Jenna moved briskly into the womb. A hand went up before she even opened her mouth. “I know, I know. Find Kaye. Get Satellite feeds, bring up visuals, yadda yadda…” Fingers flew over the keyboard as the teen spoke. “You come in here, always making demands. I mean, where’s the love?” Despite herself, Jenna’s face twitched into a smile. “No faith. No trust…just like a woman…take, take, take and nothing in return.” Bug pressed a final key, spinning in his chair to face Fairchild. “Voila’. Ask and ye shall receive.” Four monitors rose in an eerie synchronicity.
Jenna’s eyes flew from scene to scene. “Bug, I always knew you were a genius. Now, what exactly am I looking at?” Her eyes devoured the four scenes. A slender woman bent over an archaeological dig. A figure, dark against the sun. A cat / woman attacking aforementioned man. She pointed to the first scene, “I know that’s Kaye, but the rest?” She shook her head, trying to zoom in. “Any word from Agent Dane or Cosel?”
“Negative.” Bug spun and began typing. “We gained word at 0220 that a bogey had entered the site. We lost contact with them shortly thereafter.” The frame zoomed in on the figure.
“Can’t you get a better picture?”
“Unfortunately, no. Apparently this guy came in and went straight for Kaye. I’ve been running his body frame through our databases, but nothing has come up so far.” With a button, the frame began running again, leaving the silhouette in a fifth frame. Jenna watched as Kaye turned, eyes widening. There was a split second decision and the slight woman leapt, transforming in midair. Transforming? What the hell? Aaron never mentioned this. She watched the ensuing fight and the woman running. “We’ve got GPS on her, but she’s moving very quickly.” The unspoken words hung in the air between them. Bug turned. “What next?”
“I take care of the situation.” Jenna turned, reaching for her phone. “Upload her GPS to my palm. Arrange for an airplane to be ready in 30 minutes for Kaye and myself. Make sure that the Safehouse on Washington is…” Already punching a number, she turned and smiled. “And Bug, thanks. As always, I owe you.”
Shaking his head, he reprimanded her. “This isn’t Seattle, Jenna. Be careful how many rules you bend.”
Jenna nodded, “I know.” Slipping out the door, Bug shook his head as she said into the phone, “Rook, I need a favor….”
Jenna turned to the man in uniform. “Thanks Rook. I appreciate this.”
Rook shook his head, glancing around at the surroundings. “Talk about BFE.” He smiled roguishly. “Just means you owe me.” He winked at her. “And yes, I know.under the table and off the books…”
Jenna chuckled, nodding. “Thanks.”
“Who’s the target?”
“Fiancée’ of a friend of mine. Her name is Kaye. She should be a few clicks from here. Hopefully I’ll tag her before the bogey does.” She pulled her sunglasses on and checked her weapons. “See back at base.”
Rook nodded. “Be careful. I can be here in a split second if you need me.” With that, he blipped out.
Jenna muttered, “Split second and that much closer to hurting yourself. No thanks.” Clicking on her headset, she listened to Bug’s directions towards the woman. She must be scared by now, wondering what the hell is going on. Of course, she can’t be THAT scared. She turned into a cat thing. How the hell am I going to talk a puma into going onto an airplane with me? Crouching lower, she quickly moved towards the
Kaye moved into the city, transforming into her natural form. Heart pounding, questions raced through her mind. What’s Aaron gotten himself mixed up into now? Aaron’s brother? He’s dead… She focused on getting to the airport, sticking with crowds, keeping her arms close to her side. More importantly, how’d he get to me? She started and began to run as a hand clamped down on her arm.
“Woah, woah…Kaye, it’s okay.” Jenna moved her body to block the archaeologist from the incoming crowd. “My name is Jenna Fairchild. I’m…a friend.” She unconsciously tried to sooth the woman. “I know about the dig. I’m here to get you out safely.”
Kaye looked about for exits. The other woman held her firmly, though not in a threatening way. Though something inside of her said she should trust Jenna, her head refused to listen. “How do I know I can trust you?”
“Come with me… to a public place and call Aaron. He’ll vouch, but we need to move quickly.”
Kaye nodded, motioning towards a little café across the street. At best, she’s telling the truth. At worse, I can make enough noise to alert the Garda. The pair sat down and Jenna ordered two Corona, paying for them up front. She watched Kaye, praying this would go smoothly.
“Here. You can use my phone if you need one.” She slid her cell phone across the table.
“How do I know you don’t have a plant on the other end?”
“At some point, you’re going to have to make a choice to trust me. Dial the cell phone, stay in public, talk to Aaron or go inside, try and run, don’t talk to Aaron and have the man chasing you for whatever reason.”
Kaye starred at the other woman for a moment before nodding and grabbing the phone. Turning enough to muffle her voice, but still able to see Jenna from the corner of her eye, she dialed Aaron’s private number.
Ring. Ring. Ring.
“Hello.” There was obvious tension in the voice.
She paused as she tried to guess over the din of the street. Was that him, or did they somehow move the signal to an actor on the other end of the phone. “Hello?” Again, the man on the other end spoke, voice sounding more perturbed. She took a breath, knowing the other woman was right. At someone she had to trust, and if she’d trust anyone….
“Hi Aaron. It’s me. I’m….I’m with someone who says she’s a friend.”
The voice cracked as he spoke quickly, “My God, where are you? Are you alright? Who are you with?”
“She says her name is Jenna Fairchild.” Kaye paused, waiting to hear the reaction on the other end.
There was an audible pause. “Jenna?” The voice was strained, but there was recognition. “Put her on.”
Kay offered the phone to the other woman. “He says he wants to talk to you.” Jenna nodded once, taking the phone.
“Jenna….” Aaron recognized the curt voice. With barely contained anger he grated out, “I won’t bother asking how you got there so quickly, how you found her, or how you’re planning on smuggling her out of the country, or why you felt the need to find her alone. Just…” Teeth could be heard grinding over the distance. “Bring her home. To me. I’m sure you can find that easily enough.” Aaron flexed his fist back in Garrison City.
“Negative. You know what heat is on you currently and we now have another variable. She’ll be brought to a safe house.”
“Safe like you said she would be there?”
Jenna sighed, feeling his pain. It was the same thing she felt every time she had left Anya. “Take a breath. I’ll call you when she’s established and meet you to bring you to the place. Look, trust me on this one, okay? Bringing her back is dangerous enough…”
There was silence as Aaron obvious bit back a retort. “Fine. Put Kaye back on.” Jenna obliged and handed Kaye the phone.
“It’s okay, Kaye. Go with Jenna. She’s going to get you back here. I’ll see you tonight, okay?”
“Okay.” She glanced at the other woman. “I love you.”
“Love you too.” The phone went dead.
Jenna turned to the other woman. “Ready to go? I have a plane waiting for us.” The other woman nodded, rising. Moving in silence, the pair headed for the airport.
The two sat in silence as the aircraft took off. It was an obvious private jet, unremarkable in appearance on the outside, but equipped with all creature comforts on the inside. Shortly after the takeoff, Jenna disappeared into the cockpit and returned a few minutes later. She moved to the small kitchen, pouring herself a cup of coffee.
“The pilot says we’ll be in Garrison City in about six hours. There are beds in the back if you want to rest. Want some coffee, tea or soda?”
Kaye starred at the woman for a moment. She was acting as if this was all so normal for her, so nonchalant. “Coffee is fine. Black, please.” Jenna nodded, preparing a cup for her. Kaye thanked her as she took it. “So…how do you and Aaron know each other?” She sipped the coffee.
And the dodging begins. Ah well, direct is best. Jenna reached into her pocket, pulling out her badge. She suspected Kaye was aware of Wolfknight, but assuming too much would be bad. “I’m a federal agent. Aaron is…assisting me on a case. ”
“Ah. Jake and Elwood.” Jenna arched an eyebrow in question. “The two agents who were watching me. They must have phoned in about the attack.”
Jenna ran with the explanation, nodding. “Indeed. What can you tell us about your assailant?”
Kaye drew her arms closer to her body, curling a leg under her. Huddling around her coffee, she shrugged. “It was bright. He blotted out the sun. I didn’t get a good look.” She didn’t meet the other woman’s eyes.
Soothing, Jenna nodded in sympathy. “I can imagine the whole situation was fairly traumatic. Anything that you can give us will be helpful, but we can wait until you feel up to it.” She smiled. “So, how was the dig going?”
Kaye took the switch in topic in stride, engaging the Agent in a conversation about her passion. She explained about the burial site, the significance of the finds and what she hoped to accomplish with her work. Time flew surprisingly fast and Kaye found herself enjoying the company of the other woman. Before long, the two had landed, been ushered into a nondescript car and Kaye found herself situation in a new apartment, this time under the watchful eye of Jennifer Nichols.
Jenna grabbed her jacket, slinging it back on. “I’ll go get Aaron. Agent Nichols has ways to reach me. If you need me, give a buzz. Otherwise, see you in a few.” Kaye nodded as the woman left.