I wish I could have updated sooner but this time it wasn't my fault. I'll explain in my AN at the bottom. :(
I hope Christmas/New Year's was wonderful for you guys! Now to continue where we left off with RM.
Disclaimer: TS isn't mine. If it was, Tim Scam would have been in Season 6. That's right, he isn't. It's unacceptable. *sigh* Oh well maybe in Season 7 if they make one. *grumble* At least Sam still doesn't have a permanent boyfriend so I guess I can forgive them a little for not bringing our fav baddie back yet. Better be soon though OR ELSE. *insert evil Scam smirk*
Anyway! Enjoy, I hope. :D
2:06 am - DeFalcon Coterie, Mr. and Mrs. Williams' Suite
Grinning in the darkness, she kept staring at him longingly. She could hardly wait until morning when he'd wake up with only her name on his mind. He'd come running to her then. Yes he'd be pulled to her like a magnet, just as she had been drawn to him. And when he did come into her eagerly waiting arms, she'd savour every moment of having him with her, beside her. A lustful shudder rose from her throat. And inside her.
A small sound of feminine discomfort coming from the bed made Avery jump in her place. Snapping out of her thoughts, she turned her head to where the sound was coming from and to her horror she noticed the redhead was starting to stir under the blankets. Knowing she couldn't be seen yet, Avery gave the object of her desires one last, fleeting glance along with a flying kiss before quickly running out of the chambers and shutting and locking the door behind her.
Hearing the sound of a small "click" accompanied by the sounds of heels moving against a carpeted surface, Sam sat bolt upright in the bed. Having recognized the sound as that which would come from a door lock clicking into place, her eyes flew to the door only to find it closed as it had been all night. She kept staring at it with narrowed eyes for a few moments as she just waited for something to happen because she could swear she heard something.
But after several moments passed with her sitting there holding her breath in order to try and catch the sound of the door opening again or someone moving behind it on the other side and nothing happened, Sam slowly shook her head and let it go. It seemed like she had just imagined it; everything was okay. Moving to lay back down Sam found herself sitting back up again suddenly. She didn't know why but…
Biting her lip, she began crawling on the surface of the bed. Reaching the edge of the mattress she carefully peeked down at the chaise where Tim was sleeping nearby. Only when she found him sleeping peacefully did she fully let her ominous feeling leave her, because if someone had come into their room there was no way they would have slipped away undetected from him. Finally relaxed, Sam quickly crawled back under the blue, silk blankets of her bed to get roughly five more hours of sleep before it was morning.
6:28 am - DeFalcon Coterie, Mr. and Mrs. Williams' Suite
"Sam? Hey Sam? Wake up!"
A groan left her lips as she felt someone furiously tugging on her shoulder. Still sleepy, Sam opened her eyes to tell whoever it was to go away so she could sleep some more only to find Tim before her looking at her with irritated eyes. Realizing that It must be morning and he was waking her up because the alarm clock had failed to go off, Sam turned to the bedside table to turn it off in case it rang later only to have her eyes narrow when she saw the time.
It was 6:30 am, a full hour before they were supposed to wake up and get ready to head downstairs and gather more information from the other guests. Confused as to why he was up and was waking her up so soon, Sam turned to him for some answers only to have her eyes widen when she saw that not only was he fully awake he was also already dressed for the day.
He was no longer in the black short-sleeved top and sweatpants he was in last night, he was now sporting another suit from Mr. William's closet (dark gray with black detailing this time) and his hair was only slightly damp indicating he had already long showered.
"Just how many hours ago did he wake up?"Sam found herself wondering only to be interrupted by the sound of his voice. "Let's go, we have to go," she heard him say firmly, sounding almost impatient.
"…Where?" Sam asked slowly, now curious as to whether he had some other place he wanted to drag her to before the time they had both agreed on for resuming their mission this morning.
She did recall him saying there was a great, little library café just down the street that she would like that he wanted to take her to if they got the time and she wondered if that was where he was so eagerly trying to get her to get dressed for, even though that didn't really make sense for two main reasons.
One, it was far too early for the café to open as he had told her it would open around 9:00 am which is why he wanted to take her there after the mission and two, she had strictly told him she wasn't going to go anywhere with him because she was still furious with him for how he had forced her to accept being his WOOHP masquerade date. Then where on earth was he trying to take her at 6 o'clock in the morning? Her mystery was solved when he answered her question a moment later.
"Downstairs…Avery must be waiting for me."
"What?!" Sam asked, shocked at his response and how he had said it, especially that last part. Just what did he mean by Avery must be waiting for "him"? Wouldn't she be waiting for "them" as they were both her targets?
Instantly Sam found herself thinking back to yesterday evening, at how comfortably he had danced with Avery DeFalcon and how she hadn't taken her eyes off of him for one, tiny second until she finally left to sleep. And as she thought about all that, the panging feeling in her gut that she had also felt yesterday came rushing back. Something was wrong here…Something to do with Tim. She could feel it.
"Okay," she heard him say, pulling her out of her concerned thoughts and she looked back at him to find him rolling back his shoulders in a clearly tired way as he let out a sigh. "If you're not ready to go downstairs yet then just come down when you are. I'll see you whenever that is, bye," was all he said passively before turning around to leave.
But he was forced to stop when Sam suddenly grabbed his wrist from behind tightly. When he glanced at how her fingers were nearly white from the severity of her hold on his forearm then looked at her face with a raised eyebrow obviously wondering what she was doing, Sam loosened her iron grip and struggled to come up with a reason why she had done that because truthfully…she didn't have one.
It had been instinct, something inside her was just screaming at her to keep him as far as she possibly could from Avery. But she couldn't tell him that or he'd think she was jealous. He had already made a big deal of how she had been annoyed with his flirting with Ms. DeFalcon even after he had told her it he was just doing his job, and an even bigger deal over how she had pulled him away from the dance he had been sharing with Avery last night.
A muted sigh left her. She didn't need to think twice to know that unless she gave him a reason for yet again showing disapproval at his being around that woman…he'd take it in the exact same, incorrect way.
"…What about breakfast?" she said after a few minutes, knowing it was a stupid answer but it was an answer nonetheless as to why he shouldn't go down just yet which was unrelated to jealousy or how Avery gave her mega creepy vibes. At least she hoped it was.
But her question did nothing to stop him as she had been hoping as he just shrugged in response. "I already had mine," he said shortly before pulling his wrist out of her hand. He took a moment to straighten out the end of the sleeve of his suit where she had gripped him, making sure it looked freshly ironed and another to run his hand through his hair, making sure his bangs fell perfectly across the left part of his smooth, tanned forehead before he swiftly left the room without even bothering to say he'd see her downstairs or throwing her another glance.
Blinking after him, Sam couldn't help but wonder what was up with Scam. This just…it wasn't like him. This wasn't like him at all. Normally he would relish and take great pleasure in harassing her in the room they were being forced to share while posing as husband and wife.
He had been doing a bit of that last night until she had wrestled him onto the chaise less by actually physically defeating him and more by threatening to never talk to him again if he didn't stay off the bed which she was going to take. Of course he had stopped teasing her then but she had been expecting him to start up again as soon as she woke up. Why hadn't he done that?
Hugging her knees to her chest Sam rested her chin on them as she remained in thought while never noticing the sad frown on her lips at Tim's sheer lack of interest in her this morning. She told the part of her brain that was asking her if she was actually missing his attention on her to shut up because there was no way that could be why she was worried over this.
"It's only got me worried because it's such a big change in his behaviour,"she told herself. That was it, wasn't it? After all he spent so much of his time running after her and trying to win her over that it would be impossible for her or anyone not to note that something was off about him this morning. Having established why she was concerned about Scam, Sam went back to trying to figure him out.
"Is he acting like this to try and see if I'll notice and be upset about it or something?" she whispered, knowing that that was a route that Scam, being the master manipulator that he was, might take to test if she had any feelings for him. But something told her there was more to this than just that.
Her thoughts went back to Avery again and how calm and cool he was with her and also how eager he had been to see her when he left and she caught herself wondering if maybe he was genuinely romantically interested in Avery DeFalcon.
A quick moment later she discarded that thought entirely. "No way," she said, shaking her head from side to side and laughing a little because even the thought of that was ridiculous to her. Tim liking Avery was impossible to say the least.
Besides an age gap of almost twenty years between him and her (and Avery had so not aged gracefully, she looked more like she was well into her fifties instead of late forties, Jerry was honestly a better match for her if she turned out not to be evil), she was also not his type at all.
"She's shady…" Sam muttered disapprovingly. "And seems so superficial, and clingy, and stalkerish, and sooooo demanding!" Sam mumbled, knowing all of those negative qualities were blatantly apparent in the woman in question. After all she had been harassing all these wealthy couples to attend her parties even if they didn't want to and she had been clinging to Tim all last night, whom she thought was a married man despite his wife being right next to him.
"She has no sense of boundaries either…or any sense of self-control,"she thought knowing that was unarguable as Avery was a suspect for stealing over fifty husbands away from their wives and accepting their presents and gifts despite supposedly not accepting their "love" for her. All in all then, all she had were her looks which to be honest weren't so great to make Tim fall for her in the minuscule span of half a day.
She silenced the voice in her head that reminded her how he had shown interest in her at first glance when she first walked into his hospital room and he gave her that dazzling smile then showed up to her doorstep to thank her the same night and had never stopped pursuing her since. It was more than that she knew, Tim was also thankful to her for saving his life and that was part of why he liked her. She really didn't think it was all about her looks…not that she thought she was extremely pretty or anything but Scam just didn't seem that shallow to her.
If he really was, and he found her so irresistible only because of her looks then he would have chased after her in the past too as a villain, or he would have gone after Clover who was considered the most beautiful in her trio of friends. But he hadn't, not even once and so that was why didn't think Tim could ever fall for a woman for just looks alone not that again, Avery even had those.
"But then if he's not into her…" Sam whispered slowly, racking her brains. "Why is he no longer into m-"
Suddenly she stopped with wide eyes as she finally got it, the reason why he was being like this. Scam had gone down to see Avery as soon as possible because he was really focused on getting the mission over with so that-
"So that he can harass me at the masquerade…" Sam said quietly to herself, a small blush rising on her cheeks at her realization. "That jerk!" she squealed, clenching her fist and cursing at him in her head for a little before she let it go with a small sigh. What else had she been expecting really?
Scam had taken greats pains and manipulated her into going to the masquerade with him, he was going to milk it for all it was worth and there was no way, no way in hell he would let this mission (which was already too close to the masquerade which was in two days time) make him miss the dance. And that was why, the only reason why he had run off so early in the morning to get on with the mission.
Her mind now at ease over his recent actions, Sam finally got up to get ready and meet Tim downstairs. Throwing the blankets off her body she pushed herself off the bed and began to fold the comforter while thinking of skipping her shower to make up for the half hour she had wasted over her paranoid thoughts and wondering over what to wear today only to pause when she heard a knock on the door. Wondering who it was, she called out, "Who is it?"
"This is the concierge madam."
Wondering what they wanted, Sam glanced at herself in the floor-length mirror to see if she was presentable only to realize that her tank top and short shorts would not be okay to answer the door in if she wanted anyone in this place to believe she was truly a distinguished, upper-class English woman.
Thinking fast, she located Mrs. William's long embroidered night robe which was hanging off the bedpost where she had put it after finding it to be far too uncomfortable and itchy to sleep in last night. Cringing at the stiff fabric which proved just how long it hadn't been worn in, she slipped it on and tied the belt loosely to give herself some breathing room before she went over to the door.
Opening it a crack she peeked outside to find two men standing there with wide smiles on their faces. They were dressed in black and lavender uniforms similar to the staff members she had seen littered throughout the lounge yesterday during the evening get-together.
"Compliments of the DeFalcon coterie, Mr. and Mrs. Williams," they said in unison, moving their gloved right hands and carefully lifting the silver cloches off what she now realized they had been carrying all along: breakfast trays.
"Wait a minute…"Sam thought, narrowing her eyes as she looked at the silver trays loaded with what looked like in every way, a traditional English Full Monty with back bacon, poached eggs, grilled tomatoes and fried mushrooms, butter toasts, light cream pudding and steaming hot black tea.
There were two of them, one for her and one for…Tim.
Sucking in a breath her mind immediately wandered back to Tim and her brief conversation from just a half hour ago.
"…What about breakfast?"
"I already had mine."
"He…lied,"Sam thought, biting her lip nervously as she kept staring at the twin breakfast platters before her. And very quickly her heart began to hammer inside her chest as her grim feeling from last night came thundering back.
11:45 am - DeFalcon Coterie, Game Room
Feeling a yawn about to leave her mouth at her sheer boredom, Sam raised a hand and clapped it over her mouth muffling it before it got out. She blushed and let out a nervous giggle when the others gave her an annoyed and disgusted look at the odd sound she'd made and Sam quickly turned her eyes back to the casino table where Scam was waiting for his next turn.
Leaning close to Tim, Sam made sure no one else could hear her as she whispered in his ear, "Remind me again how gambling will help us get them to talk?" she whispered aggravated, while adjusting the manila fur cape she had on over the top of her bright crimson peplum dress in a way that it would keep her long hair from tangling with the delicate pearls she was wearing around her neck which matched the bracelet adorning her wrist.
Smirking as he watched Mr. and Mrs. Sharpe lose another pile of coins after they had picked a number he surmised to be a bad choice in his head, Scam answered Sam while the dice made their way over to him. "Avery only goes after people with money remember? If she sees us gambling for high stakes over and over it will gain her interest and make her act faster," he whispered back before picking up the twin dice in his hand.
Sam's eyebrows furrowed together in confusion at his words and it only took her a second to whisper again in his ear. "But we're already her target, she's already interested in us," she said, knowing it was true. They had been sent here because they knew the Williams were going to be her next victims. It didn't make any sense for her to spontaneously go after another couple now. But what he said next made her eyes nearly pop out of her sockets from shock.
"Well I want her to think of nothing else but me…"
"What?!" Sam squeaked out immediately at his words, not even caring that she was attracting people's interest to her again. Pale, she glanced at Tim's face to find him looking like he was in another world. There was a smile on his face…but it wasn't like any she had seen before. It was a small, happy, contented smile as if he had just been given everything he had ever wanted. His eyes were distracted and looked glazed over, the sea-green colour appearing glassy.
Worried more than ever, Sam tried calling his name to snap him out of his strange trance but stopped wondering what to address him by as she had no clue what Mr. Williams' first name was. And simply whispering "Tim" in his ear didn't look like it was going to do much good.
Lucky for her, a moment later another person told him it was time for his roll and he started acting normal again. "Pick a number," he said to her as he tossed the dice in his right hand up and down preparing to roll.
But all Sam could do was stand there quietly as she remained caught up in her concerned thoughts over him as she just realized something else. Not only was he acting weird and as if he wasn't actually with her right now but somewhere else…he had admitted he wanted Avery's attention on him.
"So it wasn't just me imagining things…"Sam thought, slowly biting her lip and feeling her skin grow even paler. She had seen him all morning looking around as if waiting for someone while she had been talking to the guests and Avery had yet to show up today. So THAT was who he had been looking for so relentlessly. "It has to be her,"Sam thought feeling sick. Who else could it be?
Hearing chants now of the words "pick a number" Sam knew they were all eager to resume gambling. Deciding to pick a number and get this over with so she could go back to trying to figure out just what was wrong with her "husband's" head this morning, Sam opened her mouth to say four only to stop with a venomous glare when she saw Avery coming over to where Scam stood next to her. She slipped in next to him, slightly pushing Sam aside and leaned over his broad shoulder in a way that the front of her body was fully plastered against his back.
Watching her, Sam felt the large vein in her forehead pulsing furiously as he face began to turn red from rage at how Avery was still on top of him and was now whispering something in Tim's ear. Avery smiled deeply, brushing her lips against his ear, making sure to tease the lobe a little before she said, "Go for eight…I'm never wrong."
Nodding his head, Scam tossed the dice continuing the Craps game and everyone watched the dice tumble around, bouncing off the green felt before both came to a stop. The dice each stopped on "four" leaving an eruption of applause to ring out from the spectators as the roll totalled eight and ended in a win.
Turning to Avery with a clearly impressed smile on his lips, Scam let out an amazed chuckle. "You're incredible," he whispered leaving her to giggle and bat her eyes at him. "Oh please," she said, waving a hand airily. "Don't flatter me too much, it is YOU who has an incredible hand." Avery chose this moment to reach down and pick up Scam's right hand in hers and give it a light, affectionate squeeze coupled with a soft kiss.
Sam watched with narrowed, seething eyes as Avery massaged and slobbered over Tim's hand as if it was her favourite food and look at him as if he was something she wanted to devour on the spot. That look of undisguised hunger she was giving him was a dead giveaway.
Sam glared at their interaction, at the way he seemed to laugh in a pleased way when she kept complimenting him endlessly about how amazing he was, about his gambling abilities, about his looks, about every little thing about him and at how he couldn't take his eyes off her as she stood there in a tight (too tight) baby blue gown which had a plunging v-neck and was cut so close to her body that it showed off every inch of her boney frame.
Disgusted, Sam could tell she was clearly trying to pull Tim's attention to herself, something which she realized, with her stomach lurching that seemed to be working as she saw him running his eyes up and down her body. Sam felt her jaw drop open and the bile that was floating in her mouth nearly come shooting out in the form of vomit when she thought she saw his eyes run down Avery's chest and glance at her breasts.
"That does it!"Sam thought angrily. Enough was enough. Something was definitely very, very wrong with him to make him so deeply infatuated with Avery DeFalcon that only she seemed to exist for him in this entire room filled with people. Honestly, he hadn't been this glued to her yesterday. He was acting possessed! He was acting like he was-
"Hypnotized,"she thought, her eyes widening as all her other thoughts suddenly came to a halt. Hypnosis…was that how Avery did this? Was that how she got her male victims to fall for her so much that they would do anything and everything in their power to please her? To win her over?
Seeing the stark and sudden insatiable need Tim suddenly had for Avery, Sam knew that certainly was a possibility and a strong one at that. And if that was how Avery had gotten Tim to like her…Sam felt her gut pang with worry as she remembered his situation. Scam was an amnesia patient and hypnosis in his condition could be very, very dangerous. He could remember something about his past, about being her enemy, about hating WOOHP-
But that was just a theory, it didn't have to be why he was behaving like this. Sighing heavily, Sam wondered if she had been wrong before about it being so impossible for him to really like Avery. Maybe he did, maybe he did really just like her and that was all there was to it she thought frowning severely as she watched how Tim's eyes seemed to sparkle with joy as he looked at the maroon-haired woman adoringly and lovingly just like they once used to light up when he looked at her…
"Chya right! Nooooooo way!"Sam thought shaking her head vehemently. What had she been THINKING?! There was no way in hell he genuinely felt for Avery the way he lov-liked her! There was nothing in Avery to like.
She was just an elderly, creepy woman who didn't know how to keep her crummy hands to herself and who had no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Tim or any other guy wouldn't go for that unless they were under some kind of love spell and had no control over themselves. That was it, Tim HAD to be under some kind of mind-control, that was the only feasible explanation for how he was suddenly acting. And she was going to snap him out of it.
Taking a deep breath Sam moved fast and pushed her way in between Avery and Tim, making the woman gasp when she was forced to release him. Quickly grabbing his arm, Sam spoke to him urgently. "I'm starved, let's get lunch," she said, making up the first excuse she could to get him away from Avery but Tim didn't even bat an eye before taking her hand off his arm and firmly stating that he was still full from his breakfast earlier and didn't need lunch yet before turning right back to Avery with a charming smile.
Beyond angry now as she remembered how easily he had lied to her about breakfast this morning no doubt being under Avery's influence, Sam grew desperate to take him away from Avery. Marching up to him again, she reached back out and grasped his elbow, harder this time and spoke in a loud, demanding and authoritative tone. "We need to talk!"
But Tim just let out a cool sigh, before shooting her an annoyed look as if to let her know she was making an unneeded scene and getting on his nerves as he muttered, "We'll talk later," and moved to turn his head back in Avery's direction.
Visibly fuming now, Sam moved and stood in front of Avery, effectively cutting his path to her off, something which he openly glared at her for and looked as if he wanted to strangle her. Disregarding the murderous look he was greeting her with, Sam looked at him pointedly. "We need to talk NOW," she almost growled leaving him to sigh loudly as if he couldn't even find the words to express just how much she was bugging him right now.
"Look," he said slowly, glancing at her with aggravated eyes which were just telling her to "take a hike" already and leave him alone. "If you are bored then go talk to the other women or whatever. I am staying right her-"
"No you're not!" Sam shouted loudly cutting him off, her nails now almost boring holes into his sleeve from the tightness of her grip. She was aware of how every single set of eyes in the room were now on her now due to the fiasco she was causing but she could care less. Right now her only concern was getting Tim to safety and that was far, far away from Avery DeFalcon even if he didn't realize that on his own.
Watching how Mrs. Williams was exasperatedly pulling and tugging at her husband to try and take him away from her, Avery couldn't help but grin in amusement because of how well her hypnosis was working. All he could think about, all he desired was her. Smirking triumphantly at that, Avery decided to let the redhead know that her gorgeous hunk of a husband belonged to her now and there was nothing she could do about it.
"Go on," Avery said, stopping their argument and tug-of-war and pulling their eyes to her. Smiling softly, she nodded her head at him. "Listen to your wife, she obviously needs to have a discussion with you."
"Okay," Tim said immediately and turned towards Sam to let her lead him wherever she needed to, to have their talk. But Sam only stared at him with shock widened eyes in utter disbelief at what he'd just done. He had agreed to leave with her but not because of incessant requests for him to do so, but right at the moment after Avery had told him it was okay for him to leave. He'd listened to her like he was her long trained pet and ignored her like she was no one to him.
Shaking with fury, Sam shot Avery a glare who was standing there still close to Tim with a clear sneer on her features which proved she was enjoying this turn of events far too much. Having had enough and knowing something had to be done and fast before she lost all control of the situation, Sam took Scam's hand, turned on her heel and led him back up to their room intent on getting through to him.
12:09 pm - DeFalcon Coterie, Mr. and Mrs. Williams' Suite
"What's wrong with you!" Sam screamed, not even waiting until the door to the suite came to a full close. Why did it matter anyway? Everyone had already seen and heard them fighting like cats and dogs downstairs. So much for being a loving, long-married, compatible couple.
Tim just rolled his eyes before facing her with a peeved look. "What wrong me?" he asked, pointing to himself and letting out a small, incredulous laugh as if her even asking him this was a joke. "You are the one who was making a scene down there," he muttered accusingly.
"Me?!" Sam screamed, walking right up to where he was and screaming in his face in a sad attempt to bring him back to his senses. "You're the one who was…" she took in a deep breath trying to control her need to burst. "Who was…" She bit her lip, struggling to find words to speak. "Who was-"
"What? What was I doing?!" he shouted right back, glaring at her heatedly and not even pretending to act like he knew what she was talking about.
Feeling her jaw twitching with anger, Sam just stared at his face quietly. She couldn't even put into words how infuriated she was with him right now. But try as she might she couldn't get the words out that she was disgusted to say the least with how he had been making eyes at Avery and salivating at her like she was some kind of goddess he just couldn't resist, like she was someone he just wanted to put his hands all over and take in his arms and shower her with kisses and-
Closing her eyes tightly, Sam tried to fight off those images but she couldn't. For some reason all she could think about was him and Avery together, smiling and holding hands and talking and touching and-
"Just forget it!" she snapped a moment later.
"Fine!" he snapped in response and not even a second after she saw him moving towards the door to leave.
"What are you doing?" Sam asked, knowing she had a lot more she needed to say to him and this discussion was no where near over.
Scam looked at her with tired eyes. "If there is nothing you need to talk about then I don't need to stick around here," he said firmly before continuing on towards the door and turning the doorknob. He was about to step out when he stopped and looked at her from over his shoulder, looking hesitant for a moment before he spoke to her again, "Avery invited me to lunch this morning…so that's where I am going if you're wondering."
Sam's eyes widened at his words and she realized Avery must have already met with him before she got downstairs and that was when she must have asked him to have lunch with her. Huffing, she knew it must be part of her plan to lure him in and keep making him meet her so she could continue throwing herself at him until he fully gave in.
After all if she innocently wanted Tim to go with her to lunch and didn't have plans to seduce him, why hadn't she asked the both of them to accompany her? Avery didn't fool her for a second. Her motives were clear and she was not going to stand by and let it happen.
Seeing him almost out the door by now Sam quickly raced over and seized his arm, starting to pull him back inside. "You're not going anywhere!" she screamed, half-pushing and dragging at his arm until she forced him back in the room. Closing and locking the door, she stood in front of it while looking at him with warning eyes.
"What's the meaning of this?" Scam said, sounding no less than baffled and aggravated at her locking him in like this, as if he were a child that wasn't old enough to roam free without her permission. Just who did she think she was anyway?
Glaring venomously, Sam placed her hands on her hips and answered him in an equally displeased tone. "I could ask you the same thing," she spat. And before she could stop herself she was saying everything that she had been struggling not to say.
"Why are you so into Avery all of a sudden?" she asked, finally getting that off her chest. Enough was enough, just half a day of this nonsense was driving her up a wall. She couldn't take it anymore.
Crossing his arms over his chest in a defensive manner, Scam looked at her belittlingly. "I believe…" he started calmly. "That that's a personal matter which you have no business whatsoever poking your nose into."
A sharp gasp left Sam's mouth which he ignored as he growled that he could be into whomever he wished and he didn't need her approval. Not being able to believe the words that were leaving his mouth it took Sam a moment to bottle the urge to launch herself at him and slap him a few times to try and shake him back to normal. Was he even hearing himself right now? Or was he just saying things without even thinking? It was seeming more and more like mind-control was indeed at play here and it wasn't just a hypothesis she'd made. This was getting really scary and really ugly, really fast.
"Personal matter or NOT, she's the reason we are here!" Sam screeched, reminding him of what he seemed to be rapidly forgetting. "She's suspected to be tied to the disappearance of close to fifty men! You can't just…just-" She glowered. "You can't run off into the sunset with her!"
Scam just shook his head in denial. "We don't know if she's guilty. It could be that all these accusations are false and Avery had nothing to do with why those men decided to give her everything they owned to win her over. It's possible."
Sam's face couldn't help but scrunch up at how he'd said that, at how he sounded like he truly believed Avery DeFalcon truly was innocent and had no hand whatsoever in ruining so many marriages. As if she was really that guiltless and harmless. She controlled the urge to scoff at his words and instead responded with dignity. "Well until we confirm she's NOT guilty, you can't see her. If you're going to go see her I am coming with YOU," she said, determined leaving him to howl out another "fine" before he turned and stomped into the bathroom and locked the door behind him.
The door slammed shut so hard that the hinges could be heard rattling and she could swear she saw some cracks appear in the wood from all the unnecessary force he had used in closing it. Shaking her head in astonishment, Sam bit her cheek in apprehension. "What's wrong with him?" she asked herself, longing for an explanation as to why he was acting this way.
Ever since his accident, Scam had always been happy and comfortable to be around her but now he was acting every bit like he hated her guts and saw her as his enemy just because she was stopping him from being around Avery.
Her mind flickered back again to hypnosis as the answer to her troubles and she knew without even needing to reflect on it much that it was becoming more and more likely that that was it. Tim was seriously acting way out of it. He wasn't even this annoying when he was a villain, nor did he ever get mad like this; he had never shown her this much rage ever no matter what and it bothered her that he was so angry at her now and for no real reason.
"He's got to be hypnotized, Avery must have done something to him," she thought, nodding her head because she could not think of anything else that was causing this unwelcome change in him. But as much as she believed it, it was still just speculation and she needed evidence to prove it. If she told Tim that Avery had hypnotized him then judging by his recent behaviour he'd laugh at her or just throw another temper tantrum in defiance.
Raising her hands, she slowly rubbed her temples to try and die down the headache that was already upon her full force. This mission was so not going well and it didn't look like she could rely on Tim anymore. No, she had to do this alone and she would. It Avery could influence a man like Tim who had a will of iron then those poor men would have had no chance against her.
"What a vile, disgusting witch!" Sam hissed, more than repulsed with Avery for the mess she had created. Determined to shut her down, Sam moved to go and get some answers hoping that if she kept her ears open and worked hard she could get something to lock Avery away for a very long time. And hopefully, she thought as she left the Williams' room, she could get the real Tim Scam back in the process, granted that he was actually entranced like she assumed he was and was not just in love with another woman.
Her heart sank in her chest at the thought but she shook head and refocused herself, keeping her thoughts on the mission instead of wandering in inappropriate territory.
The moment she came back downstairs by herself, she could see people looking at her with pity and sadness and she knew just why. She knew they were wondering if her husband had fallen for Avery too, after all she could hear their whispers as she came down the stairs and moved amongst the guests.
As she heard them, she remembered how Mr. and Mrs. Williams had told her how they heard that men fell for Avery instantly and would do anything they could try to win her with their charm, with all their wealth, and their power but she didn't give in to anyone. And then they, heartbroken and humiliated were never seen again out of embarrassment.
Sam didn't buy it for a second, it couldn't be true. Those men, even if humiliated couldn't just disappear into thin air! Not all fifty of them. No, they had to go somewhere.
Recalling the Williams' pale faces she knew part of them worried that their friends had been killed off but she didn't believe Avery would have done that, not because she wasn't capable (she didn't believe there was anything Avery wasn't capable of by now) but because she had a feeling that she was more of the type to keep those men as her "prize" just for the fun of it. It was clear Avery certainly saw Tim as a prize just by the way she looked at him like he was a crown jewel she wanted to add to complete her little, private collection.
"Ugh!" Sam thought disgusted as her eyes scanned the guests looking for someone who would be valuable to her investigation. They stopped on the man she recognized as Winston, Avery DeFalcon's butler and she began walking over to him carefully.
Whatever was going on, she'd find those men and put a stop to Avery before the same fate befell Tim Scam.
1:37 pm - WOOHP Headquarters, Corridor
"That looks perfect; excellent work Agent Miller!" Jerry smiled at one of the many trainees that were helping with the décor for the masquerade as they finally finished with the basic lighting for the halls for the upcoming evening.
Biting his lip, Jerry couldn't contain his excitement for Saturday night. This was going to be quite the event for his agents. For the first time in a long time they were going to have an evening where they weren't going to have to be on their toes, constantly looking over their shoulders as they served the difficult function of being agents that were trained to protect the world.
For once they were going to be able to be at WOOHP for fun and not because they had been yanked out of their personal lives for a mission or because they had gadgets to test or technical jobs they needed to carry out in order to keep an agency running. Instead they would be able to relax and talk to their fellow agents and laugh and realize how special they were, how much he appreciated all their hard work and dedication.
That was the reason why he was going all out with this one, even agents who remembered the past masquerades would find this one to be the most spectacular because it had been too long since the last one and they deserved something truly memorable for their patience. His smile widening, Jerry remembered the reason why this party was happening in the first place.
"Tim," he thought, remembering the young man who had some months back, turned their lives upside down by his return. Some days he'd still find himself worrying about how fragile their friendship was, held together only by his missing memory but on some other days…
Jerry let out a small laugh and shook his head in a contented way. Some days he'd just find himself dealing with what most men his age faced on a daily basis; what it was like having a son who fussed over and worried for their father endlessly.
Take a few days ago for example, while helping him with files one evening Tim had brought up the masquerade and asked if he intended to use the excuse of being the host to be dateless again as he'd done in the past. Then he'd brought up Belinda and suggested he ask her before she went with someone else not just for the masquerade, but as her choice for a life partner.
An uncomfortable and awkward discussion had followed then about how he was getting old and really needed to settle down before it was too late. "If not now, when? When you're eighty?" Tim had harped, leaving him to squirm in his chair and desperately try to change the subject.
Of course he had hadn't been able to shake Tim's laser focus and he had then issued him an ultimatum that if he didn't ask Belinda to the dance soon then he'd do it for him and he'd have to handle the embarrassment when she asked him why he wasn't willing to do it all on his own.
According to Tim, Belinda was perfect for him seeing that she worked right here at WOOHP so that rendered his argument that a normal wife wouldn't understand why he couldn't come home most of time and had to be out useless because Belinda knew about WOOHP and would not put up a fuss when he had to disappear seeing she'd probably be stuck in a similar situation at some point as well.
Tim also thought that it wasn't just him who had been secretly harbouring feelings for Belinda for the last many years but that it was mutual because he hadn't ever seen her around any other man.
Belinda spent all of her time at WOOHP cooped up in the hospital wing where she worked as one of the head doctors and rarely even spoke to anyone unless she absolutely had to. Well anyone except for him.
Jerry's cheek grew warm at that point which Tim had made, that Belinda, while quiet around most people still spoke to him readily and happily. In response he had admitted that Belinda and him had a good professional relationship but Tim had laughed and said that there was much more to it than that and he couldn't fool him even if he tried. Sighing quietly and looking at his feet bashfully, Jerry knew he was right. There was a lot more to it than that.
"Belinda…" he whispered quietly, remembering the woman in question and feeling his heart flutter in his chest. For twenty years he had harboured feelings for Belinda Nightingale. He had first met her when he was still struggling to learn how to head a spy agency. She had been in her mid-thirties then while he had been in his forties and the moment he'd set eyes on her, he'd felt a connection.
Now it wasn't like he had never been in a relationship in these last twenty years, he had, had his share of dates and romances but none of them had ever lasted and part of him couldn't help but wonder if that was because the person he really wanted a lasting relationship with was Belinda.
Perhaps that was why he had never been able to muster up the courage to even ask her out on a date…because he was terrified of messing it up, messing up his chance to be with the person he really, really liked.
No he'd rather just imagine what it would be like to be with her passively instead of take the plunge because he knew he didn't want to lose her respect and friendship. He'd been okay with that mindset for years but now…Jerry let out a heavy sigh and frowned slightly.
He was growing lonely. He was finding it more and more within himself, the desire to have someone to come home to at the end of the day, someone who he could talk to and have hear him, someone to share his experiences, his troubles with, who would share his large home where he currently only had the sound of his own solitary breaths and footsteps to keep him company.
Additionally his mother never stopped nagging him about being a bachelor at his age and not giving her a daughter-in-law despite being her only good child and now with Tim bringing the same matter up as well, over and over he felt like he had no choice.
He had to do this. He really did like Belinda and he wasn't sure how much longer he could wonder if it was only him with these feelings. He wanted to confirm Tim's suspicions that Belinda liked him too and he wanted him to be right.
"But first I have start by asking her to the dance," Jerry thought and immediately his face went pale and his palms started to go sweaty as panic gripped him. How was he going to be able to do that? To finally take action and make a move when he been putting it off for two entire decades? How was he ever going to be able to find the words to even begin telling her how he felt by Saturday when he hadn't been able to for the last 73,000 days? Saturday was only two days away!
"What do I do? What DO I do?!" He asked himself over and over.
"You're doing an absolutely fabulous job with the décor for the masquerade."
Jerry almost jumped three feet in the air when he heard a voice in his ear which left him to spin around rapidly. But upon seeing the speaker, Jerry could only gulp dryly and do his best not to faint on the spot because right before him now stood the same woman he had been thinking of all this time.
"Uh..hi Belle-Belinda. Th-thanks," he said slowly giving her a wave, trying like mad to fight off the redness on his cheeks before she saw it. Thankfully for him, she didn't seem to mind as she gave him a bright smile in return.
Seeing that smile however did little to calm him. It instead made his heart jump around up and down in the confines of his chest like a child did on the street after they saw an ice cream truck turning the corner of their block on the hottest day of summer.
Gulping dryly Jerry stared at her in a daze easily recognizing the warm, dark gray eyes that had always drawn him in, her braided waist-length, pearl-platinum hair which went just past the end of her cream-coloured blazer, her rounded face and extremely fair skin.
Twenty years later despite being what most would call an elderly woman at just past 55, Belinda was as beautiful to him as she was when he'd first met her. One thing was different after twenty years though, and that was that he now wanted her more than ever. If he could only do something about it.
"Well I better get back to work," she said softly, snapping him out of his reverie. She gave him another radiant smile accompanied with a small laugh. "Lots to do before Saturday night rolls around."
Watching her moving to go back into her office, Jerry stared at her with longing eyes while he kept thinking about what Tim had said.
Now or never.
"Uh Belinda," he said before he could stop himself.
She turned around immediately at his voice and faced him with curious eyes. "Yes?"
Only when she was staring back him did Jerry realize that he had opened his mouth in the first place. Realizing that, his throat clogged up and he looked back at her speechlessly while trying to get up his nerve.
But after a few moments of silence passed and he was able to get out nothing but a few uneven breaths Jerry gave up with a small sigh.
"Nothing, sorry I," he bit his cheek and tried not to sound as pathetic as he felt right now. "I forgot what I was going to say."
The look of disappointment on her face was clear as she turned and left, leaving him sighing even harder as he wondered over Tim's theory that she was interested in him too. After all if she wasn't then why would she have looked so hopeful when he had called her name and then look so letdown when he hadn't said anything? But due to his chickening out he no way to get a definite answer to the riddle of whether or not their feelings were mutual.
Well he was going to have to find a way to man up and ask her or else as Tim had threatened, he would ask her because Tim always kept his word.
Blushing rapidly Jerry could hear him as if he had seen his sad attempt at asking Belinda out with his own eyes. He could hear Tim's unimpressed "what the hell was that?" ringing in his ears as If he was actually expressing his frustration to him right at this moment.
And he knew right then that if Tim did end up having to be the one who talked to Belinda for him then the lecture that would ensue would be something like:
"Give me a break Jerry, you can run a spy agency all by yourself but you can't ask the woman that you have been in love with for the last twenty years to accompany you to a dance?!"
"She's not going to wait forever, you know?"
"It's just a dance! You're acting like I'm asking you to spontaneously propose to her or something!"
Even the thought of how Tim would react left him overwhelmed. He knew he couldn't let him down. No, he had to find a way to do this and he would.
Taking in a deep breath to collect himself, Jerry moved to head to Belinda's office, determined to ask her to be his date to the dance before the end of the day.
1:50 pm - DeFalcon Coterie, Just Outside Mr. and Mrs. Williams' Suite
Trudging back up the long stairway to the Williams' suite, Sam failed despite all efforts in keeping the acidic glare off her face. How could she though? She had a really good reason to be so unhappy.
"The nerve of that man!" Sam thought angrily as she remembered the conversation she had had with Avery's butler in the hopes that he could help her. But instead of giving her some information of value as she had hoped, all he had done was basically tell her in gentle words that Avery just had a way with men and since Mr. Williams (Tim) was a man, he had simply been affected by her charms and she had to accept it .
He had also had the gall to tell her that it looked like Avery liked him too which meant that her husband would most likely not have to shower her with expensive gifts to win her affection and so she would not be left penniless like the other wives in the past, something which he had expected her to start jumping up and down in joy at.
"I don't care if she has a way with men nor that they all fall for her…HE wouldn't do that! He wouldn't do that to me! He would never leave me for her or anyone else! Are you hearing me?! He would never do that!" Her own response rang in her ears as she made her way back to her room.
Winston had only smiled at her words, treating her like any other wife who had too much faith in her husband and so wasn't seeing things clearly. Rolling her eyes Sam realized all Winston's job was, was to give the wives of Avery's targets the worthless and lame explanation that Avery was some kind of goddess of love that commanded some magical, mystical power over the male gender which sadly happened to include their spouses and there was nothing else to it.
However there was more to this than he and Avery were letting on, that much was painfully obvious and she would get to the bottom of this one way or another.
Part of her just wanted to go right back down and bug every single guest and staff member at the coterie until someone got her on the right track but she knew she couldn't do that right now when she was starved and tired of talking to people who only gave her sad, pitying glances. The headache she had had before had now turned into a full out migraine and she desperately needed a break.
Turning the handle to the suite and stepping inside Sam couldn't help but hope Tim had cooled off and that maybe they could rationally talk about the mission and how he had become a victim and come up with a solution together. But the moment she stepped inside and saw the bathroom door still locked she realized Scam was still inside and hadn't come out.
"He can't be showering all this time," Sam whispered as she glanced at her watch and confirmed that it had been nearly two hours since he'd gone in there and she'd left him alone. He was still clearly pissed off at her for what she'd said to him and how she'd locked him in their room, not trusting him to be around Avery.
Sighing, she wondered if she had overreacted a little bit. Okay maybe she had overreacted just a little bit more than she should have.
Deciding she had to talk to him to get anywhere, Sam knocked on the door to get him to open up so she could speak to him. But he didn't answer as she'd hoped, in fact he said nothing at all.
Standing there with a small frown on her lips at his refusal to even speak to her, Sam knew she was just about one hundred percent convinced he was under some kind of spell even if she had no proof yet. Normally Tim would never not talk to her. He was always looking for an opportunity to speak with her. But right now? He could care less.
Sighing deeply, Sam decided to keep trying anyway. Maybe she could still get through to him? She had to try.
"Tim? Tim…Can we talk?" she said from her end, her lips close to the door and her voice loud so that he could hear her if he chose to. But again, Tim didn't answer her leaving her even more discouraged and troubled than she already was.
Sam's eyes narrowed suddenly when she realized that not only was he not talking…there didn't seem to be any noise whatsoever coming from his end of the door. Biting her cheek she put her ear up to the wood and tried to catch the sound of any kind of movement but heard none.
There was nothing but silence in the bathroom. Scared now that something worse had happened to him, she quickly located her laser lipstick and cut through the door's lock, letting herself in to make sure he was alright and just wasn't answering her because he was upset.
She was about to panic when she suddenly saw him leaned against the door of the sauna facing the wall and looking away from her. It didn't take her much to notice how tense his posture was, it seemed every muscle in his body was cramped up revealing just how livid he was because of her right now.
And even if she felt she had been right to tell him to stay away from Avery, she knew she had to apologize for how rudely she had done it.
Taking in a deep breath and bolstering up her courage, Sam finally spoke in apologetic whisper, "Tim I…I'm sorry for yelling at you." Fiddling with her hands, she frowned sadly as she remembered everything she had said to him and she couldn't help but feel bad. She had had no right to lecture him like that,; he was a grown man and knew was right for him and it had to have been embarrassing for him to hear her even if she had meant well.
"I was just looking out for you that's all…Avery is our suspect and we have to be on our toes when dealing with her," she said quietly, while keeping her eyes on him to see if he was reacting to her words in any way. So far he wasn't.
"I'm not saying you're not doing your job right or something," she said nervously hoping he hadn't taken it that way but knowing he could have. "It's just… I'm your partner and we're supposed to look out for one another," she said, repeating the same words he had said to her when he had come after her after she had gone after Mr. Hayes on their first mission all by herself instead of waiting for him. "That's why I didn't want you going to meet her alone."
Waiting for him to say something, anything Sam let out a dejected sigh when he didn't. He just stood there as still as a statue and didn't even act like he'd heard anything she'd said.
"I dunno what else to say but I'm sorry," she said deciding to just say sorry to him again clearly so he would understand that she was first and foremost sincere in her apology to him above all else.
"Can you…" she sighed sadly. "Can you forgive me? Please? Please Tim?" she urged only to have her eyes widen in shock when he still said nothing regardless of her pouring her heart out to him. Was he really that mad at her? So mad that he'd never talk to her again?
Feeling her heart sinking in her chest Sam found herself going over to him desperate to make him look at her. Maybe if he could see how sorry she was he'd believe she meant everything she was saying and wasn't pretending.
But when she got to where he was standing, she found him staring dead ahead at the wall with blank eyes as if he couldn't see her at all. Sam's eyes widened in alarm when she noticed that even now with her before him he wasn't reacting at all. In fact Tim wasn't moving an inch, he wasn't even…he wasn't breathing.
"Tim?!" she called out, beyond panicked now. Her hand moved to touch his shoulder and make sure he was okay. But the moment her hand got near him she felt nothing but the sensation of static buzz on her skin. Then in the next second his image faded away right before her eyes until there was nothing left.
"Wha-what the-" Sam's eyes suddenly narrowed as her suspicions began to flare. Moving quickly she screened the bathroom with attentive eyes and just moments later she found what she was looking for.
There on the floor of the bathroom, under a towel rack was a Hologram Projecting Mood Ring angled in such a way that it would make a projection right where she had found Tim standing moments earlier.
From the corner of her eye she saw a window which had been broken, the jagged glass making the break obvious now that she was looking at it.
And she knew right then just what had happened.
"No…" she breathed out quietly, bowing her head in defeat as nothing but agony seized her.
Tim was gone.
So about the OC, yep she's Jerry's love interest which I mentioned in the updated summary and Scam mentioned her in an earlier chap or two :D This is her official intro into the story, she will be pretty important! Been waiting to introduce her lol.
Anyway! I'm so happy I finalllllly got this done. I am terribly sorry about the delay in the Xmas fic I promised. I'm not sure how many people I told this to but I got really, really sick around Christmas and almost wound up in the hospital. :(
Luckily, I'm feeling much better now thanks to my awesome family fussing over and looking after me tirelessly but my story update plans took a major hit for which I am upset and sorry. =( I hope to get back on track and STILL have my Christmas story up eventually now that I am okay.
Wish me luck and please review so I know if you liked this chapter and or want the next one up soon! Remember Me? was actually not on my update list but so many of you asked for it that I just had to update! I hope I was right to do so. :D Also let me know what you think of Belinda so far!
Waiting for your reactions to this chapter,
Cresenta's Lark :P