Sorry I'm not posting as fast as I have in the past, I'm currently working on six stories at this site, six at another and a couple of others I haven't posted anywhere yet. I will try to keep up and not start so many in the future.
Chapter 3 Shards of Meaning
I glanced back at the alley and waited for them to get out of range before turning back to Jack. "So, who are they" I asked, keeping my eyes on Jack.
"They are probably members from the Lords" he said, glancing quickly back at the alley. I had seen the flicker in his eyes, he was lying. He knew very well they weren't.
"So, who are they" I asked again. When he didn't answer I added "They aren't members of any gang in this city".
"And you would know the face of every gang member and every criminal in this city" he asked sarcastically.
"Yes" I just said, watching his face.
He stared back at me surprised, then sighed "I suppose you would".
"If you don't want to tell me who they were, perhaps you could tell me who you work for" I asked in a reasonable voice. If I couldn't find out one way, there was always another, besides if it was in this city, I had all the answers, I just hadn't put them together yet.
"I work for the government" He said, softly.
I had suspected something of the sort in the back of my mind, it had been the little voice urging me to walk on by. The one I hadn't listened to. Great, now the government knew about me."You're a spy?" I asked in a teasing voice".I gave him no clue about my reservations.
"Essentially yes" he said, watching me carefully. I had the feeling this was a test of some kind, a slight trickle of cold ran down my spine.
"Then what are you doing in this country, I thought the government kept stuff like that outside our borders" I said this not really believing it, but it was something to urge his thoughts in another direction.
He grinned slightly and I knew that he had seen through to what I was doing.
"Ever since 911, the government has been concerned about terrorist activity, they have started a new agency devoted to rooting it out within our borders" He watched me with his unnerving stare.
Shit, I thought. He's trying to recruit me. He would never have told me this stuff otherwise, then another thought occurred to me, Terrorism. I ran through all the information in my mind. Bits and pieces, not all of it from Gar. "Oh" I said as the light dawned. I knew now what he was looking for and I knew that the information from Gar wouldn't be filling in all the blanks for him. I also had a good idea who those men were now, or at least who they worked for.
Shit, I thought again, feeling a little sick. I avoided stuff like this, like the plague. I might watch it from a distance and give a nudge from time to time, but only from a safe distance. I had always left it to the professionals. I glanced at Jack, he was starting to get a suspicious look in his eyes. I knew I was better than him at this, and if he was a professional, perhaps I could do this. I knew I really didn't have a choice now anyway. By now they knew who I was.
"Ok, now I know what you have in your pocket" I said, I knew I needed to get him to take me seriously if I wanted to make it out of this alive.
His eyes narrowed "I don't believe you" he said.
I sat back and watched him on the other side of the window "I've been watching Gar for the last year, I know everything he does".
"Then why did he try to pick you up if he knew about you" he asked leaning in my direction.
"Did you hear me say he knew about me" I asked in an amused tone of voice.
"No, but how the hell could you learn everything without him seeing you. Did you bug his place?" he asked.
"Why would I bother, just watching him and the people around him would be enough. And why do you assume that I always look the same?" I asked. He shook his head and I sighed, he still didn't get it.
"Everything, has an influence on it's surroundings. Every action leaves it's traces. I just had to watch Gar and his people to put it together. It's a gift I have. I look at things in a new way and I remember everything" I watched his eyes widen as he heard what I said.
"That's not possible" he said in a strained voice.
"It must be, I've been doing it since I was a child. Besides you've been trained to do something along those lines yourself" I said, I watched the emotions chase across his face, suspicion, a touch of fear and another I couldn't quite catch before sliding to acceptance.
"You are coming with me" he finally said.
I nodded "I'll have to now, when you dragged me away from the Cafe, my purse was left behind. They know who I am now".
"Great" he said running his hand through his hair. "I suppose we'll have to put your family into protective custody" he said, she could almost hear his irritation at a new inconvenience.
"That won't be necessary" I said quietly.
"Why is that" he asked, catching something in my voice.
"You can't kill the dead, I don't have a family anymore" I said, trying to push back the memories. Something that was impossible for someone who remembered everything, every little detail.
He put his hand on my shoulder and his eyes looked sad "I'm sorry".
"It happened a long time ago, I've had time to get used to it" I said, really wishing we could move on to another topic, then I could focus on another set of memories, it made it better.
He seemed to realize that I didn't want to talk about it anymore. He glanced out the window again before turning back to me "So, how do we get out of here without being seen?"
I smiled slightly "follow me. This is my territory"
He nodded and I got up, walking across the room to the door. I listened carefully and looked through the peephole, before opening the door and slipping through. It locked behind us and I started down the hall to the back stairs.
He kept quiet as we walked down the stairs, though I did feel his start as I kept going down past the ground floor. Once in the sub basement I walked, not bothering to turn the lights on. I really didn't need them, I knew where everything was. I felt his hand on my shoulder as he kept close.
I grinned, I was in control again, something I always needed. I tried not to think of why, it dated to when my family was killed. I hadn't been in control then and now I counted control with safety. A silly thing I knew, he wouldn't have killed me as he killed my family. I was too valuable. But there it was, ever since that time it was essential.
Finally across the room and around several obstacles I reached out feeling the edge of the door frame. I shrugged off Jacks hand and bent to the side. I heard his gasp, before feeling the key. I reached back and grabbed his hand as I set the key to the lock and opened the door.
I walked in, I could feel a cool damp breeze flowing through the doorway, once through, I stopped Jack and closed the door, locking it behind us. I felt for his hand again and walked down the corridor.
"Do you think it's too much to ask for a light" Jack's voice came from close behind me in the darkness.
I shivered, then laughed "Why when this so much more fun, where's your sense of adventure?" I asked, I didn't mention we were fast approaching my stash, which did include a flashlight among other things.
I heard him growl behind me before he pulled his hand free. Before I had time to react, he had wrapped his arms around me and pulled me back towards him."Oh" I said, startled.
Then I heard his laugh by my ear, this time he felt my shiver as I felt his breath warm on the side of my neck. He chuckled and my eyes narrowed in the darkness, I didn't like this. or at least that's what I told myself. I pulled away and walked quickly forward, feeling along the wall for the strap of the backpack I had stashed here.
"Hey" his voice called in the darkness. "Come back".
I smiled, then my fingers felt the canvas of the back pack. I knelt unzipping the bag, at the small sound, I heard him stumble in my direction. I almost laughed, let that teach him.
Then he stumbled into me, tripping over my kneeling form. "Ow" I gasped as his weight knocked the wind from me. I gasped for breath as he pulled himself up.
"Are you Ok?" he asked, running his hands over me.
"I will be" I finally gasped as the air returned to my lungs. I pushed away, bringing the bag back with me.
"What was that?" he asked as he felt the bag.
"My stash" I said absently, as I pulled out the flashlight. I turned it on and we both squinted in the light.
He shook his head "Are you always this prepared?" he asked.
I looked at him, my face serious "Yes, always".
He frowned slightly, looking into my eyes.