I quickly tuck my phone away while laughing away my embarrassment. We sit in companionable silence for about ten minutes before Luke groans and slams his head against the back of the seat. "Ugh! This is so boring!" I silently agree with him. He digs around under the seat for a minute and pulls out a baggie of m&m's. He offers it to me with a finger pressed to his lips, and I giggle as I take a handful. My mind wanders over the events of the evening while I section out the blue ones. I hand them over to Luke, earning a grin, as I stare at the house.

"You put surveillance cameras up, right?" I ask Luke, still staring at the house.

"Sure, any of us can, but it's usually me. I'm better with stealth than them." It's said without bravado, simply truth about the facts. "Why?"

I turn to him slowly, choosing my words carefully. "And you all haven't reported any of this to the authorities yet because you don't have enough information?" Luke nods.

"Where are you going with this, Sang?" Owen speaks up into the earpiece for the first time in over an hour.

I roll a green candy in between my fingers for a moment, collecting my thoughts. "I think we need to set up cameras in the basement office."

"That's the plan, Cupcake," Luke says, stealing the chocolate from me and popping it in his mouth.

I shake my head. "I think we need to do it now." Details from the night race through my mind, solidifying my resolve. "I think something is about to happen, and I want Kota out of this mess as soon as possible."

Victor immediately begins arguing, as does North, who I didn't even realize was on comms. Owen silences everyone with a shrill whistle that makes me and Luke both cringe.

"Sang, I'm not saying I agree with you, but we will hear you out. Why do you think this?"

"Well," I draw the word out, not wanting to change the way they operate. "I know the current code to the office, but there's no guarantee they'll keep it that way. The lab tech, Jerry, seemed suspicious and a little twitchy, and the guys at the party were armed." Luke nods for me to continue in the silence. "I think we have an opportunity right now that might not come again. There's a party happening, and they'll be distracted. It's noisy, and there are a lot of people around."

"Damn," Victor swears. "She makes a good point."

"Sang, if you were to run this, what would you do?" Owen's faith in me warms my heart, and Luke smiles in encouragement.

"I would need a distraction. Maybe send North into the party and have him start a fight. Nothing that would be out of the ordinary for a group like that, so that suspicion isn't raised. Break a few things, make them need to focus there while Luke and I slip downstairs." North starts swearing in the background but it's cut off, and I assume his mic was silenced.

"Continue, Sang." I love that Owen is giving me this opportunity, and I truly believe we need to do this now. I take a deep breath.

"I'd stand in the hallway outside the door while Luke does his thing. I don't know anything about the surveillance equipment, so I'd be useless to him, but I could run interference in case anyone came down. Devin knows me, so I could make something up about having a question for him. It would give Luke time to get out."

Luke interrupts me. "It's one thirty right now. If we're doing this, it needs to be soon. A party like this will start winding down soon, and we need the crowd if this is going to work." He squeezes my hand. "I think Sang's right. We should listen to her more often."

Luke winks at me and Victor and Owen agree over the comms. "Okay, Sang. We're going forward with your plan. Luke, Kota should have enough cameras and mics in the kit in the trunk. North will be in place in five."

Luke rolls his eyes and signs to me. "It's still so weird to hear him use our names. Awesome, but weird."

My heart jumps. We're doing this.

Luke scrambles to get the equipment he'll need, and I take a moment to center myself. I get out of the car and Luke and I go to join the party. We loiter near the drinks, close to the staircase, and when I hear a distinctive North bellow in the living room, followed by the sound of glass shattering, I take a deep breath.

Footsteps thunder up the stairs, and after Devin, his friend, and two others come rushing out of the basement, Luke and I slip in unobserved. Sounds of men shouting and thuds come from above us as we hurry down the stairs, and I quickly punch in what I think is the code and am rewarded with a green light and a click as the door opens. Luke gives my hand a squeeze as he brushes past me and goes straight to work with the gadgets he pulls out of his pockets.

I step down the hallway, closer to the stairs, and begin to pace. "Owen, what's happening?"

"Well, I believe Mr. T--North just walked up to a guy and punched him. It's not exactly smooth, but it seems to have been effective."

I sigh, hoping North doesn't get hurt, but I refuse to second-guess my plan. North was probably going to hit someone tonight anyway. His protective streak wanted me miles away from all of this, and he'd been agitated all day.

"From what I can hear through his mic," Owen continues his narration, "several people have joined in, and it seems to be becoming an all out brawl." Seeming to sense my concern, he adds, "North can handle himself, Sang. Your plan is a good one."

The door at the top of the stairs opens, and I don't have time to warn anyone before Devin stomps into view. He freezes when he sees me, and I pace one more circuit, pretending to not notice him yet. When I turn, I cry out, "Devin! Oh thank God! I need your help!"

He raises an eyebrow and comes closer to me. Not wanting him near the office yet, I grab his arm and stop him. "Please? Kota took one of those pills we brought you, and he passed out in the bushes!" I hear Owen giving orders for Kota to get to the bushes and keep going with my story, trusting the guys to do what needs to be done in the meantime. "He was crazy!" I remember the stories of how people on the drug behaved and play it up. "He was all over me one minute, and conked out the next! I tried to move him, but I'm just too small to be able to. I came in looking for you, but no one was down here. Please," I pulled him back toward the stairs, "can you help me get him in the car? I have classes in the morning and I don't want to just leave him there."

"Good girl," Owen whispers into my ear while Devin's suspicion changes to amusement.

"Sure, babe." Devin puts an arm around my waist, and it takes everything I have in me not to cringe away. "Lead on."

I take Devin upstairs and out to the front. Kota is lying awkwardly across the bushes, his clothes askew and his glasses hanging off of one ear. Devin laughs and Owen informs me that Luke is leaving out the back.

"I had to park further away when we got back because of the cars," I huff, as Devin slings one of Kota's arms over his shoulder. He's not as built as any of the guys, but between the two of us, we manage Kota's dead weight. "Sorry."

We carry Kota without conversation to the car, and Devin dumps Kota into the back seat, leaving his legs hanging out of the open door. He approaches me, and I back slightly away. I'm stopped by the trunk, and Devin leans over me with a hand on the roof.

"So, how are you going to repay me for my help?" Devin leans closer, obvious that he expects a kiss or something from me. Before I can respond, Kota lurches forward and pukes all over Devin's shoes.

"Gross!" Devin jumps back and tries to drag the sides of his feet in the snow. "Shit, these were new." He doesn't spare me another glance as he heads back to the house, trying to shake the vomit from his feet.

Kota winks at me and uses his shirt to wipe at his face. I thank him, while Owen and whoever else is on comms are cracking up. I get behind the wheel, knowing we could still be watched, and start the car like a pro.

"Guys, talk me through this again?" Knowing everyone is safe, and that I did my part to help take these bastards down, I approach my second time driving with confidence. I catch Kota's smile in the rear-view mirror as I pull away, and can't help but grin along with him.

***

On Broken WingsRead this story for FREE!