"Lexxiss! Check around and in the pool house! They must have come this way!" Xander yelled and pointed towards the pool house with his free hand.
He held his gun in front of him as he neared the pool and scanned the bushes. Once he had regained his breath from landing off the bed, he had grabbed his gun and raced after the gunman and Samine. One the way out, he had almost knocked Lexxiss over and she had immediately followed along.
Nearing the pool, his eyes focused on the dark shape and trained his gun on it as he neared. Reaching the edge, he lowered his gun as his eyes widened.
Xander tossed his gun onto the lounge chair and quickly pulled off his shoes before diving into the pool. Wrapping an arm around Samine's waist, he kicked once and broke through the surface as he pulled Samine closer to him. Reaching the edge, he passed Samine up to Lexxiss and lifted himself out of the pool.
"She's not breathing Xander!"
Quickly tipping her head, he cleared her mouth before pushing her shirt up to reveal her abdomen. Lacing his fingers together, he pressed down just below her rib cage and released before doing it again. His patience started to slip when nothing happened and he pressed harder. Suddenly, Samine's body convulsed and Lexxiss rolled her onto her side as she coughed up pool water.
"Oh, thank god," Xander murmured and sat back.
Samine wheezed slightly as she pressed her forehead against the wet cement under her. The agent side of her was pushing her to get up and go after the guy. The other side, the logical side that felt pain was telling her to remain on the cement and catch her breath. The logical side won out for once as she closed her eyes and centered herself. She felt Xander's hand on her shoulder and oddly enough, she was comforted. Every thing would work out if Xander was by her side with her.
"Did you see th person she was chasing?" Lexxiss questioned Xander after checking around the pool.
"No, he was long gone by the time I got here. He must have run after hitting Samine."
"And we don't know ho he is. He could be miles away by now," Lexxiss sighed and ran a hand through her hair.
"But he's not. Did either of you hear a car engine?" Samine asked roughly and slowly pushed herself up.
"And that means…what?"
"That he didn't drive off and he's still on the grounds. I'll check around and see who's packing real quickly," Lexxiss said and ran off.
"And I'm the one that almost drowned; shouldn't I be brain damaged and not her?" Samine muttered and started to stand.
"Are you okay Samine? You were under that water for a while," Xander said concerned.
"I'm fine Xander, don't coddle me. I can withstand just about anything," she said and waved away his hands.
Samine stood and straightened her back before walking forward. Her body lasted for about three steps before her legs gave up and her vision swam in and out of focus. Strong arms wrapped around her waist and kept her vertical as the previously quiet sounds roared in her ears. Slowly, she became aware that Xander was talking to her and she fought to understand the words.
"That's it, I'm going to get Andrew to look you over. And don't say that you're fine because you aren't," he said and bent slightly to hook his arm under her legs to pick her up.
"What are you doing Xander? Put me down, your ribs can't handle this," she muttered, her arms automatically winding around his neck.
"Hush, I wasn't the one who almost drowned," he admonished softly as he walked towards her condo.
"I didn't drown, just got a little water logged," she murmured as her head rested on his shoulder.
"Sure baby, just stay with me okay? Keep talking to me Samine," he said starting to worry.
"Why? I thought you were growing tired of me."
"I could never grow tired of you but I think you may have a concussion and I need you to stay conscious for me. You can pass out when Andrew gives you the okay to do so, he said and nudged open the door to her condo.
"I don't need his permission to pass out."
"You do in this matter," he muttered and looked around the condo. "Andrew!"
"Quit yelling, you're hurting my head."
"I'm sorry baby. Andrew!"
The door opened that led to the main hallway of the complex and Andrew came in. his gun was by his side in one hand and his other held a packet of papers. Upon seeing Samine he tossed the papers on the table and tucked the gun into his waist band.
"Lexxiss told me what happened. Put her on the couch," he said and snatched the throw pillows from the couch.
Xander gently laid Samine on the couch and gently cradled her head as he grabbed one of the discarded pillows and slipped it under her head. He moved aside for Andrew and stood by Samine's head. He looked up as the door opened and everyone else he knew in the house walked in. Lexxiss looked over at Shelly and the two glared at each momentarily before looking away. Xander shook his head in frustration at the two women. They were still clashing head on and the resulting sparks were starting to annoy everyone around them. He wasn't going to get in between the two; he would let Samine do that. Cat-fights weren't his specialty.
"Do you have any suspects?" Xander asked as he looked to Lexxiss.
"It looks like Casey. His room is ransacked like he packed in a hurry. He also grabbed a few blocks of meca and several bundles of counterfeit cash from the underground lab," Lexxiss said and leaned against the love seat.
"Casey couldn't have done all this all by himself. Especially the meca production, he has the IQ of a radish when it comes to chemicals," Andrew said and stood up from his kneeling position.
"We could ask Casey but he is long gone by now," Shelly muttered and slowly walked around the room.
"Casey has a cell phone. Could we center on the signal and track him?" Xander questioned.
"We would need an active signal to be sure it is the correct one," Cory said and looked at each of them.
"Check in Hodges' black book and see if he has it in there," Andrew said and Lexxiss nodded.
"I'm on it," she said and jogged out the room.
"How's Samine?" Xander asked Andrew quietly while everyone talked.
"She'll be fine after she rests. She has a mild concussion and just tried to push herself a little too hard after that close encounter which caused her to pass out. Once we track down Casey she'll want to tag along. I wouldn't hold her back because we both know how pissed off she'll get but keep an eye on her. You know she can be extremely stubborn when the mood strikes her."
"Oh, don't I know it," he muttered and passed a hand over his eyes.
"I've got it! Casey it moving north, if we leave now we might catch him," Lexxiss said as she jogged into the room.
"Then we go north," Samine said and slowly sat up from the couch.
"No, you'll stay here and we'll go," Xander said as she pressed the cold wash clothe against her forehead.
"I can handle it Xander. I was just a little light-headed at first but I'm better," she said from under the cloth.
"Whether you go or not we need to leave now," Lexxiss said and Xander sighed.
"Shelly, take Cory to the NSA offices and stay there. Get in touch with Gibbons and tell him to have everything on stand-by, we may need it. Lexxiss, you and Andrew follow Samine and me with everything you've got; and don't forget to wear your vests," he said as everyone cleared out of the room.
Samine stood and walked into her room to hopefully find her bullet proof vest. Changing into some dry clothes, she shrugged into the heavy vest and strapped it tight against her body. Checking that she had all range of motion, she looked around the room before walking out of the bedroom.
"Do you know where my gun went to Xander?" she asked and looked around the room.
"I think it's at the bottom of the pool. You can go and retrieve it if you want it back bad enough," he said and strapped his vest onto his bare chest.
"Dammit, I always lose my favorite guns. What did you do with my Sig Sauer? Leave it at home?" she asked and went back to her room for another gun.
"I…uh…donated it to the D.C. police force. I couldn't keep it anymore," he stated and slipped his gun into the holster.
"Oh…you did. Well I guess they appreciated it," she replied and put a cartridge into her gun.
"Samine…I didn't mean-"
"It's okay Xander. It doesn't bother me; you did what you had to do," she said and looked at him. "Let's go and get our guy."
The two met Lexxiss and Andrew on the front drive waiting for them. Nodding to them, Samine slipped behind the wheel of her Celica as Lexxiss tossed the phone to Xander.
"Gibbons wants to talk to you."
Xander climbed into the car before bringing the phone up to his ear. "Yeah Gibbs?"
"Where is the case Xander?"
"We're going after the nephew, Casey. NSA has a trace on his cell phone and we're tracking him north. He has a sack full of counterfeit money and illegal drugs."
"Does he have a partner?"
"We think so but no proof as of yet."
"And how's everything else?"
"You should have told me gibbons! We almost blew our cover," Xander snapped angrily as Samine drove out onto the street.
"But you didn't. It all worked out marvelously in the end."
"We were lucky."
Xander ended the call and stared at the back of Andrew's car. Lexxiss was in contact with the people tracking Casey's cell phone and so it was logical that they led the way. Xander looked over at Samine and slowly eyed her over. After her little run-in with the pool, she looked fine but he knew how well she could cover up her injuries.
"Are you okay?"
"Yes, I just have a small headache. Stop worrying about me X."
"I lost you once, I'm not about to lose you again," he said and looked out the window.
"I'd rather not talk about that."
"Lexxiss said that you have a lot of enemies."
"The term 'a lot' is an understatement. There are a lot of people that would like to see me killed," she replied and glanced into the mirror where a few police cars followed the chase.
Samine shifted gears before answering.
"I've been through a lot of governments and I've heard a lot of stuff that wasn't intended for my ears."
"You heard where they buried Jimmy Hoffa?" he asked jokingly.
Samine looked over at him and she wasn't laughing. His smile faded to be replaced with shock and disbelief.
"I didn't hear about Hoffa but I heard about some other poor guys. I was told some groups' deep, dark secrets that could make people disappear and never be found. Bounties of a few million dollars are still on my head under a different identity and face. Some countries are a death trap for me," she said and shrugged her shoulders calmly.
"What kind of groups have you been running with?"
"The worst kind but it was my job and I was good at it. My entire life is secrecy and being someone I'm not."
"So tell me something about the real Samine."
"I was born in New York and…we caught him," she said and caught sight of Casey's car up ahead of Andrew's.
Police cars were directly behind Casey and tried to block him in. Casey didn't appear to be too happy about it either. A police car went off the road just as they joined the chase. The road was taking them into a city where it was crowded with tourist and cabs like a normal tourist city.
Rounding a corner, a small pile up of police cars blocked the intersection. Samine jerked the wheel to the side as she pulled a bit on the emergency brake to squeeze into an alleyway. Xander turned around in his seat to look at the wreck.
"That was some smooth driving girl. Now where's Casey?" he asked and twisted around to face the front.
"Call Lexxiss and have her direct us. We've past the airport so he can't be going there," she said and smacked her hand on the wheel.
Xander picked up the cell phone and yelped when a Ford Explorer exploded from an alley and out in front of them. Samine swerved to the side to avoid crashing and recognized the Explorer as Casey's.
"Well that was a big coincidence," Xander muttered sarcastically.
"I don't like coincidences, it's like a bloody conspiracy," she replied and followed Casey through the streets. "Here we go!"
Casey turned into an empty lower level to avoid a police block. Samine spun the wheel and fish-tailed slightly as Xander pulled out his gun and opened the window. Samine snorted to herself as the image of the classical car chase came to mind. She squinted her eyes as the two cars sped out of the basement parking lot and into the bright sunlight.
"I need to get closer or I can't shoot out the tires!"
"Is that what you're trying to do? Funny, I thought you were trying to get a tan. Hang on!"