Catherine couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She knew she needed to think this through twice before choosing something she would later regret. The room still hasn’t come into total focus. Her mind was groggy, numbed by something. Was it lack of sleep or something more disturbing? She shook her head to try to clear her mind. The scene cleared, and with that clarity, a terrible feeling crept into her stomach.
The man who called himself Javier was now standing at the cell door as a burning, acrid cigarette scent filled the enclosure air and seeped into his nostrils, causing him to wrinkle his nose. “D**n it! I hate these guys.”
Catherine stood, liquid pooling on the floor at her feet. She’d not realized it at first because of her flip-flops, but she was standing in a small puddle. The liquid oozed off the small bathroom sink and dripped freely down to the floor.
“So Mrs. Richmond, what do you think?” Javier asked.
Questions riddled her mind like bullets from a machine gun. How did this happen? Why did it happen? What did I do to deserve this? How am I going to clean this-up? She thought to herself.
Catherine’s eyebrows started to pinch together in confusion, yet she answered: “Call me Catherine, I’m no longer Mrs. Richmond. For now, you may call me “anything.”
“Anything? Well, not that I’m going to blame you. The man left you hanging from your insanity and left you alone. I’ll hate him just the same.”
“I don’t care now, Javier, and what happened to Elizabeth? Where is she? I thought she ordered your men to kill me? I am aware of your relationship with the b***h, you know.” Anger boiled up inside her, but she pushed it away, forcing it back down into the depths whence it came. Getting angry wouldn’t solve anything. Right now, she had to clean up the mess with her own wits. There would be plenty of time to work through emotions later. She lifted a foot out of the pool of liquid and stepped over to the sidewall. Looking at nowhere in particular. There it sat, staring at her with an uncaring and righteous glint. Something was missing. And she realized what it was. She shook her head, now remembering how it had all happened. He flashed back to the night before. It had been a crazy morning.
“Um- so smart little girl you are, eavesdropping on my men, yes?”
“Pretending to be fast asleep has earned me the knowledge and all. “You guys run a neat little operation over in London…”
“Oh, well… I admire you, Catherine. Even on the verge of death, you are still able to outrun Elizabeth. I like that kind of power. It will fuel your rage, and you need it.” Javier mumbled, giving her a newspaper. “You might want to check that newspaper.”
“Whatever… Where is the b***h, Javier? I will do anything to get her head.” Yelled Catherine as Javier gave her the newspaper.
It was Shawn and Elizabeth on the front page. Shawn had his usual blank expression and a scowl on his face, while Elizabeth was smiling. They were newlyweds. “How is this even possible? He is married to me. This is…” Catherine breathed in heavily as she asked, her tears beginning to fall down her cheeks. She was slowly creeping out as pain and another heartbreak sped through her heart.
How could he betray her like this? Her baby’s gone, so Shawn married the reason for her pain? She didn’t mean a thing to him? She no longer cared if she was crying or if her silent anger was visible throughout the day. She was disappointed. Her anger crept in. She wanted to hurt them. Javier smirked, “Well, to the world… you are already dead.”
“Well, blame it on Elizabeth She staged everything. Besides, she also betrayed me, using me and my men to get to Richmond You and I were on the same page.”
“All I know is, she kidnapped and tortured me… and your men, Javier”,
“Well, my men helped with the kidnapping from Richmond’s vacation manor. But, memories flooded her mind. She’d been on her morning walk, then came back and made her milk. She left it there on the table when her phone rang. Then the last thing she remembered was that she suddenly felt sleepy and drowsy. Something has happened. Someone put something in her milk.
“Since you prefer not to beat around the bush, Catherine, I will extend the same kindness to you to save time for both of us.”
“That would be wonderful, Javier. Then I can get back to my plan to kill Elizabeth.” She thought, nothing but revenge. She wanted her dead. She wanted to inflict such pain beyond the b***h’s comprehension
For a second, Javier seemed fascinated. “I assure you, Catherine, we are on the same team. I’m hoping we can make that an official position.”
There it was again, a quotation from some sort of invitation, a request? Perhaps a demand. What was he getting at?
“I have to admit,” Javier said. “You are something else, Shawn was lucky to have but obviously, you are just like one of his women. He married. Elizabeth that fast? Luckily, we have a common goal.. to take Elizabeth.”
“I thought she was on your side?”
“Yes, before she betrayed me and went under the table and ordered a hit on my head after she used my men for her cause,’ he muttered, raising his eyebrows. “But you have to know this girl, you can come up with all the justifications you want for vengeance, yet it will always be the work of an inner temper and thus can never represent your best or what you could have been capable of. You need to move smarter, not harder. You and I will be a better team. You come highly recommended by my men, by the way. I can help you with your training. I can help you, I will train you, make you strong, powerful, deadly and train you as a world-class assassin… or a spy… you call it whatever you want
She just stared at him.
Javier raised his leg and crossed it over the other to ease the circulation. “Let me be blunt, Catherine. I know about your background. You, your brother Dave, your friends, Jane and Chelsea were under my watch. You have a choice but it’s all up to you. One call, just one call, and they will be taken care of.”
“F**k you! Leave them out of this.” She grumbled in frustration. Fear creeping in.
“Oh, woman, of course, as long as you comply with my demands.
“You are using me.”.
“Of course I am. That’s why I didn’t kill you when Elizabeth told me so.’
She ignored the last part and focused on the word he kept using as if it made everything clear.” Why?”
“Well,” he elongated the word for dramatic effect. “My group had been wiped out. Half of us were in prison. We are a small operation now, hiding in plain sight.”
“What do you want? So, you’re spies or assassins, what?” She muttered in visible frustration.
Javier refolded his hands across his lap. “I need an inside man at Richmond. Both-when the situation necessitates it. However, we do our best not to get involved in the intelligence counterintelligence of my cousin. I know he had his own men. My boss, however, wanted something from Richmond. That’s why I need you. Everything, of course, will be covered and, for the most part, someone will let you know your next move. For now, however, I’ll have a few months to train you with our world-class assassins and experts.”
“That’s debatable.” She said and began pacing inside the cell.
He allowed a quiet snort to escape his nose. “Indeed.”.
Catherine sighed, “if your boss has everything covered, what is it you do, exactly?”
He drew a long breath. “Smart question. Most of my men are constantly focused on each other’s assignments, but there is only so much they can do. I wanted you to hand me the key.
“Key for what?”
“You’ll know soon enough.”
“Javier, get to the point.”
He didn’t flinch at her brusqueness. “I have received information that there is a new group after the key-as we speak-”
“So? Take them out, you can do that, right?”
“Why do you think I’m talking to you?”
Her frown deepened. “No. I mean, have one of your men take them out.”
“I wish it was that simple, Catherine. You see, my gang is wanted all over Europe. You will be our first choice-should you decide to come work for us.”
She pressed her back against the chair.
“What is it to me?”