A big celebratory shout out to my amazing editor and friend Flip McHooter. Without his trusty aid this story would go down like sandpaper. Not very appetizing. So Thank YOU!
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Copyright ©2013 Black Arrow
The life and times for a teenage Russian spy stationed in the US of A.
I laid there in the darkened presidential suite, as the open balcony doors lead a steady stream of air across my bare skin. His deep labored breathing was finally starting to subside to a normal rhythm. I was acutely aware that he was on the precipice of sleep.
In the fog of post coitus bliss, for most it's a disarming haze, a slow calm that leaves everything in life with an ethereal after -glow...well not for me. This was when I was at my most alert- aware of the task at hand. Don't get me wrong, my heart beat hadn't changed a hitch, still deliberately slow- an old pattern I'd visited a million times over.
A short gust of wind sent the Champaign colored drapes dancing into the room and that's the subtle reminder that brought me back into the moment.
His breathing had in fact slowed, so peaceful. It could almost fool you into thinking was a good man. He wasn't.
With one quick swoop of my athletic, svelte body I straddled his hips once again. A position I had occupied a good thirty minutes prior, but now with a different intent. Slowly I gyrated, grinding my ass down on his soft cock. It twitched in response and he shifted below me, giving a semi-conscious thrust upwards as he started to smile, remembering how it must have felt for him. I just smirked and ran a finger lightly up his side.
His eyes fluttered open oh so drowsily. In a groggy voice partly due to sleep, and to his thick Ukrainian accent he spoke.
"Whoa slow down kid. I'm not ready to go yet," he said in pronounced Ukrainian which was not too different from my native Russian. It had a distinctive softness and more mellifluous than the harsher Russian dialect.
He said it with a cocky grin playing against his gruff face. Some would call it good-looking, in the classical eastern European way, strong jaw, long narrow nose and those glacial blue orbs. Me... I couldn't care less, he was simply a job like the countless others before him and I could only imagine so many more after.
I smiled down at him seductively before leaning down towards him and whispered huskily into his left ear.
"Well, I am." I responded in turn with my own inflected Eastern European accent to maintain the mood.
With that I placed my left palm under his chin and snaked my right behind his thick neck and as fast as a viper snapped his neck with an audible thwack. Like clockwork, gone before he saw it coming. They never did.
I took a deep breath and searched for my clothes in the dim hotel room-well, the ones I came in. I couldn't possibly wear the ghastly red light district ensemble anywhere but here. It was what the client liked, who was I to judge? After sliding into my leather pants, crimson shirt and black waist coat, I was ready to make my silent get away...that was until.
`La da di da di we like to party, dancing with Miley...'
I froze in place hearing the melody carry out through the otherwise quiet room. You've got to be kidding me! My damn phone wasn't on silent. I quickly looked at the screen, double crap, I had to answer. Victoria must have gotten her hands on my phone again-that ringtone just screamed her presence.
"No, I just finished up."
"I'm locking up the gym as we speak, be home in a second."
I finished the call and hung up. By then I could clearly hear the group of men briskly walking down the hall to check on their boss. I could make out six separate footsteps, meaning three men, most likely armed. Here I thought it was going to be a quick job. Incident free. I knew that if he believed I was a rent boy, he wouldn't call for one of his guards before indulging. That was the kind of man he was, his perversions overrode any other thoughts.
Or maybe I could still make a swift departure. I heard their hesitancy to open the door. So the big man didn't like to be interrupted? I took the opportunity for what it was and made a beeline for the open terrace door. Releasing a silver latch from my grey mesh belt, I hooked it onto the wrought iron rail. At that exact moment the suite door burst open and the men spilled into the room.
"Eh, by the door quick," said the one leading the pack with a heavy Ukrainian accent.
We actually made eye contact for a brief second before I leaped off the balcony and descended into the deserted alley off the side of the hotel. The mesh unraveled itself quickly yet controlled enough to safely place my feet on the ground below. The only witness to my strange exit was a homeless man and his dog.
I could still hear the men above shouting amongst themselves. Probably arguing about who was going to take the fall for this. In my opinion, all of them should. I mean, they hadn't even heard me walk in...and I used the front door.
My mission had gone perfectly according to plan, which was how I liked them. It wasn't all that hard to convince Flavio Kuksenkov that one of his good friends had sent me. To complement their recent success. Knowing his taste for young exotic boys and girls, he couldn't resist deflowering me...what a chump.
But then again, in his defense, I am really good at what I do.
I gave the homeless man five dollars and headed out to catch a cab. In my reasoning, I figure one life for another. By giving him money for food, I made peace with the universe for taking another a few minutes before.
The cabbie had been waiting for me. He's the same guy I used to get here, paid him an extra $20 to wait for me. Though necessary for this particular job, it wouldn't be appropriate or wise for me to be a walking Moulin rouge poster when I got home. I had appearance to keep up.
As I pulled my clothes out of my duffel bag and began to change, he decided then that it was an opportune moment to make a new friend. It was a Friday night after all and he was stuck working. I guess I couldn't blame him for trying but I was far from being the conversational type.
"Strict family huh?" he said more than asked.
I didn't answer.
"I mean, you having to change after...what is it you were doing? All the good clubs are down town"
I zipped up my jeans and busied myself with my hoodie. It had a blue cat on it; it's my school's mascot. Very original.
"Which way again?" he asked as he made a turn.
I saw right through him, he had a TomTom placed on his dashboard. Another attempt at conversation.
I sighed in annoyance, "Westbrooke, over- "
He interrupted with a smile, "Aha! So he does speak," he chuckled to himself.
Great, a comedian. Chris Rock everybody.
I glared at his reflection through his rear view mirror. He wouldn't be messing with me if he knew what I was capable of. But he didn't, and unfortunately for me, most never would. I don't give off the psycho-teenage killer vibe, more so the brooding teen `who thinks his shit don't stink'. Or so I've been told.
We pulled up in front of my home a little after dark .My younger brother was on the front lawn walking his mangy mutt begging it to `potty'.
"Wait, this is your home?" the cabbie asked with a raised eyebrow.
I took out another five dollars as a tip and stepped out as he shouted a `thank you' just before I slammed the door closed and walked up towards the house. See, I get that kind of reaction all too often. It isn't because of the Forbes List mansion that I live in ... because it's not. It's an upper -middle class home, pretty, white picket fence and two Mercedes dream some stuffy conservative dreamt up in the early 1900s.
No, It's because my annoying little brother, who smiled up at me with a grin I'm sure must have hurt something fierce, is a million things I am not...and one of those, which is the most obvious is very blonde, very blue eyed and VERY white. I was not.
"Hunter," he screeched in his painfully obnoxious voice.
And in spite of my stoic nature, I gave him a weak smile that didn't reach my eyes. To those who knew me, knew that- that was a huge feat, meaning I tolerated you and perhaps have some silly inclination of affection.
He ran over and wrapped his arms around my middle, my body immediately stiffened. Even after twelve years, I was still not used to this. I closed my eyes, calmed myself and softly squeezed back. I only do that last part because I knew if I didn't, he wouldn't pry his talons off of me.
"Jet won't potty and you know mom won't let him sleep inside if he doesn't," he whined with puppy eyes that even I couldn't resist, although I'd never admit.
I took my cue and walked over to the large black Labrador and knew what had to be done. I had made the mistake once, two years ago, of helping him out with the runt. A moment of weakness. Now I had to pay for my crimes.
I was trained in several kinds of martial arts as child soldier. I'll get back to that part later. The Haynes' adopted me when I was five years old. Originally from Russia, but as far as they know I was of Caribbean-Dutch ancestry. Which would explain my looks; I was 5ft10, had a creamy mocha complexion and a broad shouldered athletic build they attribute to me being a national team member for USA gymnastics. But my most stand out characteristics were my piercing hazel eyes and shoulder length midnight black wavy hair.
This combination, though genetic and purely by chance worked out great for my agency. They banked on my outward appearance because of how disarming it was. I could be a walking wet-dream when I slipped on the charm.
I stroked the dog's ear a bit, got it to relax, moved over to its temple and back in a circular motion. This transported the beast into a semi-comatose version of deep hypnosis. With a quick, painless tap to its bowels-Instant diarrhea. Its muscles had relaxed to such a point it had no chance of fighting.
Matthew cheered in the background, the sick little sadist. I swear he got some pleasure out of the dog's confusion. The surprise bowel movement always a visible shock. With that my work out here was done and I walked into the house.
My senses were instantly assaulted as soon as I entered the building. The television was blaring on my right, no doubt from some stupid program my older brother, Justin was watching. I could see the sloth lying on his back with a bag of potato chips on his belly.
Tori was on the phone, how did I know this? Cause I could hear her pacing upstairs, so most likely on the phone with her best friend Jessica. Gossiping like hell.
That leaves the `rents Mr. and Mrs. Haynes tag-teaming dinner as usual. These two were lovestoned and they've been together for over 24 years now...
You'd probably think I had been standing by the entrance for quite a while to make all these observations, but no. It's been exactly 3.7 seconds. That was how I was trained, take in data: How many people present? Number of many escape routes, identify the biggest threat- deal with them first and lastly, can you make it look like an accident?
Yes killing was always on my mind...ALWAYS.
"There you are sweetheart, I was beginning to worry," said mom as soon as she spotted me.
"I was about to send your brother over there to come pick you up," she continued.
I groaned inwardly, this woman was ridiculously overbearing. I don't know how she does it.
I hide the wince I had pulled and like a seasoned actor- ACTION. I snapped into character- I was instantly the awkward son with zero social skills.
"Mihai had me stay longer to work on my new vault," I offered as an explanation.
"That man is going to turn you into an Olympian far sooner than I'm comfortable with," said my adoptive dad Bill Haynes in his low baritone voice. His voice carried with it so much warmth and security, I don't believe he was even aware of the effect he had. He was one of those people who could say so much with very few words. It's all in the tone and right now it was pride...Great.
I put down my bag and sat down at the kitchen table, it was almost seven meaning dinner would be served shortly. No point in going up to my room. I belonged to one of those families that ate dinner at the table-together-all the time. I busied myself with my hands feeling rather awkward because I wasn't particularly gifted in human interaction, even with family. Especially taking into account what I had done over an hour ago. Dad understood that. He and I always fell into a comfortable silence as he scrolled down his tablet lazily. Staring at changes in stock most likely, dad is an investment banker and a pretty good one I'm told.
Our silence was broken of course by the rest of the Brady bunch-no really; these people were the epitome of smothering affection. It couldn't be normal.
Justin starts in on me first thing when he reaches the table since it's customary for older brothers to pick on the younger ones. You have no idea how many times I had backed out of killing him over the years. In his sleep, in the shower-heck even now from across the table.
"So chocolate, see anything you liked in ballet?" he said with a shit eating grin.
I lazily glance in his direction, I know this game all too well and so did everyone present at the table. It's always been like a game of poker between Justin and I. He played with a severely lacking hand, why he never gives up is a testament of his stupidity.
How it goes is that he would constantly taunt, ridicule and jab me until he got a reaction. Maybe the reason he never stopped is because he was yet to get one.
I looked at him like a haughty cat does a stupid human trying to get its attention, then fixed my gaze on the fridge magnets instead.
"Burn, even inanimate fridge objects hold more appeal than you do, doofus," said Tori. She's always found it her place to be my voice, although I never asked her to be. Self-appointed position. Or it had absolutely nothing to do with me but was yet another way to buttheads with Justin. See, Justin and Tori are twins and are constantly at odds. Completely out of sync with their supposed twin connection, I think they're broken. It was just natural for them to disagree, even when they did share a view on something, one of them would change their mind just to re-establish balance in the cosmos I guess. It was the natural working order of our family.
Dad chuckled at the scheduled conflicts before he told them to settle down. That was how dinner usually played and the family would carry on speaking during the meal and I'd add an occasional word or a nod when a question was directed at me.
6 am Tuesday
My alarm clock was completely useless. That's the leading thought I had as I switch it off, so it doesn't bother rousing someone who was always awake long before it was.
I was the first in the shower and first in the kitchen, well after mom `cause she practically lived in there.
"So you start AP math today? How excited are you?" she gleamed with such joy.
Great, I had to start acting so early in the day already. I only bumped up my grades to get into that class because the parents were hounding me to find a future career path. So instead of making it difficult for myself, in having to pretend to be interested in anything else other than homicide I just allowed myself less errors in my quizzes in school. See I'm really good with storing data, which would make me good at school but the whole point of being a KGB agent undercover is to stay undercover. Meaning, don't bring any unnecessary attention to yourself, so I deliberately kept my grades at a B average. Until last fall, when college talks started in the house.
"Yes, I guess," I replied pretending to be shy. I knew she'd read whatever it is she wanted from that and save me from participating any further.
"Aw, darling you don't have to pretend with me. This is about your dad right? You want to follow in his footsteps. I think that's adorable..." she cooed.
Wow, even I hadn't seen that one coming. Well I guess numbers...banking...dad, there was a plausible link there. So she had just given me my alibi when they asked me `what inspired you to take this course' question I was bound to get.
I nodded my head and picked at my cereal, I hate the stuff. Just when I was enjoying the silence the rest of family came down like a hurricane...and here we go all over again.
The drive to school was pretty easy since the other two didn't bother me much. Mom drove Mathew to elementary school before she headed to the hospital where she worked as a pediatrician. Justin drives Victoria and myself to Colonnade High school. Justin and Victoria are seniors. I'm in my junior year. As we approach school, Tori is in mid-belt towards the end of whatever the current pop hit was.
`When you ready, when you ready come and get it, get it! Na na na na `
"And the crowd goes wild," she bows her head like the gracious circus performer she was. In all honesty, she had a great mezzo-soprano singing voice. I was just used to being indifferent to it all.
As I exited the car my lone masochist walked over to me with those cute dimples that made my heart flutter that much quicker. Get a grip! I told myself.
"Ah, le boyfriend arrives," said Justin in his amazingly horrible French accent.
Tori giggled and said "I'll see you later in math Hunter; I'll save you a seat."
I shrugged in her direction and gave one of my patented half smiles. She did that annoying thing everyone in my family reserved for my discomfort and hugged me before running off to catch up with her friends.
I took a breath and composed myself before addressing the guy who's been staring at me and only me since the day we first met all those years ago.
"Did you do something different with your hair this morning?" of course he'd notice. I couldn't take a shit without him saying I was gone too long.
I shrugged and denied any such claim. Truth be told, I actually spent an extra half hour this morning working on the whole' I just rolled out of bed, I don't give a fuck' hairdo. Ke$ha kind of rebelliousness and some mornings it just took longer.
So Mason, my best and only friend walked me to my locker talking about our other three friends Ziggy, Jenny and Damon. And on about how hopelessly in love Jenny and Damon are and how silly it was that neither of them had the balls to do anything about it.
How he didn't see the irony in this situation was beyond me. Their love story is walking a dangerous parallel existence to mine and if that's the case...they're doomed to never be. Mason and I had been like Pinky and the Brain since we met as kids. Only Pinkie led the operations and dragged the Brain-me along because Brain was always too weak to say no to those dimples...sigh. Our relationship just took a turn for the awkward last year when our relationship took on this strange new dynamic.
He suddenly became bashful around me and at first I didn't get it until I'd catch him staring at me in class or when we were hanging out during lunch. I was about to peg it as him being the spacy goof that he always was.
That was until Jenny, the only female member of our posy, had enough common sense on her and called me out on it during lunch almost a year ago.
"So Hunter, has Mason asked you to Valentines yet?" she asked casually.
"I don't dance," I said in my usual half -hearted way.
She grabbed my hand to pull my attention away from the book I was pretending to read to avoid engaging in idle chit-chat- like this.
"As his valentine..." she drags the word out, like I'm supposed to pick up some clue on what she was hinting at.
As she was saying this, the three guys were walking up to the table and Mason's face lit up like it always did when he saw me. But this time, somehow something below the surface was different. How did I not pick up on this before? It's my job to be able read people like books. The slight pink to his cheeks; the red tips of his ears and how his eyes just sparkled.
That was a while ago and little has changed besides the fact that I was now aware that the chemistry existed both ways. But I resigned myself to the fact that nothing and I mean ABSOLUTELY nothing, could come of it because of who I am. What I do.
"One day you're going to have to tell me what you're thinking," said Mason out of nowhere.
We were in home room going through the class register and I was instantly like metal attracted to his magnetic chocolate eyes and pearly smile. When did I become such angsty teenage tragedy?
Mason had the most appealing tan complexion that blended well with his thick brown hair that's always messy and hangs just above his eye brows. In a shaggy unkempt manner that was so typical of his personality. It was often swooped to the side looking every bit like he had run his fingers through it. A nervous habit he had. Particularly around me of late. Ever since Jenny's awakening of my predicament I could help but notice the subtle signals he was subconsciously giving off. He stood tall at six foot three with a line backer's shoulders and by all appearances would appear to be the perfect athlete.
But he wasn't.
I swear no one had worse co-ordination than he does. That may be a slight exaggeration but it backs my point. Don't get me wrong, he worked out lifting weights every chance he got. He enjoyed being active, pushing himself and his body. He's a huge sports fan, baseball, football, soccer...I see a trend here- anything that had to do with balls. Regardless, he'd be the quintessential jock, if he was any good at the sports he played, plus he's on the school's baseball team but I think that had more to do with the fact that he's practically friends with everyone and that he's older brother who graduated two years ago was a complete legend on the field.
Come to think of it, he hadn't always been such a chocker on the field, I guess the pressure of following in his brother's footsteps just weighed heavily on his confidence. Either that or he always was horrible and I just never cared enough to take note.
"You couldn't pay me enough," I whispered with a slight rasp in my voice and I realized then I was already in way too deep, `cause that's the tone I would use while luring targets in.
Flirting, that is what I was called. I was actually flirting.
He grinned and faced the front and I took that opportunity to put on my headsets and log out of life manually. Either that of physically remove myself from Mason's presence. This was never a problem I ever imagine I would have to face. I don't believe love was ever intended for people like me.
The bell rang and I was set to create some needed distance between the two of us. Fight or flight mode in effect. As I was making my way through the hallway to my first class with upperclassmen I could not shake this feeling uneasiness. Like I was being watched. Not the casual glances people passed within the halls because most were used to my exotic appearance.
My style was quite hard to describe, more like bohemian with an edge. I like loose fitting cotton shirts. Sometimes with a plunging v-neckline, I work hard on my body, so what's a little showing off now and then? And I'd prolly wear a pair of 501s, All Stars and wrist bands- leather Greek/tribal looking.
Back to the staring. I slipped into intelligence operative mode pretty quick since I'm never really out of it for any considerable period of time. Kill on the brains remember?
And I spot him.
A camera lens blatantly pointing in my direction. Most people might be flattered that a wanna-be photographer chose them as their muse.
I lock eyes with the creep and he realizes he's been caught out. I strode up to him dancing through the sea of students as if it were choreographed. I didn't walk into a single one...trained fluidity, keen awareness. That's what it takes to be me.
He gave a deer caught in headlights expression and tried to play it off by offering a weak smile.
"Hey there, how ya-"he started.
"Were you taking pictures of me?" I cut him off. In a sing-song voice deceptive of my irritation.
"Pff, I mean yeah, not JUST you but like this and that..." he rambled in no cohesive fashion.
He was lying
He's pupils were dilated and his breathing had gotten shallow.
In a swift move I grabbed his wrist holding the camera and twisted it towards his body. He let out a girly shriek before catching himself. PUSSY. The aim was never to hurt him-much. I was exercising a fierce amount of restraint here. I just did that to loosen his grip on the camera. I looked at the digital screen and yup, that was me. I scrolled down further ,me-me-me. I kept scrolling more pictures of me and my siblings from just that morning in the parking lot- by Justin's car. It was like a never ending pit, the more I dug-the more I found. What the hell? Stalker or hit man?
I debated which one I hoped would be the case. I doubted I had any tolerance for either at this point. Either way, he was a problem.
I look at him with a menacing rage. This was completely invasive and in the line of work I was indoctrinated into - it didn't allow much room for error. There was a service door just to his left. I could think of seven different ways I could kill him in less than a minute. What kept him alive? The easy way in which he got caught and how hopeless his lying was.
He couldn't possibly be another agent sent to kill me. I wouldn't take kindly to such an insult.
We live in constant awareness of our surroundings, the existence of rival agencies, cartels and mercenaries everywhere. Even a faction from your own. It wasn't unheard of, spies go rogue all the time. And are not just a security risk for the handlers but their compatriots too.
Trust no one.
That was a given.
But this punk here was hardly a threat to a stuffed bear, let alone me.
I was about to clear his memory card when I heard a familiar voice call my name.
"Hunter! What are you doing!?!," that would be my sister Tori. Not sounding the least bit pleased.
I noticed then that we had attracted a small crowd. Smooth. No time to delete the pictures and seeing no other option, I let go of him. I turned to look Tori in the eye and not having the faintest idea as to how I'd go about explaining this.
But she ran over to the other guy first. Weird.
"Oh my god, Ryan, I'm so sorry, are you alright?" she asked.
His face slightly flustered but trying to save face in front of his class he answered back, "Yeah I'm good. You know that kid?" gesturing to me.
"Yeah, he's my very sorry younger brother," she said giving me the `play by my rules' look she was so famous for. It's never worked on me before but I deduced that I had overreacted and in this situation, it was her reputation on the line.
I sucked up the lump in my throat and did something only my mother had ever been successful in coercing me to do- I apologize.
"Yeah, I am sorry for freaking out. I just don't like my picture taken is all," I made sure not to include twisting his arm. I wasn't sorry about that part.
He surprised me by smiling, "I shoulda asked you first anyway, I usually do...don't sweat it". A total 180, that was beyond odd considering I almost broke his wrist. Who was this guy?
As I'm analyzing his reaction with a blank expression Tori is snapping her head back and forth between the two of us like cartoon. Completely spastic. I swear it was on the verge of breaking off.
"Well, my brother and I have class so we'll see you later Ryan," Tori said before she pulsed me into class and had me seated in the back before I even had a chance to register it all.
I could feel her eyes boring into the side of my head like lasers. In fact, their scorching abilities being magnified exponentially by her sleek glasses. I turned to face her, "You know I don't like my picture been taken."
She let out a sigh, "Yes, of that I'm aware. Although I thought your reaction was completely uncalled for. That's not what I was going to talk about."
Why couldn't that be what she wanted to talk about? I'd much rather brave the odds of that than against what I believe she was about to bring up.
I needed to change the subject-fast. I knew Tori better than most and the look she had back in the hall only meant trouble- particularly for me. She thought she was onto something. I could almost see the neon lights flash in her eyes.
She believed, she had found me a boyfriend.
"What are we doing in the back?" I chose to try adjust the course of our voyage. My sister was not the cool `let's hang in the back with all my shallow friends' kind of girl. She was classic case of future Ivy league player and embodied preppy aspirationalist be from the way she dressed.
"Well, I've never had anyone I could sit back here with, no offence to my friends but they don't come with any street cred," she said.
I raised a single eyebrow at that. Intending on making her feel uncomfortable.
"Oh my gosh, it's not like that!" she squealed.
I held my pose, this tactic is minimal effort on your part and if you stayed quiet long enough- people tend to dig their own graves.
"It's not because you're black!" she said flushed.
And I gave my version of a laugh, a half smile that DOES actually reach my eyes and a single exhale of air like I almost laughed but got too lazy in the delivery.
She caught on that she'd been had and acted out in faux indignant.
"You're an ass."
She turned around, faced the board all smiles though reveling in our shared moment of sibling banter.
Thanks for reading the first part of my story. To keep me inspired and motivated to carry on writing this series, please email me your feedback! Even if it's just to let me know you are reading it, will be much appreciated. Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org