KILLING ME SOFTLY - Teenage Assassin - Chapter 29

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CHAPTER 29:

ANNABELLE’S POV:

“We’re going to need more weapons,” I mention to Brent as we all four make our way down to the hotel parking garage.  “Who do we have in Australia right now?”  We step into the elevator and Gabriel hits the button for the level that we’re parked on.

Brent answers with a mischievous smile, “Porky’s here.”

“Really?  I’m surprised.  Porky rarely leaves the Middle East.” I know my face is showing my surprise because Brent just grins mysteriously at me. 

Jackson decides to soothe my curiosity, “I guess he had to get out of Syria in a hurry.  Something about a love affair gone wrong.  That’s why I don’t date female assassins.  They’ll be the death of you.”

Brent winks at me, “I think they make things more exciting.”

From behind me, Gabriel places a hand on my waist, “Find your own.”

Brent winks at me again, “I found her first.”

Gabriel’s grip on my waist tight.  Oh man, this is getting stupid-ridiculous.  Before Gabriel can answer, the elevator dings open.  Brent makes a sweeping gesture, “Ladies first.”

I glance over at Jackson, “You heard him Jacks, we get to go first.”

“Ha, ha.  So funny.  I still haven’t forgiven you yet for giving Bert a sex change.” Jackson pouts.

I leave the elevator, then spin around to pat him on the cheek in an annoying gesture, “Poor baby.  By the way, he goes by Bertha  now.”

“Not for long,” he mutters.  “On the way to the next job, I’ll be making a little detour in Seattle.”

“Soooo anyways,” Gabriel begins, getting our attention as we walk through the parking garage, “Who the hell is Porky?”

“Weapons specialist,” I tell him.

“Nerdy player,” Jackson adds.

“Mad genius,” Brent supplies. 

Gabriel smiles, “Like him already.  Besides, anyone would be an improvement over you two douches.”

Jackson makes a playful move, pretending that he’s going to kick Gabriel, but Gabriel lets go of his grip around my waist and dodges him, laughing tauntingly.  I get this funny, warm feeling inside, seeing my brother and my boyfriend interacting like this. 

I can’t believe how happy I am.  This feeling is so amazing.  There’s a little skip in my step, but then I glance at Jackson and see that he is looking at me funny.  I moderate my steps and play it cool.  Going into the next kill acting love-drunk would probably be worse than all the jobs this year that I’ve gone into alcohol-drunk.

We all pile into the small rental car.  Jackson insists on driving, since he knows the way to the city where Porky is holed up in.  I pull the girl-card and get to sit passenger.  Gabriel and Brent squeeze into the back.  After we drive out of the hotel parking garage, I can’t resist turning around to point and laugh at them.  The backseat is so small that they are practically on top of each other.  

“Brat,” Gabriel mumbles, trying to hide a smile. 

Brent just grins, “I think she’s cute.”

At Jackson’s gagging sound coming from the left side of me, I turn my head to glare at him.  He ignores me and concentrates on the road.  I feel an arm  wrap around my seat to cross over my shoulders from behind.  I tilt my head down to kiss Gabriel’s forearm. 

Jackson makes a disgusted sound and momentarily squeezes his eyes shut, “Please stop touching my sister in front of me.  That lovey dovey crap makes me want to vomit.”

“Your driving makes me want to vomit,” Brent complains to the backseat. 

I nip at Gabriel’s arm with my teeth, “Behave, Gabriel.  We’re in the car with two weak-stomached assassins.”

Jackson scoffs at my insult, “Oh yeah, remember the time when we were on the Autobahn in Germany and you puked all over the backseat?”

“I was nine,” I say through clenched teeth.

Jackson starts cracking up, “Simon was pissed.  Threatened to send you off to boarding school if you couldn’t hang.”

“Simon sounds like an ass,” Gabriel mutters from behind me, squeezing my shoulder gently before releasing his grip and sitting back in his seat. 

“Simon IS an ass,” Brent agrees.  “A badass.”

“Who exactly is Simon?”  Gabriel’s question makes us all tense. 

I clear my throat and change the subject, “So, what hole is Porky hiding in?”

“I take it that you’re not going to elaborate?” Gabriel complains from the backseat.

Jackson  picks up on my change-of-subject and answers my question, “According to, um, our sources, Porky is staying at a closed-down steelworks plant on the outskirts of Newcastle, a couple hours out of Sydney.”

“That boy has always been weird,” Brent remarks.  “When he was in Syria, he was renting out the basement of an incense factory.  Smelled pretty funky down there.”

For about an hour, we discuss the particulars of the assignment and best course in taking out the multiple targets.  This assignment isn’t exactly hard, but it will require the handiwork of at least two assassins.  Which is why Simon brought Brent into this job with me. 

Brent has never told Jackson or me how he came to work for Simon and we’ve never asked.  If he wanted us to know, then he would have told us.  In our world, you mind your own business when it comes to personal lives and pasts. 

I’m wondering why Simon didn’t just ask Jackson to assist in these kills.  I roll my eyes to myself.  He probably thought Jackson would have his hands full just keeping an eye on me and Gabriel. 

I turn around in my seat to look at Gabriel.  He’s staring out at the scenery that we’re passing by, “Have you ever been to Australia?”

He glances at me and shakes his head, “Nope.”

I grin at him, “Maybe after the job is completed, we can do a little sightseeing together.”

“I love you,” he smiles sweetly at me. 

“Love you too,” I reach back to touch his cheek.  See, Jackson and Simon are worrying for nothing.  Gabriel wouldn’t hurt me.  We love each other.  I know it’s cliché, but the saying ‘love overcomes all’ pops into my head. 

“Love you Gabey,” Jackson says in a high-pitched, girly voice.  I twist back around in my seat and punch him in the arm. 

Big-mouth Brent can’t resist getting in on the teasing.  In his own girly voice, he says, “Oh Gabey!  Let’s go take a picture together in front of the Sydney Opera House.”

“So romantic!” Jackson mimics in a voice that so doesn’t sound like me.  And I would know, I’ve heard myself on tape enough times.  “We could feed each other with our hands and watch the sun set over the water!”

I turn around in my seat to show Gabriel my exasperated face.  Expecting to see him angry, or in the very least annoyed, I’m pissed that he is struggling to hold back laughter.  I reach back and slap his jean clad thigh, “Hey!  You’re not supposed to think this is funny!”

He gives up all pretenses and lets his laughter loose.  “I’m sorry, babe.  But, you have to admit that the sexual tension between Jackson and Brent is hilarious.”

“Sexual-” Jackson begins in shock.

“Tension?” Brent finishes for him with a growl. 

Catching on to where Gabriel’s going with this, I grin wickedly, “How precious, Gabriel.  Look, they’re already finishing each other’s sentences.”  I let out a mushy “Awwwww”.

Jackson’s forehead is all bunched up from his scowl, “I screw way too many chicks to be gay.”

“Oh, man!” I practically shout.  “Please, please PLEASE never say that within hearing distance of me again!”

“I screw a lot of chicks too.” Brent is wearing a matching scowl.  “And unlike Jackson, I screw hot chicks.”

Jackson scoffs, “You wish buddy.”

“You remember that chick we shared in Quebec?” Brent questions him.

Jackson shifts in his seat, “Yeah, she was so hot.”

“Disgusting,” I mumble under my breath. 

“Well, I’ve had way hotter,” Brent boasts. 

Gabriel clears his throat, “So, what the two of you are saying, is that you guys have had sex together.”

“No!” Brent and Jackson yell at the same time.  Even louder than their denials is the sound of me and Gabriel laughing. 

I finally calm myself enough to place a hand reassuringly on Jackson’s forearm, “I accept you and love you for who you are, big brother.”

“I can’t speak for Brent, but I an assure you that I am not gay,” he says through clenched teeth.  “We did not have sex together, we merely had it with the same girl.  It was a freaking threesome.  A heterosexual one."

Ew.  In my mind, it was also freaking gross.

“But you were both naked, sweaty and aroused in a room together,” Gabriel points out. 

“Yes, and strictly screwing a girl,” Brent says in an annoyed tone. 

Ew.

Despite my grossed-out state, I can’t resist, “But, you both-”

Jackson cuts me off, “Drop it.”

I look back at Gabriel again and we bust out laughing.  This is the best road trip ever. 

Less than an hour later, we’re driving around an industrial area of Newcastle, searching for the steelworks plant.  It’s not hard to find, the place is monstrous.  And ugly as hell.  Since it’s surrounded by a barbwire fence, we have to stop in front of the gate and hit a buzzer on a keypad. 

After a few minutes of tapping our fingers, we finally get a response.  An irritated voices comes over the speaker, “What the fuck?”

Jackson pushes the button again to respond, but I beat him to it, “Is that any way to greet the greatest female assassin to ever kill?”

“Diana?” A wary voice responds. 

“Oh shit, Porky!  You messed around with Diana?” I exclaim in shock. 

“Annabelle?” He says and even through the speaker, I can hear the relief in his voice.

“Yup.”

“Who’s that with you in the car?” He asks suspiciously.  I glance up to check out the cameras he has mounted on poles up high near the barbed wire.

Jackson pushes the button again, “It’s Jackson.”

“And the backseat?”

Jackson answers, “It’s just Brent and Annie’s boy toy.”

Porky chuckles through the speaker, “All right, I’ll buzz you in.”

Gabriel jabs at Jackson, “Better than being Brent’s boy toy.”

“I said drop it,” Jackson gets out through clenched teeth.

The gates slowly glide open and Jackson pulls the car through.  We drive around until we find a spot that we figure is the front entrance.  The rusted up metal doors give the place a real welcoming feeling.  Maybe I should give him a wreath to hang up on the door as a housewarming gift. 

All four of us step out of the car and stretching my legs feels good after being boxed into a compact car.  Probably feels even better for Gabriel and Brent.  Within seconds of Gabriel getting out of the backseat, he’s wrapping his arms around my waist, swooping down for a kiss.  I could get used to having him around. 

The creaking of a door alerts us to a side door opening.  When Porky doesn’t step out, I realize that he must have it hooked up to some sort of electronic control system.  Dorks just can’t help showing off.  Porky must get all the ladies at technology conventions.  I laugh at the thought as we step into the hazardous building.  Gabriel gives me a weird look and I just shrug and tell him, “Later.”

In front of us is a hallway that curves just a few yards ahead.  Small recessed lighting is set into the floor, showing us the way.  After a few minutes of turning corners and making our way deeper into the building, we come across a stairway leading down. 

“What’s up with Porky and basements?” Brent mutters. 

Jackson takes the lead, followed by me, then Gabriel and Brent last.  As we climb down the metal stairway into the underground level, Gabriel’s curiosity is stirred, “Who exactly is this Porky guy?”

“I’ve known him for a few years.  He’s young, but not as young as us.  Maybe twenty-five or twenty-six.  Simon recruited him out of MIT as soon as he graduated.  We use him and a few others like him as weapons and technology specialists.  It’s his job to keep up with changing technology in our field and pass it on to us.”

At the bottom of the stairs, there is another hallway with light coming from a large opening at the end.  We walk the short way there and enter what looks to be a game room. 

“I have to say,” Gabriel says dryly, “This is a little anticlimactic.”  I scan the room that’s crowded with a pool table, large entertainment center, pinball machines and large arcade-style video game machines. 

Brent let’s out his breath in a loud whoosh, “But cool as hell.”

“Yeah,” Jackson agrees. 

From somewhere in the room, a voice whines, “This better be good.  I was taking my afternoon nap.”  Followed by, “At least you’re not that devil-woman.” 

I walk over to the black leather sectional sofa and peer over the back, seeing Porky all rumpled from sleep, I point at his Superman fleece blanket, “Is that your blankie?”

“Damn straight it is,” he mumbles groggily.  “Don’t hate on the blankie.”

The guys follow suit and peer at Porky.  Brent eyes the blanket, “I have the same one.”

“How’d you monitor us outside from here?” I ask. 

From under the blanket, Porky pulls out a remote unlike any I’ve seen before.  With a push of a button, the large television turns on.  The screen is broken up into a number of rectangle squares, all showing different video feeds, monitoring areas around and outside of the facility. 

“I’ve got skills,” Porky says smugly. 

Jackson snorts, “Yeah, mad dork skills.”

Porky sits up, “You’re just jealous cause all you can do is point and shoot.”

Jackson makes a move to go around the couch after him, but Porky is on his feet instantly.  He may not be a trained killer, but the boy works out.  With messy light brown hair and a lean, muscular build, I can see why Diana went for him.  Jackson gives up on the chase after Porky dodges him a few times.

Thinking of Diana, “So, you and Diana, huh?”

“We’re in love,” Porky says defensively. 

Brent crosses his arms over his chest, “If you two are so in love, why did you flee the Middle East in such a hurry and are now hiding in a fortress?”

“It’s complicated,” Porky mutters. 

I plop down on the couch, “Oh yeah, how so?”

Porky shakes his head, “She thinks I cheated on her.”

“And now she’s trying to annihilate you?” Jackson asks. 

“I don’t think she’s actually trying to kill me.  She’s just a little irrational right now.  I’m giving her time to cool off,” Porky says and walks over to a panel on the wall.  Pushing some buttons on the keypad, A rusty door slides open.  When it gets stuck halfway, Porky has to manually open it the rest of the way. 

“Oh yeah, how much time?” Gabriel asks. 

Not turning around, Porky shrugs, “A few more months should do it.” 

We all file into the room and take a look around.  Gabriel is the first to comment, “This room is dope.”  Along one whole wall is any type of gun you can think of, from machine gun to shotgun to pistol. 

I point with my thumb to a gun that’s on display with the others, “Paintball gun?”

“State of the art,” Porky brags.  Gabriel laughs mockingly and Porky turns around to give him a dirty look, “Hey man, if I shot you with that . . . well, it would hurt a lot.”

I walk over the wall and pull down a G3 full-automatic battle rifle.  “This is what I’m talking about.”

Brent walks over and pulls down a M40 bolt-action sniper rifle, “No, this is what I’m talking about.  Don’t even have to get up-close and dirty.  Just sit on some rooftop or hill somewhere and wait for the target to come to you.”

I smirk at Jackson, then look innocently at Porky, “Do you have anything in pink for Jackson?”

“Ha, ha, ha,” Jackson says humorlessly.  Then he gets an evil gleam in his eyes, “Porky, you haven’t been officially introduced to Annie’s boyfriend yet.  Gesturing from one to the other, he introduces them, “Porky, meet boy toy.  Boy toy, meet Porky.”

Looking at Gabriel, Porky smiles, “Is your name really boy toy?”

Gabriel’s eyes go wide, “Is your name really Porky?”

Shaking his head, “Nope.  I was a fat kid when I was younger.  Name just sort of stuck with me into adulthood.  My name’s really Abraham.”

“Oh,” Gabriel says and walks over to a metal table with various explosive devices laying on top. 

“So, what’s the job?”  Porky is leaning against a long desk with various computer monitors hovering above.

Brent fills him in, “There are five targets, a gang of sorts, who specialize in illegally shipping guns made by Leader Dynamics to terrorists in the Middle East.”

“Leader Dynamics in Smithfield?  What are they shipping out, the Leader T2 MK5 Series weapons?” Porky questions. 

“Yes and yes,” I answer.  “They all live and work out of a large house on the beach down the coast from Sydney.  Unfortunately, from what Simon says, they’re a suspicious bunch.  Only deal with people they already know.”  I smile ruefully, “Only date women that they already know.”

“So, you’re going in blind?” Porky questions in disbelief.

I shrug nonchalantly, “It can’t be avoided sometimes.”

Porky lets out a big breath, “Well, I have everything you need.  If one of you will help me, the rest can go relax in the game room.”

Brent and I decide to assist Porky since this is technically our assignment.  Jackson and Gabriel go out to “play” in the game room. 

I chuckle to myself, thinking of the qualiy time that they're spending together.  Hmmn, maybe I should be out there to referee.

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