Running his fingers in his hair, Elijah paced slowly around the room with his phone pressed against his ear as he said, “Yeah, morning, Ryan.” As he walked into the room of the hotel suite, Rookie moved his lips to speak, but he froze, staring at Ryan sitting on the edge of the bed when he heard him say, “Boss, week three report,” “I am listening,” Elijah answered, pausing in the middle of the room. “This week, Bryan Check met up with Mr. Adams, President of the Light world company, Mrs. D‘Alencias, CEO of Caelum Technologies, and Mr. David Rossi, chairman of Rossi Industries. We investigated these three for suspicious activity in their businesses, but they are clean…” Ryan said, eyeing Rookie when he sat by him. Allowing those words to sink in his thoughts, Elijah began pacing again as he muttered under his breath, “Clean?”
Feeling uneasy by his boss‘s tone and question, Ryan paused, putting the call on speaker for Rookie to hear, and said, “We have been following Bryan for three weeks boss, and most of the business-wise interaction he has had has been with honest businessmen. Nothing that would raise red flags or warrant attention…” “Though his social life is a mess… the man lives lavishly, with constant women and fancy occasions… No wonder he’s so damn famous…” Rookie commented with a smirk, causing the rest of the conversation to go dead.
Eyes still focused on the carpet, Elijah let out a huff, and then faintly smiled at Rookie‘s statement. He shook his head and chuckled to himself, before saying, “Anything suspicious in his personal life?”
Ryan took his time thinking about it. He tapped his finger against his temple, running it through his hair, and sighed heavily, “His grandfather seems to be a hardworking businessman, but his family situation isn‘t exactly easy. I can‘t find anything about his relationship with his father and that side of his family…”
“I did some digging, and it seems he tried to bury that part of his past, but nothing came up. It‘s all just a mystery to me…” Rookie replied, scratching behind his ears. Suddenly a second call interfered with the conversation, and Elijah looked at his phone screen to see the name, “Jerome” flashing on the caller ID. Taking a deep breath, Elijah accepted the call, and put the phone to his ear, letting out a heavy sigh and then said, “J, what‘s up?” “I found a rat sniffing around the motel, boss. What should I do with it?” Jerome responded with a low, but deadly tone.
“Who are you guys?! Untie me now!” A manly voice screamed in the background.
Silence on the line only lasted a second before Elijah heard the sound of a slap and then Dice’s voice, “If you are not willing to tell us why the fuck you have been snooping around the motel
for two weeks now, we‘ll just keep beating the shit outta your ass till you talk!”
The man screamed again, this time followed by another slap, and Elijah flinched and then listened as Jerome said, “Boss, this rat is squealing too much, and it‘s annoying. What should we do with it?”
“Where are you guys?” Elijah asked while pinching the bridge of his nose. “I will text you the address of our location.” Before Elijah could drop the call, he heard the man shout, “You can‘t just kidnap someone in broad daylight–”
Sighing, Elijah canceled the call and then dialed Ryan back, “Hey, thanks for the info. Keep me updated if you guys find out more.”
“Yes, boss!” Ryan uttered from the other end of the call.
The motel lobby was silent with James and Matt relaxing on the couch, and Peach reading a book on the other sofa.
When she heard the sound of footsteps, she raised her gaze, and to see Elijah, walking into the lobby, she hastily pushed the book over her eyes, covering her face.
After the last incident, they had worsened from avoiding each other to not saying more than ten words to each other a day, and Elijah had let her be because it wasn’t something he wanted to talk about either.
“Hey,” Elijah said as he walked past her. “Hi,” Peach whispered, not taking her eyes off her book as her heart pounded by the feeling of his presence.
A few steps later, Elijah stopped, causing Peach to raise her gaze back up, but then lowered it quickly, blushing slightly as she stared at the page.
“Let‘s go,” Elijah said, his eyes fixed on Matt.
Although he was confused by his boss‘s request, Matt stood up nonetheless, grabbed his coat, and followed Elijah out of the motel.
A lot was running through his mind, but Matt kept his silence until he and Elijah were seated in the car, and Elijah turned on his car engine.
“Is something wrong?” Matt asked, breaking the silence between them. “No,” Elijah stated calmly, backing the car out of the parking lot. “Well, I‘m not sure.” After Elijah drove away, leaving their motel complex behind, Matt spoke quietly, “So where are we going?”
“Well, Jerome called, ” Elijah replied, not looking at him, his hand rubbing against the steering wheel
“He finally used your number after the hospital. But why?”
“He found a rat,”
Those words left Matt in a state of confusion. He watched Elijah drive for a moment before asking out loud, “A what?”
“Someone was snooping at the motel…” Elijah said, glancing at Matt briefly before looking back at the road again. “What?! Who?”
“I don‘t know,”
The car was silent for a moment longer as they entered traffic. But Matt finally broke it,” Wait… How did Jerome manage to sniff out and catch a rat? Did you order him to watch the motel?”
The lights turned red, and Elijah immediately slammed on the break, turning to glare at Matt and saying, “Honestly, I don‘t know. I took Jerome and Dice‘s numbers, guessing that I would be the first to make the call if I needed them. But I never expected to hear from him instead, claiming to have a captive that I don‘t know!” Hearing the agitation in Elijah‘s words, Matt nodded in understanding. After a short moment of silence, Matt spoke, breaking the tension, “So where are we going?”
“An abandoned warehouse on Route 66,” Elijah said as the light turned green, driving forward
They didn‘t say anything after that as both of them fell into another uneasy silence. But Matt couldn‘t help looking at Elijah as he thought, ‘So let me get this straight… you get a call from Jerome, after total silence for days, telling you that he got a suspicious person as a prisoner, and we are just driving to the territory of a bunch of robbers without thinking this through. Right… We are fucked!‘