Sorry for the delay with this chapter and I'm even more sorry for the length. I had trouble with this chapter and I am already working on the next one that I will hopefully get up in the next day or so. Happy reading!
Elizabeth had fallen asleep in the car on the way to the safe house which was just fine with Red who was thinking of different different people who could be behind her stalking. There was quite a list, basically everyone who had ever seen the two of them communicate was a potential suspect. Who was close by? Elizabeth was. In her sleep she had cuddled to him, migrating to his warmth. He was going to get no where being in this close proximity to his lovely agent.
She had been drunk when she kissed him, he knew she wouldn't want to be reminded of it the next morning but the act had him in such an unfocused state of mind that it bothered him. Of course he cared about her but it was becoming so much more than what it was in the beginning. He had wanted to protect her to protect the fulcrum. He wanted to protect her because her life was crumbling from something that had happened years ago when her life was young and precious.
The car slowed to a stop in front of a very normal, average looking house. Texas was not a place Red frequented and the house was found in a hurry when he had first discovered Elizabeth's departure. It would do for now. It was a single story home with a spacious backyard and even a tree house in the large oak. A two bedroom, two bath, attached garage, perfect for a small family. Red exited the car once Dembe pulled it into the garage and turned off the engine.
"Get Agent Keen if you will." He told his guard and walked into the house, not bothering to wait for a response, of course Dembe was going to bring Elizabeth in. What was he going to do? Leave her in the car all night? He thought not.
Red settled into an overstuffed chair in the living area and watched out the window for signs of anything. It was dark in the house and the new moon gave no comforting glow to his tired body. Dembe had brought Elizabeth's sleeping form into the house and to the back room where he shut the door behind him. Filling a glass half full he handed it to his boss before sitting down on the couch across the room.
"What do we do now Reddington?"
"I need to know what is going on. Who is following her and why. There is something we are missing," he said, taking a long drink from his glass. Then as an after thought he added, "Get some sleep my friend, tomorrow will be a busy day."
The digital clock on the nightstand read 4:14 when Elizabeth opened her eyes. The room was dark and she sat up slowly, the effects from the alcohol she had consumed not long ago still raged a battle in her body. She was still in the clothes she wore to the bar. So, she wasn't kidnapped or drugged, so where was she?
Swinging her legs over the side of the bed she stood carefully and tiptoed around the room, looking for a light switch. She found the doorknob first and opened the door to a hallway. There was a room at the end that the streetlights eerie glow was allowed to shine through so she followed it, as she did she passed three other closed doors before entering the living room. Sitting there eyes closed, was Raymond Reddington. He was asleep.
A smile crept across her lips as she approached him. The glass, empty in his hand rested along with him. Dembe was no where in sight. Against better judgment she got closer to the sleeping criminal and put a hand out to touch him.
His reflexes, even sleeping, were quick and he grabbed her wrist.
"Agent Keen, you should never wake a sleeping wolf." He said, eyes still closed.
"I wasn't, I wasn't going to wake you."
"Then what were you doing?"
There was a silence and Red opened his eyes, they were bloodshot from disturbed sleep.
"I was seeing if you were awake."
He inhaled sharply and let it out through his nose.
"Not anymore but I suppose it's for the better, someone needs to stay wake."
He stood and went into the kitchen.
"Are you going back to bed or would you like some breakfast?"
Elizabeth, still muddling through her mind, couldn't form words right away.
"Go back to bed, Lizzy. You need some sleep."
She nodded but his back was turned. She felt odd, rarely was she at a loss for words. Reddington was being almost domestic. Maybe he was being condescending, she had gotten rather drunk the night before, he was treating her like a child. Then she remembered the car ride, she told him she was going to kiss him. Then she did. She closed her eyes and felt her stomach lurch. Quickly moving to the first door she opened it to the bathroom. Slamming the door shut behind her, she made it to the toilet just in time to see her dinner come back up along with a lot of colorful liquid.
She put her head in her hands. She was being an idiot. There was something going on, something big and she was out drinking and pretending like she didn't have a care in the world. Someone was following her and it wasn't Reddington's men. The thought made her uneasy, she had been so vulnerable in her life. Not that she was an angel herself, but Tom. She had wasted a life she could have had with a doctor, a good man. She never started her dream to have a family. She is single now, farther away from her dreams then she ever thought possible. Why? Because of Tom? Because of Reddington? Because of herself?
Elizabeth stood, tears now following behind one another down her face. What was her life going to become? She wasn't sure. Looking at herself in the mirror she sighed, she looked like a stranger, even to herself. Wiping her face with a washcloth she walked out of the bathroom and back to the bed she had woken up in. She would sleep but not peacefully.
Red flipped the two eggs now cooking nicely in the pan. The bacon was cooking in the microwave and the toast was just popping up as Dembe entered.
"I made you breakfast for once. Agent Keen didn't seem to be up to food just yet."
"Thank you, Raymond. I just received a text message from an unknown source." He said, sitting down and lowering his voice.
"Well, don't keep me in suspense Dembe."
He looked toward Elizabeth's room and showed Red the text.
"Is She Dead?"
His body tensed as he stared at the message. He kept reading it as if it was going to say something else.
"Did you reply?"
"Of course. I then tried to locate the source and it must be a burn phone. I could not trace it and now it is off. Probably destroyed."
"So someone is trying to kill her." The exasperation in his voice showing his emotion and vulnerablity when it came to Elizabeth Keen. "You need to find out who and why."
Dembe nodded and stood, taking a sip of coffee before heading for the door.
"Be careful my friend." He told the bodyguard. It wasn't a suggestion.
"You as well, I will be back soon. It would be best if you and Agent Keen stay in the house until I return."
"That won't be a problem."
Dembe nodded and left. Raymond stood in the kitchen, now not so hungry. It had only been about an hour since he had sent Elizabeth back to bed and he hoped she would sleep all day, she may not be getting much in the following days.
Thinking about the text message he walked to the window and pulled the curtains tight against the early signs of sunrise. Raymond Reddington was not one to hide but when it came to her he would take all precautions.