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Better Undercover

By @LittlePetDEvil18

The party was already in full swing, having officially started an hour ago. People were still pouring in two by two like Noah’s ark. It was a sea of dazzling dresses and jewels mixing with crisp white and black suits. Daniel and Thomas seemed to blend right in with the richly decorated party.

If you looked up “tall, dark, and handsome” you would find 29-year-old Daniel. Raven hair that caught the light perfectly no matter what the lighting was. Dark chocolate eyes that melted and swirled. Perfectly pristine sun-kissed skin. His charm matched his looks precisely. He could talk a woman into bed and then have her husband join in if they got caught. To everyone who spoke of him, he was the perfect man.

Now, 23-year-old Thomas didn’t quite compare to Daniel when it came to appearances and charm. He didn’t fit the tall dark and handsome with his pale face littered with freckles, incredible red-orange hair, and pale baby blue eyes. The trainee wasn’t as tall as him; In fact, he was rather on the short side. However, he was honest, relaxed, having a charm of his own. You could carry on a conversation with him easily as if you were old friends. Thomas was pleasant to be around, and it showed with the rather large crowd around him.

“Thomas, what are you doing?” hissed Daniel into the younger man’s ear when he finally accomplished getting to the ginger through the crowd. He was waved away like a fly that was buzzing too loudly. “Thomas, you are going to be noticed. We are undercover.”

“It’s a party. You’re supposed to mingle with everyone else.” Thomas shot back at him through clenched teeth. He just so happened to be listening to another man’s story so this interaction went unnoticed.

“We are not here to party, though. We are here to get Alisa and bring her in.”

“And how are you going to get her if you’re standing out because you’re not talking to anyone?”

“I am not going to stand out.”

“You are already. People have been asking about you since you won’t talk to anyone. I thought you were good at this.” Both men glared at each other for their own reasons. Thomas was only in training, but he knew things pretty well. He knew how to listen to others and get information, just as Daniel knows how to get close to his target. Thomas spoke again with a calmer tone. “Go mingle. It will help.”

“If I fail this mission, I will get you kicked out faster than you can say ‘wrong.’” Said Daniel before he smoothed pristine his suit and walked away to go speak with some high-class party-goers. Thomas turned away from him, beaming at a woman who was approaching casually.

“Hi.” He greeted simply. “Enjoying the party?”

“Absolutely. Although I would enjoy it more if Alisa would actually show up.”

“Are you supposed to meet her?” She rose the man’s interest.

“Yes, to talk about some favors she needs to cash in.”

“Favors?”

“Yeah. She did some things for me a few years back and then all out of the blue she comes to me saying she needs me to do some favors for her now.” The woman looked at him with sparkling emerald eyes. He would have been captivated by them for hours if Daniel hadn’t once again returned to his side.

“Pardon me, miss, but I need to borrow my friend here.” Daniel led the confused man away with an arm in the middle of his back.

“What did you need me for?”

“I do not need you, I was getting you away from her.” Thomas frowned at his response, suspicious of his reasonings.

“What, why?”

“Because I know her. She works for Alisa and she is seeing if there is anyone here with more interest in that woman than is normal.” Thomas didn’t believe him; Not for a moment.

“I don’t think so. I think you just want her for yourself.” The older man was paused, hearing Thomas say that. Daniel has had his motives assumed before, but not by his friend. The ginger always asked if they were true, not just jumped to conclusions.

“What are you talking about?”

“You don’t want me talking to her because you want to have sex with her.”

“That is not true.”

“Yes, it is.”

“It isn’t. Right now I am more focused on the job than the men and women here who want to sleep with me, and I with them.” The spy-in-training didn’t believe him, the message being sent through his eyes. “I really am. I have chased this woman for months now with you and she is so close.” Daniel held two of his fingers close together to emphasize his point. “I am not going to let her slip through my fingers now.”

“Hello everyone and thank you for coming!” all attention turned to the marble staircase. There stood a goddess. Long blonde hair elegantly curled framing a healthy peach face and eyes like sapphire. Her body was being hugged with a long red dress that shimmered in the light. A choker with blood drop rubies adorning her neck. “I’m so glad that so many of you have shown up tonight with all the killings that have been happening lately. I almost didn’t show myself.” She gracefully descended the stairs as she spoke. Her voice was a silk that wrapped everyone in cacoons of awe. “However, I knew that those girls need our help raising money for the children in Africa so I told myself ‘******* up, Alisa. You need to do it for the children.’ So, here I am.” A few people raised their glasses to her in agreement, including Daniel to keep up appearances. “Well, now that my little speech is out of the way, let’s continue with the party.” With that chatter started back up and all eyes looked away from the staircase. Alisa finished her descent down the stairs, then started talking to some of her guests.

“Wow, she is gorgeous.”

“Thomas, close your mouth. You might swallow a fly.” Daniel had a bored, unimpressed tone to his voice, making Thomas look at him like he was crazy. “What?”

“How could you possibly be not impressed by that woman?”

“Because I know what she did and I know what she will probably look like when this is all over.” Daniel casually walked in Alisa’s direction but Thomas stayed put. Instead, he looked around to see if he could find the emerald-eyed woman again. He was curious about what Alisa had done for her to warrant multiple favors. Did she need to hide anyone? Hide family? Hide herself? Or was it something that would get her further in life? It took a moment of searching the ocean of people before he found her. She was coming towards him; he met her halfway.

“You were looking for me.” She pointed out to him.

“Was it that obvious?” The woman smiled and offered her hand. Instead of a handshake, however, he kissed the back of her hand. Thomas was making an effort to be as charming as Daniel at this moment. “Thomas.”

“Lacey. Are you always this charming?”

“Not at all.” They both laughed at his honest response. “Well Lacey, would you like to take a walk? It is rather nice out tonight.”

“I don’t see why not.” Daniel watched the two at a distance as they started towards the outside, worried about what was possibly going to happen once they both step outside. He was about to go after them when Alisa stepped in front of him in all her dazzling glory.

“Hello, I don’t believe we have met.” Alisa had a soft tone in her voice. “I certainly would have remembered if we did.”

“No, we have not. My name is Oscar. Oscar Liy.” He took her hand and kissed it. Something he did out of habit nowadays. In the back of his mind, he yelled at himself to stop because he knew that hand had grown daisies through illegal ways. “You look absolutely stunning, by the way. A true work of art.”

“You flatter me.” She took her hand back with a striking smile, holding it to her chest. That grin did nothing for him but leave him shuddering on the inside. “Come with me, Mr. Liy. I want to show you something.” Daniel wanted to say no, but he knew that this was the only chance he was going to get her alone. With worry and calm battling in the pit of his stomach, Daniel followed her out of the room and into a quiet hallway. Remarkably, numerous pictures lined the walls, staring at them as they passed by. Silently judging him for leaving behind his trainee with someone he knows is dangerous. The men, women, and children in the pictures watched him walk, not speaking, not moving. Just watching. “All these pictures were painted for me by an extremely talented painter. Carl Jones.”

“He died recently, correct?” Daniel pretended ignorant.

“Yes. He had just finished my latest painting too. Such a shame that he died so young.”

“Indeed… such a shame.” They kept walking down the hall, further and further away from the party and from Thomas. Every few steps Thomas would pop into Daniel’s mind and what he might be going through.

“You know something odd that I noticed.”

“What?”

“I know everyone at the party but you and the man you came with. What’s his name?”

“Peter Anderson.” Daniel focused on where Alisa was going with this conversation. He didn’t like the stone that settled in his stomach.

“Ah yes. Peter Anderson. Such a good cover name, isn’t it?” He stopped in his tracks and stared at her. When Alisa realized he had stopped, the gorgeous woman turned around and looked at him, meeting his troubled gaze. “What, did I say something that bothered you?” Daniel didn’t answer her. Daniel just kept staring at the pure sapphire eyes, gazing into his soul. “I see. You are shocked that I knew it was a fake name. I bet your thinking that the poor boy gave himself away somehow although he hasn’t even spoken to me.” She gave a delicate laugh, throwing her head back slightly while her soft curls bounced. The blood rubies caught the light and sparkled against the pale skin on her throat. “You poor man. You poor, poor man. You should have gone after the poor boy instead of coming with me.” A gunshot sounded through the air, making him jerk to look down the hall behind him. No doubt everyone at the party heard the shot and was scrambling to run away.

“Thomas!” He called out the trainee’s name out of instinct, which he regretted moments later.

“So his actual name is Thomas. Such a charming name. Now let’s see what you chose. Me or him.” The man realized what this woman was doing. She knew, or thought that she knew, that he would go after Thomas and make sure his partner was still alive, and he knew that she would escape again while he did. Daniel was hesitating and Alisa saw it. “He is bleeding out now as we, well I, speak. Are you going to save him or not?” As much as Daniel hated the decision he was about to make, he knew he had to make it. Instead of running down the hall to save Thomas, he advanced towards Alisa. She backed up, startled and worried at the unexpected change in her plan. “What are you doing?”

“I have let you go too many times. I will not let you slip away this time.” Both people stopped walking for a moment. The seconds they spent just staring at each other felt like minutes, hours even. Finally, Alisa made the first move. She turned, pulled up her dress, and ran. Daniel chased after her. They ran down the hall, past the angry, hateful stares of the paintings. Alisa turned and went up many flights of stairs with the spy hot on her heels. Each step screaming at the chase that was keeping Daniel from going to his partner. Alisa knew her home like the back of her hand, but she must not have been thinking. She ran onto a balcony that overlooked the garden in the large backyard. The goddess had no way to escape. Once again these two people faced each other. In the moonlight, her hair looked like a broken halo. An angel stood there, breeze blowing her hair gently, the light from inside reflecting on her jewels and eyes. Daniel wasn’t left in awe, however. He was left feeling victorious.

“This isn’t where it will end.” He looked at her confused and that feeling of victory crumbled. “Even if you kill me, our fight won’t end here. You will have to fight all those people who saw me as an angel, as a goddess. You will have an entire nation against you.”

“You have killed so many people. They will learn the truth!”

“And how do you think that will happen? How will you let the whole world know that I have killed ten people in the past two months? How will you explain that I was there before the police were called, watching the life seep out of their eyes? How?”

“I do not know how, but I do know I will.”

“You couldn’t even save your partner. Go ahead and look.” Daniel realized at that moment that she lead him here on purpose. Alisa didn’t make a wrong turn. She wanted him there to see the result of the choice he had made. He didn’t know if this was a backup plan, or if it was a split second idea meant to throw him off. Whichever it was, it worked. Daniel walked quickly to the railing and looked over, leaning over the edge slightly. Thomas was by the fountain, alone. The woman with the emerald green eyes was gone. The trainee was bleeding down there, alone. He was dying. And Daniel wasn’t down there. “Look what you have done. You chased after me, although you knew your partner was shot. What kind of partner are you?” Daniel didn’t turn around to look at her while she spoke. He was vaguely aware that she was moving towards the door to escape. However, she didn’t leave. Instead, Alisa waited.

“Thomas…” He whispered the man’s name again. Thomas was young and full of life. The man was going to go places in the world as both an agent and as a person. Daniel suddenly felt guilt, regret, and self hate boil over in his stomach. He had failed to keep Thomas safe. Suddenly memories started to surface. He remembered how grateful Thomas was when Daniel took him in, and how proud Thomas was of himself when he completed his first mission successfully. He remembered Thomas saying that each spy had their own method, and he was talking to a crowd. He remembered telling him that was stupid, a fast way to get him killed. So many memories flooded Daniel’s thoughts, so he never realized that the woman with the emerald eyes had come up, ready to shoot him too. He didn’t realize she was there until he heard the gun click, ready to be fired. “What was the last thing he said?” Daniel asked the woman, not turning around.

“That it helped to talk to a crowd.” He was confused, tilting his head a bit at the bleeding man down on the ground. Thomas had learned something tonight, didn’t he? Something that was going to help them. There was someone that was in the crowd who could help. Someone who was also going after Alisa… Daniel slowly turned around and looked passed Lucey, passed the murdering goddess. He looked and saw a mother. A mother who lost her child to daisies. A mother who now ha to watch those daisies grow. A mother who was heartbroken. Everything went in slow motion after that. The mother raised her gun and squeezed the trigger to the pistol. There was a loud pop… Then the mother fell down, joining her child to grow daisies. A man stepped forward over the mother’s body and walked to his goddess. The bullet that the mother had shot lodged into the wall, having missed its target. Alisa looked at Daniel with a look of triumph. In two seconds, Daniel had already felt another plan fall apart. Things stopped feeling so slow for him as he felt his emotions bubble up painfully inside of him. Anger, frustration, anguish that he had stored in him this whole time. He failed. Thomas died. Alisa was going to get away. He was ready to lash out. He wanted to lash out. He was going to lash out. Daniel didn’t have a weapon on him, but it wasn’t going to stop him. These emotions kept boiling, getting closer and stuffier, reaching that explosion point. Then he looked at the woman with the emerald eyes. He remembered that Thomas had hated when he would blow up because he didn’t care who was in front of him. Thomas had warned him that one day he will blow up, and a woman will be in front of him. He will hit her, and he will become hated. No one will want him to be around. Good looks and charm won’t mean anything if he is labeled as a woman hitter. Daniel didn’t understand Thomas’ logic with it, but for once he was going to listen to it. For the younger man.

“Oh, I am so disappointed. I was hoping that you would blow up and we would have an excuse to shoot you. Oh well, I better get going. Let’s go, John.” He watched the woman leave helplessly and let out a quiet, heart-wrenching sigh. Not only did he fail to get Alisa, but he got Thomas killed in the process. The emerald-eyed woman put her gun away and took a few backward steps. He knew what she was doing. Lucey was making sure he stayed until she and Alisa were too far away to be able to do anything other than going to Thomas. When he knew she was far enough away where if Daniel left, she wouldn’t shoot him, he started to leave the balcony as well. But something stopped him. The sound of glass breaking, someone screaming as they fell, a sickening thud of a body hitting something hard and sharp. He quickly turned and looked over the railing to see who the unfortunate soul was that fell to their likely death. As he looked down at the body in the roses, he couldn’t help but let out a dry, humorless laugh. Alisa was no doubt was betrayed by her own lead bodyguard. She must have pushed him too far. Now there she laid there, tangled in thorns and covered in glass. Blood rubies still twinkled in the light, but they seemed to twinkle brighter against their owner’s cooling throat. He just spent a few seconds staring at the body. Daniel finally pushed away from the railing and went downstairs. The halls were empty of all people which was to be expected. No one would be expected to stick around after guns have gone off, not even the staff. He made his way to the garden in the back. Daniel didn’t go to see Alisa and let himself dwell on her death. Instead, he went to Thomas. The closer he got, the more he realized something was off. There wasn’t as much blood as one would expect from someone who bled to death, and when he touched the body it wasn’t cold. Daniel turned the man over and heard Thomas groan in pain.

“You are not dead?”

“Nope… Just hurting like a son of a ********

“You should not talk about your mother like that.” They both laughed a bit. “I’m sor-”

“Save it for when you get me up and out of here.” Thomas interrupted him and motioned with his left arm to help him up. Daniel took his hand and lifted him onto his feet. He saw that Thomas had only been shot in the shoulder. “I’m driving.”

“Like hell you are. Give me the keys.” They both smiled a bit as Daniel held out his hand. Thomas gave him the car keys with a sigh, feeling like a grounded child. “And you can tell me how you got shot in the shoulder instead of the chest.”

“I made a deal with her.”

“Why the hell would you do that?”

“Because I want to see her again.” Daniel gave the man a confused and concerned look. “The deal was that she would shoot me in my shoulder then we would go on a date when I got better.”

“That’s not a deal, that is making a plan to date your shooter.”

“Tomato, to-mah-to.” The older man shook his head as he started towards the garage to retrieve their ride home.

“You are unbelievable.”

“And you’re boring.”

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