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Rated: 13+ · Chapter · Action/Adventure · #2317610
In which everything else is explained and the puzzle is complete
“We tried to reach you as soon as we saw the facial recognition report,” Kit says. “But neither of you would pick up, so that’s why I tried LINE.”

Sunlight pours through the windows of the front room in Bel’s house, where the three of them are sitting. Kam and Bel have mugs of chilled Crio Bru, and Kit has a Strawberry Frappuccino, which he bought on the way over. Kit refuses to be converted to brewed cacao just yet.

“How did you know I would answer?” Bel understands now that Kit asking for his LINE wasn’t just a random request. Kit had been worried that something might happen, and when he’d seen Kit’s LINE saying “it’s Gulf”, Bel knew that Kit had been right.

“I knew you would answer,” Kit says. “But I didn’t expect your answer to be asking for my email address.”

Actually, that hadn’t been the weirdest part for Kit. The weirdest part had been when Nina had seen the LINE message and known exactly what Bel meant by Peter Pan and Tinkerbell. After they’d got an email with a recording of Gulf’s confession, Em called Talay and told them Bel and Kam were at the dealership.

People had started showing up about ten minutes after Silo shot Gulf, and Bel had announced that the USB was blank. Not just people in police uniforms but in suits and ties, firing question after question at both Kam and Bel until Silo had barked that they’d said enough. The last things they’d seen when Kit bundled them into the car were the Gorilla in handcuffs and a sheet being dropped over Gulf’s body.

“What’s going to happen to the Gorilla?” Bel asks.

“That’s something you don’t need to know.” Kit makes a face. “I’ll tell you this, though. His name was one one of those files, so that should give you an idea of how dangerous he is.”

“I got a pretty good idea when he kicked my ribs in.” Kam says.

“You shouldn’t have fought him in the first place,” Kit snaps.

“My boyfriend asked me to.” Kam slings an arm around Bel’s shoulders, and Kit cocks an eyebrow.

“And you’ll do whatever he asks?”

Kam grins. “What do you think?”

“Unless it’s weird,” Bel clarifies.

Silo and Kit had been right to insist that Bel and Kam go to the hospital. Besides the various minor cuts and bruises, at least two of Kam’s ribs were very much broken and another one was cracked thanks to the Gorilla’s massive feet. Bel had a concussion thanks to Gulf’s fists, and the stitches in his side had to be redone. Neither Bel nor Kam wanted to ask Em what strings she pulled to get them out of the hospital sooner than any of the other medical staff wanted, but she had, and that was fine by them.

“Is that the only reason you’re here?” Bel’s second question sounds a little more impatient. “Or did you want something else?”

“Your boyfriend’s a little twitchy, Kam.” Kit’s eyebrow is cocked. “Did I interrupt Something?”

Kam flips his brother the bird. Kam has also moved into Bel’s bedroom, but due to their injuries they haven’t been doing much in there other than actually sleeping.

That didn’t mean, however, they hadn’t been doing Other Things.

Other Things that had been interrupted when Kit showed up.

“You’ve got the same look on your face that Kam gets when he really wants something.” Bel leans forward. “So what do you want?”

“I guess you two have been taking advantage of your Paid Time Off, huh?” Kit copies Bel’s posture, so they’re almost nose to nose. “Maybe Em sent me to make sure you took the pain meds and antibiotics like you’re supposed to.”

“Right.” Bel sticks his tongue out at him. “That’s what my boyfriend is for.”

“Does he force feed them to you?” Kit is smirking.

“Not yet.” So is Kam.

“That’s not funny, Kam.”

“No,” Kam winks at his glaring boyfriend. “But it’s true. Stop smirking, Kit, and tell him what you want.”

Kit leans back in an effort to look casual, but his eyes are too alert. “I heard Nina booked a flight back to America.”

“Talay told you that.” Kam makes it a statement, rather than a question. Kit ignores him and keeps looking at Bel.

“She did,” Bel says, then answers Kit's unasked question. “Actually she bought two, and she’s flying out this afternoon.”

“I’m guessing that look on your face means you know who the other ticket is for.” Kam adds, and now it’s Kit’s turn to flip the bird.

“Do you have his number?” Kit asks.

Bel gives him a confused look. “Huh?”

“Silo,” Kit clarifies. “The man your sister is dating. Do you have his number?”

“No,” Bel looks even more confused. “Why?”

“No reason,” but Kit gets off the couch and goes out the door.

Bel stares after him. “The hell?”

Kam smirks.

Nina said goodbye to her brother the night before, so it’s Em and Talay that drive her to the airport. Actually, they’re all in Silo’s car, but Em and Talay are dropping them off so Silo doesn’t have to pay parking fees while he’s gone.

“How much trouble are you going to be in with your superiors?” Talay asks as they pull into the airport parking lot. “Because you disappeared without a word.”

“They knew I was leaving, just not why, ” Nina replies. “I had some PTO saved, so this was technically a vacation.”

“Some vacation,” Em rolls her eyes. “Make sure my brother actually takes some time to enjoy himself while he’s in New York, will you?”

Silo gives his sister a mockingly hurtful look as he pulls his luggage from the trunk. “You don’t trust me to just take a vacation?”

“Of course not,” Em snaps back. “I’m tempted to go through your luggage and make sure you're not taking work with you.”

Silo’s fingers tighten instinctively on the handle of his roller bag. “I swear on my life, the only thing in there that is not work related is your portfolio, which I promise I will look over while I’m gone.”

“And if he forgets, then I’ll go over it for him,” Nina adds. “Are you sure you want to go into Intelligence work? You’ve seen how dangerous it is.”

“I’m not applying for full time like you three,” Em says. “I could be one of those courier people, who drop off packages and relay information and stuff, like Kit does.”

Silo’s face does a weird little twitchy thing when Kit’s name is mentioned, but only Talay notices.

“You should go already,” Talay says. “Before you miss your flight.”

Nina hugs both Em and Talay before going into the terminal door. Silo hugs Em, but not Talay--he’s one of those people who only hugs family.

“Don’t burn the office down while I’m gone,” Silo says to Talay by way of good-bye.

“Yes, boss,” Talay smirks at him, knowing the words Silo isn’t saying. “Everything will be just the way you left it.”

“What was that supposed to mean?” Em asks as Silo goes into the terminal and she and Talay get back in the car.

“You didn’t see the look on Silo’s face when Kit’s name was mentioned?” Talay asks.

“Was I supposed to?”

“For someone who wants to go into Intelligence, you sure miss the little things. Ouch, that's my head!”

“I know,” Em smiles at him. “It needed to be smacked. Silo doesn’t want anything to do with Kit, not after—well, he doesn't want anything to do with him.”

“Do you believe your brother when he says that?” Talay knows the answer to the question before he even asks it.

“Even if I did,” Em hedges. “Why do you want to play matchmaker so badly?”

Talay smiles at her. “You want to play it too, huh? If you didn’t, you would try harder to stop me.”

Kit is waiting next to his car when Em drops Talay off near the Intelligence building. “You move in with her yet?”

“We’re talking about it,” Talay’s gaze flicks down the Kit’s unusually empty hands. “No KitKats?”

“I didn’t have time to buy them,” Kit looks a little twitchy and Talay bites back a smile.

“We just dropped Nina and Silo off at the airport. Silo wants to spend some of his PTO in New York.”

“Yeah, I know. I need Silo’s number.”

‘I thought you already had it,” Talay’s eyebrows shoot up. “Or was that just the old one? Don’t glare at me, how was I supposed to know? Why don’t you ask him for it yourself?”

“You think he’d give it to me?” Kit shakes his head. “Call this payback for my helping you break into that USB.”

“A USB you sent,” Talay retorts. “I don’t understand why you didn’t unlock the file in the first place.”

“I didn’t check it,” Kit shrugs. “It was part of a package that was to be sent to a New York address if anything happened to dad, so I sent it to that address. I thought that would be the end of it.”

“Yeah, I think we all did.”

Kit shoots him a Look. “You make it sound like you were involved from the beginning.”

“Well,” now it’s Talay’s turn to shrug. “I guess I kind of was. When you told me to call you if something happened to your brother, that got me involved.”

“Touche,” Kit pulls his phone from his pocket. “Can I get Silo’s number anyway?”

“Karma really is a bitch,” Talay takes Kit’s phone. “I begged Silo for his sister’s number, and now you’re begging me for Silo’s. Don’t do the Eyebrow Thing, you’re worse than your brother.”

“Why?” Kit keeps his eyebrow cocked. “I wouldn’t call this begging.”

“Silo might fire me for this.” Talay gnaws on his lip as he finishes typing in Silo’s number and hands the phone back to Kit.

Kit’s other eyebrow rises to join the first one. “Seriously?”

“Well, ok, he won’t fire me. But he’ll definitely kick my ass.”

“If he does fire you,” Kit slides his phone back into his pocket. “Then you can be my assistant.”

Now Talay’s eyebrows are up. “Seriously? Hey, why did you hit me?”

“Don’t parrot my words back at me.” Kit flicks the back of Talay’s head a second time. “That stopped being cute years ago.”

“Careful who you call ‘cute’.” Talay rubs the back of his head. “My girlfriend is easily jealous.”

“Uh-huh.” Kit turns and walks toward his car, but Talay shouts after him.

“Hey, Kit.”


Talay hesitates, then takes the plunge. “You do know Silo’s in love with you, right?”

Those words stop Kit in his tracks, and he turns back to face Talay. “You know you’re the second person to tell me that?”

“Then maybe you should listen.” Talay rolls his eyes just a little bit. “I’m not blind. Silo loves you, he just needs time. Or for you to say it first, whichever is easiest.”

“Thanks,” Kit deadpans. “I’ll remember that.”

“He won’t be gone for very long,” Talay has either missed or ignored his friend’s sarcasm. “Just—wait until he comes back, and tell him then.”

“Yeah,” Kit snorts. “Easy.”


Maybe it could be that easy.

Wait until Silo gets back.

Then we’ll see…

"31. Take the Plunge

read from beginning "1. Phone Calls in the Dark
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