Rex paused on seeing Henry staring at him.
“Is Sarah a part of the Red Wolves?” Henry asked.
Rex’s eyebrows gathered together immediately, forming a squint. He let out a breath and walked slowly towards Henry.
“Just tell me the truth, Rex. Don’t keep anything from me,” Henry added and raised his hand to stop Rex. “Was my wife working with the Red Wolves?”
Rex was a metre close to him when he stopped. He shut his eyes for a second and inhaled lightly. “Yes, Carl. Sarah is a part of the Red Wolves.”
Henry felt a sudden coldness surge through his veins. He tried to say something but his lips only fell slightly apart and trembled.
Rex moved closer and placed a hand on his shoulder. “That’s the truth, man. I know this will be difficult for you…”
Henry pushed Rex’s hand away from his shoulder before he could finish his statement. “If she was one, why didn’t you let me know?”
“I didn’t get the opportunity to,” Rex replied. “Besides, you didn’t need to know. You thought she was dead and I wanted it to remain that way for you.”
Henry still found it too difficult to believe. It didn’t make sense for Sarah to be a part of the Red Wolves. She had no reason to be. He knew how much Sarah hated watching people die, so she couldn’t just be that person who would join a terrorist group.
“I don’t believe you, Rex,” Henry voiced out. Rex sighed. “You killed Simon Perry, Dr. Alan, and the other medical personnel that were taking care of you in London. Now, you want me to believe that my wife was the enemy?”
“We don’t have time for explanations,” Rex gasped. “You need to dress up and let’s leave here right away. I can explain a little to you while we’re on the way back.”
Rex turned back and walked to his previous position to continue dressing up.
“I’m not going anywhere until you let me know who killed Dr. Alan and Simon Perry,” Henry stated stubbornly.
Rex turned back to him with a furious look on his face. “What the f**k is wrong with you, Carl? You’re sure you wanna jeopardize our chances of getting back to Bexford quickly because you want to talk first.”
“I just need to know if you killed Dr. Alan and Simon Perry,” Henry replied in a calm tone.
“And after I tell you the answer, you’re still going to ask for more explanations?”
Henry stared blankly at him without replying.
“No, man. I didn’t ki*ll either of them,” Rex sighed. “And I’m not telling you more than that for now. You should dress up and let’s leave here.”
Rex continued dressing.
“I thought you put a bullet in her head already,” Dave remarked as he walked back into the place.
He noticed that Samantha had taped Maria’s mouth again. He also saw the bullet hole in the wall far behind and didn’t need to ask any other questions.
“I couldn’t do it,” Samantha replied and handed the gun back to him. “Maybe you should.”
Dave took the gun carefully from her and uncocked it. “She set us up to be killed, she needs to go,” he whispered, but loud enough for Samantha to hear.
“Well, you’ve always been in charge of handling her, you should finish your job then,” Samantha replied as she searched her pocket for something. “Are you with my phone?”
Without saying anything in reply, Dave dipped his hand in the pocket and took out the phone.
She collected and turned to walk out.
“I already spoke to Henry,” Dave stated aloud, guessing that she was about to do the same thing.
She stopped and turned. “You told him about her?”
“Yeah,” Dave nodded. “I said she wasn’t going to speak.”
“So, he’s fine with us finishing her up?”
“I told him you shot her already when I heard that gunshot,” Dave answered. “He didn’t say anything. So I guess he was fine with it.”
Samantha shrugged and turned. “I’m still going to talk to him anyway.”
He watched her leave before turning back to Maria. “I really hate to do this, Maria, but I’ve got no other choice. We lost our people because of you.”
He cocked his gun and moved closer again. Maria began to struggle and make sounds with her taped mouth, protesting his decision to sh00t her.
Dave got close to her and placed the mouth of the gun directly on her chest. Her struggles and muffled protests increased.
“You want to talk now?” he raised his brows.
She nodded frantically. He sighed and took the tape off her mouth.
El Deols, Anthanna
Rex wondered why he wasn’t hearing sounds of Carl dressing up yet while he tied his turban. He paused halfway and turned to see Carl pointing a gun at him. His jaw dropped and he took off the turban material from his head.
“You think I’m a double agent?” Rex squinted at his friend.
“I don’t know what to think, you tell me what it is,” Carl replied, stepping towards him slowly.
Rex chuckled. “I would have asked you to put a bullet in my head right now, but that’s gonna worsen things for you. I advise you to put that gun down before you ruin yourself further.”
Carl shook his head slowly. He had a blank look on his face.
“I would have believed you, but I can’t. You could have told me about Sarah if you didn’t have something else to hide, but you didn’t. It sounds stupid that you want me to believe that you were going to ki*ll my wife without my permission because you thought she was working with the Red Wolves.”
“I didn’t think she was, I knew she was,” Rex emphasized his certainty. “She was dead to you. There was no need to tell you that she was alive and that she planned with the Red Wolves to wipe us out. I knew learning that she betrayed you would have hurt you more than her death. You wouldn’t have taken it well, just like you aren’t now.”
Henry still couldn’t believe his ears. He cocked the gun even though he had no intentions of shooting Rex. He was just so confused and felt like putting more pressure on Rex, hoping that his confession would change.
“ki*ll me if you want,” Rex let out a sigh. “But I promise it’s not going to help your misery.”
The atmosphere was still tense when the phone in Henry’s pocket began to ring. He finally uncocked his gun and took some steps back. He took out the phone and checked the screen. It was Samantha’s number.
“Dave, I said I was going to call you,” he slammed.
“It’s Sam,” the caller replied.
Hearing Samantha’s voice seemed to calm him a little beat. He recalled how she called him earlier that day to discuss her suspicions of having a mole in their team. It all made sense now. He had figured out earlier that the mole did not need to know their plans to work with Hutton. The only thing the mole needed was to be in the hideout.
He took in some deep breaths before speaking again. “Sam, how are you?”
“I’m okay, but it doesn’t sound like you are.”
“I’m good, Sam,” he let out a breath again. “You shot Maria?”
“No, I didn’t. But Dave is about to.”
“Stop him now! She’s not the mole,” Henry ordered.
“Stop him right away…”
The call ended abruptly before Henry could complete his statement.
Rex had picked up his turban material again but had yet to begin tying it around his head. He was staring at Henry who also looked his way after the call ended. “You need to change your clothes, Carl.”
Henry took in a deep breath and nodded.
“You want to talk now?” Dave raised his brows at her.
She nodded frantically. He sighed and took the tape off her mouth.
“You better not be trying to waste my time, because I’m gonna make your death brutal if you do so.”
Maria shut her eyes and took slow deep breaths. Her heart was beating so fast and tears were rolling down her eyes.
She couldn’t believe it was the same Dave she knew. His eyes were different today. She’d never seen someone look as angry as he was, but she understood him. Their colleagues had just died and she was the prime suspect.
“Are you gonna start talking or not?” Dave turned and glared into her eyes again. He was becoming impatient.
“Listen to me, Dave,” she began with a stutter and then paused to sniff in. “You’re not thinking straight right now, and I understand. Maybe you should give it some time and not make any rash decisions that you will regret later. I’m sure you would see that I am not in…”
“Will you shut the f**k up!” Dave yelled at her, with his face contorted. “You’re even pissing me off more.”
“Dave Patrick, you gave me a chance to redeem myself. I promised you that day that I wasn’t going to mess it up, I did not set the team up, I only…”
Dave did not let her complete her statement before covering her mouth again. “I don’t wanna hear your bullshit anymore,” he gasped. “The only reason I’ve not been able to pull this trigger is that I can’t find myself to believe that you betrayed us, even after I promised that you will always be safe with us.”
— The Night Dave broke into Maria’s Apartment
“Maria,” Steve’s voice sounded closer.
Dave looked towards the living room and then turned to her again. He looked straight into her eyes and then whispered into her ears.
“If you want a chance to redeem yourself, check the note in your blue suit jacket and follow the instructions there,” Dave added and then uncocked his gun. He began to take back steps towards the window.
Maria raised her brows as she realized he had created enough space to escape through the window already. He only had the curtain covering it.
“Maria,” she shut her eyes as she heard Steve call her name the third time.
“Maria!” he gasped in surprise as he got in to find her sitting on the ground with her back against the wall. “What happened to you?”
He noticed that her face looked bruised and quickly looked around the room to see if there was anything amiss. “Tell me what happened,” he turned back to her.
“He was here,” Maria mouthed weakly.
>>>>Fast Forward – the next day <<<<
Maria sat quietly in the restaurant, looking over her shoulders. Both hands were placed on the table and the note Dave dropped in her suit jacket was in her hand.
She checked her wristwatch again. It was already five minutes past the time of the meeting. She looked up to see Dave coming her way.
He was dressed in black on black, with dark sunshades covering his eyes too. She took in a deep breath and readjusted herself as he approached the table, his scent getting there before him.
He got to the table and sat down quietly before taking off his sunshades. “You came,” he stated, sounding like he wasn’t sure she would be there.
“Yes,” she nodded. “I got here fifteen minutes ago.”
“I saw you walk in,” Dave replied almost immediately.
She squinted at him. She thought of asking him why he took so long to join her but figured out the answer by herself. He was probably scanning to see if she had come with someone or would be communicating with anyone.
“We’re giving you a chance to redeem yourself, Maria. You’ve been aiding the Red Wolves in destroying lives. You can help them fight against them now.”
“I’m a FOX agent,” Maria replied. “We’re already fighting the Red Wolves.”
“F**k that, wom*n! We both know that the FOX is losing the fight. The FOX is divided. There are moles in the organization like Michael and there are people like you whom he uses in destroying the FOX from inside and strengthening the Red Wolves.”
Maria squinted at him. “Who are you?”
“You know who I am already.”
“If you don’t work for the Red Wolves, who do you work for?”
Dave let out a breath and then scanned the place with his eyes for a second before dipping his hand into his pocket to take out a picture. He put the picture in front of Maria.
Her brows gathered together as her eyes zoomed in on the picture. It took her a few seconds to figure out who it was. “This is agent Carl Winston.”
Dave picked up the picture immediately and tucked it back into the pocket. He paused for a while as one of the waiters arrived at their table at that moment.
“Can I just have a bottle of water for now?” he requested from the waiter who then looked towards Maria.
“A bottle of water too, until later, ” Maria managed to smile at the waiter.
“Agent Carl Winston is dead,” Maria continued in whispers after the waiter left. “What does the picture have to do with our discussion?”
“I, Evelyn, and a group of other people work with Carl Winston to bring down the Red Wolves. Today, we’re giving you a chance to join us and take down the Red Wolves together with us.”
“How can you guys be working with a dead person?” Maria frowned.
Dave sighed tiredly and dipped his hand into his pocket again. He took out his phone and unlocked it. After swiping for almost one minute, he opened a picture and handed the phone to her. The waiter returned with two bottles of water and glass cups at that moment.
“Thank you,” Dave said to the waiter and watched him walk away. “That picture was taken a month ago,” he said to Maria.
She looked confused as she returned the phone to Dave. “How is that possible?”
“Agent Carl Winston is not dead, but that isn’t what we’re here to discuss,” Dave collected the phone and locked it. He put it straight into his pocket. “What do you say? Are you joining us?”
“How are you fighting the Red Wolves?” Maria still looked confused. “Why hasn’t Agent Carl reported back to the FOX?”
“You can ask questions later, Maria. Are you joining us?” Dave asked in a harsh tone this time.
She nodded gently. “Do I have a choice?”
“Yes, you do. If you join us, we take down the Red Wolves together. If you do not, you go down with the Red Wolves.”
Maria gasped. “I’m in a mess right now, Agent Michael isn’t going to stop troubling me.”
“Yes, that’s exactly why we need you. You will continue working with him,” Dave added.
She furrowed her eyebrows at him.
“You’re going to return to the office and relate with him like nothing happened. But you’re going to tell him only the things we want you to tell him.”
“Am I not going to get into any sort of trouble with him that way?”
“No, as long as you work with us, you’ll be safe. I promise you will be, only if you also promise that you will be dedicated to bringing down the Red Wolves with us.”
“I’m sorry, your time is up, Maria,” Dave moved closer and put the gun to her neck.
Maria shut her eyes tight and waited for death. At that moment, she remembered her several meetings with Dave after the first time in the restaurant. Apart from working together to deceive Agent Michael, they were already becoming good friends too. She had never thought it would end this way.
Instead of a gunshot, it was Samantha’s voice that sounded.
“Don’t do it, Dave,” Samantha barged into the hall and charged toward them.
Dave froze for a moment and took in a deep breath. He put the gun down and turned to Samantha who was standing behind him.
“We’re going to have to do this, Sam. Why don’t you let me do it now?” He voiced, after assuming that she stopped him only because she couldn’t watch Maria die.
“She’s not the mole,” Samantha gasped, shaking her head slowly.
Dave squinted at her. “Then who is the mole?”
“I don’t know who is the mole, but it isn’t Maria. Henry told me that himself just now,” Samantha added.
Maria whose eyes had opened on hearing Samantha say she wasn’t the mole finally let out a breath of relief on hearing that Henry said it himself.
Dave looked at Maria for a second and then looked away again. “Your phone,” he requested from Samantha who handed him the device. He dialled Henry’s number and put the phone on speaker.
El Deols, Anthanna
Henry had already begun to change his clothes when they heard a knock at the door of the room they were in. He and Rex exchanged glances. Before anyone of them could talk, they heard Sheila’s voice.
“Rex, someone is knocking at the main entrance.”
Rex walked to the door and opened it. “Who’s at the door?”
“I don’t know who,” she shook her head. Her eyes drifted from Rex’s face and she saw Henry on the left side yet to put on his bisht.
Rex paused to take out the ringing phone in his pocket and looked at the screen. He answered after seeing that it was Tanko.
“Yeah?” He stayed silent for a few seconds and then ended the call. “Thank you, it’s Tanko.”:
“Okay,” Sheila smiled and turned to leave.
“Are you having problems with the turban?” Rex noticed that she was already dressed but without the turban.
“Yes, I’ve never put on anything like this before,” Sheila replied.
“Okay, I’ll help you when I get back,” Rex replied. “Tanko wants to see me now.”
“Thanks, I’ll be waiting if I haven’t figured it out myself before then,” Sheila replied before leaving.
“Why is Tanko back?” Henry asked before Rex could step out.
“I have to find out first,” Rex replied and proceeded.
Henry continued dressing up after Rex shut the door. He was about to put on the bisht when he heard the vibration of the phone in the cloth he took off. He reached for the device and looked at the screen even though he already knew who it was.
He shut his eyes as he considered whether or not to answer the call. There was only one thing Samantha and Dave could be calling to ask him – who the mole was. He wasn’t ready to tell them yet. He didn’t even know if he had the boldness to tell them that the wife who was the main reason they started the mission against the Red Wolves was the same one who killed their colleagues.
The phone stopped ringing and he heaved a sigh of relief. But it began to ring again before he could drop it. Nevertheless, he dropped the phone and continued dressing up.
“He’s not answering,” Dave gave up after trying to connect the third time.
“I spoke to him a few seconds ago,” Samantha remarked.
“Was he on the move?” Dave questioned.
Dave raised a brow as his eyes focused on Samantha’s face.
“Come on, I’m telling the truth. I spoke with Henry before coming in here. You can check the call history,” Samantha huffed. “You think I made the call up just to save Maria?”
Dave checked the call history like she suggested and found the proof.
“I just wanted to be sure,” he smirked and handed the phone back to Samantha. After that, he turned and gave Maria a look, partially a sorry look and a pitiful look. He turned to Samantha again. “It’s hot in here, I’ll be waiting outside. You can help her.”
Rex walked back, discussing with Tanko who came alone this time.
“You’re sure that’s not going to be a problem for us?” Tanko was asking.
“We can’t afford to slow down now. We gotta get into Bexford now that we have the chance before things go worse,” Rex replied adamantly. “We may only have to change some of our plans.”
“Is there any problem?” Sheila asked as the men got close to where she was.
Rex let out a sigh. He had yet to talk when he saw Henry stepping out of the room they went to dress up. He had put on the bisht but was still holding onto the turban material.
“I heard your voice,” Henry stated as he approached them. “What plans are we changing?”
All eyes turned to Rex but he waited until Henry got close enough before he spoke.
“Tanko got out to meet his men discussing something that concerns us,” Rex signalled to Tanko to show Henry what was on the phone.
Tanko unlocked the device and handed it to Henry. Sheila came close to Henry to look into the phone.
“What?” Henry remarked after seeing the headline.
“It just broke the internet ten minutes ago,” Tanko remarked. “They’re looking for her and the security would be ten times tighter than we planned for. I suggested that we wait before making the move.”
“No, we gotta start making moves immediately,” Henry also disagreed.
Sheila took the phone from Henry and kept staring at the device, finding it difficult to believe what the news read. She was too shocked to go beyond the headline and the snippet.
SHEILA JACK ACCUSED OF BEING A MEMBER OF THE RED WOLVES TERRORIST GROUP
Security agents in El Deols are currently in pursuit of Sheila Jack and two other members of the Red Wolves. Suspicions are that the three of them are trying to escape to Bexford tonight
“You guys are not thinking this through,” Tanko grumbled. “We’ll be walking into their hands if we move like we planned to.”
Both Rex and Henry were quiet. Sheila, on the other hand, couldn’t stop staring at the phone’s screen. Her heart was shattered into pieces by the news. She couldn’t believe that she was labelled a terrorist.
“There’s something fishy here, isn’t it?” Rex finally spoke after almost a minute of silence. “Hutton Ryker wouldn’t let this information get to the news if he wants to nab or stop us. He knows the information getting to us will make it more difficult for him.”
“What if he’s not trying to nab us?” Henry thought out loud. “Maybe he wants us to get into Bexford successfully.”
“Why would he want that?” Rex questioned.
“I don’t know,” Henry shook his head.
The two of them were in a dilemma. None of it was making sense to them.
“Guys, this is not the time to start wondering why it’s on the news,” Tanko let out in frustration. “We need to abort this suicide mission right now,” he added and then faced Rex, grabbing his shirt to plead.
“I think we should wait like he suggested,” Henry put in.
Rex raised his brows at Henry, not believing his ears.
“Thank you,” Tanko heaved a sigh of relief and turned to Henry.
“You’re not serious about that, are you?” Rex questioned Henry.
“I am serious,” Henry replied. “We can delay a little while I get my men to start working there.”
“What men are you talking about man?” Rex scoffed. “Most of them just died in an explosion.”
“I still have two…or three of them, They’re enough to wreak havoc in Hutton Ryker’s base.”
“Wreak havoc?” Rex laughed in scorn. “We don’t even have a damn plan yet.”
“Yeah, but we can develop a plan while we wait,” Henry stated confidently. “For now, we have a Trojan horse.”
“What Trojan horse?”
“Sarah,” Henry replied.
“There’s a tracker in her body,” Henry replied. “We can find her with that.”
“There have always been trackers on her,” Rex replied, unimpressed. “Did you put one on her?”
“Yes, I took out the one put by the Red Wolves when we got to Bexford but put a new chip in the same place. She doesn’t know about it,” Henry explained. “I can give them the details to look into it while we find a better way to get out of here.”
To be continued