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When Victor came down the next morning he was feeling much better. A quick heal from Xav and a good night's sleep was all he needed. Well, half a good night's sleep. For some reason last night felt weird to him. Maybe it was because he was reading crime fiction he thought dismissing it. But just in case he double checked the security from last night and saw it hadn't been breached. Good.
Most of his family was already in the kitchen having breakfast aside from Yves, who was away, and Zed who had probably already scampered off to Sky's house making sure she was alright. Xav was still in bed.
"There's post for you Victor," Karla said handing him a small box. Inside was his new phone already uploaded with all his work contacts. He instantly changed the password and slipped the phone into its assigned pocket. How the Sec knew to send the phone to this address rather than his flat he didn't know. The Sec was simply that intuitive.
"Victor would you help Will with the waffles?" his father asked. Victor obediently went over and began setting up the waffle machine, putting the right amount of butter and later batter in it to make his mother's breakfast. Once everyone else had got their food Karla asked Uriel to go and wake Xav up, the lazy rascal.
The wave of panic that came from Uriel caught everyone. Before they knew it all of them were running upstairs Karla in the lead, a look of white shock on her face. They burst into Xav's room to find a panicked Uriel taking Xav's pulse.
"I couldn't wake him up and then I noticed he wasn't just sleeping. He's completely out! His pulse is there but its weak, I'm not sure but I think he's got a fever and he's breathing laboured-" Karla pushed Uriel out the way running her hands over her son. Will had run downstairs and was calling an ambulance, Trace was checking security talking very quickly on his phone to Zed.
"You need to be on your highest alert, come home as soon as you can, security here's better. And call Yves and tell him to come home. We're going to take him to hospital-"
Saul was with Karla holding her as together they put Xav into the recovery position and covered him in blankets to keep him warm.
"He's never been ill before," Karla said her voice breaking and shaking. Victor turned around and got his gun, loading it as he scouted round the house looking for any sigh of injury or attack going on the phone himself calling his faculty warning them that something bad had happened. They always wanted to know when something significant happened to a savant.
Soon enough they could hear the sirens and then the house became full of hospital members all attending to Xav, putting him on a stretcher and then into the ambulance.
"Victor!" Trace called running over to him, "Uriel and I are going with Mom and Dad. You stay here, upgrade the security, keep the others safe, let your guys know what's going on. It's code red."
"I've already told them," Victor assured, "and I'm armed. I highly doubt this is some sort of accident but I've checked security, nothing was breached last night. But I'll deal with things back here, you looked after mum and Xav." Victor led Trace to the door, "Call as soon as you know something." Trace nodded as they reached the ambulance and climbed in.
"I doubt we'll all stay the night, mum will probably if Xav stays in but we should be back by tonight." Victor nodded as he slammed the door shut knocking on the side of the ambulance to indicate they should leave.
Zed, Victor called out, where are you?
I'm on my way, will be there in a few minutes. I'm bringing Sky with me, her parents are in the studio and aren't answering their phones so we left a message just in case. What's happening over there?
Victor explained the information quickly, telling Zed to take non direct routs again just in case he was being followed. The only person left in the house aside from himself was Will, and even though Will was putting on a brave face Victor could still tell his younger brother was panicking and scared.
"He's going to be fine," Victor said letting a little bit of his power leaking into his voice.
Will didn't even resist and just let himself go as he felt his panic dim slightly. Everything was going to be fine. His whole family knew that Will was one of the more emotionally delicate benedict boys but not as delicate as Yves. That didn't mean Victor couldn't comfort his younger brother.
"Right now we need to make sure everything is safe. We don't know if we had a break in and were attacked or if it's just Xav's body reacting badly to something. I checked the camera's this morning but we should check again." Victor felt a slight sense of peace fill his mind as he and Will prepared to view the tapes again. He always felt better when he had something to do and a deadline when to have it done.
But they checked the tapes. And there was nothing. Nothing wrong, nothing out of the ordinary.
But Victor didn't trust that. He didn't trust it at all.
Naomi stumbled through the door and collapsed on the floor her breath heaving. She almost hadn't made it. She had taken far too long and because of that her body now suffered the consequences clamping up on her and revolting. Suddenly she felt the bile from her stomach rise up her throat and she threw herself to the closest container, a bin, and threw up the acid burning her throat.
Once her stomach was officially empty she struggled her way up one of the walls and made her way to the small bathroom. It was perhaps the only time in her life that she wanted to have a bath instead of a shower and she cursed the flat for not having one. With great difficulty she took off all her cloths leaving them strewn across the floor and turned the shower on leaving it to run so the crappy hot water system could actually start. She made her way out of the bathroom to her computer and, stark naked, she video called Joey her computer hacker.
When he answered he just sat there, shocked his mouth gaping open.
"I do you have any more info on the Benedict Family?" she asked messaging her head which had just began to ache.
"Jesus you've got massive tits!"
"Just answer the bloody question," he seemed to be snapped out of his trance.
"Yeah, I got more. A lot more. Apparently this guy has managed to lock up a shit load of people and is rising, quickly, through the FBI levels."
"I want details of all the cases he's done and I need you to hack into an Iphone for me. Don't read the information, just unlock it for me. Also I want to get video coverage of what goes on in that house. Live video coverage."
Joey opened his mouth to protest because it would be close to impossible to get that type of information without physically getting his hands on the cameras in the house himself but she slammed the top of her laptop down and made her way into the shower where she proceeded to wash while sitting down on the shower floor.
After some sleep and food Naomi was back to normal and dotting round her flat cleaning things up and making a list of things to buy. It was when she did this little piece of domestic work that she felt her most humble and humane. Because no matter how old or how rich or what you're like almost every single woman, if not person, in the world attended to the caring of their own home.
But this wasn't her flat, it was a friend of a friend's safe house which had been discovered and lent to her for the time being as it was known to be abandoned. Knowing that she needed to move soon she had spent a long time on her many phones, all different brands and networks and numbers, calling up people who owed her, feared her, or had something she could offer them in exchange for shelter.
She became very annoyed with herself when her interest was caught for a house in Denver or near Wickenridge as she knew then she would be closest to her soulfinder. She scowled at the word. Right now she had to prioritise and this Victor figure would just have to wait until her business was complete.
Having completed her domestic duties she allowed herself to check out the Benedict family, something which she had stopped herself from doing earlier. She picked up the weighty files on all the family members and sat down with a nice cup of tea and some chocolate and began to read. Well it seemed the family was quite well off, especially number six who worked for Apple. Naomi rolled her eyes when she read that. Of course he was a bloody Apple genius. It was the lowest form of genius possible.
What really surprised her was two of the brothers had already found their other half and their files were included as well. Apple Genius's soulfinder – wife! God they had gotten married at a young age! – didn't have much in her file. Her life only really started on paper in the last few years or so. There was a paragraph about a mother who had died leaving her in a group of Savant Thieves under the leader of someone named the Seer. Wait…they couldn't possibly mean Kevin! Naomi quickly flipped back to the first page and read the girls name again. Phoenix. Yes that was Kevin and his ridiculous obsession with calling 'his' children after Mythical creatures. She remembered when Kevin had asked her to find a new home for his group and she had met his two sons Dragon and Unicorn. I mean really! What type of idiot calls a son Unicorn!
Shaking her head she went onto the next file. Sky Bright. Good Lord what a poor poor girl being called that. And she was the soulfinder of the youngest brother who was called Zed. Zed! Zed! Zed is not a name! It is a letter in the Alphabet! What is it with all of these ridiculous names! At least her soulfinder had a good name. Victor. Very historical and a memorable weighty name. Switching the files she found his, the biggest and heaviest one, opened the first page and began to read.
The feeling of unease hadn't left Victor all the way through the night. His parents were still at the hospital as Xav hadn't woken up yet but Trace and Uriel were home even though they came in extremely late. It was barely 7 in the morning and Victor was the only one awake nursing a strong cup of coffee in his hands as he checked over the tapes again. There was absolutely nothing out of the ordinary.
Sighing he went back upstairs to get dressed, passing quickly by Zed room to check on them. Sure enough Sky and Zed were curled up together, still sleeping. There had been a massive argument between him and his littlest brother yesterday about whether he was allowed to sleep in the same room as Sky. Under no circumstances would it have been allowed if his mother was here and of course Zed took up his opportunity to pounce. But Victor point blank refused to allow the two of them to have sex under his watch. He didn't care if they did the deed but he would not have his name tarnished because of it.
They had finally reached a compromise. They could sleep in the same room, and even in the same bed but Zed had to sleep on top of the covers in a sleeping bag and both of them had to be fully clothed in pyjamas for that evening. Their door had to be open and if he grew suspicious at any time then Zed would instantly move to Yves room no questions asked. And this was only allowed because he was so concerned for Sky's safety. If someone had been in their house then sleeping together would make things a lot safer. So Victor agreed.
Apparently the two of them had been good.
Vic? Yves voice spilled into his mind.
You here then?
We're just rounding the corner now.
Victor went downstairs and opened the door watching Yves and Phoenix get there stuff out the car and come inside.
"How is he," Yves asked immediately. He looked tired, and wound up and very very worried.
"He's stable. Just a bit weak now, but he hasn't woken up yet." The worry in Yves hadn't left his eyes and it was only Phoenix's prodding hand which made him drop his stuff and sit down.
"Have you managed to eat?" Victor asked.
"No," Phoenix said also looking tense, "I'll just go-" Victor was already on his feet walking towards the kitchen.
"No need. I'll make you something. You both look exhausted." Victor quickly put some toast in the toaster and began to get out the jam. On second thought, Nutella would probably be more appropriate. Comfort food and all that.
"Did you guys at least manage to get some sleep?"
"No," Yves said sharply.
"Well hit the sack after we've had some food." Phoenix said rubbing Yves's back. Usually she wouldn't allow Yves to behave like that but she too just seemed too tired even to scold.
"DO they have any idea what caused this?" Yves said just as the toast popped out the toaster.
"No," Victor said smearing the chocolate spread, "the tapes show absolutely nothing and the doctors didn't detect anything that caused his weakness. They only knew that he was weak." Victor carried the two plates along and put them in front of the exhausted couple.
"The best thing to do right now is to go to code Amber." Victor sat down opposite them and watch them take slow measuring bites.
When the final piece had been swallowed the two retrieved their bags and went upstairs. Passing Zed's room Yves was taken aback.
"You let them sleep in the same room?" he said amused, an eyebrow raised.
"Not without a great deal of compromise," Victor said with a sigh. Suddenly Victor's pocket erupted into vibrations.
Fishing out his phone he answered.
"Victor!" it was his father, Saul, "He's awake!"
"Is he oaky?" the urgency in his voice had Yves and Phoenix fixed upon him.
"He's fine, still a bit weak but aside from that his usual silly joking self. We've just spoken to the doctor. We can take him home now so we'll be coming back in about an hour but Xav has to stay rested for the next week at least," Victor could hear the joy radiating from his father and all the original tension Victor felt before melted away.
"How are things at home?"
"Everything's good here. Trace and Uriel got back late last night and their sleeping, Yves and Phoenix arrived a few minutes ago and I think I hear Will in the shower."
"And Zed?" Victor turned around. Zed was still in bed but his eyes were wide open watching him with the same intensity as Yves and Phoenix.
"Zed's awake too. Everything here is good."
"Okay. I've got to go sign Xav's discharge papers. We'll be home soon."
"Yes alright, bye."
"Well?" Yves cut in quickly.
"Xav's awake, he's fine and they're bringing him home now." Almost on cue everyone let out a sigh of relief.
In his hand, his phone began to vibrate again.
"Agent Benedict we need you to come in today," the Sec's voice came through the speakers, "how long will it take you to get to the office?"
"An hour or two but is it an emergency or-"
"It is but now in the usual way. There's a time limit so I'm afraid you can't detain." Victor sighed in defeat.
"I'll leave the house in five minutes."
Robert Kirkwood. Her new target. He had had an on-going business deal with some people in the criminal world. He would sell and not ask questions as long as he got the money he needed and convincing forms. And it's because of this deal that no one steals from him, no one tries to screw him over because his ethos, in terms of buying for the criminals, was fair. So perhaps, Naomi hoped he would give her what she wanted for a good price and thus violence was unnecessary.
He was unmarried with no children and had a permanent residence so it would be easy for her to set up a private meeting with him and discuss business.
Because of this Naomi found this the best time in the week to move to a new safe house. She didn't want to waste anytime but it was vital that she wasn't found out until after she had retrieved what had been taken from her. And hopefully, with her new house, it would remain unchecked and undetected for the next few weeks. It was one of those houses which just seemed so inconspicuous. It was a bungalow in a suburban area cut the doors were placed a bit differently and thanks to the tall green hedges around the lot living in this house made you virtually undetectable yet if someone saw you walking in and out no one would even think about it and apparently the neibourgh hood was full of very personal, private people who didn't want to get to know their neighbours.
So it was perfect for Naomi.
It only took her a few hours to pack, another hour to 'collect' a car and then before she knew it she was wizzing down the freeway towards her new home. She cranked up some Eminem and began to enjoy herself. Eminem was not her usual choice of music but he was very good at making you forget about your problems and listen to his amusing and vulgarly phrased ones and because it was rap it was difficult to get the tune wrong as there wasn't much of one in the first place.
Her reason for playing his exact genre was because she needed to get Victor's file out of her head. He had been involved with a whole range of different cases! And he had a skill of going to the right places to find out the right things yet managed to keep a calm and cool demeanour way through almost every situation. The fact that he had been specially asked by Scotland Yard to help and remove Kevin, and his associates, was proof that it was not just his power they needed, but his brains.
When she had read over his youth, oh that had made her laugh. The way he had been described, he sounded like a very rebellious boy who had a very classic, American taste in women. Blond, fake, soft and girlish. Disgusting. In fact she had been very pleased to find that he did not keep himself cut off from the female half of the world but indeed enjoyed to delve into it. She greatly approved. She wouldn't need to teach him how to please a woman then. Or so she hoped. That would have to wait till later anyway.
Feel the city breakin' and ev'rybody shakin' And we're stayin' alive stayin' alive
Ah, ah ah ah stayin' alive stayin' alive
She quickly whipped out her phone main phone at the moment, Blackberry Bold, and answered with a curt, "yes" as she tuned Eminem's rapping down.
"There is no bloody way we could have gotten live coverage in the house," Naomi's eyes narrowed, "so instead we've got video coverage of all sides of the house. If someone goes in, we know, if someone goes out we know and we've deliberately got some good shots of the windows but that was the best I could do." Joey sounded so scared and panicked it was almost amusing.
"Fine," she said, "that'll do for now. Any news?"
"One of the boys was rushed to hospital yesterday but he's alright now and at home resting with the rest of the family. Another one of the boys came home with his girl early morning and the FBI guy left a few minutes ago to go to work."
"Thank you Joey that will be all." So the boy had survived. That was good. If he hadn't she would never be forgiven by man or god. But really at this point, with all the people she had killed the Devil was embroidering a cushion for her bunk in Hell.
When she arrived at her new house it took her only 4 runs to the car and the house to finish putting everything inside all the while a group of acne prone teenage boys sat on the curb, with bottles of coke in their hands watching her. Oh remember the day when a man used to come up to you and offer their assistance as you were a petty weak woman. But she was no weak woman and after she was done she would dock her outfit and go visit Robert Kirkwood.
As soon as Victor entered his office he had his summons to meet in the talents meeting room. It was the only meeting room in the entire building with no surveillance of any kind because the FBI didn't want the knowledge of talents to spread worldwide to the average civilian so the only thing they could do was make sure there was no hard evidence of its acceptance therefore it would be easy to deny.
The one thing that was nice about the talents meeting room was that it really was nicely furnished. At one time in the past they got in a talent who had a way with wood and was a carpenter so he created a fantastic table and chair set with wooden trays and trolleys all with the most beautiful carvings.
"Victor," he was greeted, "you've been added to this sector for a while now because of your encounter with the Criminal and your expertise in this field. Our job is simply; catch or kill her and for the past 48 hours we've been looking for this Kirkwood guy you said the criminal was looking for and we've almost got a match."
"Well," the guy briefing him was called Yoda, named so because he was so short and because he had abnormally big ears. He turned a computer screen around to face Victor. "Kirkwood's a common enough name for it to be difficult however we matched all Kirkwood's associated with Bellord, the man she killed in the theatre, and we came up with 5. One dead, the other in Japan and the last is actually in jail. But the other two, those are the interesting ones. Robert Kirkwood owns a security component company so out of the two we think its most likely him but the other one, George Kirkwood, he's into computers. Apparently we've had trouble with him before concerning computer matters especially when he was younger. We think out of the two its George that she'll look for as he's had criminal activity in the past."
Victor nodded. That all made sense but security company sounded just like the place he would look to get a swipe card.
"I suggest we get both of them under FBI protection immediately. We're making guesses here and that's risky so if we protect both of them until we definitely know who she's after then we can throw out everything we've got." His two new colleges nodded.
"Sounds like a plan." Yoda said sitting down at the computer, "I'll contact level 8 about getting them to safe houses."
"Make sure they're far away from each other so we know exactly who she's going for. And you…" Victor said turning to his second college, another highly attractive blond woman.
"My name's Candy," she said.
"Right, Candy, can you organise people to get our Kirkwood's to their assigned houses but make sure its subtle. We want her to find out about our involvement as late as possible. That was our mistake at the theatre. A sneak attack could have been much more effective." Candy smiled at him, flashing her whitened teeth and she and her hips swayed out of the room.
"It might be an idea," Victor said to Yoda, "to see if we can use Kirkwood as bait for a trap. Because we know she's going to go for one of them at least so we might as well use that to our advantage." Yoda nodded and together he and Victor chose the venues and brainstormed possible ways to get her. Candy came in at several different points, telling them she had almost got her hands on Robert as he was just at work and his assistant said he would get in contact with him as soon as he could since the boss was in a very important meeting. George however was a different case.
"He put up a bit of a fight," Candy told Victor, "not anything drastic but it was obvious he didn't want to go but we've got him now."
"It's a bit strange that he didn't want to go," Yoda mused aloud. Victor nodded. It wasn't usual for someone to refuse protection if they were being possibly hunted by one of the most ruthless criminals known since Jack the Ripper. The sound of a classic telephone suddenly started coming from Candy's tight black jacket which she retrieved quickly.
"Yes," as she listened Victor saw her begin to frown.
"What do you mean he's gone to a ball?!"
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