Chloe jogged up the stairs taking the last flight two at a time. She'd never admit it but she was anxious to see him alone, after all it had been seven years. Knowing Nate he was probably still miffed about that stunt she'd pulled with Harry but after how he'd left things all those years ago he deserved to be a little miffed.
She looked at the room numbers and then at the number written on her arm in black ink. Luckily after both Nate and Harry had left the bar the day before she'd hung around long enough to work Nate's whereabouts out of Victor. He'd easily caved and given her the exact address of Nate's hotel room. Finally she found a match.
"Well, this is the right place," she said double checking.
Raising her fist she pounded on the door five times. No answer. She tried again louder this time. After a few moments there was still no answer. Patience wasn't exactly one of her virtues so she tried a third time. After the fifth and final knock she could hear footsteps approaching the door from the other side. Extending her arm she leaned against the door frame. Moments later the door flew open. Nate gave her a hard look.
"Hello," she said using her best seductive voice.
He just rolled his eyes and wrapped an arm around her waist almost pushing her into the room. She'd definitely seen him in better moods.
"Well," she laughed jogging in forward a few steps. "So much for foreplay."
She looked around the hotel room. It was obvious he'd been here a couple of days by the empty bottles on the dresser and the waded dirty clothes on the floor. She smirked. Seems he hadn't changed all that much in the years since she'd last seen him.
"Do you mind telling me what the hell is going on?" he asked in a no nonsense sort of way.
"You mean with Flynn?" she asked.
"Yeah, you mighta warned me," he said giving away his emotions.
"And miss the look on your face?" she teased.
Her teasing had serious undertones though. She played like she wasn't still a little hurt after what he'd done but she was. That stunt with Harry was her way of saying maybe I want you to feel a little shocked and betrayed for once. After seven years of wondering it was all she could do to keep up this nonchalant manner him.
"Anyway, you haven't exactly made yourself easy to find," she said picking his journal up of the dresser and flipping it open.
The last time she'd heard from Nate was when he'd called her to tell her he'd finally figured it out and he needed to go talk to his dad. He'd told her he'd be back just as soon as he could. The next thing she knew Marie was knocking on her door and saying that Nate was gone, that he'd up and left without telling anyone where he was going or if he had any intentions of coming back. He hadn't even had the courtesy to bid her a proper farewell. Just a hastily scrawled note Marie had given her.
"Talk about making yourself easy," he snapped snatching back his journal.
She watched as he set the journal on the end table surprised by his reaction.
"Oh, you're not jealous…" she said stepping closer. In a way she was relieved. Jealousy meant he still had feelings for her but at the same time he was completely out of line. "Let's not forget who walked out on whom, after all. You don't get to be jealous."
She pushed him down onto the bed. There was a soft thud as he connected and the old springs inside the bedding squeaked. Either he really was trying to stay under the radar or he was just that broke for renting this old rundown hole in the wall.
"Wait a minute, Chloe…" he said but she was on a roll.
"If it makes you feel any better my relationship with Flynn is strictly professional," she said climbing onto his lap.
His eyebrows perked up, "Really?"
"Mostly professional," she amended.
He groaned and flopped back onto the mattress.
"Look," she said leaning over him. "When I found out he was actually onto something I thought you'd want to be in on the action."
As she talked she strategically placed his hands on her thighs. By the time she was done with him there would be no possible way he could say no. He looked at his hand then back to her with a soft pat on her thigh. She had is attention now.
"So what's the plan?" he sighed.
She sat back up.
"Just like we said," she told him as he propped himself up on his elbows. "We pull the heist, we find the ships, and we make off with the treasure."
"With Flynn?" he asked.
"And then we split the take three ways and you and I just disappear," she said simply her fingers crawling up his chest, after all, treasure was nice but all she wanted at this exact moment was him. "Together, this time."
"I see…" he said not sounding so sure, like something was nagging at the back of his mind.
"Until then, he can't know about us," she stated then moved it to do what she'd wanted to do this whole time.
Nate pulled back, "He's gonna be pissed."
"He's," she started pushing down on his chest so he collapsed onto his back, "gonna be fine."
Her lips met his and there was an electrifying moment as the embers of their old flame burst back to life. After all these years the spark was still there and once again he was hers.
Chloe woke the next morning draped across Nate's chest wearing nothing but her underwear and the shirt Nate had been wearing the night before. Her ebony hair was splayed out across the pillow next to her and for a moment she just basked in the warmth radiating through the shirt from Nate's bare chest. She remembered mornings like these, it was just so good to have him back. She pretended like she was still asleep if just to stay close to him for a little bit longer.
"Good morning," he said seeing through her rouse.
"Morning," she answered.
He shifted underneath of her. She rolled over onto her back giving Nate the freedom to get up. After Nate climbed up off the bed she must have dozed off because when she woke up for the second time Nate was standing across the room leaning up against the dresser with a steaming mug of coffee in his hands. The morning sunlight filtered through the shades and gleamed off his sun tanned skin as he stood there wearing only the wrinkled jeans from the day before along with that ring on a string that never seemed to leave his neck. He watched her with a bemused look on his face.
"Morning, sleepyhead," he grinned.
She grunted in response and sat up stretching and running her fingers through her thick hair.
"Still asleep?" he asked.
"Mm-hmm," she nodded raking the hair out of her face.
"Maybe this will help," he said showing her the fresh pot of coffee.
Chloe climbed up off the bed revealing her long bronzed legs. She wasn't that much shorter than Nate so his shirt barely covered more of her than it would him. Walking over to him she laced her arms around his waist her fingers brushing across a few rough patches of scar tissue that mottled his skin. He'd sure seen a lot of action in his twenty seven years.
"What?" Nate asked.
"Huh?" she said snapping out of her headspace.
"You were looking at me funny," he stated.
"I think you're seeing things," she grinned then kissed him gently. "I've missed you."
"I've missed you too," he smiled. There was a lingering moment where they just stood there with their faces inches apart. "Coffee?"
Stepping back she took the plain ceramic mug out of his hand.
"So you never did tell me," he said.
"Tell you what?"
"How you found me."
"Oh… it was simple really," she said down on the bed the neckline of Nate's shirt falling off her shoulder.
"If it was so simple then why didn't you find me years ago?" he ribbed.
"Because I was missing a vital piece of information, information I got from Harry," she explained.
Nate's eyebrows went up, "I find it hard to believe that Harry would have told you where I was, especially because he doesn't even know we know each other."
"Well, I didn't say he gave it to me willingly," she said coyly.
"Maybe you should just tell the whole story," he prompted.
"Fine," she sighed. "It started out as just another night in another bar…"
Chloe sat at a table by herself sipping her drink. She'd been fending off advances from half-drunken idiots that thought they were worth her time all night. So naturally she wasn't pleased to suddenly find a foreign hand on her shoulder. Balling up her fist she prepared to slug the guy if he didn't have enough sense to back off.
"If I were you," she warned. "I'd turn around and walk away."
"Now, don't be like that," a distinctly British voice answered. She knew that voice.
Turning she was greeted with a familiar face, "Harry Flynn, I was beginning to wonder when I'd see you again."
"I bet you were," he smirking taking the only other vacant seat at the table. "So how's business?"
"It's been better," she said shifting in her seat. "I seem to have hit a bit of a slow period."
"So that means you're up for hire?" he asked.
"Why?" she replied warily. Not all of Harry's ideas were good ones, in fact, very rarely were any of them good.
"Because I've got a job for you," he explained to her relief.
"Oh, really?" she asked sitting forward.
"What are we talking about here, Harry?" she asked.
"Just a heist… so here's the lay down…"
"Let me guess," she cut him off. "Some rich nutcase with way too much time and money on his hands is willing to pay and obscene amount of cash if we pull some ballsy heist risking both of our skins for some random artifact we know nothing about and in the end you'll end up doing most of the work and I'll just be the getaway driver. We split the take between us and reward ourselves with a weekend in Vegas."
"You really are a woman after my own heart," Harry grinned.
Chloe gave him a look. They'd been down this road before but he was ever the persistent one. He knew she still had too many lingering issues from a past relationship to get involved in anything serious.
"In your dreams," she said.
"Eh, you'll warm up to me eventually," he said. "I have a tendency to grow on people."
"Oh, I sure," she said rolling her eyes. "So what exactly are we going after?"
"This," Harry stated handing her a postcard with a polished photo on the front.
"This? Are you serious?" she scoffed. "A jade oil lamp? How could this possibly be worth all that trouble?"
"Because this is not just any lamp," Harry continued. "This lamp once belonged to Marco Polo."
"Marco Polo? The Marco Polo?"
"Yeah, I also have this," he handed her a sheet of note card paper with an old piece of parchment tacked onto it. "This is from the journals of Marco Polo."
"Where did you get this?" she asked.
"From my client's files, the files of the nutcase if you will," he smirked. "It describes part of Marco Polo's journey but the rest is a load of gibberish. Then again my Latin is a bit shoddy."
"Well, I can't read Latin at all," she said handing the sheet back to him.
He slid it into back into the folder.
"So, are you in?"
"Fantastic," he said grinning. "One down."
"One down? What do you mean one down?" she asked.
"Well… this is a three person job and I'm still trying to track down our third," Harry explained.
"Who?" she asked.
"An old partner of mine. Haven't worked with him in years but I managed to track down his number from some friends of ours. He's the only one who's cracked the Istanbul Palace Museum and lived to tell the tale. After what happened last time he won't be too keen on going back but I'm sure I can talk him into it."
"A guy by the name of Nathan Drake."
His answer took Chloe off guard. That wasn't a name she ever expected to hear again especially from Harry Flynn and certainly not after what had happened.
"Yes," Harry said gauging her answer. "Why? Do you know him?"
"No! No," she said regaining her cool. "I don't. I've only heard of him. He's good."
"He is good," Harry agreed sounding a little suspicious. "Some days a little too good… and he hasn't been answering his phone. But I think I know someone who can tell me exactly where to find him."
"Let's just say we're going to Peru," Harry grinned.
Suddenly Harry's phone started going off. He quickly pulled it out and looked at it.
"I'll be right back," he said then stood abruptly and walked away.
Chloe eyed the black folder. When Harry opened it she'd seen the hastily scrawled note inside. Checking to make sure he was gone she flipped open the folder and pulled out the not. Scribbled on it in Harry's messy handwriting was a number with N. Drake scrawled beside it. Pulling a pen out of her pocket she quickly copied down the number onto a napkin. Closing the folder she folded the napkin and tucked it into her pocket…
"… and you pretty much know what happened after that," Chloe finished.
"Unbelievable," Nate said. "You stole my number right out from underneath of him when he wasn't looking."
"And made sure you were waiting at Sullivan's bar when Harry came looking," she added.
"You played us both," he said sounding repulsed and impressed at the same time.