Episode 12: Gun Play Part 2
by Sabrina Carol
by Sabrina Carol
|Kaye Corday in Ten Little Spies.|
There was a light. An effulgent light. The kind you woke to on a tranquil Sunday morning, and gladly encompassed you in its warmth. There was a slicing pain. The kind that threatened to split the human skull in two. If this was heaven then he sure felt like hell.
Dare Ransom winced as he shifted his head to take a good look at his surroundings. He was inside his apartment, sprawled out on his comfy brown leather sofa, rangy legs hanging limply over the side. He gritted his teeth while forcing himself into a sitting position. Dare's recollection of the night before was more or less a dense fog. The only thing he clearly remembered was consuming too much liquor and--- there was something else. . . A stream of memory slowly trickled into his conscious mind.
Hands. Female hands tearing at his shirt. Dark flowing locks.
Dare's brown eyes fell to his open shirt, where several buttons were missing. Yes. . . he remembered. How could he ever forget?
"Dyan?" he called her name. He started to rise from the sofa only to regret it when the living room swirled around him. He fell backwards onto the leather seat and reached for the stabbing ache on the side of his head. He felt the makings of a gauzy bandage and tape covering his left temple. Obviously, the night before had been far from a fantasy. What had happened? What did he--- or they do?
Needing to know Dare appealed to his wife again. This time she answered, the patter of her feet coming from the bedroom. He turned on his side, relying on an armrest to hold his tousled head.
"Dy. . ." her name died on his lips.
Kaye Corday stood in the open doorway. Fresh from sleep, her blond hair hung loose, framing her pretty face. "Good morning," she gently said, her hands traveling down the seams of an oversized blue shirt covering her slender body. "I hope you don't mind. I needed something to sleep in."
"Wh-what are you doing here?" Dare stammered in confusion.
Her cool green eyes gazed at him in open curiosity. "You really don't remember, do you?"
Dare's heart thudded in an unnatural pace. "Is there something I should remember?"
"Yes," she lightly nodded. "Yes, there is."
Dyan Ransom felt more like a spy than a worried sister invading her sister's home. She hadn't ventured there very often, and unlike her twin Allison, Kaye rarely issued invitations. She anxiously fondled the gold key in her right hand. She knew Kaye hadn't actually wanted her with the it to begin with, but gave it to her anyhow. And even then it was at Dyan's insistence.
Dyan's jeweled eyes inspected what was suppose to be her sister's home. The apartment--- a testament to Art Deco--- was visibly styled with great care. Smooth artic walls, chic furniture rimmed in chrome-plated steel and canvas padding flowed from room to room. Everything was as it should be.
Dyan paused in the kitchen. Not even a mug was out of place. And therein lied the problem, she mused to herself. The apartment was strictly a front. A nice showroom for when people happened to drop by. Only the surrealism paintings decorating the bedroom walls provided a clue to the person who dwelled there.
Dyan found herself admiring the strange and fascinating work a then teenage Kaye had created. Kaye's use of color and the ability to tell a story through the stroke of a brush always captivated her. And in the end it always haunted her. Dyan deeply inhaled at the sight of the last portrait her sister ever did. It was a harsh abstract painting of a woman shaped with slicing colors, and oddly fragmented through cubism inspired art. It was the only one her sister ever did after the operation -- the operation that changed everything.
"Stop it," Dyan ordered as feelings of guilt begin to bubble up inside her. Now was not the time to be falling apart. A righteous anger pumped through her veins. It hadn't occurred to her that her employer, Adrian Zeller's sudden interest in her was more than the typical fancy. She began to pace to-and-fro. "The nerve of that man and that woman!" she seethed, at the thought of Dagmar Krause. The sweet little old lady turned out to be a tarantula. "And his aunt too, ugh."
Dyan's fury gave way to exhaustion and she slumped onto Kaye's bed. Her sister hadn't been home last night. For the first time in Dyan's life she was relieved to not know where she was. Any minute Adrian would be walking through that door ready to commit murder. She couldn't help but wonder what insanity drove her there. What was she hoping to accomplish staring down the barrel of a gun?
Tears spilled down Dyan's cheeks as the sadness of her life hit home all at once. She had made hard sacrifices for the love of a family that wasn't hers, only to betray them with the threat of her own mortality.
No one leaves the Legacy.
Franklin Fairchild's words gripped her as dark memories from her youth came rushing back. She had managed to escape. But at what price? She was so alone. Allison was gone. Kaye had left her long ago. Her husband, she had pushed away. She didn't deserve Dare. She never did.
A dull ache filled Dyan's chest. She had used him. She married him simply to stay near to Kaye and Allison. There was something tragic about an unrequited love. But in the end she did love him. Now it was too late. He was one more sacrifice she had to make.
In the near distance there was the quiet opening and closing of the front door. Deliberate steps softly crossed the living room floor, moving to the bedroom. Dyan's heart raced as they inched closer and closer. . .
What the bloody hell was she doing here?
Dare strained to sit up, not caring about his throbbing head or the rising urge he felt to heave his guts all over the living room floor. He had apparently spent a very uncomfortable night on the sofa while the female he now considered an enemy slumbered in his bed. His thoughts were a jumbled mess, and trying to piece together the events of the previous evening was proving brutal on the mind.
"Come on and think, you moron." he demanded of himself. He knew now that any words coming from Kaye's mouth were more likely to be pure fabrication. The way she lied to Dyan had opened his eyes. Dare felt another stab of pain, and this time it wasn't physical. Was it all a dream, he mulled while picking at his torn shirt. Of course not.
"Kaye!" Dare yelled in spite of the unbearable pain it caused.
Kaye returned to the room. He peered at her through unveiled eyes. The way she held her head, the way she walked, everything about her. The quiet sweetness he once thought to be humble and secure was now revealing a cocky veneer he hadn't seen before.
"Do you remember this?" She inquired, removing his pistol from behind her back.
"What do you plan to do with that?" He asked, finding himself dreading the answer.
Kaye gestured to his bandaged forehead. "I believe that's something I should be asking you." Seeing even more confusion in his face, she continued. "Apparently you had a lot to drink last night. I don't know what was going through you mind, but you had this gun. You were ready to use it." She held up the palm of her hand. "Not on me, mind you."
A sudden flash seared Dare's muddled thoughts. He remembered. Oh, how he wish hadn't. He held his head in hands out of disgust or shame, or both.
Kaye sat down beside him. "Why would you even try to kill yourself?"
The very idea of her questioning him infuriated Dare. "Why," he mimicked, gripping her arm so tightly she yelped in pain. His eyes burned into hers. "You have the audacity to ask me this after I put my life and career on the line because of your lies. The same lies that has stolen the one person I love more than anything in this world away from me."
"Oh no," Kaye breathed, slowly crumbling before him. "She told you. You don't under---,"
"Understand what," he angrily insisted. "Understand that you're a liar, a kidnapper, a traitor of your friends, your sisters -- a disgrace to the Legacy."
Dare's words slammed like a fist into her and Kaye jerked away. "You don't know," she said, enraged. Her hand clasped his pistol in a vice, turning her knuckles white. Dare found himself believing her to be more than capable of murder; not the kind committed to protect and to serve, but the kind that slaughtered the innocents without feeling or consequences.
"I did everything for the Legacy," she said adamantly. "I'm not a disgrace, Dare. I followed orders given to me by my superior. Yes, I lied. But I did it because I had to not because I wanted to."
Dare looked at her in comical disbelief. "Orders by your superior? Would that be Franklin Fairchild? Guess what Kaye, I don't trust a word you say. I think you're incapable of telling the truth."
"You are so blinded by her," Kaye muttered through gritted teeth. "You haven't a clue about the woman you're married to."
He pointed an accusing finger at her. "You're the one who doesn't know her. Dyan's entire life has been about you and Allison. She's given up everything for you--- including me. That's how much she loves you."
Kaye stood up and walked over to the fireplace. A jubilant laughter came from her mouth. "For such a smart man you can be completely dense." She smiled at him in bemused condescension. "I'm going to let you in on a little secret," she said and held the gun to her chest. "Dyan only married you to remain closer to me and Allison. She has never loved you--- maybe cared, but love? No. She used you Dare. Why do you think it's so easy for her to toss you out like yesterday's garbage?"
Dare stumbled off of the sofa and onto his feet. "You're a damn----," but before a he could get the words out he doubled over in cramps, and landed in a heap on the floor. "Oh God--"
Kaye was at his side immediately. "What is it? What's wrong?"
"I-I don't know."
"This isn't right," Kaye murmured. She reached for the phone and quickly dialed the Legacy. "This Agent Kaye Corday. I need an EMT dispatched to Agent Dare Ransom's home fast!" She hung up the phone. Her hazel eyes filling with sadness, she squeezed his hand. "Dare, I'm so sorry. I never meant for any of this to happen." She went to kiss his finger tips only to stop. They were a strange purplish-blue. "Now that's weird. What could've--- the candle. I forgot about the candle. How could I have been so stupid." Her eyes strayed to where the remaining broken pieces scattering the carpet.
"Candle," Dare sighed in a feverish haze.
"The candle, Dare, do you have any idea where it came from?" Kaye demanded.
"Dyan. . ."
Kaye's brows knitted together in thought. "Dyan, that doesn't make sense. More likely Adrian Zeller." She looked deeply into his eyes. "Are you certain it was Dyan?"
Dare didn't bother to answer. Suddenly he wasn't sure of anything anymore.
If Xavier Mortez was frightened his stoic face didn't show it. It served only to rile Franklin Fairchild even more. The clicking sound from his thumb pulling back the hammer of his semiautomatic gun heightened the tension in Franklin's office.
"You have a serious problem doctor," Franklin said gruffly. "Dare Ransom is far from dead. And one of my best agents--- the one you were suppose to have under control--- has gone astray." He aimed the barrel at Xavier's head, and received a satisfying jolt when the genius' right eye twitched. "Give me one reason why I shouldn't pull the trigger."
Xavier licked his dry thin lips. "Firstly, I know Mr. Ransom isn't dead. The purpose of the drug was to make his death seem normal. A sudden illness. . . unlike the rather obvious way you chose to kill your previous spies." Seeing Franklin's index finger flinch over the trigger, he sharply inhaled. "But I digress. As for Ms. Corday. You and I both knew ahead of time the chances of regaining control of her mind were very slim."
Franklin's mouth twisted in displeasure. "That is where I disagree. I pay you to make the impossible happen. Unfair it may be. But life has a tendency to be that way. Especially if you're not the one with the power."
"Franklin," Xavier spoke with a parched tongue. "Ms. Corday's condition is fragile, if even that. The chip you had implanted in her head years ago has caused serious repercussions not only for her health, but mentally as well. The human brain has a habit of being fickle. You can't alter a person's memory with expecting a fall out."
"Yes, I know the chip is failing," Franklin said carefree. "That's where your drug was suppose to come in."
"The chip is not only failing. It is literally decaying inside every agent you misguidedly inserted with it. Every time it short-circuits it creates tiny almost undetectable brain hemorrhages that cause the blood veins to slowly clot. This is the reason for Ms. Corday's headaches. Without removal of the chip she will die. . . and even so, she will more likely be rendered insane when her true memories return clashing with the alternate ones you created."
"Then I lose," Franklin nodded in disappointment. His regrets were temporary, and quickly replaced with an unreasonable hatred. "Apologies to your wife and children. I'm afraid that isn't the answer I wanted to hear."
"If I were you, I would seriously reconsider my actions," Xavier hastily stated. "You see, I have made provisions upon my death. For instance, every dastardly secret you harbor shall be revealed in personalized documents to the FBI." He sighed heavily, pausing to massage the bridge of his nose. "I knew one day it would come to this. After all, I may have a gift of genius, but I am a mere man, not God. I can not control a person's will, or murder with conscience. In other words, if I die then so shall you and your Legacy.
A ghostly smile played on Xavier's lips. "But then again. . . since I have received word I am to report before the U.S. Security Council I have a suspicion your time has come. It seems they have been monitoring your moves concerning a chemical agent entitled Black Rain."
Franklin felt his flesh freeze over. He was done.
"I should be getting back to my work." Xavier said and exited the office.
The gun clattered onto Franklin's desktop as reality sunk in. He had to leave. Now.
He snatched up the phone and punched in a series of numbers.
"Mr. Fairchild what can I do for you?" the operator answered.
"Ready me a plane for take off. I'm afraid I'm needed elsewhere."
Adrian Zeller hesitated at the bedroom door. He thought he heard the distinct sound of a woman crying and it tore at him completely. He glared at the cold steel in his hand. A part of him knew what he was attempting to do was total lunacy. But it was something that he had to done. At least that what he kept trying to convince himself on his way over to Kaye Corday's apartment.
A ripple of anxiety coursed through his trembling hands. At first he was surprised and then suspicious at how easy it was to get inside her apartment. She was a Legacy spy. It seemed she would bolt lock her door instead depending on the little doorknob lock to do the trick.
He heard her sniffle and sigh.
Then again her mind was obviously elsewhere.
Ignoring the growing queasiness in his stomach, Adrian shoved open the door and strode confidently into the bedroom. His blue eyes widened in absolute shock. "What the devil are you doing here?"
Dyan eyed the gun with red-rimmed eyes. "Waiting for you."
"For me?" Adrian questioned, pointing the gun towards him before hurriedly turning it back to her.
"You and Dagmar should be more careful about where you plot your schemes." she said in disgust.
Realization hit him like a brick to the forehead, but Adrian refused to waver. "Well, in that case you were foolish to come here."
This seemed to amuse her. "Look around you Adrian. Kaye isn't here. So what are you going to do about it."
Adrian grimaced. What was he going to do about?
"All right, you're coming with me." he said, dragging her from the bed.
Dyan pulled away. "I don't think so."
"Don't tempt me. I'm the one with a gun." he warned.
Dyan's lovely face turned stubborn. "You don't have the guts."
Adrian felt like kicking himself. What was it with women! They never listened to him. Adrian thought about the tongue lashing he was going to get courtesy of his aunt when she heard about his latest misadventure. His eyes filled with venom when he imagined Dagmar standing there instead of Dyan.
"I wouldn't bet on that," he said viciously and pushed her toward the door. "No sudden moves, or your husband will find himself a widower."
Melanie Peel turned around just as the EMT wheeled in a man on a stretcher. But it was the woman jogging alongside the victim that caught her attention.
"It couldn't be," she breathed.
But it was her in the flesh.
"It will be taken care of," Melanie mimicked Dagmar Krause's thick accent. "So much for that." And so much for her unusually early day off thanks to Franklin Fairchild's sudden emergency.
Melanie followed Kaye Corday inside the ER , but kept her distance as she pondered the unexpected glitch in her plan to a fortune. She whipped out her cellphone and speed dialed Dagmar. "We have a bit of a problem," she said when the elderly woman answered. "You did not take care of Corday. She's in the Legacy, standing right before me." Melanie rolled her eyes as the woman shot off a fresh round of insults about her nephew. "So now what do we do? Me. I'm not killing anyone. That wasn't apart of the deal. But---,"
Melanie closed the phone with an angry snap. She frowned at Kaye while the petite blond waited like a loving wife for word of her husband's condition. Gaining a stronger resolve, Melanie knew there was no way in hell she was blowing a million dollars. She made a beeline for the operative.
"Hi Kaye," she greeted. "You mind if we talk."
"Can't you see I'm in the middle of something important?" Kaye replied sharply.
Melanie glanced at the man the doctors we busy scurrying about. A broad smile came to her lips. "Dare Ransom, I see. I do think our talk will do you some good."
Kaye roughly massaged her throbbing temples. "Leave me alone, Melanie."
"Let me put it to you this way," Melanie folded her arms across her chest. "I know what's ailing Dare. And if you want to know then I suggest you follow me outside." Without so much as a look back, she left the ER. It wasn't long before Kaye was right behind her.
"This had better good, or else." Kaye threatened.
Melanie opened her purse and dug until she found what she was looking for. It was only for emergencies, so she never actually had to use it. But desperate times called for desperate measures.
Kaye's eyes enlarged at the site of the silver barrel carefully aimed and hidden from prying eyes.
"Don't take it personal," Melanie instructed awfully cheery. "For the record, Dare is going to get better, so don't worry so much. However, in the mean time I suggest you come with me. And whatever you do don't try anything funny, because I would hate to use this."
"Why are you doing this?" Kaye questioned.
Melanie gave her a mischievous smile. "Because I have a date with a billionaire. And you, my dear have a date with a madman."
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