Chapter 23: Prepare For War

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Okay, A long explanation to my disappearance will be after this chapter so if you guys really wanna know, stay tuned!

Jess's POV

No no no no no...

I looked back up at my Commanding Officer , fear clearly scattered across my face.

"Tell me everything that happened in the last 48 hours. All three of you." He demanded, looking back between Winter and Tyler as well. Winter stumbled back until she made it to the couch and sat down, her posture slouched with visible fatigue.

"It started with a flashback," Winter sighed, rubbing her temples, "of the accident. I haven't had one in a long time but this one felt different from the rest. It wasn't a nightmare, but more so a memory. It felt like this was real, very real."

"What happened?" My CO demanded, his tone a little lighter. The accident was always a touchy subject for him.

"Well before, I thought I was knocked unconscious until I was hospitalized, but now I'm not so sure. I got a sudden flashback to the time of the accident and I believe I was in and out of consciousness between the time of the accident and the police arrival."

"That wasn't in the medical reports." My CO stated, bewildered.

"And I think I know why," Winter replied, "during my state of consciousness, I heard another vehicle pull up. At first I thought it was the police, but these men's voices... They weren't friendly. They started talking about looking for something and the cover up for the accident. I wasn't sure what was going on but they confirmed that my mother was dead and I wasn't. They said I wasn't the intended target."

"Winter... What did they take?" Sir asked, now visibly worried.

"I think they took a locket. It was a locket that my mother wore all the time. She didn't used to before, but something changed. One day, while I was looking through her jewelry, I found it. It wasn't generic... It was- beautiful..." Winter tapered off.

"It was crystallized, correct?" My commander stepped in, his facial expressions unrecognizable.

"Yes!" Winter exclaimed, completely taken back, "with a rare sapphire stone."

Commanding Officers POV

"I know which one you're talking of, I've seen her wear it a thousand times," I replied, my brain processing a thousand things a minute, "did you open it?"

"Yes-" Winter replied, "but I can't remember who it was. All I know was that it was a man."

My head whipped up at her when I heard that. No... She couldn't have...

"Wait." Winter cut in, interrupting my thoughts, "When did you meet my mother?"

"You know when, it's clear you somehow recognize me. I had been to your mothers cottage a couple times while you were growing up. I met you once when you were smaller... But now... You're all grown up." I said, astonished by how beautiful she had come to be... But horrified by how little of spark still remained in those now tired eyes. The pain she endured was unfathomable.

"I'm going to explain everything to all of you, but you need to listen very closely because I only have the time to say this once, do you understand?" I asked, looking around at the the group of people in front of me. They all nodded their heads, giving their undivided attention.

"Okay. This started around the time of your birth Winter. Your father was one of our agents, much like Jess. He worked in a highly classified field that only a select few could have clearance to view his cases. He was one of our top field agents that handled things connected to terrorist plots and rebel organizations associated with the protection of this country. Around the time of your birth, he was involved in taking down a leader of one of those associations known as Shaq.

"Shaq is the only thing we know about this man because of how well protected he is. His enforcements challenge our own and his connections with the black market surpass ours.

"Your father started pouring more and more time into this particular case, letting it eat at him constantly with a personal effect on not only him but the people around him. He started becoming the job, getting in close- too close to Shaq's ties and allies. He came to us with news of a new terrorist project that was being processed by Shaq and his crew. Your father believed he had insight into where the locations of the shipments were located but he requested that we let him act immediately. You see, over the past few months, your father wasn't himself. He had finally met with a case he couldn't solve and when he discovered this new piece of information, I knew there was no stopping his determination to solve this puzzle-"

"This all doesn't make sense," Winter cut in, "my father never mentioned any of this. I think I would know if my father was involved in terrorist prevention!"

I sighed, not sure how to explain the next part. "I know Winter, there's more to the story and before I can continue, I need to reveal something- something I have sworn to take to my grave and have already endangered my existence and the existence of everyone in this room by just speaking of it." I said, my voice dropping down to a serious tone.

"Winter... The man you believe to be your father is not your father... He is your uncle."

Okay so this is all starting to come together aye? Haha I'm so very sorry for being gone, it's been a very stressful past couple months, everywhere from work, school, and art, to deaths, suicides, car accidents, and family interventions. Writing has just not been my priority but it is now! There's only a couple more chapters until it's wrapped up so stay tuned. Thank you guys for staying amazing, I love every last one of you XOXO

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