Wednesday, April 25, 2012
The Tea Room conjured warm memories of Mila's childhood with a special blend of peppermint, vanilla and caramel apple. She'd never had all these scents in one place since she was back home in the Forsythe mansion in America. It was strange to think of that place as home but with both of her parents in the service industry, they'd never had the luxury of a real, white picket fenced house.
Now with this latest development, Mila Ferguson was torn. All her life she thought she knew who she was. Now it could all be a bunch of lies. Her father; Mila had to force herself to think of him by his name, Fergus, Chandelor had paid them to watch over her.
Her entire life was one big lie.
Mila tried to block out all the hurt by putting her focus on something else. Something that would keep her from replaying that horrible moment over and over.
The three at the next table were easy to focus on. The blonde lady was quite beautiful even though she was dressed in dark jeans and a ragged hoodie. The two men had their own sort of good looks. Neither was Hollywood handsome but she doubted either had trouble finding dates. The three of them were the perfect distraction from her horrible day.
Mila couldn't hear everything they were saying, but once they mentioned Michela's name, she knew she had to find out more about these people. Plus, Michela could help her get back to America.
Mila wished she could forget what she had heard outside Chandelor Knight's office. That one conversation had changed her life forever. If her parent's weren't her parents who was she really?
She inched closer to the table where the three had been talking about Michela.
"I need to see Michela for myself," Ethan said.
"Well, I guess it's a good thing you are good at breaking and entering then," Alison said with a smile.
The three of them left the tea shoppe together and Mila pulled out her suitcase and wheeled it behind her. She exited the shoppe right after the three agents. But she wasn't the only one watching. Someone else in the shoppe also had their eyes on her.
Kevin stayed back as Mila walked past him through the entry way. He followed her closely until she was a block away from the tea room. Then he kicked the suitcase out of her hand, grabbed her shoulder and put her into a head lock.
Mila barely had time to react. She was significantly smaller than he. "You're crushing me."
"Why are you watching us?" Kevin growled in her ear.
Mila's heart pounded. She swooned and felt as if she might pass out.
"Kevin. Stop! You're scaring her." Alison Corday pulled Kevin away from Mila. "Don't mind him. He's not wired for subtle."
"She was eavesdropping on us! Any normal person would be dead by now. You're lucky I have great restraint."
Mila yanked her arm from Kevin's grasp and kneaded the muscle in her shoulder. "I'm sorry, but you mentioned Michela's name and I couldn't help myself."
"You know, Michela?" Ethan asked.
"My mother is the Forsythe's housekeeper."
"Sophia?" Ethan's voice was tinted with surprise. "That means your father is Fergus."
"Yes," she said choking back emotion. "I came to visit him in London, but I can't stay at the mansion anymore. Something's happened and I don't feel comfortable there any more. I was hoping Michela might have a place for me to stay."
"And that's it?" Alison said incredulously. "You just need a little help?" She sounded skeptical. Alison wasn't quick to trust ever since her sister, Dyan betrayed them all.
"What else would I want?" Mila's innocent eyes took in the experienced spies and she didn't even know what deadly eyes she was gazing into.
Ethan put an arm around Mila's shoulder. She was quivering, the fear in her body was amped up.
"Come with us. We'll take you to Michela," Ethan said.
"Do you think this is a good idea?" Alison asked, pulling Ethan to the side. "Michela isn't exactly in her right mind."
"Maybe seeing some familiar faces will trigger something," Ethan said, then whispered in a lower tone. "Check out Mila on the DL. I want to make sure she's kosher before we put her and Michela together."
"This could set Michela back completely. She already thinks she's living in the past. She talked to me for twenty minutes yesterday about some boyfriend she had in high school that even I didn't remember," Alison said.
"Michela was a romantic target in high school. Her family was rich and many people in school weren't."
"You didn't go to school with Michela. I would have remembered you," Alison said.
"I was a friend of Michael Donovan. I met her when she was dating him."
"So, you've always been a jet-setting playboy? Alison muttered. "I should have figured."
Ethan's childhood was anything but jet-setting. He'd grown up in an orphanage that was run by Franklin's oldest sibling, Sister Mary Rosa and her superior Father Macaire Ambrose. The orphanage wasn't the worst place in the world, but Mary Rosa did everything in her power to make sure they were all well cared for.
He hated reflecting on his past. It reminded him of everything he'd lost. Mary Rosa and Macaire were like parents to him, but he hadn't seen them in many years. Being a spy put everyone he loved in danger. It was easier and safer to stay away. It kept the target of his enemies off their backs.
Ethan pulled out his PDA and texted a secure message to Boswell. He was the head of the armory and inventor of many of their cool spy gadgets. The sixty-plus man dressed like a cross between a Hell's Angel and a hippie. He was sure Boswell would be on board to help the four of them slip back into headquarters.
As he texted his S.O.S., the message bounced back with an error.
"What's wrong?" Kevin asked from the front seat of the taxi the four had commandeered once they were certain Mila wasn't a security threat.
"Liz has disabled secure Legacy communications. She's become more of a thorn in our side than I suspected."
"Does anyone have Boswell's cell number?" Ethan asked. None of them had communicated beyond the secure Legacy network. Now, since that was compromised, they needed to find a new way to get in contact with their friends inside HQ.
Alison did have an idea. Boswell was known as a sort of ladies man, if you could believe his constant stories about the topic.
"I think his latest gal pal is Dena Thorpe. That woman that owns the flower shop not far from Westminster."
"Maybe we can swipe her cell and send Boswell a quick message," Kevin suggested. "Anyone for a quick op?"
Ethan knew he could probably do this swiftly on his own. His nanites could wirelessly connect with any electronic device. They could walk into the flower shop and he'd be close enough to make a connection with her cell. But Kevin was chomping at the bit to dust off and stretch his spy skills.
Ethan couldn't deny him his fun.