KILLING ME SOFTLY - Teenage Assassin - Chapter 19

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Paris, France - March 10th - Annabelle's 18th birthday

When we check into our hotel in Paris, there is a package from Simon waiting for Jackson and I at the front desk. Simon always seems to be one step ahead of us.

Jackson and I have a condo in Paris, but whenever we are concerned that we've been compromised in some way, we stay at hotels instead. It's more anonymous and allows us to scope out our personal homes before settling in there for any length of time. Within the next day or so, we'll park ourselves outside of our Paris condo to see if it is being watched.

I doubt Gabriel or his private detective have found out its location. The only thing we ever use our real names for is on the titles of our homes and our real vehicles. Not that we get to enjoy either very often. And Gabriel doesn't know my real name. He doesn't even know that Jackson is my brother.

I already know what the package is, so I snap it out of Jackson's hands as soon as we get on the elevator. He gives me a stern look, "Annabelle, you shouldn't get your hopes up."

"Shut up," I tell him as I rip it open, too anxious to wait until we get into our hotel suite. On the top of the stack of papers is a picture of Gabriel. It so reminds me of when I first got the assignment to kill his father and saw his picture.

However, this time is different. He looks different. There is a hardness to his face and coldness in his eyes. He is dressed differently too. More mature, like a young businessman and not a Senior about to graduate high school.

From the background, I can tell that the picture was taken in Paris. Probably recently since he's been here for the past week. There is a man in the picture standing near him. The man is in his late thirties with sandy brown hair and a pleasant face. His suit looks much less expensive than Gabriel's. That must be the private detective, Steven Russo.

I look through the other pictures, all of Gabriel in different parts of Paris. Some with Steven Russo, some without. One of them is of him, taken on the steps of my old friend and sexual mentor, Marie Perrot's home.

By the time we enter our hotel suite, I am riffling through the paperwork. The information that Simon sent, gives us information on the hotel they are staying at and all of the places that they've been in the past couple of days.

It also gives background information on this Steven Russo character. He is a well-established and sought-after private investigator in Miami. He has experience on cases that take him worldwide. He is a former Navy Seal and was with the FBI for a number of years. He also belongs to a network of private investigators nationwide in the United States, who share information and resources.

Looks like Gabriel found the right man to hire. Not that Steven Russo stands a chance of finding me if I don't want to be found.

I'm not worried about Marie giving them information on me. She is a former lover of Simon's and I know that I have her loyalty, along with Simon.

The first order of business is to do what Simon asked of me and visit with Marie. Find out what Gabriel is all about, from her perspective.

I dress carefully before going to see her. Normally, I don't care how I dress when I'm not on an assignment, but I have a lot of respect for Marie and she believes that a female should dress to the hilt whenever possible. She's all about the feminine image.

I wear a short silky red dress with black heels. I smooth out my hair and wear full make-up with red lipstick. Since it's a cool day out, I put on a short dressy black leather jacket. I think Marie will approve of the siren look. Plus, it's my birthday, I'm in the mood to look good. I have my hair dyed black right now, so some black sunglasses complete the look. I feel like I belong in a video for The White Stripes right now.

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