THE BRUTAL TRUTH

Quinn, Trey and Eben woke up that morning with purpose. More then one purpose. Today was going to be a big day. They'd done some research, and Eben and Trey did some tracking, and today was the day they'd finalize their plans.

Quinn looked at his Rolex watch. He didn't see what the big deal with these were, but oh well. " Don't start a sandwich Eben, we have to go meet with Sir Lionel Buckham the 2nd." Quinn read off the palm of his hand, he wasn't all that good with names.

"But Trey—" Eben pointed to Trey who was wolfing down his sandwich, mustard all over his chin. Trey smiled cheekily mid-bite.

"Trey happens to be a gruesomely fast eater. You are the opposite. Go get dressed." Quinn directed as he made his way to a mirror to make sure he looked like a respectable Englishman.

Seven minutes later the three brothers were heading to the lobby floor of the hotel to meet Sir Lionel Buckham II. Quinn's black 3 piece suit was complimented by a black attaché case, and his two brothers who were flanking him on either side were walking half a pace behind him. They looked emotionless, arrogant, and rather unapproachable. Quinn had his face plastered to look fakely polite; like he was a jolly Englishman who enjoyed wine and laughing in a boisterous way.

After their elevator ride (Where Eben had to hold Trey back so he wouldn't press all the buttons) Quinn led the way to the elegant restaurant which was in the lobby of the hotel.

The concierge for the restaurant met them at the door and quickly ushered them to a table where an elderly man and his bodyguard sat waiting.

Quinn strode to the table, and the older man stood as they shook hands "Sir Lionel Buckham the 2nd, I'm so happy you agreed to a meeting. I'm Archie Upham. Sorry if these reservations are a bit lax but I prefer to think that where you have a chat isn't as important as the production of that chat."

"I agree with you Mr. Uphan, but it just so happens that this restaurant is of the finest quality." Sir Buckham said as he sat down again. He then gestured to a bottle of wine on the table. "I took the liberty of ordering some wine if you'd—"

"Wonderful! Nothing like a spot of wine to settle the nerves." 'Archie' commented, laying his attaché case across his lap and easing into his role.

"Why, are there nerves that must be settled?" Sir Buckham asked politely as he poured the wine.

"I'm afraid, Sir Buckham, that this has to do with the business matter of which I wish to discuss." Archie surrendered, his face turning from his jolly English fake one to a more realistic seriousness.

"Then let's leave the chit-chat for the birds. Tell me of your business." Sir Buckham was never much for small talk. The owner of Buckham Construction was a busy, straight-to-the-point man. He was perceptive and made decisions day in and day out. He was the boss of over 950 skilled tradesmen and managers who were immersed in a fair few projects. Just last month they'd refurbished 'Big Ben', the famous clock of London, as one of their projects, and they'd gained a total net profit of 1.2 Million dollars. It had taken oh so many calls from the three brothers to persuade Sir Buckham for a meeting. Archie had to take advantage of it.

"Sir Buckham, I have spent my days for the past couple years in bank research. Where the money comes from, where the money goes to, that sort of thing. Banks now have very sophisticated means of safety, but somehow it seems that thieves are one step ahead this day and age." Archie started, and paused them to take a sip of wine.

"What are you saying, sir?" Sir Buckham inquired, his interest piqued.

"Did you know, for instance, that if everyone who had an account at a bank decided to withdraw all their money, there wouldn't be enough money to pay off every client, and the bank itself would go bankrupt?" Mr. Upham nodded with his eyebrows raised for emphasis as Sir Buckham nodded, thinking. "So if a bank were to get robbed, there would be even less money to function with. Less money to give to clients, more chances of the bank going bankrupt."

"Sounds serious. I don't see why I should be concerned about this." Sir Buckham said with a sip of his wine. Archie leaned on his elbows on the table before he started again.

"You're a smart businessman, Sir. I'm sure you don't have—" He stopped there and looked up at his twin bodyguards, who immediately turned, as if to make sure no one was listening to them. It all came over as something quite confidential. "I'm sure you don't have all of your business' money in a bank account."

"Where else shall it go? In a box under my bed?" Sir Buckham scoffed as he shook his head. "I'd need more then one King-sized bed for that many pounds."

Archie laughed raucously, slapping his knee in good manner. "Now Sir, hopefully you know that that has quite the limited amount of safety features. No. I'm here to offer you a slice of comfort in knowing that some, if not all, of your money is safe."

Archie kept his amused but serious face on as Sir Buckham examined him with his slightly squinted eyes. He seemed to have x-ray vision, but Quinn was so into his Archie Upham role that he knew Sir Buckham was going to give it.

"Go on." Sir Buckham said, and Archie couldn't help but give a smile.

"I am in charge of a quite new company. It's part bank part insurance company you could say. When your money is put into an account with me, it will be charged a small monthly rate, which is negotiable, and if anything happens to it, because of that monthly rate, there will always be that money to pay you back." Archie noticed the starting look of confusion on Sir Buckham's face. He quickly went on before the elderly man could say anything. "I know it sounds sloppy, but all of my other clients are quite happy. If at any time you do not feel safe, you can take your money out and put it right back in that bank."

"Let me tell you this though, there is no one at that bank who is this concerned with the fortune that your company runs on. They know that there are crooks about to overcome the bank system and aren't changing things fast enough. If you want, you can take my card and have your head accountant call to discuss things, but I have meetings lined up five minutes from now to the next three days, I won't have any time to spare. It's up to you, but three days may be too late." Archie stood up and held out a card with his hotel room number on it towards Sir Buckham, who was deeply immersed in his thoughts.

Quinn's heart was wildly fluttering, this was the point of decision. Either Sir Buckham would go for it, or he wouldn't. He had to make it short but fast, so Sir Buckham wouldn't see any flaws, and because Trey and Eben had somewhere else to be today as well. It worked though, so far only 2 other people he'd talked to hadn't gone for it, the other 5 drinking it in greedily. He watched as Sir Buckham sipped his wine again, his forehead wrinkled in thought.

"How much do you suggest be transferred?" Sir Buckham said, with a trusting eye turned up to Archie Upham. Archie smiled kindly and sat back down, this was going to be a huge score.

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Every day for a week Riley went back to the mall to buy clothes for Grant. He was growing like a monster. He looked about 5 already. Every day Marek would be there and would try to get Riley to sit down and talk with him.

"No. I told you already. Call when you can explain in 20 seconds." Riley said before taking Grant by the hand and walking back towards the hotel.

That wasn't the only thing she had to worry about. Breaking news was on every day of a new strain of the flu that was being spread. Riley turned the volume on the t.v. up before sitting on her bed to watch.

"Patience is limited at the L.A. Memorial hospital as more and more come to check in. It seems that most of the affected are children under the age of 5. though there have been some those ranging all ages, including some of the doctors here, who have come down with it. It is reported that six have died so far, four of them being children—" Riley cut off the news woman as she clicked off the t.v.

Her thoughts drifted back to her conversation with her mother. "No milk…stay away from other children."

"What's the f-ing deal!" Riley burst carefully near Grant. Her face was flushed as she closed her eyes and fell back on the bed. She wanted so much to know what was going on.

Riley's blue eyes shot open and she looked up to see Grant standing by her with his hand on her knee, his face looking concerned. She sat up then and ruffled his dirty blonde hair. "I'm ok."

Grant smiled, dimples showing slightly. However much he'd grown, he hadn't made a sound since he declared himself thirsty that first day.

Riley looked at the odd shadow of Grant. That confused her too. She knew it wasn't a shadow, but it was…in a way. Riley got up from the bed and went to the window. Oh how she longed to be in any of the cars she saw, or roaming any of those building in sight.

The past few days with Grant had been uneventful. They went swimming a lot, in the hotel pool. Riley had bought them both bathing suits on their second visit to the mall. That was the only other place they went, and they only stayed as long as they had to.

Riley felt a tug at her t-shirt, and she looked down to find Grant in his bathing suit, his face hopeful.

"Swimming again? We were just there, like, and hour ago." Grant handed Riley her bathing suit, which hadn't even been dried yet, and Riley shook her head with a smile. "Fine. Let me change. Don't go anywhere, k bud?"

Grant nodded and ran to jump on the bed while he waited. That was his second favourite thing to do.

Riley put her suit on the counter in the bathroom as she took off her t-shirt. She really wasn't looking forward to putting a cold, wet bathing suit on. She wanted to put a nice dry warm one on. She was so busy pitying herself because she had to put a wet bathing suit on that she didn't notice it was dry and warm until she was pulling her pants back on. Weird.

"Alright Grant!" She called as she came out of the bathroom. Grant jumped from the bed, and ran to Riley's side, grabbing her out reached hand. "Ready?"

Grant nodded and Riley made she had her room key before she opened the door. Her eyes met those of a man who seemed to be waiting there, and she froze.

"Mom!" The mad tried to grab Riley, but the door shut on his hand. A string of curses was heard from the hall. Riley locked the door quickly then felt herself being pulled away from it by Grant.

"Grant?" She could've sworn that he'd actually said something.

"We have to get out of here." Riley gaped at the calm urgency of Grant's voice. What was all this madness?

"What?" She said dumbly, and gestured to the door. "Who was that?"

"Trey. He'll get in soon. You're not afraid of heights, right mom?" Grant said as he charged to examine the window.

"Heights? No. Who's Trey?" She asked. She was shocked. How would a 5 year old know anyways? Not that he was acting five. Riley could only look at him though, as she stood lost in the middle of the room.

"Crap!" Grant cried. Riley would've laughed if she weren't so scared.

"What?" She asked. Grant gestured out the window and Riley looked out. She squinted, not believing her eyes. "How'd he get down there so fast?"

"That's not Trey." Grant said as he searched through Riley's side bag. "That's Eben."

"Who's Eben?" Riley screeched.

"Trey's twin." Riley frowned, then jumped as a demanding knock on the door startled her. Right, cause she was going to go prance over and open the door for this 'Trey' guy.

Grant ran over to Riley and handed her her silver cell phone, "Call Marek."

"I don't know his number!" Riley cried out, but flipped the phone open because she didn't know what else to do.

"Yes you do!" Grant cried as he pulled a chair in front of the door, trying to barricade Trey out. Riley heard a 'click' as the lock of the door undid itself, and she vaguely felt herself type in numbers before she held the phone to her ear.

It didn't even ring once. "Hello?"

"Marek?" Riley asked, and then jumped again as the door flung open, flinging Grant and the chair he'd tried to barricade the door with. Her eyes widened as Trey stepped in. "Get here!"

Riley dropped the phone and ran to help Grant up. She looked back up to find Trey holding a gun to her face. Riley felt her face drain of all blood, and Grant cursed as he hid behind her.

"Why didn't you use that to get in?" Riley asked, trying to prolong her life. There was no way Marek would make it in time.

"I'm here to kill you two, not deface public property." Trey said with a casual shrug.

Riley gaped for the second time in the past 2 minutes. Then she noticed that Trey wobbled his gun a lot when he talked, so she continued in disbelief. "How very noble of you."

"Well, I'm a noble guy." Trey said with a smile, Riley noticed he moved his gun again, and she lunged wildly. A shot rang out, and Riley felt as if her arm had shattered into a million pieces before she blacked out.

"Mom!" Grant tried to grab the gun, but Trey pulled it from Grant as he pushed Riley off of him. He rolled towards Grant then, and aimed his gun.

"Ahh!" Trey's evil look of triumph turned to that of pain as his arm was kicked and his shot went wild. Marek had run into the room and now slammed his foot down on Trey's gunless arm, and crushed the hand that was holding the gun with his other foot. He forced the gun from Trey's hand and turned it towards him.

"Noble THIS!" He shouted as he fired a shot. Angrily he slammed the gun to the floor.

Trey was gone, and the bullet was lodged in the floor.

"Mom!' Grant called again, his heart racing as he crawled to the unmoving girl.

"Riley!" Marek's anger left and he went to Riley's side, gingerly rolling her over. He Wanted her to wake up.

Riley opened her eyes and groaned. Her arm was throbbing something horrible, and she couldn't move it at all. Her blurry eyes saw Grant and Marek hovering over her.

"How'd ya get here so fast?' Riley managed.

"I Wanted to." Marek said quickly, then Riley's head fell back as she fainted again, and Marek knew there was no time, people were screaming and running as it was. He had never Wanted so much in all his life.

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Quinn's red hair was reflecting more then the mixation of genes in his DNA. He was possibly angrier then Marek was when Trey got away. His twin brothers had just Wanted back to their hotel mid-London , and with no good news.

Quinn growled in anger, looking remarkably like a tiger of some sort. "Do you even know what you've let happen?"

Eben and Trey had formed an assembly line leading from the fridge of the hotel to the counter. Eben was handing things to Trey, and he was piling them up, they were serious about it too. Apparently aggressive action like that leaves you famished.

Quinn was seething though. Hot smoke looked as if it were about to spill out of his ears, or so it seemed, and a lovely vein in his neck was popping out like crazy.

"How can you eat when you've just RUINED THE WHOLE PLAN!?!?" Quinn exploded, slamming his fist into a nearby wall and Wanting the fridge door to slam shut. Eben howled as it caught his fingers.

"Settle down. They're still gone, only not in the way you would've hoped." Trey argued as he took a swig of water from one of the water bottles Eben brought out of the fridge.

"How could you just let them leave?" Quinn yelled, infuriated at his brothers' calmness.

"Let them leave?" Trey turned to give his red-headed brother an incredulous look. " The guy almost friggin' breaks my arm, I had to Want it to get better, and then he tries to blow my friggin' brains out, and I Let them leave?"

Trey turned back to the food, then continued when Eben handed him a couple pieces of bread, "Not to mention 'Guard's-men McGee' over here who watched the whole friggin' thing from outside the hotel."

"You told me to be ready if they decided to jump ship!" Eben jumped in on his defense.

"Outside the hotel?" Quinn repeated, and Eben shrugged helplessly as he tried to form some kind of answer.

"Eb, what is the one thing Mom has tried to drill in your head?" Trey asked, sloshing mustard on his bread with a knife.

" 'Trey may be 7 minutes older then you, but that doesn't mean you should ever listen to him.' " Eben mumbled instantly, as he pouted childishly.

"And what do you do? You listen to me." Trey shook his head disapprovingly as he added some lunchmeat to his sandwich. "Really Quinn, you may think it's my fault, but—"

"Shut-up." Quinn was leaning his back against the wall beside the fridge, his arms crossed as he thought.

They had done some work, but to pull off their heist it was going to take more time, with no disruptions or distractions. Quinn fixed his suit coat and cracked his neck. Oh they had connections now. Quinn had been meeting the richest people in London, another meeting was to take place in a few mintues. All he had to do was make sure he had their trust, and that would be easy to take care of.

Quinn looked over at Trey, "If he comes back you'd be able to tell, right?"

Trey squished his sandwich together to complete it as he nodded.

"Good. If they come back, you'll take care of it, and Eben'll take over your position. Eben, you're going to—"

"What! You promised I could be in charge of the whole operation!" Trey burst, after quickly swallowing a bite of his sandwich.

"You didn't finish your last job, it's your responsibility." Quinn said slowly and pointedly, declaring it final. "Eben, you up to the Management position?"

"Sure." Eben said with a shrug as he pushed Trey out of the way to make himself a sandwich. "I can't do it alone though, if Trey's going to be somewhere else."

"That's fine. We'll 'recruit' some people. Tomorrow." Quinn said, rubbing his hands together. One look at his watch, and he looked up at Eben, "Don't start a sandwich, we have another meeting in 20 minutes and you guys have to get ready."

Eben growled in frustration, "Man, I never get to eat."

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Riley Doerkson was sore, to say the least. She'd woken up, but hadn't opened her eyes yet. Grant wasn't tugging at her hair or her arm or anything, so she thought he was asleep too, until she remembered what had happened before she blacked out.

Was she dead? Was this heaven? Was this hell? Was Grant alright? Who the heck were Trey and Eben anyways? All these questions ran through her head as she flicked her dark blue eyes open wide.

Marek's concerned dark eyes were the first things she saw, and she closed her eyes again with a groan. This must be hell. Except that the bed she was in was so warm and comfortable.

"You're awake." Marek whispered softly. Riley could hear a smile in his voice. This was weird, because she really didn't know him.

"Apparently." Riley said with a frown. She peeked her eyes open and looked at Marek pointedly. "I'm still not talking to you until you explain in 20 seconds how you can help me."

Marek sighed. He knew that Riley was stubborn, but really. He cleared his throat and leaned back in the chair he was sitting in. Either he could say something easy or tell her the truth. After a couple seconds, he compromised. He'd say the truth, but only of what had happened on Earth.

"Let's see." Marek looked at Riley as he scratched his head, his shaggy brown hair sticking up. "Eben and Trey, the two evil twins of doom were trying to kill you and my son, and when you called I knew you needed help, and that you remember somewhat which is a good thing. So I Wanted to your hotel room and beat up Trey a bit, but he got away anyways, and then I Wanted us here since you were kind of shot. And here we are."

Riley blinked, her eyes still hadn't explored more then Marek's face. Which really wasn't so bad to explore. He was pretty, that kind of guy you could look at forever and not think of anything except of how pretty he is. "Oh." She finally offered. Then her eyebrows wrinkled, "How'd ya get there so fast?"

"You asked me that at the hotel." Marek said with a grin.

"I don't remember." Riley frowned. Marek was playing with her memory and it bugged her.

"You will. Like how you'll remember everything else. Like where we are." Marek said, and watched as Riley rolled her eyes, and waited for her to challenge him.

"That's easy, we're in a hospital room." Then Riley's eyes flicked around the room, and she immediately felt stupid for not looking around before. She was in someone's room. Marek had kidnapped her, that was it!

"What is it? Don't like this colour anymore?" Marek said, noticing her face as she'd looked around the room.

"What do you mean?" Riley snapped, then shook her head and sat up. "Listen, Marek, whoever you are. I just want to go home."

"Wake-up, Riley." Marek said as he got up to leave the room. He knew she'd need some time to mull over a few things. "You are home."

GAH!!! Another Chappie Done. Finally. I think this is going well. I'll probably go through it when I'm finished writing it and fix it up so I'm not jumping over everywhere...Anyone understanding anything yet?