xi. motorcycle rides

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"How close are they?" Ace asks. He's holding a copy of the Wall Street Journal that he clearly isn't paying attention to.

I check the location of the moving vans, each containing kilos of drugs, on my computer.

"About five minutes away from us," I answer. "Now stop asking me every ten seconds."

Ace sits across from me in a small diner in the upper west side. Our assignment was to wait here until the vans passed us. Then, we would get close enough to the vans so that I could hack the gps systems and alter it to a predetermined drop site.

The waitress brings me my coffee just as I'm digging into my ear to adjust my earpiece. She gives me a weird look, and the whole misunderstanding elicits a smirk from Ace. I roll my eyes then kick him under the table.

Great, now she probably thinks I'm someone who has some obsession with earwax.

I know it's probably just the nerves, but it seems as if all the other patrons are staring at me as well. There was this one man, especially, with striking eyes as green as a tropical forest. It made for a stark contrast with his other features, including tanned skin and dark hair, likening him to a painting of night and day.

We make acute eye contact for a millisecond, then I glance down at my coffee.

Focus, Octavia.

"Where are the others?" I ask.

Ace gently rubs against his temple. "Chase and Skye are waiting at the drop site. As for Xavier, he's on a rooftop in midtown with his sniper rifle. He's just a contingency that hopefully will not come into play."

A harsh blow of air comes out of my nose. What the hell have I gotten myself into? I'm a college student, not an agent.

Ace notices my discomfort. "Don't worry Cupcake. I won't let you out of my sight."

I give him a thankful nod; Ace was a puzzle that I couldn't figure out yet. One minute, he'd be the most irritating person in the world, and the next, he'd be incredibly intuitive.

Why are men so confusing?

Fortunately, I don't have to ponder it too much. The light beeping of my computer brings my wandering attention back to the task at hand—the task of stopping a million dollar drug shipment.

Ace realizes it too. We simultaneously pay, grab our backpacks, and head out of the diner to a motorcycle.

"Safety first," Ace declares as he throws me a helmet.

"Seriously? We're throwing ourselves into the middle of a contraband empire and you're concerned about me wearing a helmet?"

He cocks an eyebrow at me. He's right. I hate it when he's right.

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