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Copyright ©2013-2015 Black Arrow
The life and times of a teenage Russian spy stationed in the US of A.
Drunk And Serious
I stormed into the kitchen to pour myself a tall glass of water and get away from the all-out chaos that had erupted after the revelation. Why were people so G'damn nosy all the time?
After steeling my nerves and convinced myself I owed no one out there anything, I finally came out of hiding. A quick look at the previous congregated area showed me that a large part of the circle had dispelled, and more importantly, took Ryan with it.
I had a few seconds panic when I thought he'd left without even saying good-bye. I mean, I felt guilty but what for? This happened years ago and didn't mean anything to either Mason or myself. All this fuss made me think back to the day it all happened...
"How do you know when you're doing it right?"
"I don't know, you just do."
"What if I suck at it?"
I gave him a face trying to convey how stupid he sounded to me at the moment and to show my annoyance because I really wanted to complete my homework before I had to go to the gym.
He got the message and shut up but that didn't stop his mind from working in a loop. I think the contorted expression he wore began to annoy me more than his questions. It began to gnaw at me because this was such a silly thing for him to be worried about. He was a nice, great looking guy. Anyone would be lucky to have him whether he kissed like a dead fish or not. But I knew he would see it that way.
"What?" he asked me dumbly, still sulking.
"You wanna know if you're any good at it. Kiss me."
I nodded. It was no big deal to me at the time. It should have been but it wasn't. Maybe it was because I wasn't all that integrated into western culture as yet or the fact that I was currently being bred into a sexual weapon. I'd read up on all the intricacies and procedures that were involved with human intimacy yet I had no idea what being intimate was.
"No, I mean, you'll let me?"
"I'm offering, aren't I?"
"Look, take it or leave it, I just want to go the rest of the afternoon in peace."
"Okay- okay, I'll do it, but you don't have to sound so excited about it."
He took an exaggerated breath and approached me. No part of our bodies were touching, he just closed his eyes and brought his face inches away from mine and then...stopped.
I didn't see the big deal with first kisses. I didn't share the sentiment these Americans did so I closed the space he had left and touched his lips with mine.
He was still at first, like the amateur he was. I was about to pull back and call him a lost cause when he surprised me by kissing back with a passion I'd never felt before. He was gentle but grew bold. Subtle, but established his dominance on my mouth.
This was supposed to be a tutorial, quick and simple. But soon his hand had found my waist and was bringing me closer yet what surprised me the most was that I was doing the same. I found myself moulding myself to his form, like putty in his hands.
He kissed like I'd always imagined he would, caring, loving and powerful- true to his character. He was a natural . Whatever snarky comment I had readied for him was lost to the kiss. He took my breath away. Quite literally.
When we pulled apart it was me that had a blank look and felt utterly dumbfounded.
"Well, how did I do?"
I paused, staring at him. From his soft pink lips to his chocolate eyes and up to his bushy brows. I was mesmerized and at the same time began to feel scared. That kiss felt better than I had ever expected. I enjoyed it way more than I should have.
"Nothing to worry about. Like I said. I have to get ready for my workout."
And that's how I avoided having to ever explore what that kiss had done to me. What feelings it evoked and how differently I would have loved for our relationship to be. But it just couldn't be.
I was brought out of my reverie by a very distinct laugh coming from the front porch. Ryan. I was so caught up in my thoughts with what was revealed tonight that I'd totally forgotten about him. There were two ways in which I expected this to go: The first being preferable, that he'd be his nonchalant self and shrug it all off as nothing. That would be the most ideal reaction to all of this. The second scenario and more likely, was that he didn't know how long ago this actually was. People already thought more of my relationship with Mason. I didn't need Ryan to be one of them.
I stepped out to see him talking to my sister, Heaven knows what she was telling him but I hoped it was in my favor. They became aware of my presence at the same time and immediately stopped talking. Tori excused herself in the least obvious way I'd ever seen her do.
"Hey," I said tentatively. I'd have to play this by ear because I had no idea how he was feeling.
"Interesting night right?" I asked with a nervous laugh.
"I'd say..." he broke off, looking every bit as distant as he felt. I tried gauging him with my eyes, vying for that connection we had all through the night but was getting nothing back, like the flame I'd once felt there had been extinguished.
"You're heading out?" I asked noticing the glint of his keys.
"I think it's time."
"I thought you didn't have to leave until later," I said reaching, not quite sure for what yet.
"Yeah, but I thought its best to head out before I got too tired."
"Good call," I said feeling defeated. I didn't know what else was there for me to do except watch him leave.
But he didn't leave right away. He just stood there, looking at me. He may have been despondent towards me but his eyes said something different. His unmistakable gray eyes stared out at me, almost like he was looking for something. Almost like he wanted me to say something to somehow fix the rift that had established itself instantaneously after that moronic game.
I was frozen. I wasn't good with words. Not the kind that he needed. I so wanted to talk to him but I felt out of my comfort zone. I couldn't just plead- reach out. That wasn't me.
He let a breath out and began to turn away. I watched him walk away from me and felt like it had all gone to shit. This was not how I imagined tonight was going to end.
"Ryan wait," I said. "That kiss, happened ages ago. We were thirteen. It didn't mean anything," I felt the words flooding out of me.
"Your reaction afterwards made it look like more than just that," he said turning around to face me.
"I'm a private person, okay? I don't like people knowing about my business. We're just friends."
friends? That's all there
is to it?"
"That's all," I said with a sigh.
I didn't know if he was entirely convinced. It didn't seem like it, but that was everything I had. He seemed to be thinking about it, judging from the pensive expression he wore. I didn't know if he believed me though. His face was hard to read. His gray eyes looked stormier than usual, even under the light.
"Okay," he said before cupping my face and planting a swift kiss on my lips. It was quick and fleeting, lacking all the passion of earlier. I couldn't help but feel like this was more for my benefit than his. He gave me a wan smile before turning down the porch steps and into the night.
I watched as he got on his bike and sped down the road without sparing a glance back.
"I know the feeling."
I turned back to look at the source of the voice. Mason was leaning against the doorframe looking down the street. I don't know how long he'd been there or how long I had been staring out at the trail Ryan had left behind.
"Shouldn't you be with-"
"Amber?" he asked, cutting me off. "She already left. Go figure."
We both new why our dates had suddenly gotten all squeamish so there was no need to rehash the past. The last of the party goers had finally gone so we set about doing some lackluster cleaning, if only just so it looked less daunting in the morning. But after seeing that we were the only two still up and we weren't getting anywhere without Tori's strategic planning we decided to call it a night.
I just assumed Mason was staying over because he was helping me straighten things up. That's just how things had always been, so when I darted towards the stairs it was no surprise that he followed.
We got up to my room, both of us feeling exhausted and him mumbling about our dismal love lives. I ignored him for the most part. I dug into my closet to find him something to sleep in and briefly contemplated taking a shower but doubted I had the neither energy nor motivation for it. I pulled out shorts and a shirt and tossed them haphazardly at him.
"Hey, aren't these mine?"
"Yeah, I have an entire shelf full of your clothes. You haven't realised you're missing practically half your wardrobe?" I asked marvelling at how clueless he was at some things.
"No way," he said in disbelief before stalking over to have a look.
"Actually I changed my mind. Give me that shirt," I said grabbing it out of his hands. I'd found that his shirts were more comfortable to sleep in than mine for some reason. Whether it was because they were bigger and allowed for more movement or the simple fact that they belonged to Mason, I didn't quite know. Maybe both. Or venturing a little further, the fact that they smelled like him.
He just shrugged his shoulders and said he liked sleeping shirtless anyway. That could be the reason why he kept leaving them behind the next morning. I had this idea that we'd get to sleeping as soon as we got up here but Mason had different plans. He felt like carrying on where the party had left off, where I just wanted to go to sleep and get this night over with. He said that if any two people deserved to drink in bed, it was us. He pulled out a halfway drank bottle of vodka and we passed it between us two as we stared at the ceiling.
"Hmmpf what a night, huh?" he said after he took a big swig of the clear liquid. My iPod was on, soothingly playing the cinematic, melancholy sounds of some indie rock artist that I'd recently downloaded. It just gave the night a surreal ambiance and added on to the feeling of a couple other things I couldn't quite believe happened tonight.
I grabbed the bottle from him and took a big gulp myself, "It's no big deal."
"Well it kinda is, ya know. You were my first kiss and I know it was yours too," he said looking at me with bloodshot eyes and a goofy grin, his thick brown hair dishevelled evidence of the long night we'd had.
I looked away from him momentarily to consider that statement. In all truth, he wasn't my first kiss but that wasn't something I was prepared to share because then I'd really have to remember who my first kiss was.
"We're best friends," I said offering that as reason for our blurred lines.
He snorted at that saying, "Who happen to have kissed."
I turned on my side to look at him. He was so beyond the limiting word drunk I couldn't help but laugh at his flushed state.
"Once," I corrected. Mason was a horrible drunk. I held my liquor far better than he did, though he'd never admit it when I call him out on it.
He turned back over on to his back and had a faraway expression, "Yeah... just once."
I watched the side of his face as he blankly stared at the ceiling. He looked so lost in thought I wondered briefly if he was even breathing. Maybe I should take that bottle away from him and really call it a night.
"You think Ryan is upset with you?" he asked unexpectedly.
"Like Amber is with you?" I countered. This was a messed up state of affairs. When did my life become so dramatic? Is this what ordinary felt like? I felt like I was in some sort of twilight zone.
"Touché," he said before attempting another swig of the bottle.
"No, you've had enough," I said snatching it out of his hands and downing the contents. He pulled a dissatisfied face at me.
"Wanna know what's funny?" he asked with a slight slur. "I don't feel like I have anything to be sorry about."
No, I was pretty sure I didn't. Ignoring him, I crawled under the covers and tried my best to yank at them since his weight was keeping them down. After a few seconds of my vain efforts I just laid back on my pillow and listened to the tribal drums playing softly out of my iPod dock.
I was convinced at this point that he'd fallen asleep because his breathing was slow and deep. But I was mistaken.
"Our lives would be a lot simpler if we just dated each other," he said before turning to face me. "No guessing and all that other shit. I know everything there is to know about you."
"Stop playing," I said, giving him a shove.
"I'm drunk and serious," he wasn't wavering from his statement.
"Good night Mason," I said flatly putting an end to his drunk talk. I couldn't take him seriously when he was being like this. Matter of fact, it was hard taking him seriously in general.
Later, I woke feeling insanely hot like my skin was on fire and my mouth was now an arid desert. I tried to move from under the covers to get some cool air but found that I couldn't. I was literally trapped. As I became more conscious I became more aware of the compromising position I was in. My body was securely pinned down by Mason's sleeping form.
His leg had both of mine locked down and half his chest was on my shoulder with him peacefully breathing into my neck. The feel of his hot breath running down my side was causing morning concerns to stir.
And that's when I felt it. It was an unmistakable presence of him growing in hardness. I froze at the realization and hoped I was wrong, or that I could get myself out of this position while he was asleep. I squirmed, I writhed, I shimmied. All to no avail. And of course, his hand was located exactly where my groin met my leg and anymore movement would result in him touching my slowly waking dick.
Reluctantly, I knew the only way to save face was to ask him to move. Maybe he wouldn't realize because of his groggy state or maybe he'd oblige and think nothing of it. But something had to give.
And it moved, to be exact it jerked and I was made aware of the possibility that this very well may not be his hand.
He hummed a response but still nothing. His flesh moved against mine and I could feel it expanding even more. His breathing got deeper and I could feel my own body reacting in response. It soon came to me that he may not be waking up in the sense that I wanted him too because I already knew what a mission it was to rouse him in the morning.
He let out a weak whimper before thrusting into me. He froze immediately after that but the damage was already done. He finally opened his eyes, completely startled. We looked at each other awkwardly before he bolted upright.
"I need the bathroom," he said before jumping up and running out of my room with a very obvious tent in his shorts. And I knew instinctively that after this incident, my life had gotten a lot more complicated.
Monday morning, I stood at my locker in the middle of the mandatory recap of every other high school party I'd attended, feeling extremely agitated. My group of friends were animatedly talking about it but I wasn't participating because unlike them, my mind was more concerned with the memory of the morning after said party. It was erotic, it was awkward and to make matter worse, I think Mason was avoiding me.
"The strangest people hooked up on Saturday. I'm still getting chills thinking about it," Damon said feigning disgust.
"Why? What have you heard?" Jenny asked.
"Dude! Like Macy from the volleyball team and that skinny emo kid we have English with," Ziggy added excitedly.
I looked at Jenny for the first time this morning and noticed that she was acting kind of jumpy. Either because of the line of conversation or current company, since she was on my bathroom floor pinning over Damon just thirty-six hours ago. I wrote it off as just that, since I had other weekend revelations plaguing my mind.
As they all talked and laughed about what else happened I kept checking the door wondering when Mason would walk through. I was really hoping that this wouldn't become a thing, that he'd find a way around it; I don't know- maybe laugh it off. I guess I wasn't going to be that lucky.
The bell rang and my gang like everyone else in the hall began to disperse to their own corners of the school for first period, all before I even got a sign of Mason. I sighed, shut my locker and made my way to calculus.
The hall had begun to thin and I knew if I didn't put some hustle into my step I would be late for class, but what I saw suddenly before me put a delay on those plans and stopped me in my tracks. Between me and the flight of stairs I needed to take was a broad shouldered, brown haired boy. I didn't need to look up at his face to know who it was.
We both stopped and stared at each other-both waiting for the other to say something. The busy hall around us became a background buzz compared to the awkward situation I now found myself facing.
"Hey," I said, hoping to break the ice.
He dipped his head and scratched the back of his neck in a typical sign of nervousness. "Hi."
I really didn't want this to grow into something that it's not but how was I going to convince him of that? I wish we could both pretend it never happened or have the memory of the morning erased from both our brains. But that didn't happen in real life, well actually I knew a guy in Russia, who could get it done.
Unfortunately the procedure was rather radical and could either lead to psychosis or leave him brain completely dead, or so I've heard. None of which was preferable so those weren't really options. In any case in my reality, people dealt with issues, no matter how uncomfortable.
"Where were you? I thought maybe you'd taken the day off."
"I, uh... overslept," he answered but his eyes were being shifty, never really staying in one place too long.
"Oh, well at least you're here."
"Yeah. I have to go...talk later?" he said before speeding down the hall without a second glance. The last half not even sounding the least bit convincing. So this was how my week was going to turn out and it wasn't even first period yet, which I was now going to be late for.
I went through Calculus thinking of ways I could dilute this situation with Mason. I was drawing blanks because I couldn't see how I could begin to even the score with him without making a fool of myself. I contemplated all manner of things, some more extreme than others. Maybe if I kissed him, like out of the blue, and if he pulled away that would make him see that what he did wasn't so bad.
"Hey, you okay?" Tori whispered in the middle of the lesson which I had completely missed up until this point and had no motivation to change that fact.
"I'm good," I answered dismissively.
"I know that look," she said definitively. "Boy trouble."
And she was spot on. That wasn't much of a surprise really. She was there to witness the fall out of that moronic party game. She most likely assumed my pensive gaze had to do with that. I'd consumed myself with what happened with Mason to avoid thinking about what didn't happen with Ryan. After leaving the party the way he did I thought I'd call him and see if things were still good between him and I.
I called him the next day and we had one of the briefest conversations where he essentially brushed me off saying he had to do something and that he'd call me back. He didn't. This shouldn't have bothered me this much. I mean, I hardly knew him. Regardless of that fact, I was still taken by him.
Funny how before I was afraid of putting myself out there fearing his rejection. It seemed it didn't matter in the end; a single kiss with my best friend was enough to scare him off anyway. Maybe he just needed a reason to back away from me.
It was just a lot of uncertainty swimming in my head. Not knowing where I stood with him. If he didn't want to see me again, wouldn't it be easier to just say so than not say anything at all. And for someone who tried so hard to get my attention before was it that easy too just let it go?
I contemplated asking Tori but then thought twice about it. She was too close the situation, hell it was her fault we ever got to talking to begin with. She'd meddle and just make things worse, so I'd have to deal with this some other way.
Normally this is the sort of thing that best friends were for but mine was currently avoiding me too. Great. The only two guys I liked were both finding ways to be anywhere else but near me. Like I needed any more convincing that I wasn't cut out for this emotional shit.
That's how my morning was, with me running through the messed up situations I'd gotten myself into from a single weekend. I got into the library and parked at the desk where Jenny, Ziggy and I always spend our free period studying.
The two of them started whispering back and forth between each other like I wasn't just sitting across from them. Normally I might inquire what the hype was about but today, I couldn't give a shit. So I went through the first two pages of my book before Jenny decided to engage me.
"Are you alright? You've been awfully quiet," she whispered again looking kind of skittish. I couldn't quite get why since Damon was nowhere to be seen, unless I'd missed something.
"It's what I do," I answered flatly going back to highlighting.
"You're not upset with me, are you?"
I sighed out of annoyance. I should have avoided these two altogether because right now I would have appreciated being left the hell alone.
"No," I said, not lifting my eyes off the page.
"Cuz if you are, I'd totally understand."
That got my attention. I thought she was fishing before but now, and come to think of it, she'd been acting kind of suspect all morning.
"Why would I be upset with you?"
"You know, Saturday night. The thing that happened and me..."
I rolled my eyes. How had I forgotten that Jen has a knack for the exaggerating? She was blowing things completely out of proportion. A lot that happened that night was currently playing in my mind, but her crushing over Damon, wasn't even one of them.
"I told you. It wasn't a big deal, and Ryan didn't mind either," I said dismissively. "Besides its Mason I'm annoyed at right now," I said hoping that would be the end of it. She wouldn't read anything more into my mood.
"Oh him?" she asked in a high pitched voice, "Okay, great. That's awesome."
I stopped what I was doing and looked at Ziggy. Was I the only one perplexed by her shiftiness?
Something here just didn't add up. She was off the hook. I had let her know that she wasn't on my hit list but she was yet another person avoiding eye contact with me today.
"What's going on?"
"Nothing," she answered quickly.
I put down my pen and locked eyes with her. I could do this longer than she could. She wanted my attention, now she had it.
"Please don't hate me."
I still said nothing. I just looked at her.
She shifted about her seat, brows bunched up on her forehead.
"I kissed your brother!" she said out loud. Probably louder than she had intended because a couple of the other students shot her a look to see what was going on. She quickly covered her mouth with both hands after the confession.
I was stunned. Genuinely. Very few things could surprise me but this was right up there.
Justin and Jenny?
Jenny and Justin?
I don't know what look I wore on my face but she was having adverse reactions to it.
"I'm sorry, come again?" I asked stunned. It was sort of like after a bomb had gone off and everyone was trying to see past the smoke. I was convinced I'd misheard her. This revelation totally blew my mind.
"I know what you're thinking! I'm such a bad friend. Siblings are off limits and I totally get that, it's just that after we talked, I went down stairs and had a couple more drinks. A couple led to a lot and then your brother saw the state I was in and tried to sober me up. That was really nice of him and so I guess that took me by surprise cause I mean...he is Justin, so I don't know, one thing led to another and I kissed him," she seemed winded after that rant.
I didn't know what to say. I wasn't quite sure what shocked me more; that Justin actually tried to be a gentleman and helped someone else out or that he locked lips with one of my friends.
"Please say something," she pleaded since I'd been quiet ever since her bombshell of a revelation.
"Are you okay? Like did you use mouth wash afterwards? I'd check for hepatitis."
"Hunter! I'm being serious," she said her cheeks bright red.
"And so am I," I replied trying to stall my laugh, "When I said there were plenty of eligible single guys downstairs, maybe I should have been more specific or supervised at the least."
"Very funny. So, you're not upset with me over it?"
"Upset no? Concerned, yes. This could be the beginning stages of a downward spiral."
"Screw you," she said smiling fully for the first time since I'd seen her today. I was actually feeling better laughing at her.
"But seriously Jen. We're good. Let it go,''
"Why you so quiet?" I said finally in the moment that I realized Ziggy hadn't said much if anything since we got here.
"Me? No reason, just studying," Ziggy responded in a suspiciously rushed voice, like he didn't want to draw too much attention towards himself.
I looked at Jenny, "He passed out an hour after he got to the party. Someone found him curled up behind a bush. Thought we wouldn't notice." She stopped and looked at him smugly, "We noticed."
"You didn't see much of the party?" I asked amused. I knew Ziggy couldn't handle his liquor but this was getting ridiculous.
"I saw some...vaguely, very blurry and then, well."
His eyes darted quickly to Jenny. "Did Jenny mention she kissed your brother?"
"Shut up," she quipped.
And so the back and forth between them began all over again. It was great to see some relationships hadn't changed because of that cursed party. I was now beginning to regret it ever happened.
Much later in the day I was at gym and having a nightmare run of things. Frustration was the key word since I couldn't get myself to focus. I was fluffing up basic skills and my coach wasn't helping matters at all with his snarky comments.
I got up off the mat after my last wipe out and stormed over to the chalk bucket. I really didn't need to chalk up my hands again but I just needed to get away from the judgemental stare I was getting from Mihai.
"Perfect," I looked up and met eyes with Nate, our team captain and one of the gymnasts here I could actually call a friend.
"You don't look it. By the way, the guys want to thank you for this past weekend. They had a blast at the party and well we're all prepped and ready to take the title at State now."
I wish I could share in his optimism but we wouldn't be taking anything at the conference if I didn't get my floor routine polished. Never mind the new vaults I was working on, we actually stopped training vault today because I wasn't getting a good block. Mihai said I was a run away from breaking my neck or incurring serious injury.
"I want to apologise again for Jordan. He was out of line and-" Nate had begun but I didn't let him finish.
"Anything I can help with then?" he phrased it cautiously.
"What do you mean?"
"It's just that, well, you're the most focussed gymnast I know. You always hit but today..."
"I'm fine. Just a little off my game," I said tersely. I don't know what annoyed me more, the fact that I was repeatedly stuffing up every apparatus I touched or that others were noticing.
Nate saw there was no getting any more out of me so with a nod and a brief pat on the back he went back to his workout which I was a hundred per cent certain was going to be better than mine.
"Unless you're digging for your concentration in the chalk, I'd suggest you get back here," Mihai called out in his barely understandable accent.
I mumbled some expletives under my breath before going back to the tumbling track. It's where you practiced new tumbling passes before you were secure enough to do it on the competition mat. Problem is, I was already doing these skills on the competition mat months ago but because of my skittishness Mihai ordered we move here.
It was a major down grade and insult upon injury. I thought I could put it behind me, get on with my day whether those two boys decided to talk to me or not. Anyway, I'd be fine. I would get on with what needed to be done. But I wasn't.
I was distracted and beginning to get pissed off and actually didn't want to be anywhere in this gym. That was a first for me. Something else had colonized my thoughts and it wasn't competing. It wasn't gymnastics.
"Again! Do three and a half," he said describing which tumbling run he wanted to see me do. Granted, I had a difficult program for my age but it wasn't that we were over-reaching or I was incapable, I was just not present. The last thing I needed and what would be a blow to my ego was if he ordered we downgrade my skills. I'd be damned if I let that happen.
"Without the connection?" I asked trying to wrap my brain around him dragging my progress back.
"I don't know, can you?" he asked in what I assumed was meant to be a patronizing tone but was lost in his gruff voice.
"Of course," I answered flippantly.
And this is how training usually was for us two, a back and forth. He pushes, I push back. He said if he didn't know any better he'd think I was a Russian athlete, because this is what gym sessions were like back there. A war in the gym. Russian gymnasts were known to have difficult personalities. This is how the rest of the session went. I wasn't making any further progress. Mihai ended up getting so frustrated with me that he practically kicked me out of the gym. He said my head was somewhere else- that my heart wasn't in it. For the first time in a while, I actually agreed with him.
After dinner I finished what was left of my homework and began getting ready for bed. I wanted to check my emails before calling it a night when I realized there was one address I didn't recognize. I thought it was spam until I clicked on the icon and it was encrypted. That only meant one thing. I had a new assignment. Worst timing ever.
I swivelled my desk chair and got busy decrypting the file. I was no expert programmer but I had enough coding savvy to make or break military style databases.
It was a recon assignment. On a man named Nicolai Liukin. I carried on reading down the text. They didn't give much information about him, just that he was in hiding. Witness protection actually, he was given asylum by the Swedish government and to all the world he was thought to be dead.
The mission sounded simple enough, get binding evidence that he was still alive. We'd gotten a tip off about his whereabouts but they needed someone with a more delicate touch who could sneak in and out undetected. His handlers had to have no sign of detection or he'd be moved and given double the team in protection.
I got up and retrieved a secret phone I had hidden among my things. It was an international call, I didn't even bother checking time difference. I needed an in and I knew where to get it.
"It's me, I need a favor. "
The person on the other end grumbled. I could imagine the trepidation and discomfort probably etched on their face. In this world, a call from me always had consequences.
"Is this going to get me killed?" the voice on the other end asked.
"Depending on how you participate...no."
"Is someone else gonna get killed?"
He sighed, "What would you have me do?"