She Spies: Reunion Confusion

CH. 1

Cross's office. Cross is at his desk, checking some information on his latest case on his laptop. His cell phone rings. He presses one final key on the keyboard and he picks up his cell phone, flipping it open.

"Cross," he says.

He waits a moment while the person on the other line introduces himself.

"Dean, hi. How've you been?" asks Cross, leaning back in his chair a little.

Dean is Cross's brother. Cross listens as he explains the situation that has recently arisen in his life. Cross's face gets serious when his brother mentions that he's getting a divorce.

"Why? What happened?" asks Cross, curious.

As his brother is explaining what happened, the She Spies walk up to his office door for their daily meeting. They see that he is on the phone, so they stand there and wait. Cross notices them moments later.

"How's Amy taking this?" he asks, motioning for the She Spies to come into his office.

They step inside and wait patiently for him to be finished. A look of seriousness passes Crosse's face one more.

"No, you can't drop her off here. I'm at work," he says.

"Drop who off?" asks DD, not able to contain her curiosity.

Cross covers the mouthpiece of his cell phone.

"My niece," he says, looking at them.

"Niece?" they say in amazement.

Their faces are filled with shock as he uncovers the phone and returns to his conversation. Cassie looks at the others.

"Cross has a niece?" she says.

"Don't look at me. I didn't know either," says Shane.

"That must be one of the things we don't know about him," says DD.

Cross looks up at them again and an idea strikes him.

"No kidding," says Shane, as Cross begins explaining his idea to his brother.

"Still, that's a major thing not to have told us about," says Cassie.

"Well, he must've had a reason for not telling us," says DD.

Cross hangs up his cell phone and looks at them.

"I do have a reason," he says.

The She Spies look at him, expectantly.

"And what exactly is it?" asks Shane.

"I had no reason to," he says.

The She Spies sigh in frustration and roll their eyes at such a vague answer.

"So you're saying that you really do have a niece?" asks Cassie.

"Yes, and she'll be at your house in half an hour. So you better get moving," says Cross.

Their mouths drop and their eyes go wide.

"What?" says Shane.

"But don't we have a mission today?" asks DD.

"Yes, that's why I'm asking Cassie to go and wait for her while Shane and DD start doing some research," says Cross.

He looks at Cassie.

"She'll be staying for a few days. I hope that's alright," he says, with a facial expression that clearly states it better be.

"Yeah, of course. But don't you think we should know a little about her if she's going to be staying with us?" asks Cassie.

"Like bad habits?" suggests Shane.

"Or allergies?" suggests DD.

"Or her personality in general?" says Cassie.

Cross nods.

"Fair enough. She's an intelligent person, though she doesn't always use it wisely. She rarely listens to authority anymore and is almost always in some form of trouble," he explains. He pauses for a half second and then adds the kicker. "Oh, and she recently checked out of rehab," he said.

"Rehab? For what?" asks DD.

"Let's just say that she's tried her fair share of narcotics."

"She's a druggie?" says Shane.

The girls look at each other while thoughts of confusion and shock fly through their minds. No one can understand how in the world someone like Cross could have a niece that's that bad.

"She used to be. Which is why I want you to keep a close eye on her to make sure she doesn't regress into her old habits. She already did that once, and we don't need it happening again," explains Cross.

"Of course," says DD, as always ready to keep someone on the good side.

"Good. She may be troublesome, but I know you can handle it."

"That's reassuring," mutters Shane sarcastically.

Cassie nods sarcastically in agreement.

"It should be," says Cross.

He looks at Cassie.

"She'll be at your house shortly, so I'd advise you get going. DD and Shane will brief you on the case later," he says.

"Right," says Cassie, turning to leave.

"Good luck," says DD offering a sympathetic smile as Cassie passes by.

"Thanks. I'll probably need it," says Cassie, leaving.

After Cassie leaves, DD and Shane look back at Cross, a million questions burning within their minds, yearning to be asked. Shane decides to yield to one of the questions and ask Cross.

"Is she really that bad?" she asks.

"Sometimes she's worse," says Cross with a hint of frustration and disappointment in his voice.

Being spies, Shane and DD notice it, but, knowing how Cross would react, they don't ask.

"So, about our mission…." starts DD.

"Yeah. What is it?" asks Shane bluntly.

Cross looks relieved to change the subject. Cross and his niece don't get along and no one but he, Amy, and her parents know the real reason, though some suspect. What adds to the confusion is that they used to get along. Fairly well, in fact, but those days are gone.

"Coincidently, I want you to find the Black Star cartel and shut them down. They've been smuggling millions of dollars worth of contraband, both drugs and other objects, into the city with the intention of selling it to their private customers to make a profit. So far no one has been able to tell how they've accomplished this," he begins.

He stands up, picking up a small remote from his desk. He turns on the display screen to show a picture of a man with black sunglasses crossing a street.

"This is Gavin Marcel. He is believed to be the son of Nikolai Marcel, the cartel kingpin. Since no one has been able to uncover the whereabouts of Nikolai, the object of this assignment is to track down Gavin. In finding him, we'll eventually be lead to his father. Once this happens, we'll be able to shut down the cartel and stop the smuggling of the contraband," he continues.

"How are we going to find him?" asks DD.

"I knew you were going to ask that," says Cross.

He walks around his desk and pushes another button on the remote. This changes the picture on the screen to show the front of a local billiard hall.

"Our sources say that Gavin frequents a place known as Magic Eight Billiards," starts Cross.

"The pool place?" asks Shane.

"Yes. I've arranged for you to play there for as long as necessary, in return for some minor housework."

"We don't have to clean any toilets, do we?" asks Shane, really not wanting to even think about the task.

"Yeah, there's an awful lot of germs on them. Especially when someone misses and hits the seat," says DD, wrinkling her nose.

"Well, it is an important aspect of housecleaning. Especially at a public place," says Cross, smirking.

"Oh, man," says Shane, disappointedly.

"Think of it this way," says DD, "A clean toilet means no germs and no germs means no one will get sick from using an unsanitary restroom."

"'Cept us," mutters Shane.

Cross looks at them, a slight smile on his face. Shane notices.

"And what are you smiling about?" she asks, still a little annoyed.

"Nothing," he says, not wanting to admit it.

"Yeah, right. You're smiling because you don't have to clean any toilets," replies Shane sarcastically.

"But you do, so I'd get going."

"Cross's right," says DD, "the sooner we start the sooner we'll be done."

"True," says Shane.

The girls turn and begin to walk towards the door, ready to get the assignment underway.

"Oh, and ladies?" says Cross.

"Yeah?" asks DD as they turn to face him.

"Don't forget to brief Cassie on the assignment," he says.

"We won't, especially with one this nasty," says Shane.

"Good," says Cross.

DD and Shane turn once again and head towards the door.

"I bet he's happy that he doesn't have to clean any toilets," mutters Shane.

DD nods in agreement as they exit Cross's office. As the girls leave, Cross shakes his head and pushes a button on the remote, returning the screen to the picture of Gavin.. He ponders the picture for a moment, sensing something familiar about it, but not quite being able to place it.

"I know I've seen him before," he says to himself, "but where?"

He doesn't have long to think about it because his office phone rings. He takes one last look at the screen before shutting it off to answer his phone.