I stood in the kitchen in front of the stove, flipping pancakes and making sure bacon didn’t stick to the pan. I got up at the crack of dawn, all three of the boys were sawing logs in the other rooms still sound asleep.
I placed more of the pancakes on a plate already piled high with them. I then checked the bacon, making sure it was crisp and not burnt before transferring it to a plate lined with paper towel. I set the two plates down on table which already had three plates layed out with silverware next to them and turned back to the oven to pull out the hash browns.
I pulled on a ovenmit and pulled out the tray before setting it onto the stove and reaching for another plate.
“Good morning.” I said sensing something behind me. I turned to see all three of the boys standing in the doorway staring at me, “Come eat.” I encouraged, “It’ll get cold.”
“I’m not trusting it.” Romeo snarled at me, “You might have poisoned it.”
Connor and Murphy sent a sideways look at each other before sitting down opposite to one another and pulling a pancake onto their plates before taking a hesitant bite each.
“Don’t fucking care if da tings are poisoned.” Connor said in amazement.
“They’re fuckin’ amazin’.” Murphy finished, “Where’d ya learn ta cook like dis?” He asked.
I shrugged as I placed the plate of hash browns on the table as the brothers dug into everything.
“You learn something when you’re on your own.” I said before turning to the fridge, “You guys want syrup?”
“Yes, please.” They both said together, mouths full.
I pulled out a bottle of syrup and placed it on the table before reaching for a glass to pour the milk I had in the other hand.
“It’s impolite to stare.” I snarled back at Romeo as he looked over the table.
“Shut up.” He growled at me.
“Make me.” I teased as I took a sip of milk.
His face twisted into fury as he reached to his belt, but I grabbed mine first and had it cocked and ready blow his face off.
“I wouldn’t.” I warned, Romeo took his hand away from his belt and put his hands up.
I snarled, “I was told you were needed alive. So your options are what I made, or you can take your luck with whatever you want to make.”
Romeo said nothing ad he sat down too and started loading his plate full of food before digging in.
“This is delicious.” He said after one bite.
I clicked my tongue to the top of my mouth in a ‘no duh’ gesture. I turned back to the stove and grabbed another ovenmit to grab a pan full of cooked brownies in it and set it on the stove before turning the oven off.
I then jumped up onto the counter and sipped on my milk.
“So, are ya gonna tell us yer name, lass?” Connor asked.
“Why do you want to know it?” I asked reaching for a piece of toast and taking a bite of the buttery, crunchy bread.
“Not about ta call ya Fallen Angel, now are we?” Murphy said shoveling hash browns into his mouth.
I said nothing but took another bite of toast.
“At least tell us why you ended up in jail.” Connor said turning to look at me.
I shrugged, “Same kinda reason you guys did I guess.” I said not sure how to continue, “I snapped, ended up going on a killing spree of the lowlives of Manhattan and got caught.”
“Why are you out now?” Romeo asked.
I shrugged again, “So far, it was to get you jerk offs out of the can.”
“You don’t know why else?” Murphy asked.
I once again shrugged, “I’ll know the second we get the call, wont I?”
We all sat in silence and finished eating. When all of us were done I got up off the counter and set my plate and cup in the sink before turning to the table and beginning to clear it, but was stopped by two sets of hands.
“Not ta get an yer bad side, lass,” Murphy said gaining my attention, “But Connor n’I were raised wit manners, ‘nd if our ma saw how nice a meal ya prepared fer us ‘nd we didn’t help wit da dishes sh’d be on our arses.”
“Let us take care o’ da dishes.” Connor said to me, flashing a smile.
I slowly retracted my hands and went back to my place on the counter watching them with accusing eyes. No one had ever done something like this before.
The brothers cleared the table and Murphy washed the dishes as Connor dried them and placed them into the dish drain on the right of the sink.
“Where did ya learn ta cook like dis, lass?” Connor asked about half way through the dishes.
I shrugged again, “I kinda taught myself.” I admitted.
“Yer parents must’a been ‘appy ta have ya cookin’ fer ’em then.” Murphy said as he dried his hands and turned around to look at me.
I shrugged again, “Why did you guys end up in the hole?” I asked.
“Da tree o’ us got in a gun fight alongside our, Da.” Connor started but then paused, being pained by something.
“We got surrounded by a swat team.” Murphy added, “Got thrown in almost immediately.”
I nodded, “Think there’s a reason why they didn’t want me to break your Dad out too?”
They both looked uneasy at my words, I glanced over st Romeo. He too looked unnerved.
“Did you lose him in that fight?” I asked staring at the tiled floor of the kitchen.
“Yeah.” Murphy and Connor said at the same time.
“You guys close?”
“Yeah.” They both said with a nod again.
“Sorry.” I said getting up from the counter.
“Fer us losin’ ‘im or us bein’ close to ‘im?” Connor barked.
“Both.” I told him and turned and walked into my room. I closed my door and leaned against it.
I did feel kind of bad for bringing it up. I knew there were people who were close to their parents, and had siblings. I honestly did feel bad for the two if them, and Romeo too. They would have to go through the pain of losing those they had closest to them.
I stood in the kitchen chopping up vegetables and then dumped them into the pot of chicken stock I had on the stove.
Murphy, Connor and Romeo sitting at the table playing poker.
I heard the phone on the wall ring behind me.
Murphy jumped up and answered the phone.
“Blue button in the corner will put it on speaker.” I told him, Murphy did just that.
“Hello?” Murphy then asked.
“Hello boys.” Smecker said from the other end.
“Smecker?” Connor and Murphy all but yelled in response.
“The one and only.” He said with an audible smirk, “I know there are a lot of questions you’re gonna want to ask, and a lot more I’m going to have to answer. But for right now I need to get you guys here, where it’s safe before any of that can occur. I just hope that your transportation was comfortable.”
“Comfortable!” Connor yells, “Oh yeah! Gettin’ yelled at by woman who wont even tell us ‘er name ‘nd treats us all like we’re children ‘fore givin’ us orders that don’t make sense and have me feelin’ like I’m in a bad movie ‘nd she’s gonna drive us to our deaths! Perfect!”
“Oh no.” Smecker sighed.
“She hasn’t even told you her name, you must have really pissed her off.” Smecker explained.
“We haven’t done anything but been nice to this bitch.” Romeo snapped, “Now who the hell are you?”
“You must be Romeo.” Smecker said with a chuckle, “I am Paul Smecker, I commissioned that ‘bitch’ to break you three out of jail. And I would be careful with that word if I were you.”
“What word?” Romeo snapped.
“All of them.” Smecker told him, “The Fallen Angel of Manhattan is the most skilled and intelligent investigator this world has probably ever seen. She’s lethal, fast and dangerous. If you piss her off enough she could kill you, and then another hundred times before you even hit the ground.”
I chuckled, “Smecker,” I said looking over my shoulder at the boys hunched around the phone, “You give me far too much credit.” I turned back to the beef I was cutting, “I could only maybe kill them about ten times before they hit the ground.”
I heard the thick gulping of saliva from the three of them. I tasted the faint salty and muggy flavour that I was accustom to: fear.
“Just for the love of God, tell me she isn’t cooking right now.” Smecker begged on the other side of the line.
The boys all turned to look at me, the faint taste in the air becoming much stronger as the seconds ticked by.
“Oh God.” Smecker said as he heard nothing but silence, “Just do me a favor and don’t do anything else stupid to piss her off.”
“Why did ya want us out, anyway?” Connor asked staring back at the phone.
“That is not something to talk about over the phone.” Smecker said, “We’ll talk when you guys get here.”
“When will transport be here?” I asked as I opened up a package of egg noodle pasta.
“Tomorrow morning.” He told me, “9 am at the latest. If they aren’t there by that time, call me. Something went wrong.”
“Got it.” I said dumping the pasta in.
“Please don’t kill them.” Smecker begged me, “Otherwise all this work is for nothing.”
“I’ve been good so far.” I told him.
“Should we really be dis scared o’ a little girl?” Murphy asked Smecker.
“She’s not any little girl.” Smecker told them, “But that is also not something to discuss on this line.”
“Alright.” Murphy said preparing to hang up, “I guess we’ll see ya’ later then.”
“Yes you will.” Smecker said, “Before we hang up.”
Murphy paused to hear out what he had to say.
“A word to the wise, don’t steal her sweets.”
And with that final word, Smecker hung up leaving the kitchen in silence.
We all sat at the kitchen table, the boys eating omelets and I was finishing off the last of the brownies I had made yesterday. We were all up at dawn, about 5:30, and were packed and ready to go at a moment’s notice.
Right now, it was almost 7 in the morning.The four of us all had one of our guns on the table ready to aim incase something went wrong.
Everything was silent until I heard the sound of an engine getting louder and louder until it stopped right out front of the house and the engine was cut.
No one moved, no one said anything as we heard two car doors open and close and the distinct sound of gravel crunching beneath their feet as they made their way up to the house and through the door.
One of them took out a key and unlocked the door, both of them stepping forward and into the small house, making their was down the small hallway into the kitchen. The kitchen door swung open and the four of us had our guns pointed at the terrified looking men in the doorway.
One was taller than the other with white hair, he was wearing black slacks and a black dress shirt with a black pea coat and black shoes. The one in front of him was dressed in a dark grey pin stripped suit with a red dress shirt and black tie and brown shoes.
They both had their hands up by their heads asking silently not to shoot.
The shorter man licked his lips before saying, “Sweet tea treat.”
I uncocked my gun and put it back in my holster in my jacket. The boys understanding the code followed suit.
I stood up.
“I am Ian, this is Morice.” The man in the suit told me, “Morice will be taking care of your transport car, I will be transporting the four of you to the airport where a plane, off the books, will take off and take you the coast where you will then take a boat to your final destination. There you will meet the man in charge and you’ll get your mission.”
I nodded,”Alright, let’s go boys.”
Despite the cool breeze of the water flying up as the boat sped through the water, the heat was getting to me. I pulled my leather jacket off and pushed up the sleeves of my long sleeved shirt to get some breeze.
I turned feeling three sets of eyes boring into me. I saw all of them staring at me. I then looked down to see the hunched over form of a half human creature with a goat/deer head on its contorted form, dripping with blood that I had inked onto the inside of my left forearm. I pulled my sleeve down not wanting them to stare anymore as I glared at them.
It was silent the rest of the way, save for the buzz of the engine and spray of the water and the occasional call of a gull.
Thirty minutes later we were docked on a tropical, sandy island somewhere off the coast of Grenada. I jumped off the boat, jacket folded over my arm, hand holding one of guns just in case.
I looked around and saw an all too familiar face making its way over to us.
“Smecker.” I said glaring at him.
“Good to see you too.” He said sarcastically to me before turning his attention to the boys, “I know you’re going to have a lot of questions, so let’s get you guys inside, fed, changed and rested before we tackle that. We have a lot to go over. And for the love of God please tell me you didn’t steal anything sweet from her on the way over.”
“She down’d ’em ‘for we could even get a good look.” Connor smirked at me.
I directed my glare to him.
“Aye.” Murphy encouraged, “She’s got a sweet tooth, dis one.”
“Let’s get inside before she kills you.” Smecker said turning on his heel and leading us away from the dock into a very large hut.