Scott wrestled the toboggan up the stairs and paused only when he reached the top of the water slide. He craned his neck over the edge of the gushing water and smirked. Free fall. Hell yeah. The American turned his attention to the winded Brit who padded up the last steps with a groan.
"Stop being a wuss, Mikey, and check out this view! Twenty bucks says I make it to the bottom before you."
"You're supposed to be RESTING, not climbing up to the biggest waterslide on the island! And how did you beat me up here with that gunshot wound?" Stonebridge hedged, throwing his own toboggan down on the landing.
"How can I rest when our new base is paradise?" Scott said with a hyena laugh. Stonebridge huffed in exasperation.
"Well, seeing as I nearly DIED in this pool, I don't see why this place is so great—"
"No one cares, Mikey!" came the American's retort. The sexy Brit maneuvered his toboggan to the start line and shivered as he made contact with the cold water.
Section 20 had relocated to the Marksman's abandoned beach house a week ago and Stonebridge had been careful to avoid the water park at all costs...until now. His abduction by the Marksman was simply a bad memory, but the smell of chlorine still made him gag and NO ONE CARED, not even his sweet Kim—
"READY SET GO!" Scott yelled and kicked down the slide first, clearly in violation of the rules.
Stonebridge followed suit and quickly caught up to his partner in the adjoining lane. He splashed water in Scott's face to break his concentration—hey, if Bravo Two could fight dirty, so could he, dammit!—and took the lead.
"F me!" Scott cried as he tried in vain to make up lost ground. He flipped Stonebridge the bird behind his back as the dualing slides came to an end and the Brit reigned victorious.
"Well, as much fun as kicking your ass is, I have other plans today. Like drinking coffee. Lifting weights. Going shirtless. And binge-watching all of the Strike Back seasons back-to-back, except for the one starring Richard Armitage because it was never released in the States." Scott stalked forward from his slide of shame and shoved Stonebridge's forgotten toboggan back into his hands.
"NO! You don't get to leave until we have a rematch, you cheater!"
"Oh, I'M the cheater? That's rich coming from Mr. I'll Kick Off The Wall Early Damien Scott!"
Baxter watched the proceedings half a world away with veiled disgust. The hijacked Section 20 satellite had done an ample job providing surveillance of his former confederates. Sandy beaches, water park...did they seriously think he wouldn't find them?
The best decision he'd ever made was to turn his back on that two-bit organization that never allowed him to reach his full potential - or screen time. But all that would change. He decided the timetable needed to be accelerated after being subjected to the gag-inducing waterslide race between Scott and Stonebridge. He selected his primo cell phone contact and waited exactly three rings before the line picked up.
"It's time," Baxter said darkly, sending two darts from his free hand into glamour shot portraits of Bravos One and Two pinned to his revenge wall. Section 20 would rue the very day they made him a frail Cheeto character!
Meanwhile, the ruggedly so-hot-it-hurts Scott and Stonebridge had moved their competition to the lazy river, oblivious to Baxter's super spy satellite recording their gorgeous selves in pristine HD. Scott glided his way through the artificial current and threw an elbow into the Brit's forehead as he tried to pass him.
"One up, Mikey!" he jeered as kept his premature lead.
"You're such an asshole!" Stonebridge spat. He was about to exact revenge on the sassy American when an angel flew to his aid and did that for him. Said angel snuck Stonebridge a sexy wink before smashing Scott's face in with a pool noodle.
"No one hurts my British Biscuit and gets away with it!" Martinez added as she walked alongside the lazy river with her weapon of choice raised for another attack.
"Jules! Help me! Mikey's cheating again!" wailed Scott who received an additional pool noodle slap for his efforts.
"Got you covered," Richmond replied as she snuck up behind Stonebridge and doused him with a round from her AK-47 replica water gun. Bravo Sexy One succumbed to the water barrage and tried to scramble to the pool ladder for a swift escape. Sinclair, ready to join the fun, busted out of a side hut serving martinis and threw inner tubes at the soaking pair. The fun was contagious until—BAM!—Stonebridge felt someone smash a conveniently waterproof manila folder filled with conveniently waterproof laminated pages into his perfectly sculpted nose. Damn but that hurt!
"Our intel so far on that lying, frail Cheeto Baxter," Grant said as way of explanation. She settled herself into one of the nearby lounge chairs and summoned Kamali over to wave a giant leaf frond while Esther passed her some trashy gossip magazines. Content, the colonel pushed her aviation sunglasses down and sipped on a fresh martini from a coconut husk. Stonebridge gaped at the useless documents in his hands.
"But this is just a screenshot of the Google Search engine! This shows us diddly squat!"
"Well excuse me for trying to do research on an outdated MacBook Air with a slow as molasses internet connection!" Grant fumed. She took a sip to calm her nerves.
"Okay, well, then why don't we start going after dirtbags we can actually track?" Kamali asked graciously. His voice lilted like honeyed silk and rainbow kisses. "Since Baxter's currently untouchable, let's focus our sights on some lesser terrorists. We should be able to handle them. There's Latif, Conrad Knox, al-Zuhari—"
A collective "NO!" from the group silenced the CIA operative, who wilted under their accusing glares. Even Esther looked on disapprovingly.
"Baxter BETRAYED us all!" Grant.
"Baxter SHOT Damien!" Julia.
"Baxter LEFT us at the airport!" Esther.
"Baxter CRIED all the time!" Scott.
"Baxter HATED Michael!" Kim.
"…What?! He hated me?!" Michael pouted hunkily.
"The point being," Grant snapped, "is that we're not gonna let him get away with this! Richmond, status."
Richmond, current user of the group's only laptop, shrugged despondently despite her earlier outburst. "It'd be easier to track Baxter's movements if I actually had some concrete information about the guy."
Scott hauled his Greek-chiseled abs out of the lazy river, dunking Stonebridge in the process. "What more could you possibly need to know about Baxter, besides the fact that he's a crackerjack?"
"Uh, maybe his FIRST NAME?" came the sarcastic response, freezing the rest of the party in their tracks. Richmond swung to face Grant, whose expression was largely hidden behind her oversized sunglasses. "Well? Colonel?"
"I never learned it," Grant said flippantly. She eyed the others with thinly veiled annoyance when they failed to maintain eye contact. Guilty, then. "No one? No one ever found out his first name?"
"US? What about YOU?" Scott retorted. "You're the one who hired the kid!" Grant fixed Bravo Sexy Abs Two with a fixed glare.
"What makes you think I hired him?"
"Well, if it wasn't you, then who in John Porter hired Baxter for Section 20?" Stonebridge demanded as he back-flipped out of the pool in style, landing next to his partner for a perfect photo-worthy poster shot. The British Biscuit tried to garner Grant's attention but she pointedly avoided his gaze and pretended to skim through the gossipy tabloid with renewed interest.
"Ma'am? Is there something you're not telling us?" Sinclair asked. He'd swapped the pool floatie in his hand for a RumChata, complete with a tiny umbrella. The colonel stretched and took another sip from the coconut.
"I have a pretty good idea who hired Baxter," Grant finally said, to the shock of the entire top billed cast. "But you boys won't like it."
"Just tell us what we need to do," Stonebridge said, ever the Section 20 golden boy scout. But dddaaammnnn if he wasn't the finest boy scout Martinez had ever seen. The colonel continued, unfazed.
"Bravos One and Two will infiltrate Black Bear Maximum Security Prison disguised as inmates. Your goal is to find one inmate in particular and convince them to give up the goods on Baxter." The dashing duo exchanged glances.
"Hold on! You don't mean...HER," Scott snapped. "Not Rachel Freakin Dalton! Need I remind you that she blamed me for hijacking your little tea party then shot me with a blank during the most epic joust in all of time and space?"
"She really did kick your ass, mate—"
"Shut up, Mikey!"
"What are their cover stories while inside?" Kamali inquired with a voice of silken petals and melted chocolate. Grant smirked.
"Easy. Scott for arson, weapons dealing, money laundering and looking too damn sexy for his own good. Stonebridge for tax evasion."
After the details of the dangerous plan had been hammered into place much like nails in a coffin, the others carried the beach party inside while Michael remained by the pool's edge. The soft currents of the lazy river swirled around his ankles as he sat morosely on the hard concrete, feet dipped in the water. He rolled his eyes when he heard Scott's obnoxious laughter coming from the party hut. He couldn't even escape the guy's dumb optimism even when he CLEARLY wanted to feel sorry for himself. Kim joined him after awhile, sitting to his right and punching him playfully in the shoulder.
"What's the matter, soldier boy?" she prompted, although he had a pretty good idea she knew.
"I...don't want to go to prison," he relented, wincing as another hyena laugh boomed across the park. Damn that American!
"Well, we need that intel if we're gonna stop Baxter," his fiancée stated matter-of-factly. He kicked at the water distractedly.
"I don't care about Baxter. Or the thousands of other douchebags who hate me. I just want to get married."
"Nu-uh, honeybun. Well, yes, I know you'd like to get married—BELIEVE ME, I can't wait—but you're more upset that Scott got a better fake rap sheet than you, am I right?"
"Is it too much to ask that I'm the cool one for once?" Sexy Stonebridge exploded, his anger again turning to the party hut as he threw a pool noodle toward the noise.
Scott, oblivious to his partner's inner anguish, downed his fifth shot glass in as many minutes and twirled Richmond in a festive spin (he still remembered some things from that Latin dance class, you know).
"HHHEEYYYY MMIIKKEEEYYYYY!" he crowed, sloshing his beverage over the Marksman's gold plated pool table as he staggered toward Stonebridge and Martinez. He almost tripped on the lone pool noodle that lay on the ground between them. "WE STILL GOTTA TRY OUT THE WAVE POOL!" Scott then stumbled over said noodle and missed Bravo One's look of pure annoyance. He sat down between the duo regardless and threw his arms across both their shoulders.
"Go AWAY Damien!" Stonebridge scoffed and tried to wrestle out of Scott's grip.
"Say PPLLLEEAASEEEEE," came the obnoxious reply as the soldier swayed drunkenly. Fortunately, a stylish Short Change Hero ringtone spared Stonebridge's hunky self from having to say the magic word. Scott fished out his waterproof super phone from the pocket of his swim trunks. It had a busted screen, two bullet holes and a nasty email virus but hey, at least he wasn't on the Brit's cheap ass prepaid plan. Bravo Six Pack Two glanced at the screen and felt his earlier elation ebb away.
"Sorry, Mikey, gotta take this," he said and gave Kim an slight shove. "Make sure your British Biscuit gets ass drunk instead of pouting the entire time like a wussy girl."
"HEY! I'M NOT POUTING, YOU—"
"Don't worry, I'm on it," Martinez said and pulled her man toward the party hut, taking a moment to stare at dem abs. Scott took a deep breath then answered the call with his usual swag.
"Damien Scott, professional badass."