26 ~ Felix

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Felix stared across the table at Ryan as they enjoyed their takeout from Curry Palace. He wore his poker face, which she tried not to read into. It was an expression he used often, but she hated to think he was feeling anything but satisfaction at what happened in the kitchen. He had been doing his best to protect her delicate state of mind, which really wasn't that delicate. She didn't want him to think she was a weak, over-emotional female. Sure, she had come to him for help, but what choice did she have? Somehow, Felix would find a way to prove her competence.

"I noticed you had Halo," she said, gesturing toward the Xbox tucked under the television stand. "Do you want to play co-op?"

Ryan looked skeptical. "I take it you've played before."

"Yes. It's kind of what nerds do."

His skepticism turned into amusement. Was he thinking about their seriously hot encounter earlier and the fact that she didn't exactly fit the description of a nerd? "Okay."

After an hour of killing Promethean knights and lancers, Felix felt recharged. She enjoyed kicking the virtual asses of her enemies. Too bad they weren't her real enemies. If only she could get her hands on a few plasma grenades, she would show Carlos how a puta got revenge.

Across the room, her phone rang. There were only a handful of people with her number, and she didn't want to talk to any of them. Ryan paused the game, and she walked to the kitchen counter, releasing a long sigh as she looked at the screen.

"It's Andy."

Ryan watched from the couch, waiting for her to make her move. If she wanted to prove she had a backbone, this was her chance to do it. She picked up the phone, calling on the adrenaline still flowing through her veins as she answered. "Hello?"

"Hello, Miss Taylor." The voice on the other end was completely unfamiliar, and she felt her backbone turn to jelly.

"Who is this? Where's Andy?"

"One question at a time, please. I assumed you were unconcerned about Andy's whereabouts, since you have made no attempts to contact him in several days." The man spoke every word with purpose, his deep voice resonating through the phone like a stalker who had finally cornered his prey. Ryan got up from the couch to join her as the man continued. "You and I have met before, Felicity. Or should I call you Felix? That's what your friends call you, right?"

"You can call me Felix if you tell me who you are." Felix tried hard to keep her voice steady. She had a sinking feeling she knew who she was talking to, and she held the phone away from her ear so Ryan could listen in.

"You can call me Donovan. I thought we could chat for a moment about your little disappearing act. We're all very worried about you. Andy claims he has no idea where you have run off to, in spite of my repeated attempts to jog his memory. He's resting now, but I'd hate to see him come to more harm, wouldn't you? From what I understand, you and he have a history."

Felix felt her knees buckle, and she nearly dropped her cell. She knew this man was a badass, and any confidence she felt before she picked up the phone made a dash for the window. Ryan wrapped his arm around her waist for support, reigniting her courage. She refused to let these lowlifes drag her down again.

"What do you want, Donovan?"

"I want you to tell me where you are so someone can come get you and take you home."

"What home? My home got torched."

"Oh, yes. That was an unfortunate incident, but I believe one of my associates has offered to give you shelter - Carlos. I believe you're familiar with him."

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