. . .
Thierry could not get a day off. He could have the illusion that he was on vacation, but in reality, every day was just another mission.
He woke up this morning to a bright day, slightly muted by the clouds, but beautiful nonetheless. A nice, hot shower and an excellent coffee promised a wonderful day.
No terrible news in the paper and no news yet from the agents only reinforced his hope for a normal day. Riding on this hope, he decided to brush up on his skiing skills; after all, you never know when you'll be sledding down a mountain with bad guys on your tail.
Still, he didn't think about that as he rented a pair of skis and head out.
He thought he could finally relax when two beautiful young women walked up to him and asked him where the beginning skiers were supposed to go. He thought he could loosen up when he said he didn't know but offered to show them the basics, because he was a damn good skier.
He was a little disappointed when the girls politely refused, but after all, they didn't know he was one of the most trusted FBI agents in the world. And he remembered they never would.
"I think the beginners slope is over there." The brunette girl pointed to what Thierry already knew was the bunny hill. He just hadn't said so because, well, the blonde girl was very attractive.
"I think you're right Mare!" The blonde grinned excitedly. "You are so smart."
"Well that's not what my IQ says." The brunette, "Mare", joked.
Thierry doubted the girl's IQ was low; he had taken many mental notes of the things her sharp eyes had picked up regarding his agents. Hopefully, she wasn't always this observant. The blonde—he really needed this girl's name—was just as sharp, but didn't seem to be filing things away the way Mare and Thierry were.
"I'm sorry ladies, I've been terribly rude. I'm Thierry, and you are?" He held out his hand to the blonde.
The blonde smiled and took his hand. "Hello Thierry, I'm—"
"Thierry!" Thierry's ears perked at the sound of his name.
"Ash?" He turned to see his agents Ash and Quinn dragging the redhead and black-haired boy from the lobby behind them. Of course the normality of his day couldn't last. "What's going on here?"
Ash sighed exasperatedly and opened his mouth to speak. He finally noticed the two girls with Thierry, and without any sign of rewording his speech said, "We need something settled right now."
"Right here, right now?" Thierry asked, though he knew if his agents were bringing something, or someone, to him, it was urgent.
"Yes." Ash answered firmly. Thierry motioned for him to continue and said, "If you're on vacation and just happen to see some old family, do you think it's really necessary for said family to stalk you because they think your reasons for being on vacation are shady?"
"We were not stalking you." The redhead—Jez, Thierry remembered—cried indignantly.
Ash snorted. "Then what would you call it?"
Jez thought for a moment. "I was just observing you."
"You followed us into the woods!" Quinn retorted.
"What were you doing in the woods?" The brunette cut in.
"Oh, I'm sorry, I wasn't aware you were a part of this conversation." Ash snapped.
He must be in a really bad mood to speak to a pretty girl like that, Thierry thought.
"Well you butt into ours so I think that kind of gives us the right." Mare replied in a similar fashion.
"On what grounds?" Ash asked angrily.
"On the grounds that you are bringing your family issues to a third party because you are clearly not capable of settling things on your own. It's extremely petty and immature."
"You don't know anything about my family, but if we did try to settle this on our own, people would end up dead; so I think we're being extremely reasonable and mature for bringing it to a third party so people don't get hurt."
The four onlookers watched them go back and forth like a tennis match. Thierry noted the worried look on the blonde's face and the way she put her hand on her friend's arm as if to restrain and/or comfort her.
"What kind of family would really kill each other?" The brunette asked. It was almost a whisper, but Thierry, Quinn, and Ash all had highly trained ears and heard her perfectly.
"One you know nothing about." Ash answered, just as quietly.
That one clearly hit the girl straight in the pride and she turned and said, "Let's go," to her blonde friend.
The blonde waited till her friend was a couple steps away before saying, "I'm sorry, she just lost her mother. The whole 'family' subject is still really sensitive."
"If she's still grieving then why's she on vacation?" Ash asked, looking more calm, but icier.
"It's my fault; I thought it would take her mind of things." The blonde said, looking guilty. "I better go, before she starts thinking too much."
With that, the girl took off after her friend.
Thierry turned to Ash and said, "In my office. And this better be good."
As they marched back to his office, Thierry realized, he never got her name. Sighing in disappointment, he turned and opened the door for his agents and guests. He was still in his skiing suit, but he could care less if he didn't look as professional. Thierry was never the one to care about such things anyway.
Ash, Quinn, and the other two stood in front of his desk while he eased himself on his soft armchair, placing his elbows on the desk and looking intently at the two troublemakers. And surprisingly, he wasn't referring to Ash and Quinn. "Well?"
"These two followed us in the woods while you assigned us to a task," Quinn explained, his arms crossed.
"And, apparently, Jezebel and her boyfriend has some information they'd like to share with us," Ash finished, suspiciously looking at his cousin. "Right, Jezebel?"
"Jez," she said through gritted teeth. "It's Jez and Morgead is not my boyfriend."
Thierry calmly observed Jez's frustration towards Ash. Obviously there was a lot of bad blood there, but Thierry couldn't tell if it was family history or really personal.
The redheaded female stepped closer, almost haughtily, to meet Thierry's fixed gaze with a bold one. "If we tell you the information about…that guy, will you tell us what you guys do for a living?"
Behind her, Thierry noticed Morgead glaring at them, his posture was tense and guarded, like he had something to hide.
"What about the information?" Thierry asked, leaning closer.
"Actually, I was planning to exchange information for information." Jez crossed her arms, and put on her best poker face. "In order to get this information," she said, preparing herself for more stalling, "I want to know what my cousin is doing."
"Oh, for the love of—"Ash bit his curled fist when Thierry sent him a warning look.
"Of course," Thierry said thoughtfully. "Go ahead and tell us the information and I'll gladly tell you what your cousin does."
Thierry could see the possibilities flash in her eyes. He wondered what she thought they were up to. Perhaps drug dealing, maybe being involved in some kind of gang, either way, she seemed desperate to find out.
Desperate, but still cautious. "How can I trust you?" Jez asked.
"How can I trust you?" Thierry shot back, not even batting an eyelash.
Thierry kept his eyes level with hers, though in the edges of his vision, Ash's mouth was open, ready to say exactly why they shouldn't trust Jez, however Quinn cut him off with a warning look.
Thierry wasn't so sure about trusting her himself; the waves of uneasiness rolled off her and seemed to roll onto Morgead, for he was starting to look concerned as well.
The two exchanged a look, and Jez shot him a confident nod.
"I don't have all day," Thierry said, mostly to test her new-found resolve.
"Fine, you know what?" Jez said her voice icy. "I won't tell you the information." She already had her back on Thierry without hearing his respond. "Come on, Morgead."
The duo started heading out of the office when Thierry called, "Don't get involved in this!" And then, Morgead shut the door.
Thierry rubbed his temples and sighed through his nose. "So I heard one of you called for backup?" he asked, ignoring the fact that Jezebel and Morgead wasted eleven minutes of his precious time. "Give me a full report."
"We were almost caught by two of Hunter's men," Ash stated.
Thierry had always believed that they were that irresponsible. And he was right.
"We had to rescue Jezebel and Morgead from being killed," Quinn muttered, running a hand through his hair. "We slipped in through the traps they set up, until they came and followed us. Then, a man scouting around the area discovered those two. Luckily, I was slightly behind Ash and had seen the commotion they were making. We called for backup because his cousin," he nodded once to a scowling Ash, "was being defiant about everything and Hunter must've sent another man of his to see what had happened to his other man."
"Both men were armed; it was a good thing no one got hurt," Ash added. He smirked, gaining some of his bravado back. "Well, except for Hunter's men. They were injured. A bit."
At this, Thierry had to smile and shake his head. "And the backup was for?"
"We're going to use the backup to see if we've been discovered. So far, our stay here hasn't been the best," Quinn said with a shrug. "The backup is supposed to arrive this evening."
"Ah," Thierry murmured, his mind spinning and playing with different ideas for the backups. "How many are there?"
"Just two are available," Quinn said.
Thierry could feel Ash scrutinizing his appearance, as if just registering his boss was in a ski suit.
"You think one of them can keep an eye on Jezebel and Morgead?" Thierry asked, raising an eyebrow and ignoring Ash.
Quinn shrugged. "You're the boss. But I'm sure they can. Keller was confident they would do well with this task."
Thierry waved a dismissive hand, smiling and shaking his head. "You boys are dismissed."
Ash and Quinn nodded, doing a simultaneous about face and walking towards the door.
As Quinn pushed the door open and strolled outside, Ash paused by the entrance and glanced over his shoulder, smirking at Thierry. "Nice suit, boss." He looked like he wanted to laugh.
Thierry rolled his eyes. "Thanks," he muttered while Ash jogged out of his office. He was probably afraid of getting fired for insulting his skiing suit, or maybe wanting to get out of the room before he laughs out loud. He sighed and sank in his armchair.
As they walked down the hallway, trying to get as much distance between them and that office as possible, Morgead was thinking hard.
Thierry's warning echoed in his mind and the more he thought, the more resolute he was about deciding to keep the warning in mind.
He could tell, despite all her grumbling, that Jez had secretly heeded the warning as well.
Although, both he and Jez were certain that they won't respect Thierry's advice.
"So what now?" Morgead asked, as they went back out into the snow.
"Now? We wait for another opportunity." Jez said.
"Jez… We almost died today. Do you really want to be scouting for another opportunity?"
Jez turned on him, her eyes shocked and furious, "Don't tell me you're not dying to know what's going on here either!"
"I am! Believe me, this mystery is burning a hole in my brain, but Jez, it's not smart to go back in after being out for only four minutes!"
Jez pursed her lips at him, thinking over his words. She angrily looked out at the trees, a different part than the one they'd been in earlier, but he knew that's what she was seeing.
"Jez, you know these guys are smart. You've said a thousand times your family is full of Don Juan's and geniuses. Why can't they be both? And that's a dangerous combination." Morgead sighed, "So why don't we lay low for the next two days, relax for a bit, then get back into it?"
"Because a lot can happen in two days." Jez said. "But I see your point. Fine, we'll play it safe, for now."
That was all Morgead needed to hear.
Eve: AND HERE IT IS. After MONTHS AND MONTHS of no updates, WE HAVE FINALLY UPDATED! :D We hoped you enjoyed the chapter as much as we liked writing and fangirling over it ;D
Cesca: HIII everyone :3 thanks so much for reading! ^-^ Eve and I really appreciate it! And thanks for subscribing/reviewing :] Until next time! ;D