He said, mimicking her tone.
"What is your business?"
"There was a fallen agent in an installation this evening. A clean-up is necessary and the homeowner will return in less than an hour. You'll find an address and contact information under my current mission profile. That will be all." Matt made sure to hang up before tossing his phone onto the passenger seat beside him. Having reclined his seat a little, he began rubbing his aching head.
This wasn't how tonight was supposed to go. The worst part of his missions was always fearing that someone he knew would be in danger. His best friend could have died. Who attacked Eric's backup anyway?
Matt doubted it was Jake. Alex hadn't done anything to provoke him, and neither had Matt, or anyone in the Smith Company. They hadn't even made further progress on their lead. He hated being such a sitting duck. The only thing he hated more right now, was this entire puzzle. None of it was making sense.
…Meanwhile, in the hospital…
Alex knew Will was really alright, but she took in the sight of him lying on a hospital bed, incredibly pale and fragile looking. It looked like he had caught pneumonia, not been in a car accident, except for the cast on his right arm.
Alex didn't want to believe that it was her causing this, but she knew she couldn't put it off much longer. She looked down and took Drake's hand, looking back toward Will when Drake looked at her. He gave her hand a small squeeze, but Alex knew he'd never know why it hurt her so much that Will was in the hospital.
She turned away. She didn't want to start crying. She wasn't going to get anyone else involved in her problems.
"Can we go?" she asked, tugging on Drake's hands. He nodded and followed behind her. The only indications that they had visited were flowers on the side of Will's bed, along with chocolate, both from the hospital's convenience store.
Alex followed Drake out of the hospital and back to his car. Her eyes swept along the parking lot, one of the nervous habits she'd developed in the past few days. She stopped in the middle of the road. A few rows down from where Drake had parked his car, was a sleek black car. Inside it, was Matt.
She wasn't going to lose her cool here, but she couldn't stop staring at him as she fell into step with Drake again. What was he doing here, just sitting in his car? He looked like he was asleep; he was reclined in the driver's seat, but one of his hands was rubbing the temples of his head, as if he had a headache. His eyes were closed, but a part of Alex wanted him to open them, to feel her gaze on him.
She wasn't sure what was happening, if Matt was working with Jake, or if Matt knew about her dad, or what Matt knew at all, but this was too suspicious. She kept her eyes on him and his car, taking in its every detail. She memorized his license plate number right before she got into Drake's car. Thankfully, he didn't notice how distracted she was, or he would have followed the path of her gaze and noticed Alex.
Alex didn't think Matt was intent on killing her. Sure, everything about him and her initial dislike for him should have made the sight of him in the parking lot scare her out of her mind, but something told her that he wasn't involved with the people trying to kill her, or whatever they were trying do.
The ride back to her house was silent, and for that, Alex was thankful. She took every chance she could to sneak surreptitious glances around Drake's moving car. She pretended to look out the window, as if she was in deep thought, when she was really watching the car mirrors and outside for any sign of Matt.
She sighed in relief when Drake pulled up in her driveway and she hadn't caught sight of Matt's car. Drake, however, took it as a sigh of exhaustion, or maybe even grief. He ran his hand through his neat black hair.
"This was an exciting week, huh?" He said, once he had parked.
Alex nodded, no longer feeling so sure about what was going on. She made to get out of the car, when Drake stopped her by putting his hand on her shoulder.
"Thanks for doing this, Alex. I know it's hard for you to open up to people and it must be harder now with Will in the hospital." He paused. "I get that you haven't exactly had the best experiences with relationships in general, but I'm here for you."
Alex smiled at that. Drake's words weren't enough to make her forget about her Jake/Matt/father conundrum, but they did make her feel a little less alone, even if it wasn't true. She opened the car door, but not before pausing to lean over towards Drake and hug him. As she separated herself from him, she left a kiss on his cheeks.
Once inside her house, with the door safely locked behind her, Alex stopped and noticed the odd smell in the atrium area. She couldn't tell what the smell was, but it was strongest by the front door. The farther she walked from the door, the harder it was to guess what the smell was.
Alex didn't want to think of all the possibilities. Right way, the picture of blood entered his mind, along with an image of what Will might have looked like the night of the accident. She hoped this wasn't a sign.
She groaned, but it turned into something of a shriek of frustration. Every time she thought she had finally wrapped her head around the situation she was in, something new came up! Tonight it was Matt and then this…odor. She wished they would just kill her and get it over with, but she instantly regretted the thought. After all, that was another part of the mystery. She was just assuming they wanted to kill her. Who knew what 'they' really wanted with her.
Alex trudged up the stairs and changed into her pajamas, wiping off all the makeup from her face. She was about to get in bed when she walked over to her window and drew back the curtains. There, in the street, was the same sleek, black car that had been parked in the hospital parking lot. She checked the license plate, hoping it wasn't true, but the number matched, and it was true.
There, parked across the street from her house was Matt's car. In it, she squinted to see, was Matt. Sitting in the passenger seat next to him was another boy, around her own age, she thought. He and Matt were talking. She squinted further. Their conversation didn't look too happy. In fact, Matt was pinching the bridge of his nose and rubbing his eyes in what looked like frustration.
For half a second, he looked at her house and Alex's heart stopped beating. He did a double take, attracted by the bright light of her room that illuminated the night outside, and their eyes locked.
Alex considered ducking out of sight, but she wasn't going to back out now. After all, he had seen her watching him. He knew she was on to him, or whatever he was doing.
A/N: Wow, I'm so glad I've been able to write these past few chapters. Reading and writing are all I've been doing during the past week and it's been really energizing. I've got to get back to doing school work from now on, but I wanted to say thank you to WhoseAGoose for your amazing reviews. They really fueled me to write more and I hope you enjoyed the result.I'm also going to try and be a bit more regular with my chapters from now on, but I hate posting a chapter that's been forced, so take my promise with a grain of salt. Thank you to everyone who is reading this write now. I appreciate you so much.