Tattoo Book 7 part 1.29
Posted by harmony0stars on April 27, 2011
Steiner sullenly gathered up their papers and the file, which only seemed to amuse Redfield more. He stood by Glory as Steiner stormed from the room like a thunder cloud, casting his partner sullen glances. Snickering, Redfield led the way from the room and back to the parking lot and to what she assumed was his car, a beat up dark blue Buick that had to be at least twenty years old.
He opened the passenger door for Glory and shut it after her like a gentleman. Even as they drove from the building, he looked extremely pleased with himself. He glanced at her out of the corner of his eye as they came to a stop at a stop sign and snorted. It must have been the expression on her face.
“What the heck is wrong with you?” she asked, unable to contain her bewilderment any longer.
“He likes you. I can tell. Now he’ll be all emo cause he thinks I’m muscling in on him,” he said, his eyes bright with mischief.
Glory blushed. She could feel the heat spread across her cheeks like a lava flow. This was not what she had expected. Knowing when she was “liked” was definitely not her strong suit. Maybe the way he’d kept mentioning his ex-wives should have been a tell.
Redfield laughed again. “Least you’re better than the girls he usually goes for.” Glory maintained a stony silence, which made him pout. “Didn’t mean to offend you…”
“You’re my cousins!” she protested. “Family.”
“Er, yeah… distantly, I guess. Kind of like everyone’s related to the British royal family.” He adopted an innocent expression. “I don’t think anyone would say boo about it if you guys got together.”
“Well, it’s not going to happen,” she said, gritting her teeth. “I’d rather have cousins than a boyfriend.”
“Oh, sure… okay,” he said quietly, keeping his eyes on the road, his expression studiously blank.
“And what are you? His matchmaker or something?” Glory crossed her arms. She’d thought Steiner was obnoxious. Now that Redfield was warming up to her, he was proving to be even worse. Ah, family…
He snerked and actually had to slow the car, his shoulders quivering with laughter. “What’s a buddy for?” he asked when he got himself back under control.
She groaned, not responding. They drove in silence, but there was an obnoxious little smirk riding the corners of his mouth for most of the rest of the trip home. As they approached Sybar City, Redfield said, “Well, hopefully Bitman will let us go to Islay… He might not, despite wanting to keep an eye on you.”
“Should you be telling me that?” Glory asked, a little bewildered by his honesty. Considering how closemouthed he’d been up until now, it felt wrong that he would make such potentially disloyal comments.
“Why not? You’re not stupid. You know he wants to recruit you, even if he hasn’t come right out and made an offer yet. He’s waiting till he has some leverage on you.” He backpedaled as she stiffened. “No, not like blackmail or anything. Just till he gets a handle on your personality and can figure out what will make you want to work for the BL.”
“What does BL even stand for?” she asked, not bothering to point out that the colonel wasn’t above making veiled threats, even if he didn’t mean them, which she still wasn’t sure of.
“Officially? Black Luna, at least that’s what I’ve seen on paper. I’ve heard some of the older agents call it Black Lake though. Not sure if they changed the name at some point, and they just never got used to it,” his brow wrinkled. “Or… there’s another level to the Company. When I first joined up, I had all kinds of nightmare, but then… I came out a very bad experience.” He grew quiet again for several minutes. “Don’t mention what I said about Black Lake to the old man, okay? I keep my mouth shut at work and people assume I‘m not listening; they say more around me. This trip to Islay? I am sooo looking forward to it. I mean, I’m pretty sure they don’t bug us or our cars… waste of man-hours… but me and Mar- Steiner don’t discuss work at work, you know?”
“Would have been nice if he told me not to trust Bitman when I asked him,” she groused, feeling a little betrayed.
“Oh, the old man is totally trustworthy,” Redfield replied with a grin. “He’s very straightforward. Transparent, practically. If he was thinking you were a threat or someone to manipulate, you’d know it.” His smile faded, and he became suddenly serious again. “I’m just not sure he’s completely in charge of the Company. He’s been around for a long time, but sometimes I get the feeling there’s more going on in-house than we realize. From what I’ve been able to find out, Black Luna has been around since the time of East India Company and came to America with the Masons… so kind of a secret society. Despite throwing in their lot with the government the way they have, there’s got to be pockets of the old guard, even after almost a century. Me and Steiner and the few other ‘cousins’ are actually the odd men out. The older agents and the newer recruits without any special abilities have always acted kind of funny around us, suspicious-like. Steiner says it‘s normal considering we hunt people and things like us and that some of them are probably just jealous cause the colonel favors us, but I don‘t know.” He shrugged his shoulders as he turned down her street.
“Great…” Glory scowled. “Now I wish I hadn’t involved you people at all. Like I need more secret societies nosing into my business.”
Redfield chuckled. “Just look at it as an opportunity, Cousin.” He emphasized the last as if to cement his acceptance of the role she had chosen for him and Steiner. “If you weren’t a good person, you could have left my ass back there to get blown to smithereens… or possessed. And I dreamed about you while they were trying to decide if I‘d been tainted or not. Let’s just say I trust you to do whatever is in everyone’s best interests, no matter what.”
“You dreamed about me?” she asked.
“Sure… I’m clairvoyant. Steiner said you’d figured it out. Visions, you know?” he grinned at her as he pulled into a spot near her house. “Stupid things, these codenames they saddle us with. I can’t wait to see what they name you… if you join us. You really should, if only to keep an eye on things.”
“What exactly did you dream?” she asked, suddenly uneasy.
He shrugged, still smiling. “Just enough to know that when the shit hits the fan, you’re usually the one in the middle of things, kicking ass and taking names. I‘d trust you to watch my back even if you don‘t join up with us.”
to Book 7, part 2, page 1