To say I got my ass royally handed to me on the combat mat by Keito is an understatement. The one year of not training really has taken a toll on my fighting senses...at least what of them are still working. Keito didn't hold back and by the time the hour's up, my body is as sore as a toe that's been jammed on the edge of a table.
It's that bad.
Over the next two days of my staying at on the ship, I work on my cover, train and build up my body to what it used to be also my period stopped on my last day. So, today is the day I go back to Westford College and I am anticipating the hurricane that is Gerald to go King Kong on me for disappearing for three days.
The time now is midnight and we are currently boarding one of WSCPB's jets.
"They will come to the campus," Norman reminds me for what I think is the fifth time since this afternoon when he found out that I didn't have to go to the company's headquarters itself to register myself for the job. "I couldn't find anything on whether or not Stryker will be there himself but there's always a slim chance he'd want to see the product himself before investing the money to sell it."
My skin crawls with just the idea of being sold on the black market and no matter how many times Norman has repeated this, my reaction is the same. Behind him I see Percy smirking in amusement of my discomfort which I had learnt is now his form of entertainment; according to him, I make the 'funniest' I'm-terrified-of-being-bought-and-sold face. Oliver and Ethan bring up the rear with the rest of our gear, both deep in conversation with the other though Ethan does return my smile when he catches sight of me looking at him.
Turns out after Keito and I left the meeting room on my first day, Oliver was shouted at by Horace who warned him to not test my patience as Keito wouldn't be going on the assignment with us. After that, Oliver only ever spoke to me when necessary though he's not as stiff as he was just after being shouted at. Also, I've totally warmed up to Ethan, Percy and Norman. They may look like a weird bunch but they are, like Oliver said on my first day back, very good at their job.
Once we're in the air, Percy makes his way towards me with arms full of every known spa product to man including waxing sheets. Instinctively, I cower away from him, eyeing the products apprehensively. With a devious smile on his face, the muscular man literally lugs me into the inflight bedroom kicking and screaming all the while still holding onto his products.
Thanks to the jet, the flight takes less than seven hours to get to Delmonte however, the decreased time did not save me from getting a bikini wax, two skin whitening and nourishing facials, a plain manicure and pedicure and the worse one of all eyebrow plucking.
At four in the morning, we finally land at DMX airport where I walk out of the aircraft with my legs barely touching each other. Never in my twenty-two years of being alive have I ever had a man be so through in waxing, I can guarantee you there is not a single hair left on my body other than on my head.
Ethan eyes me out of the corner of his eye as we enter a large black van that will take me back to my apartment and them to the dud apartment that is closer to the college, it also happens to be the place where I will meet them tomorrow before the audition so that Norman can wire me up.
"So...was that your first-time bikini waxing?" Ethan asks curiously, eyeing me in amusement as I glare at him for asking me that question at three in the morning.
"Of course it wasn't," I mumble embarrassedly despite glaring at him. "I just never had a man do it for me before."
That has the three men seated with me bursting out in peals of laughter, I'm not sure about Oliver but I'm sure I heard at least a snort from him. The ride from DMX doesn't last long with the lack of traffic and pedestrians on the streets so I manage to get home by four thirty in the morning, allowing me to get about an extra three hours of sleep that passing out on the plane didn't get me.
Bidding the four men goodnight as I leave the vehicle, I head up the darkened staircase, sliding my key card into the scanner, I jump sky high when I see Gerald sleeping on the couch with a bunch of Missing Person flyers littering the living room.
My heart breaks a little when I see my face plastered over the papers but I brush the stabbing guilt away as I throw my bag into my room so that I can go into his for his blanket. Once he's wrapped up and warm from the blasting air conditioning, I begin cleaning up the mess of cup noodles and flyers, throwing all of them in the trash; I finish by five and I'm in bed within seconds.
One of the worst ways to wake up a girl who went to bed at five is by screaming your head off and sadly that's how I was awakened. Groggily, I put on my glasses and head out of my room to see what the commotion is about.
My foot had just crossed the threshold of my doorway when the screaming starts up again and this time it’s right in front of me. Gerald is awake and screaming his head off at me.
”WHERE ON EARTH WERE YOU?!” He exclaims, hugging me tightly as if I’ll disappear if he doesn’t. “I WAS SO FREAKING WORRIED!”
Laughing at his exaggeratedness, I reply jokingly, “A group of highly trained individuals which I had been part of asked me to return to my job to solve a case hence why I wasn’t here for three days.”
There is a moment of silence as I wait for him to take in my words and when he opens his mouth most likely to scream again, I burst out laughing.