Chapter 35: The Watchers

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Several days had passed, and they were getting antsy, but then everything seemed to explode all at once, and they were scrambling to figure out what happened in the house down the street. After the house went quiet again for several hours, they resumed their stakeout, with nothing to do but suffer more waiting. That was the hard part – the waiting.

"Fuck, I can't take this much longer," Michael Creed said, rocking in his chair and fingering the knife he'd been sharpening, though the blade was already keen and hadn't seen use in days. "Can't we get Brooker to find out what's going on in there?"

"Nope," Jacobs said. "Brooker says their guy is good. Can't take the chance. Just chill, Mike. Take it easy."

Creed scoffed. "Easy for you to say."

"We have to be patient, brothers," Jacobs reminded his men. "Come on, we've all been through this before. We know how the game is played."

He didn't want to say what they all thought. They lost contact with the men left behind in Brazil. They needed to suspend communication with their comrades – their friends – for security's sake, and they feared the worst. Cooped up in a small house waiting for something to happen, no matter what that was, left them with too much time to think about it – and about what could be coming after them. They could only pray the archons they betrayed would never find them.

Suddenly, Brooker stormed into the room. "It's happenin'! One of 'em is on the move!"

Finally! Sarah thought to herself, sitting quietly on one side of the room.

She pulled out her phone and tapped the code that would grant her access to Brooker's video feed. It was Bryce. She watched on the display as he exited the property Vincențiu Răducan was using to hide out. He strode quickly down the block and jumped into an old car, which pulled onto the road a few seconds later.

"Okay, let's get moving!" Jacobs said. "Don't you lose him, Brooker."

"No problem, boss. I got LC and Crackhead on 'im. He ain't gettin' away."

Sarah followed Creed, Jacobs, and Brooker out of their hotel and into a car of their own, all the while checking her phone. After so long watching the stranger, Vincențiu Răducan, spend his idle time "chilling the pimp's life" as Brooker put it – though she reminded herself it was only a few days since they arrived in Alexandria – she finally felt like they were making progress. She suspected the mysterious Mr. Răducan was waiting for something, but she never expected Amber and the others. How she wished she could have overheard what transpired in the house during the last few days, but that was out of the question. Liam would have sniffed out active bugs in a matter of hours.

She remembered that name too – Vincențiu Răducan. It was the name of the man who supposedly donated Amber's talisman to the museum in New York all those years ago. Who is he? How did Amber know he was there? Are they working together?

It was a pointed reminder of how they must always watch their backs. There was no telling how long the rest of Amber's crew would remain in the house. At least they would learn where Bryce was going. They followed him to the edge of Alexandria and beyond to an old plantation.

"Ma'am, we have eyes on the property," a voice from one of the men following Bryce spoke over the radio. "Looks like an old cotton farm or something. Permission to proceed with audio surveillance."

"Brooker?" Jacobs asked.

"Use the mic only guys, and keep back. We don't know what kind of setup they have in there." Brooker said.

"Yeah, yeah. Got it."

They stopped their vehicle almost a mile down the road, waiting, though their target remained in his car for quite a while.

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