Run & Hide
Her only concern is getting the job done, and getting out alive. His concern? Well, it's always been her.
The only thing I was aware of was my own breathing. Quick and heavy pants that chased away the ache in my chest and the burn in my legs. It felt like I'd been running for forever and a day. I'd never liked running, and for the longest time, it was one of the only areas I performed poorly in during training. Yet running was a necessary part of my life, and now I was rarely ever winded but these guys... these guys were persistent. I'd give them that much. They'd kept on my tail for close to an hour and believe me, after 12 years of running to survive, that wasn't an easy feat.
As I waited for my breathing to slow, I looked at the building I'd ducked into. I was standing against the door of a room that looked vaguely like a small warehouse, or a very large garage. The floor was concrete and the walls were a metal that matched the door behind me, radiating a cool that wasn't related entirely to temperature. Evening light streamed through a small window, high on one of the walls, and from that I could see that the room was bare.
I closed my eyes, wishing to be back home in bed. Home wasn't much but an apartment that housed the organization I belong to, but it was home. We weren't a large organization; it was only myself and a few other guys. Cain, Jeremy, Frankie, Sheldon, and a kid we call Deeg. They weren't all the original crew, but they were family. There are some nights where I still find myself wishing for the original crew, or at least one member of the original crew.
Mostly we ran operations that were requested by a few select clients; fetch this, kidnap them. Sometimes we did things for our own benefit, but our main focus was doing the dirty work for people too high up to stick their hands in the mud. This had started off as one of those jobs for our benefit.
I could hear foot steps, and I pressed my ear against that cool door, taking my attention away from my home on the other side of the city to the men chasing me. I could imagine the alleyway outside the door, the one I'd just run down. I could hear their footfalls on the cobbles, the sound widely spaced, telling me they were running. I was lucky that this alley happened to have more then one door leading off it. Lucky that the first one they slammed open was on the opposite side of the alley.
I could hear their voices, furious and yelling in a language I didn't understand. The building they checked was somewhere in the same area as the last. Why wouldn't they just give up? None of the others had come this far, tried this hard. Does their persistence mean they'll succeed? No, it means they'll fail more than once. What does this mean for me? Whoever sent them will be angry, and they'll pick up their game because of it.
I sighed and moved away from the door. I couldn't stay here. If they went through the trouble of tracking me this far, they would look until they searched each building.
I wouldn't be a sitting duck.
I was as accustomed to hiding as I was to running, and now was the time to go into hiding.
Cain, my boss, mentor and friend, had always taught me not to go looking for more trouble that you already had. In my line, we had a lot. That's why when I saw a door across from me, illuminated by the glow of a light that was hidden behind it, I hesitated. I knew the section of the city I was in well, I also knew well what sort of dealings went on in this part. I could sit here and wait for the fight I expected, and knew I could handle or take the risk of finding something much worse behind that door.
I never was one with much sense, but I always did have an unhealthy amount of curiosity.
What I saw beyond the door really wasn't what I was expecting. It was a hallway, dark, with many rooms leading off of it, but that's not what was surprising. Despite its darkness, it didn't match the interior of the room I'd just left. The walls were covered in wallpaper, pastel colors and flowery images. Down the hall, I could see a table and vase. Flowers, beginning to wilt, but still bright and perfumed were sitting in the vase. Lamps that looked like they used to make home in a Victorian house were secured to the walls. All in all, it gave off a very homey feel.
I took in the contrast as quickly as I could, intending to find a back exit or maybe somewhere I could hide for a day or two. My eyes and feet had different ideas though, because both were drawn to a room just across from me. I could see that this is where the glow of a light came from.
Standing just outside the door way, the first thing I noticed was the sketches pinned up all over the farthest wall. I could see one that resembled this neighborhood at dawn, and a few of various people. Whoever drew these had amazing talent, and with a pang, they reminded me of someone I once knew. Below these, was a desk and drafting table. The drafting table is what I had noticed because of what sat on top of it. A blue paper, large enough to take up the entire top of the table, white lines barely visible on the sheet.
Blueprints, my mind whispered.
I needed to have them. I could feel it inside, an urge to snatch, an urge to covet, because like any criminal, I could use them. No matter what structure, there was something of worth there. My hands were almost twitching in anticipation, and my body moved itself into the room.
That's when I felt an arm wrap around my neck, and cool metal against my temple.
The door slammed.
That door is never used by anyone who knows what this place is.
Quietly, my sketchbook was gone in an instant, hidden. The blueprints, I left them. Whoever was here wouldn't make it far enough to read them. The same drawer that hid my sketchbook gave me a gun, and I disengaged the safety. No need for it.
I stood beside the door and I pushed myself against the wall. I could hear them stop just outside and I knew they were examining the walls, and it pissed me off. My hand tightened on the gun and my jaw locked. This room was never seen by anyone, even those that came to me as clients. It isn't anyone's business and it isn't for anyone's eyes.
They stepped inside and from there it was quick action. In an instant I was behind them, my arm around their neck, tight enough for them to be feeling the effects and my gun at their head. Not a good position for anyone. Especially when I was the one holding the gun.
At the same time I grabbed them, I kicked the door shut and stood against it. No need to have any interruptions if this girl was accompanied, I had to find out why she was here without an extra fight or two.
I could tell it was a girl from her form. No guy had curves like that.
When I looked down, I thought I'd see either a scared girl or one looking for a fight. What I did see sent a shock through my body and straight to my chest.
My only thought was, Alana... She found me.
As quickly as I was grabbed, I was pushed away. Using the momentum, I turned myself and swung a kick at my attacker. It would have hit his side and hard too, if he hadn't grabbed my calf and pulled me against him, fitting my leg around his waist.
I felt rage and disgust, but all I could do was gape. I've had guns used against me, knives, and hell, some punk kid once tried throwing stars, but never had someone tried to use sex against me. Sure the enemy has hinted, threatened, and even planned. Being a woman in a line where there aren't any women usually ensures that, but no one ever got this close.
My head snapped up, readying to yell, curse and hit, but I stopped at my assailants face. If possible, my jaw dropped further, as memories overtook my mind and I got my first look at Sid in three years.
Age eight, I walked with one hand held in Mrs. Simone Lavaud's and the other in her husband's, a Mr. Thomas Lavaud. The orphanage I loathed but called home for eight years behind us, their nice, if a little rundown, Sedan in front of us. They weren't adopting me, no, but they and their two sons were to be my foster family. They took me to their home, which was modest and very much like their sedan. Nice, but a little rundown. From what my worker told me, they were a nice and very close family, but not very well-to-do. Anything was better than Creekwater's Home for Orphaned Children.
Age eleven, I sat crying in the lap of an 18 year old Cain Lavaud, and this time my hand was held by a 15 year old Sid Lavaud. We were tucked away in a corner of a waiting room, trying to hide ourselves from the other patients and maybe avoid the news we knew was coming. Simone and Thomas had been helping out at an apartment building a couple blocks from our house. The place was going to be torn down, and the owner as well as the tenants and a few volunteers were working on emptying the place. One side of the roof collapsed. I was crying because I loved Simone and Thomas. They weren't quite Momma and Poppa to me, but they were loving and took care of me. Something no one had ever done before. They couldn't die, the Orphanage would take me back if they did and I couldn't go. I wouldn't go.
Fast forward a few months, and I was standing in the office of the Orphanage owner. Cain and Sid were on either side of me, each holding my hand. The Orphanage wanted me back. Cain said he wouldn't let them take me. The Lavaud brothers had gotten a small settlement from the apartment owner, and even a small amount from Simone and Thomas's life insurance. I watched as a small but decent chunk of that money was slid over to the greasy old Orphanage owner. They would forget about me with a small donation.
Age twelve, I was outside and freezing because of the winter wind. I was waiting for Cain, Sid and their friend Jeremy to get outside. We were on the way to a job and I was going to be a lookout. Cain and Sid had always been involved in some dealings, but before Simone and Thomas died it had always been small things. Mischief, small fights, things a lot of teenagers get into. I knew they had been involved in some small theft jobs too, but nothing that would have been top priority down at the police station. Cain and Sid had some money left from the settlement and the life insurance. We were using that to pay for the house. These slightly bigger jobs helped.
Age sixteen, I stood with Cain, Sid, Jeremy and another boy named Liam. They were planning out a new job, at the request of a man who needed us to steal something. We were getting paid well for it. Within four years Cain and Sid had risen to the top or as far as you can go for two criminals. They brought me with them. They were good enough to get a small party together to handle operations and they were known enough among our kind to get good business. At twelve, I'd been their lookout, and I was for two years but once I was old enough I was trained and eventually I took on an active role. I was helping with this one.
Age twenty, I was lying in bed, covered by only a sheet and Sid was lying behind me, sleeping with his arm around me. I wasn't sleeping though, I was awake and slightly freaking out. I couldn't help smiling though. Cain was always a brother to me, but there'd always been a sort of tension between me and Sid, especially as I got older. As a kid, I'd had a schoolgirl crush on him, and as an adult, I'd wanted him. We ignored it until that night.
Two months later, I sat in a sofa, not crying but close to it. Cain walked into his room, the door slammed behind him. Business hadn't been too good for us lately, and because of it, things were rocky between Cain and Sid. After one horrible job, they came home and fought it out like usual. Except this time, Sid packed a bag and left. We hadn't been dating, and we'd only been together twice, but it still nearly killed me.
I stood there, caught in my memories but it only took a moment for me to react. I didn't say anything, I couldn't say anything.
My only reaction was to kiss him, pushing him further against the door. I'd seen him for less than a minute, and already my lips were on his, my hands in his hair. I could feel my heart rate pick up, and the emotions I'd packed away in the back of my mind came rushing forward, drowning my body and swamping my mind. I wasn't the only one to be feeling this. Sid pulled me closer and his hand holding my leg up tightened, squeezing my thigh. The kiss was rough and spoke of the years we spent away from each other, but when I felt his hand on my other leg, pulling upward, I stopped. I pushed away and verbalized that kiss, those years.
"Sid?" My breathing was quick and heavy again, but the ache in my chest had nothing to do with running.
His breath matched mine and he didn't answer until we'd both caught our breaths.
"Alana… what are you doing here?"
There I hesitated again. He left because of job, I didn't want to bring up another one. I told him though. I told him because I've never had much sense but I've always had an unhealthy amount of curiosity. I wanted to see his reaction, and I wanted to know what he was doing here, what he's been doing for the past three years. So I told him.
"Cain sent me out to get information on a rival who's been doing business out of this area. We didn't have an exact location, so I was searching the neighborhood when I ran into trackers."
A "tracker" was a guy, or guys, that the people we "wronged" sent out. They were ordered to capture us, or sometimes even kill us. All for revenge.
I continued, "I ran in here to hide. I noticed the light and came to check it out."
My gaze had switched from Sid to the floor sometime during that, and when I looked back up it was to see him deliberately looking away from me, to one of the sketches behind me. And that's when the pieces fell into place.
Cain had sent me to find the guy that was running a rival organization, in this neighborhood. A rival organization that only popped up about two and a half years ago. I find Sid, and he's holed himself up in some type of whacky storage building in the bad part of town. With blueprints, a gun and who knows what else.
I pushed him into the door, for different reasons this time.
"You're our fucking rival? You're playing the part of enemy to an organization you helped start?!" I was beyond pissed. He left us, me, just to go against us. I punched him, I slapped him, I did whatever I could and he let me.
When I was finally calm, his arms came around my waist and he told me. He told me, just as I told him.
It didn't help. I still felt that ache in my chest.
I didn't know anything that would help, and I knew I wouldn't find out if he would stop the ache, because I could hear a door slam and foot steps on concrete.
With an ache in my chest, and emotions packed back away, I flew out a back exit and started into another run. I needed another hideout until I could go home.
Run and hide, that's my life.
I started off with a vague idea and ran (no pun intended) with it. I liked it until the ending. Excuse any mistakes, no beta and no time to edit.
As far as Tripping Over Trevor, I have no idea if I'll update that. I've lost inspiration. I doubt the story will be missed anyway.
Also, I've changed my penname.