After leaving the pawn shop, Ian's first stop was a phone booth. Finally spotting one, he slammed on his brakes almost causing the person behind him to slam on theirs. After they sped around him, blaring their horn and cursing at him, Ian opened his car door and ran to the booth scooping up the phone book.
Ian found that trying to hold the phone book comfortably was impossible given the restrictions of the security cable attaching it to the phone booth. So Ian yanked it from the wall.
Ian felt a tremor in his stomach as he hunched over the phone book. He ran his finger down the long list of names. Twelve people with the same last name as the one on Rick's paper.
Four of the twelve had the first name he was looking for. It seemed rather odd to him that four men in such a small town would have the exact same name, but he would go to every one until he found the man. Done with the broken phone book, he sat it on the floor leaning up against the glass wall.
Ian headed to the first address and drummed his fingers against the leather steering wheel until an SUV pull into the driveway. A mom, dad, and two young children piled out of the vehicle. He didn't recognize the man. When they opened the garage full of children's outdoor toys and the front door with their own key he knew they were not visitors. This was their home.
Ian drove to the second person on his list.
Ian hoped this man was Argos, the traitor himself. If he was, Ian would know him on sight. But most likely, the traitor had sold the artifact to a human. If that were the case, Ian would return and talk to each one of them.
At the second house, a middle-aged man came out, got the mail and stood in his yard opening it. Ian didn't recognize him. He blew out a loud sigh and drove away.
At the third house, Ian kept his eyes glued to the dwelling after parking across the street. He lounged back in the seat of his car again drumming his fingers.
It was a beautiful property. A well-maintained, large but not too large house. The kind of house that would be comfortable, yet not draw attention to oneself. Just what Ian had been looking for.
When he had started this search, he'd enlisted the help of a private detective. Not to search, but to show Ian what he needed to look for. It had been a relatively new world to Ian at that time. He had visited above the sea before, but this work required a lot more knowledge of humans and their world than he'd had. He needed to know how a wanted man could hide.
In addition to the detective, he'd had the help of a couple of Atlantian friends who were fascinated with humans. Thier knowledge had been helpful for the most part, though it had veered entirely off course on a few occasions that had caused quite a bit of embarrassment for Ian.
Eventually, Ian had taken an apartment and made friends with some of the inhabitants. It was there he'd learned to blend in without getting stares.
Ian scanned the house again. Still no movement. At the neighboring house, a man worked on his car in the driveway. The sound on metal on metal and cursing came from the lanky man from time to time.
A door banged shut, and Ian's gaze shot back to the house he watched. Ian's heart thumped in anticipation. A man walked from the back of the house across the yard to his neighbor. He greeted the man working on the car, then leaned on the vehicle as he talked to him.
To Ian, it felt as if the world shifted just a little. His heart racing, he bolted upright. It was him. It was the traitor, Argos. There was no doubt in Ian's mind.
I have found him. The most hated man among our people.
Almost numb, Ian watched as Argos reached under the open hood and tinkered with the engine, as he laughed with the neighbor and thumped him on the back before walking back to his home.
Argos stopped for a moment and looked out to the water. Then scanned the area as if he felt he was being watched. Ian ducked back down in his seat but tracked Argos as he went into his home.
Ian went over the plan in his mind. He would take Argos by force, if necessary, and interrogate him. Ian wanted answers. Now that he had found the traitor, he wanted the artifact.
He had found a secluded area he could take him. Once he got his answers, they would be going to Atlantis. For Argos to stand trial.
Ian waited for the right moment to leave the car. He didn't want this going wrong now.
He had been surprised, Argos had looked older than he had thought he would. He'd known that could happen, but he hadn't really prepared himself for that much of a difference. If he hadn't been staring right at the man, he would've recognized him.
A woman came out of the neighbors house, walked down the front stairs and shook a rug before going back in. She resembled the traitor.
Was she his daughter? He'd made a life here, a good one. Ian wondered if he was truly happy or was merely indifferent about life.
He scanned the houses again. Still, only the neighbor man was out.
Ian got out of his car and walked up the driveway. When the man raised his head from under the car hood, Ian gave him a smile and a wave. After a moment's hesitation, the man smiled and waved back.
In Argos' house, a light in the back of the house came on. Ian headed there as if it was something he did every day.
Ian tensed as he rounded the corner and stopped by the rear entrance door. Through it, he could see Argos. He stood at a countertop, chopping vegetables, a large knife in his hand.
He looked even older now that Ian was closer. And smaller somehow. In his prime, he'd been every bit as big as Ian had been. But he had lost muscle, and though it seemed unlikely to Ian, Argos was shorter too. A sliver of sympathy ran through Ian before he shook it off.
The old man was no threat to him.
Ian used his knuckle to rap lightly on the door. The traitor looked up and became pale. He quickly glanced around, then at the knife he held.
For a moment, Argos stared at the weapon in hand. Then after that brief hesitation, he laid it on the countertop. Ian knew then there would be no fight. He was relieved, he did not want to fight an old man, especially one he used to call friend, and sometimes brother. He could only hope the interrogation went as smoothly.
When Argos opened the door, the men stared at each other for a moment.
Ian was the first to speak. "Argos."
Argos nodded and said, "I go by Blake now. Blake Karras."
A/N: Are you surprised? :)
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Sea Bound (A Sanctuary's Aggression Novel)Science Fiction
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