Tale Tuesday I

“Name, Andrei Ruslett; Age, 42; Nationality, Italian and he has a very thick accent. We may only have a sketch but it will be easy to spot him. No need to assign more than one man on that, James, we both know all your men are extremely capable.”

My father’s chuckle sounded far away, making me press my ear harder onto the door.

“That’ll be handled, sir. You’ll have the information and the man on your hands by Monday”, my father replied.

There was an unmistakable squeak of the old lounge chair before the Boss spoke again. “Don’t call me ‘sir’, Porter. We started the job at the same time, it was only that I inherited the company from my father while you started at the bottom.”

“You know I just do that to rile you up. Besides that, what else have you got? A little birdie told me you have a lot of cases on your hands this month.”

My ears perked up at that and my heart raced.

“Oh we do”, the boss replied lightly. “But your men aren’t made for going undercover and these jobs are full of it.”

I frowned at the gender specific term and hoped my father would remember me.

C’mon, mention me already!

“Eavesdropping is considered a very serious crime here”, a low voice whispered in my ear, making me freeze.

I didn’t move so the person came around to face me. “You know, just because you’re frozen in a spot doesn’t mean you’re not here”, he said in a bored tone and when I still didn’t move he gave an annoyed sigh and opened the forbidden door in front of me, shoving me in. Whatever discussion had been going on stopped abruptly.

Along with the owner of the company, there were five other men in black suits. My father was the only underdressed one. Actually, that’s an understatement; he was wearing only a pair of sweatpants and a wifebeater.

“Hey!”, I protested, quickly steadying myself and straightening my clothes. It was then that I got a proper look at the person who ratted me out. Training taught me not to keep out attention fixed on a single spot so my eyes did only a quick sweep of the guy in front of me and the final verdict was that, with his tall height, chocolate brown hair, structured face and muscled body, he was pleasant on the eyes.

“So you speak?”, he questioned mockingly before shoving me forward again. “I caught this girl eavesdropping. What should be done with her?”

Well, his personality obviously doesn’t match his looks, I thought as I glared at him.

“Megan”, my father started with a dreary sigh but I jumped forward to defend myself.

“I didn’t hear much, I swear! I just heard the part about the undercover cases and-”

“For the last time, Megan, you’ll not be doing such jobs!”, my father interjected sternly, making me frown even more. “You are not ready for it.”

“Why not?”, I questioned loudly, throwing my hands up in exasperation. “I completed my training near about the same time Calvin and Leo did! They’re handling major cases while I’m here sitting in my pink room with my pink devices that you bought. I’m not a little girl anymore!”

“This is your daughter?”, the boss asked, drawing my attention. “Well, isn’t she all grown up!”

The man in front of me looked to be over six feet tall. He had a chiseled face that must’ve made the ladies swoon when he was younger, though I doubt it’s any different now, sporting a trimmed beard and twinkling moss-green eyes that were looking at me in a fatherly manner.

This is my moment, I gave myself a quick pep talk, I have to convince him to let me on a case.

I smiled at him. “Yes, I am his daughter and, like my hard working brothers who work in your company, I’ve trained hard and had completed the entire training course last year and I’ve trained on my own ever since to further increase my skills-” I paused when someone behind me, most likely the guy who shoved me in, snorted. I pursed my lips but continued,”I think I’ll be the perfect person for you on your next case.”

“Megan!”, my father scolded but the Boss’ chuckle stopped him.

He observed me amusedly for a long time but I stood my ground. He would’ve intimidated me if he hadn’t had the fatherly expression on his face. He looked at my father.

“Where had you been hiding such a fierce gem, James?”

My father sighed and I braced myself for the Megan-you’re-not-ready speech. I’d been hearing that for too long.

“Meg, these jobs are too tough for you right now and you’re just not-“, my father started but the Boss cut him off.

“Hold up, James. Megan, do you really think you can handle the jobs?”

My eyes widened and I nodded eagerly. “Yes, Sir!”

“Then fine, it’s decided”, he said, patting me on the back. “You can come to my office tomorrow and we’ll see which job will suit you.”

I was beyond happy.

“What?”, an annoyingly familiar voice asked in surprise and contempt. “You can’t be serious, dad. I mean, look at her! No offence, Uncle James, but she looks like the toughest she thinks she is is when she faces a spider, though I won’t be surprised if she can’t even face a spider.”

What the hell is his problem?, I growled in my mind. Wait, did he say ‘dad’?

“That’s enough, Hayden”, the Boss stopped him with a stern look. “Everybody gets a chance. Haven’t I taught you to be unbiased about things? Staying neutral is the key in this field and you know that.”

I blinked out of my act of comparing their faces and measuring the resemblance. They definitely had the same genes in them.

My father sighed again. “I just think it’s too dangerous for you, angel. If you are going to do this, we’re going to have a detailed talk about the rules you should follow.”

I instantly grinned at him and he chuckled at my reaction.

“You will, of course, have to pass an initiation test so bring all the brains and brawns that you’ve acquired to the table tomorrow, Megan”, the Boss informed me and tried to keep up a strict expression but failed miserably when I kept smiling widely at him. “Oh who am I kidding? You’re Porter’s daughter, of course you’ll do good.”

He stood up and everyone in the room, including my father, stood up, probably in respect or something. The boss and my father shook hands, joking about some memories that they had on the last case. It was nice to see them like this but I badly wanted him to go, for the sole reason of taking away the being that had been constantly drilling holes into the back of my head with his glares. I refused to turn back and face him because I admit, he’s a bit intimidating.

“Alright, Megan”, the Boss called I turned my head to look at him. “I believe you’d like my business card for the contact information, wouldn’t you?” He signalled one of his men standing in the room and I was immediately handed a card. “I think it’d be easier if my son came to pick you up for our appointment tomorrow.”

Hayden gave a surprised cough. “I do hope you’re talking about Mike.”

“Oh I mean you, of course. You know how Mike is with ladies”, his dad responded, clicking his tongue in disapproval. He walked out of the room, informing me of the details all the while. “You’ll meet me at 3:00 pm sharp. Tardiness is not tolerated, Megan. Hayden will pick you up at two. It’s an hour drive and the initiation will take two more so prepare accordingly.”

I choked on my own spit at the information. An hour drive? With that guy? Oh God…

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