Third Law – Chapter 13

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Next door!” she spit out and the door landed shut. “Living here a week and all shitty blonds come searching for the dickhead!”

It was usually the younger kind that had such foul mouth, I retorted, still standing there like a fool, nailed on the spot by her ugly rant. I was closer to light brown, I said to myself, ashy brown. Not blond.

This door had small white square bell and I pressed it so hard my finger turned red. I didn’t get any answer this time, but I tried the handle then and discovered the door was open. I walked in and saw him sitting in the middle of a dark living room, reading newspaper against the last of the sunlight.

You have something that belongs to me!” I demanded and stretched my hand out.

When mom called me earlier, saying her family heirloom had been stolen, it didn’t take me long to figure out, which direction the compass would turn. I didn’t like, when someone touched my things. Even less when someone ransacked my mom’s purse while she was visiting.

He looked dumbfounded at first, but then sly grin ran over his grubby face and he put the newspaper down.

Do I?”

Yes, the small white bible with blue cross on it? Give it here!” I shouted at the him while he raked his vest pocket for a tobacco. Why did his vest have so fine material when the rest of his fashion didn’t match up?

He didn’t respond for a while, but kept blandly rolling his smoke as if his gangling fingers helped keep cigarette round. Despite his throws, it kept its flat shape and traveled between his lips. He lit it immediately and then raised his questioning look on me.

If you ask nicely?”

With the blue cross!” I reminded him.

He thought a second and smiled. “Alright.”

He walked in the back room and returned with the requested book. If one could call it a request.

Why did you take it?” I asked curiously. He might be a thief, but his actions were not very intimidating. “Why steal a bible? You can’t sell it, the cross on it is made out of glass…”

I wanted to know more about my new neighbor girl! Is that so wrong?” he commended. “Bible, miss, is a very important book, by the way. But in this case, I liked the attractive decoration of it, it’s true personal value. The man, who made it, carried much love for the receiver.”

My father. Back then he might even loved mom.

It wasn’t enough to just drop by for five o’clock tea or something?”

Don’t you know it’s dangerous to go asking thieves give back stuff they stole, miss?” he asked instead.

I knew, but I didn’t think of it, when I discovered that figurehead turned out to be a thief with exemplary manners.

Why did you do it?” he asked.

Because it has value one can’t measure in money.” I answered with his own words. He studied me for a long moment, before saying he didn’t believe me. I rolled my eyes like a teenager. “I give it back to mom and say it fell out in the living room. Then she can’t call my new home nest of thieves.”

My phone rang, spilling the room unfitting classical … and his eyes fell on my hip before his smile vanished.

I only take what I like.” He explained immediately. “I borrow, if that’s a better word for you. Mostly I forget to return what I…borrow. And usually I don’t look good on break-ins. But hop away now, bunny, I shall think over this invitation for tea then.”

He stayed obnoxiously polite while my phone blasted and one might think of him as someone with good side, but I left the reeducating monsters to princesses in fairy tales. If monster told you to get lost, then you didn’t think twice and left the place as fast as your feet took you.

I fled, pressing the Bible on my chest and trying desperately sound normal, when I searched, who was calling. I had to stop, when I read “hidden number” and pull in a breath.

You call me now in the middle of the day? Aren’t you impatient?” I joked coldly. I responded equally kind. “You need to give me more time, you should have time – it’s not like your plan has to go through tonight!”

I didn’t like him calling so often. Pressuring wasn’t gonna get any results. No results, as far as I was concerned. It would go faster if they would share what they’ve learned, but I was dealing with folks, who answered to no one except God. And as an aftertaste I doubted if saint Peter would let them through the golden gates.

I have a way around now and will search for him when I can move more freely!” He snapped at me. “No! I’m not under surveillance! Only by you!”

My hopes of not being under surveillance crumbled, when it dawned on me that Saul-Erik was not that happy about my trick, Oliver waiting for me on my porch.

I gotta go.” I flick the phone closed and hid it in my pocket.

Oliver was dead serious and said he won’t be leaving before I made a small visit to their place. So I admitted the defeat and followed him back on the street and in from the next gate, still clinging on to the Bible, feeling slightly nauseous of his abundant aftershave.

His rage filled the room. I stood seven feet from him and I still felt his breath on my skin.

You asked Janay your Bible back? Are you deliberately going around searching for trouble?”

Hey, no need to overdo it now, Saul…” Rasmus tried to cool his temper, but was pushed away from his way and backed out, hands up.

Janay – he eats your kind for breakfast! You don’t just walk in and make demands!”

Got it!”

Doesn’t look like you did!” He pulled back a bit and turned around, gulping for air.

He stole my Bible! How else do you deal with thieves if you don’t have police? You face up to them! If they know they are caught, they won’t be able to steal for long, bec…” I watched as their faces grew long before they changed odd looks.

Janay is not a thief.” Oliver drawled, his lips curling upwards with joy for all the twisting his little revelation did to my face.

What?” I whispered, filled with sudden desire to sit down. I didn’t dare to even guess.

He is an assassin!” Saul-Erik added. “I hired the man to kill the Huntsman.”

I searched their faces for confirmation to his words. Oliver was grinning wide. He like said, he hired him. To kill someone. Malek looked pained and Rasmus’s expression was unreadable. That was no small thing in my book.

You hired a man to kill…him?”

Yes.” Saul remained stoic.

He hired a hitman on my father!

His brows furrowed and he stepped forward, reaching out for me. I jerked out of his reach and stumbled backwards. I had to get away from here. Now!

I heard the chair fall. I looked from one face to another, trying to get my wits together. I felt the wall behind me and recognized I was near the door. I used the moment and grabbed for the door. It slammed behind me while I jumped over the bushes and fussed with the keys to get inside my own. They fell on the mat, when I pushed the door open. I didn’t pick them up.

I saw Janay in the back of my mind, holding his gun out and pulling the trigger over and over again while I was gagged up and kneeling next to my dad. First him and then me, first him and then me. Then it was Mykola and he pointed right at me.

I woke up, sitting flat in front of my door, panting, white Bible in one hand and candle holder in another. I stared at the table in the end of the corridor until it blurred out of my view. I was dead scared.

It felt as if I had just faced my future assassin. They were serious about having him dead and if they’d find out that I was his daughter, I was pretty sure I’d face the same faith. They wouldn’t make an example of me, put things in papers. They would actually get me killed.

I heard mellow knocking above my head.

It startled me. I hadn’t heard anyone approach the door. Someone tried the handle and with a thud the door ran into my back.

Evelyn?” Saul’s voice asked calmly. “It would be easier to come in if you moved away from the door.”

I didn’t want him to come in, but I gathered it wouldn’t leave a good impression if I had him press me off the way with the door. He was strong enough to do it.

I swallowed hard and rose up. I clutched harder to the candle holder and held it out like a battle ax, pressing the Bible tightly on my chest. He waited until I was few steps away and gently pushed the door open.

You lost your keys.” He tossed them to me.

His eyes fell on the candle stick and he let out disgruntled growl. “It will break if you toss it to me. Plus, you’ll be losing your weapon and I might use it against you.”

I don’t think you would. It’s not for you.” I said and let the heavy candle holder down. I never could hold it up for long so I let it slide on my side before taking it back on its place on the small table next to the front door.

I already knew the rules for wannabe fighter – never toss your tool of trade against your opponent. It was one of the first things Mykola told me, when he taught me to use it.

Then what?” he asked.

I went to the living room and he followed. “I…” I should tell him, who I was, but I didn’t. “You’re overreacting.” I said, voice trembling. “Janay can be quite understand, if given the chance.”

I’m not overreacting, you were the one, who just ran from my house and raise candle holder against anyone, who would want to come in! I’m serious, Evelyn!”

About what?” I set the Bible on the living room table and turned to the window. He was standing just feet behind me, but I didn’t dare to look him in the eyes.

You can’t go around on your own without…”

I called you! Malek knew exactly where I was.”

He snorted and I turned around to see, what it was about. “I know. He made sure he stood six feet away with bone saw turned my way when he said you called!”

I was appalled. “What?”

I hoped he was joking, but the surprised face I encountered didn’t bare any such signs.

You are trouble!” he changed his tone. “Keeping you alive is trouble!” He paused. “Everything with you is trouble. The hell did you come here for?”

To find my father, I told you.” I said, but my mouth dried up and breathing over sandpapery tongue scratched that.

You are trouble!” he changed his tone. “Keeping you alive is trouble!” He paused. “Everything with you is trouble. The hell did you come here for?”

To find my father, I told you.” I said, but my mouth dried up and breathing over sandpapery tongue scratched that.

You’re not telling me everything.” He accused.

We all have our secrets.” I responded with cliché. He wasn’t about to get them out of me.

Yours are making you reckless. Care to share some of them?”

I shook my head.

It wasn’t a question.”

Look…” I wanted him to back off, noticing that my left hand was still shaking. Why did it hurt to say that? “You are quite closed community, it would be better for you and them if secrets remain what they are.”

You don’t even know them, but already judge what is best for them? Or me?” he asked, menace growling back of his voice.

I acted out of my place. Sorry.” I pressed my lips together and waited him to leave, but he wouldn’t move and before I knew it, I fell in his trap. “I know them.” I sighed. “I know them through my father’s research.”

He pulled in a sharp breath.

Your father was related with the research?”

No. My uncle was the night watch at the hospital. He stole the files before it they closed it down.” I spun around to see him pull his hand through his hair before he sat on the table.

That’s quite a family you’ve got.” He snorted nervously, but I the smile never reached his eyes. He crossed his feet and wrapped his hands on his chest.

You don’t know half of it, I groaned. “Yes, quite.”

They give quite detailed view on the experiments.” I watched him bring his weight on his knees, before rocking back. “Most of the files were impersonal.”

How did you get them?”

Mykola had them in his shop, when I went to work there.”

Mykola…” I snarled with menace, giving me the impression he didn’t like him. I couldn’t blame him.

Something flash in his eyes, before he turned to look at the two boxes in my shelves. I straightened. He must of picked up the sudden change in my posture for he responded with a knowing smile and got up, took hold of my chin and whispered.

You know NOTHING of what’s good for them!”

I bit in my cheek not to say anything for a while.

You must trust me on this one. I do.” I whispered.

You want to exchange secrets?” he teased.

No.”

His view sobered.

After you find your father, you’ll leave?”

I lowered my eyes and felt the warmth drawn away. I watched him leave.

Maybe?”

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