"You've got some
nerve kid." Lucas mumbled as he stormed into the room.
"Come right in." Lauren said with false interest as she closed the door and walked after him. While Lucas paced in front of the TV, which had been tuned to CNN the whole evening since Lauren hadn't had the stomach for anything else, Lauren flopped on the bed.
"Enlighten me, Sparks. Just how much trouble am I in?" Lauren looked at her nails as if they were the most interesting thing in the world.
"Oh, you have no idea!" Lucas spouted.
"Like I said, enlighten me." Lauren had moved from her nails to the ceiling.
"You're lucky I talked the Director out of just throwing you out that very second! Lauren, I can't believe this. Why would you just take off like that? It's not like you."
"I explained this to you, the Director, and Avery. Someone really should have gotten the hint by now." Lauren stood up and stood in Lucas's path, glaring up at him. "Lucas, Andreah is all the family I have. I am not just going to stand by while the entire agency just sits there and does nothing! Even if she's dead, I just need that closure. You can see that, can't you?"
Lucas crossed his arms. "You shouldn't have taken off like that."
That was when Lauren lost it. "See? This is what I mean! Not only are you not doing a single thing to help your fellow agent, but all you care about is that I broke curfew! Seriously, Lucas, how about you just get off your high horse for one freaking second and see this from my viewpoint? Can you stomach that, or should I keep this all G-rated?"
Lauren's outburst had been so sudden and stinging that Lucas had to take a physical step backward to recover. The teen didn't wait for him to do so; she stomped out the door and down to the lakeside.
The view was gorgeous, but Lauren was in no mood to enjoy it.
If I was in my right mind, she thought, I'd take off right now and keep on looking. I shouldn't have to stand here and listen to Lucas bow and scrape at the Director's feet. How could he say I'M lucky? What does he know about anything but good luck?
"I'm with you." Lucas piped up from behind her, jerking Lauren from her thoughts. She whipped around, her hair flying over her shoulder.
"Come again?" she breathed. Was he actually doing this?
"I'm with you." Lucas repeated. "I want to help you find Andreah." Noticing Lauren's blank stare, he sighed. "You're not the only one who cares about her, you know. We've been through a lot together, seen things you haven't. Although, from the sounds of what Gordon told me, you got quite the scare this afternoon."
"How'd Gordon know about that?"
"I called him once the Director simmered down. He told me about Connors, and when I checked the guy out, I got the police report saying he and his wife had been murdered, and that is was one of the most grisly crime scenes the police department has ever seen." By now, the two were standing side by side, the moon's reflection off the water casting a glow on their faces, Lucas's serious and Lauren's thoughtful.
"It was pretty bad. But the police can't put everything that happened into a report." Lauren looked up at Lucas. "The guy that killed him, he was still in the apartment when I showed up. The stuff that he said, he only could have known them if he'd been prepared for me. Someone knew I was going to be at that apartment. Since I know it can't be Gordon, I'm at a loss." Lauren sighed.
"So, I guess we better start looking. Where first?"
Lauren glared at her partner. "Did I not just say I was at a loss?"
Lucas glared right back at her, only his eyes were laughing. "Leo Connors was one of the richest men in Paris. You don't go unnoticed when you're that high up on the food chain. Someone had to know his enemies." Lucas turned back to the villa as he continued talking. "The police aren't releasing anything, so we're going to have to work off intuition." Now Lucas turned back and noticed that Lauren was still standing in the same spot. "Kid, what's wrong?"
"Did you see pictures of the apartment?"
"No, I just read the police report. Why, did something stick out?"
"The amount of blood."
"I heard they died of execution-style head shots. They normally bleed a lot. Are you saying there was more than that?"
"Yeah. The entry was covered in it. The blood in the bedroom was consistent with Lyssa and Leo, so the pools in the entry had to have come from someone or something else."
"I'm guessing 'someone', since assassins technically don't sacrifice animals at the scene of the crime." Lauren glared at him, and he held his hands up in mock defense. "Alright, alright, continue."
"Whoever that someone was, if that's all their blood, there's no way they're alive." The girl looked up at Lucas, her eyes glistening. "What if it was Andreah?"
Lucas walked back down the hill and pulled Lauren into a hug, which wasn't something he usually did. The two didn't say anything else; they just stood there, the moonlight their only backdrop.