"Well, you get the idea Mike." Sam ended sheepishly
"Yeah, I do Sam. "
Sam never wanted to change the subject of who he'd bedded so fast, "So.. uh... Mike... what does she want?"
"She wants me to stop looking for whoever killed Nate."
"But, you said that was her." Sam rubbed his eyes as if doing so could possibly relieve the pounding in his head. "I'm confused."
"I don't understand it either Sam but right now I just need to get her back out into the open."
"And how are we going to do that?
"I'm not sure yet." Michael showed Sam the slip of paper with Anna's number.
"She left a phone number?" Sam stared at the paper in his hand.
"Pierce said it went nowhere." Michael pushed back from the table. "Look, I need to get back to Fi"
As Sam followed Michael back to the loft he realized that he hadn't actually hadn't been invited to do so. He replayed their conversation in his head and noted the oft used "we," whenever they made plans, had been replaced with "I." You really screwed things up this time.
For Michael, the tales of Sam's sexual exploits had been a source of amusement for years. He didn't believe half the stories he heard but Sam was damn good at spinning a good yarn. This time it was different. Michael believed Sam when he said he didn't know how Anna but it couldn't shake the feeling that his best friend had been sleeping with the enemy. Sam's habit of moving from one woman to another wasn't so amusing.
As Michael and Sam entered the loft, Fiona could see something wasn't right. Even during their most difficult times, rarely was there silence between them. On top of the silence, Michael immediately embraced her. "What's going on?" she asked
"Nothing," Michael, kissed her cheek
Sam wasn't going to have elephant in the room sitting on his chest longer than it was necessary. "I slept with Anna." He then helped himself to a beer.
Sam downed half the bottle before responding to Fiona, "I didn't know who the hell she was at the time!"
"What about Elsa?"
Michael interrupted, "Fi, we'll have to catch you up later."
Sam waited for the well chosen expletives Fiona was about to send his way.
"Sam, you ready?" Michael asked, saving Sam again
"Ready for what?"
"Call her." Michael couldn't bring him to use her name
"What the hell am I going to say?"
This wasn't exactly what Sam expected but the look on Michael's face said he'd better think of something to say and fast.
Sam entered the numbers into his cell phone as slowly as he dared. Sam was about to sigh with relief after it rang three times and no one picked up. He wasn't so lucky…
"Oh, hey… " Not usually one to be at a loss for words Sam looked to Michael for some help.
Michael was staring at the counter.
Sam tried again, "You took off so quick … " his sentence trailed off. What the hell do I say to this woman?
"It seemed prudent at the time," she responded with a smile in her voice. "Sam, will you put me on speaker?"
Sam shrugged and set the phone on the counter. He pretended not to notice that Fiona had returned and was glaring at him.
"This is not what I would consider letting it go Michael."
"You didn't really think I would drop this so easily. I want answers" Michael didn't try hiding the emotions behind his words.
"Answers won't change anything Michael."
Michael picked up the phone and measured his tone carefully, "You want me to stop?"
There was a long silence before, "Alright Michael."
"I'll let you know." The line disconnected before Michael could respond.
Few words were exchanged as the three set about planning Michael's meet. It took less than 30 minutes to hide Fiona's Walther behind the driver's side door and conceal a tracking device in the heel of Michael's shoe. There wasn't much else to do now but wait.
Sam made himself scarce by camping out on the balcony.
Michael and Fiona lay on the bed, both staring at the ceiling. Fiona couldn't think of a gentle way to break the silence or find out what was going on, "baby?"
"I think you're right Fi," Michael responded, his gaze still fixed on nothing
"Right?" Fiona turned to face Michael. She had finally learned that pushing Michael Weston wasn't the way to get what she needed, to know what he was thinking or what he was feeling.
"It's never ending," he swallowed back tears, now definitely wasn't the time.
Fiona ran her fingers lightly through his hair. As much as she wanted to know what he was going through, it wasn't easy to watch as he let pieces of his wall slip away.
Michael reached up, pushing a few stray hairs back behind Fiona's ear. "So, I meet this woman, the woman who killed Anson and Nate, then what?"
Several hours passed in silence before Michael's cell vibrated with a message: LAT: 25.919839 / LONG: -81.224842
This mission should have been an easy "in and out" as were similar missions in the past. The killing of Nate Weston was regrettable but unavoidable. Nate has been her first "civilian" kill. She knew it was an eventual inevitably but it still didn't sit well. And sleeping with Sam Axe, that was just plain amateurish.
Anna stood in the dark considering her options. The "week" she had given Michael was the time she'd been allotted to convince him to move on with his life. She didn't have a good feeling about her chances. She'd seen his type before and it rarely ended well.
She looked at her watch; Michael should be nearing the GPS coordinates she had sent him. It was now or never. Anna text Sam, We have to talk.
Sam and Fiona had been taking turns staring at the laptop and the red dot that was Michael Weston en route to God knows where.
Sam almost dropped his phone when he saw the message.
"What is it?" Fiona asked, not really that interested.
"Uh, nothing… just a buddy." Sam stepped away from the kitchen counter to text, what?
Sam turned back to Fiona who was staring at the screen, "I'm going to go outside and a quick call. You okay?"
Sam headed towards the loft door. "Yeah, got your message… " speaking to the dial tone in his ear. He closed the door behind him and paused on the landing, waiting for his eyes to adjust to the darkness.
"Here Sam." came a voice from below.
Sam headed down the stairs in the direction of the voice, "What the hell are you doing here? You're supposed to be meeting Michael."
Anna stepped out from the shadows.
"I needed him out of the way." She saw the startled look cross Sam's face. "I mean, just away from here. Michael's fine."
Sam didn't know where to begin. "If you weren't a woman… " He had a lot of questions of his own but what he really wanted to do was punch something or someone!
"I know Sam. I need to talk to you and Fiona."
"This is fucking crazy." Sam tried keeping his voice low. "What could you have to say to me or to Fiona? You'd be lucky if she shot you on the spot."
"You mean doesn't shoot me."
"No, I mean does."
"Sam, this situation is going to get a lot worse if something isn't done quickly."
"Okay, I'll call Michael, the CIA and you can turn yourself in," Sam headed back upstairs.
"That's not going to happen Sam," Anna followed. "Do you think they'd let me turn myself in? Even if I could, they'll send someone to finish the job I couldn't"
Sam stopped midway up the stairs. "Why the hell are you here?" Sam could no longer contain his anger. "And stop using my name." He knew that last sentence was ridiculous but felt duped. Worse was the feeling that he had put his friendship with Michael in jeopardy.
"Michael will not move on, not without your help, not without Fiona's help. If he doesn't …" Anna didn't think she needed to finish her sentence.
"Who are you?"
The question was rhetorical but the pain behind it was real. "Sam, I didn't come to Miami to kill Nate Weston." She paused to consider how continue, "Or to hurt … "
Sam waved her off, "Save it," and continued up the stairs.
Sam rapped gently on the loft door before opening it. He didn't want to startle Fiona Glenanne when she was armed and on edge. She was in the exact same spot as when he'd left, staring at the laptop.
"Took you long enough"
Sam took a few tentative steps into the loft, leaving the door open behind him.
Fiona turned the laptop towards Sam, "Get over here, I have to pee."
"Uh, you might want to wait on that." Sam raised his hands, why he wasn't sure. "And you might want to take a deep breath right about now.
"Christ, what now Sam?" Fiona's Irish accent slipped out when she was really on edge. "And are going close the door?!"
He looked back towards the open door.
Sam knew Fiona was quick draw but the speed with which she had a gun pointed in his general direction nearly caused him to pee then and there. "Wait Fi…" He still wasn't sure why the hell he was holding his hands up but holding them a little bit higher seemed like a good idea.
Anna hadn't expected any other reaction. She was somewhat surprised that Fiona had managed not to shoot her on site as Sam predicted.
"Sam, what the hell is going on… where's Michael." Fiona closed the distance between them
Anna moved a little farther into the loft and closed the door. "I promise you, Michael is fine."
"You need to get on the ground before I put a bullet in your head."
Sam turned back to look at Anna as if had just lost her mind. What did you just say?
Anna had even startled herself with that response. She knew she was in the deep end now. There was no point in half-measures.
Sam could see the gun in Fi's hand was trembling. He knew it wasn't from fear. "Fi, she said she's here to help us… to help Mikey."
Fiona pull out her cell phone to dial Michael… it went to voice mail.
"There's no cell service that far out." Anna finally raised her hands, if only to emphasize her non-violent intentions. "If you don't like what I have to say, you can always shoot me later."
"Fi, I think we should at least hear what she has to say."
Michael checked the GPS readout on his cell phone, for the third time. They matched the coordinates Anna had sent. Instead of a cabin, an open field lay in front of him. Son of a bitch!
Michael already knew he was too far out to get a signal but couldn't help trying. He dialed Fiona, then Sam and then his Mom. Son of a bitch!
He got back in the Charger, the wheels spun in the dirt as he turned it around. What the hell did she send me out here?
Anna moved very deliberately towards the kitchen counter, Fiona had yet to lower her gun and kept tracked her movement. When she reached the counter she looked at the screen. "He got there faster than I expected."
Fiona slammed the laptop closed.
Anna wasn't sure where to start; this entire situation was way out of her comfort zone. She hadn't really thought about what she would say. She wasn't good with words, wasn't good with feelings, she was good with a gun.
She could feel Sam and Fiona's eyes boring into her. That just made her more uncomfortable; she felt her mouth go dry. She opened the fridge and picked up a yogurt, "Don't you guys ever get tired of blueberry?"
"Look… this may be fun and games for you but Mike's our friend so if you have something to say, get on with it."
Anna nodded without looking at Sam. She exchanged the yogurt of a bottle of water, took a sip and turned her attention to Fiona. She decided short, bitter and to the point was her best option. "Anson Fullerton was killed because he lost … perspective."
"Perspective?" Sam repeated
"He began showing signs of instability. He started using his unique skills set and resources for his own gains. Then he became obsessed with his last" she searched for the right word, "assignment."
"You mean Michael." Fiona corrected her
"Yes. Now Michael is focused on me and consequently my employer. They won't allow his obsession to continue."
"Obsession?! You killed his brother! Michael is nothing like Anson!" Fiona blurted
"Net yet. There was a time Anson would have been considered a good man." The words came out of Anna's mouth before considered her audience.
"Oh, bullshit!" Sam
Anna felt anger rise in the pit of her stomach, "He was not always the man you knew!"
"Great, a character reference coming from the mouth of an assassin." Fiona taunted
"Are you going to stand there and tell me you've never killed?" Anna turned to Sam "Or you?"
"I've never killed a civilian!" Fiona snapped back. "And we were at war."
Anna closed the distance between her and Fiona. "You're delusion. You think the mothers; sons or wives of the British solders you blew to bits mourned less because their loved ones wore a uniform?" She looked down at the gun now pressed against her ribs. "You can't miss from here."
"Now wait a minute…" Sam stepped forward, he wasn't sure he could separate these two.
"Enough!" Anne suddenly appreciated her anger. It gave her focus. "I'm not here to debate with either of you." She glanced at her watch. "Michael has been headed down the same path as Anson for years and the two of you have been clearing the way for him." Anna headed towards the loft door.
Fiona raised her gun at the back of Anna's head, "Where do you think you're going?"
Anna turned just as she reached the door. "I did say you could shoot me if you didn't like what you heard but do you think whoever comes after me will be any different?" She wasn't going to give Fiona time to consider her options.
Sam waived Fiona off and pointed to the laptop as he headed after Anna, "Find out where he's at."
Anna was standing at the bottom of the stairs when Sam stepped through the doorway. Was she waiting for him? "That was awfully dramatic."
"I'd prefer effective,"
"Is everything you said true?"
"Yes" she didn't bother hiding her exhaustion
Sam took a moment to consider his next question, "And you would kill Michael?"
"S… " she caught herself, "you already know the answer to that question."
"God damn it Anna, Michael Weston is not Anson."
"That's my hope too."