Six months later, September 18th, Russian border city…
The attractive Arab leaned back in his seat, fingers tapping idly on the table-top of the small, not-well-cared-for bar. He was positioned in the very back corner, his view of the room unblocked, but a supporting pillar blocking him from view of the rest of the room.
To anyone that did happen to venture close enough to see him, he was alone, looking almost as if he were expecting company. And those people would be right. He was expecting company. And he saw them the second they stepped inside the bar, watching as the blond made a face that clearly telegraphed what is that smell?
The Arab smirked and waited for them to search out this corner and find him waiting.
The moment the chemist spotted his contact, he rolled his eyes. Of course the man would be smug. The assassin had been the first to find an inkling of where their quarry had gone to ground.
Months after their hospital stay together, Christoph was still weathering the occasional scowl from Svorak. Tiger had been pissed that Lady hadn’t been home when he came back from the mission.
Speaking of. The blond tapped the mike. “Scorpio spotted. Standby.”
“Copy,” his partner replied.
Humming a little under his breath, still appreciating the ability to do so without the rattling in his lungs, Christoph strode forward, Ruby at his back while Wolf stayed at the door.
“Care to join me for a drink, Goldie Locks?” Dari drawled. “Sweet-heart there is welcome, too, of course.”
The blond laughed and then edged away from the redhead next to him. She simply leveled a flat gaze on the tall Arab before sitting and facing the crowd. Christoph shook his head, mouthed ‘Kids’ and sat down.
“So, what do we have to work with?” he asked without preamble.
“A future location,” Dari replied promptly. “Apparently, a woman going by the name ‘Erin Storva’, and Kitty’s description has been hired as a bit of a witch doctor for one of the local badasses. He’s been moving her location every week, and I have the time, day and location for the next move; tomorrow.”
“Excellent. God that woman is good at running,” the blond enthused. The small woman at his side snorted and he turned a smile to her. “Some people have reasons to run.”
“She is for the wrong ones,” the girl said tonelessly.
Dari smirked. “Sure, whatever you say, Red,” he blew a mock kiss at her, just to rile her up.
Ruby stiffened in her seat and narrowed her eyes. Christoph bit back a chuckle and waved a hand. “And that’s seventeen for Scorpio, five for Ruby. Let’s move on shall we?”
The two men spent the next two hours plotting while the lone girl watched for spies and Wolf kept Svorak updated on traffic. Overall, it was a successful night. The first one they’d had in half a year.
The door was slammed open, and the woman seated on a mat on the floor opened her eyes slowly, blinking at the furious man stalking inside. “Tres?” she murmured, brows lifting.
“We were followed. No doubt another hunter after you!” Tres growled, and grabbed her bicep, dragging her to her feet. “When are they going to stop coming?”
“Never, probably,” she replied with icy calm, eyes shuttered and face lax. “You’re more upset than usual.”
“It’s a team.”
Team? “I see. You would like me to deal with them?” she asked.
He released her, calming slightly. “Can you?”
“Of course. Killing isn’t anything new. I’ll need a blade,” she said.
“You get a knife,” Tres snapped. “That’s it.”
“You expect me to kill a team of assassins with a knife?” she demanded, but there was no heat to it. That would break the game. Tres had to believe that she was an icy, compose witch.
He smirked. “You’ve managed so far. We turned up three bodies at the guard post. They’re probably circling the main building. What do you need?”
“The blood of a wrong-doer,” she said. “Your assistant will do. He’s been stealing from you anyway.”
Tres wasted a moment looking pissed. “Fine!”
“I’ll also need a bucket, and a paintbrush,” she added dispassionately.
“Entrance, clear. Smooth. Moving to first gate.”
“Side gate, clear. Smooth. Checking East hall.”
“South gate, clear. Tad rocky. Moving on to lower courtyard.”
“Roger.” Christoph narrowed his eyes. “Scorpio?”
“West gate, clear. Smooth,” there was a touch of something like smugness to the tone, but then it was gone. “Moving through West hall. I think we’ve been noticed.” He chuckled.
“No shit” came from several sources, various tones and most were amused.
“It was bound to happen,” the chemist answered, grinning. “Bloody Woman, we’re here…” he half sang.
The dead body of Tres’ assistant thumped to the floor before her, neck broken. She stood in the middle of the central auditorium, used as a bit of a cafeteria, barefoot and expressionless.
She accepted a knife from her employer, and ripped into the dead man’s chest, tearing out his heart. Tres made a gagging noise, but she ignored it, and smiled where he couldn’t see her.
The smile was quickly gone, and she put the heart into the bucket, then set it aside before dipping the paintbrush into the newly made hole in the body. And she started to write the symbols in a circle on the floor around them.
The blond chemist hummed under his breath and moved the pieces over the blueprint, noting the various statuses that came crackling in. Whatever resistance they encountered thus far had melted away, dealt with ruthless efficiency. He had already found a job that asked for this particular target, and though their force was a complete overkill, accepting the job meant they would have no outside interference. At least that they knew of.
The team had tightened the circle and were now collecting around the main hub.
They had knocked.
It was time to meet the hosts.
“S’up bitches?” Christoph grinned. “Team, go.”