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Gavin snorted a laugh. [b "Luna might be smooth enough to pull off a life of crime, but look at this face,"] he rubbed at Linus' jowls. [b "He'd roll over the second someone got close enough to give him a belly rub. He's distracted by all things affectionate."]
The dog responded by rolling on to his back and letting his tongue fall out. [b "See? Useless. At most, he can try to bribe someone with his adorableness. I don't think you understand just how not-loyal this dog is."]
When the conversation turned more serious again, he let his eyes drift closed.
How was he handling this?
In less than a month, he'd abandoned his home to go on the run with her, had a slight mental breakdown, faked a marriage, and now preparing to make a move against the FBI agent ruining his father's company. He was less than stellar. Unfortunately, there was no time for him to sulk about it.
[b "I'm handling it in the best way I can. Trying to soldier through it, otherwise I'll start heavily drinking again and be as useless as a doorknob. The less I think about everything, the less it has the chance to get to me,"] he answered.
[#af18ae “Well I apologize to you and Wilbur.”] she quickly says smiling she nods when he asked if they can teach the monkey to steal things. She’s totally okay with that. Maybe they can even learn to fling their poop on command. Let someone break into their house. They’re going to get monkey poop thrown at them! Ew. The idea is so cool but nasty at the same time.
Serena give him a questionable look. A miniature pony? He doesn’t want nothing to do with a horse but he wants a tiny pony. He is an odd man. But she still shrugs. If he wants it why not. Serena rolls her eyes when he said their kid would be a monkey because she’s a monkey. [#af18ae “Trust me when I say you saw nothing and I’ll be okay if our kids are little monkeys. At least they won’t be boring.”] with his appetite and her activeness, their kid may be good looking. There’s no telling how they would come out. Hopefully by the time they have kids their lives are normal and semi boring. [#af18ae “Maybe our fur babies can be trained to work with each other to steal things. Luna can be Puss in Boots.”] she says jokingly. [#af18ae “So... how are you really holding up with all of this?”] Serena asks watching him closely to see if he’ll lie or not.
He propped himself up on his elbow. [b "How dare you talk about our fictional pet pig like that!"] he faked being scandalized. [b "Wilbur has been nothing but good to us! His snoring is soothing and puts me to sleep."]
When she rolled his way, he dropped back down with a smirk. [b "A pet monkey? Could we teach him to steal cool shit for us? Like the one from those pirate movies?"]
Linus started getting jealous and pouty, wiggling as far up as he could until Gavin reached out to scratch behind his ear. [b "If we're getting a monkey, then I'm getting a miniature pony. We'll have an entire petting zoo, all to ourselves."]
He toyed with her fake wedding ring. [b "For the record, I'm pretty sure we're going to end up with a monkey anyways, knowing any future kid we might have. I've seen you climb trees to set up our security systems. Kid is going to be a climber, for sure."]
Gavin made her smile. Not that he can tell. [#af18ae "Well we're doing a good job at [i fucking] fate. We're here and pretend married living in the jungle like a modern day Tarazan."] she laughs when he told her about his horrible experience with a horse. Would it be weird if she told him she was actually dragged by a panic horse? Her boots got caught and something spooked him. She still enjoys riding them though. [#af18ae "Well he can be your new pet. Ew... this is going to sound bad but I like bacon and I'm not going to play house with that ugly thing..."]
Serena turns around so they were facing each other. The pets even tried getting between them. If they had to pick a winner it was Luna. Linus isn't so small so he barely squeezed between them. Luna on the other hand did. Her head was in front of Serena and the kitties body was against her chest. [#af18ae "It's like having real kids..."] she says chuckling. [#af18ae "Would it be weird to get a pet monkey?"]
He let out a long sigh, his breath pushing her hair away from his face. At this point, he'd be happy to sign over any rights he had to the company. Being hunted wasn't worth whatever his share in the business was. However, he's almost positive that Byrnes would keep the bounty out on them purely to cover his tracks. Might as well keep fighting.
[b "Fuck fate,"] he grumbles. [b "It can pry you from my cold, dead fingers,"] he tightens his hold on her.
Her talk of farm animals pulls a smile from him. [b "I'll leave the horses to you. I fell off one as a kid. I'm convinced they're out to get me. But you can have as many horses as you want."]
He'd never considered having an animal aside from Linus, and the newest addition of her cat. A few farm animals could be fun. [b "What about a pot bellied pig?"] he rests his chin on her shoulder. [b "We could call him Wilbur."]
A smile creeps on her face when he agreed to cuddle with her. They do need a break. Only if they can go on vacation. However, we all know that's not happening. There's no safe place. Even now with them living in the woods. If anything they're doing a good job at hiding but for how long?
When he got back in bed and pulled her closer to him, with her back pressed against his chest, Serena takes his hand and kisses it before keeping it close to her. His words hurt her. They probably aren't meant to be. A few months before she shot him her family and her had to take care of Joyce and her family. They were also con artists who had their eye on them. In Gavin's eyes Serena possibly looked like jealous girlfriend every time she found out he spoke or hung out with Joyce. Joyce broke into his house while he was out with his family. Of course Serena was shadowing Joyce. They fought and it wasn't your normal street fight either. It was so brutal it looked like someone broke into their house. Serena called her parents to stuff the unconscious girl in their trunk. They each took a souvenir to make it look like a robbery. Serena took his grandfather's ring that is supposed to be passed down every generation. She still has it. Eventually she'll return it.
[#af18ae "If we ever get that far... Fate isn't on our side remember. But What about work? Your families business?"] She asks tracing circles on top of his hand. The girl wouldn't mind living in a ranch like home. She wouldn't mind owning a horse or two either. Maybe even plant things and sell them at a farmers market. It's a nice idea. It didn't take long for their fur babies to join in on the cuddle party. [#af18ae "If we do get a ranch I want a horse..."] she said in a soft tone smiling. She could feel the stress and pain fading. This is nice. The cuddling and not worrying.
Gavin was more than happy for a break. Grumbling to himself, he rose to his feet. [b "I think we could both use a cuddle. This is giving me a migraine."]
He dimmed the lights and practically curled himself around her. Gavin was careful to avoid her injured areas, and settled for pulling her back against his chest. [b "We were never destined to have an easy life together, were we?"] he murmured.
Even when they had previously dated, there was a spark of danger. She'd always pushed him out of his comfort zone into new territories. Hell, her way of helping him get over his fear of heights was taking him skydiving. Ordinary was never their thing.
[b "When we get married for real, I demand a boring life in the middle of nowhere on a farm. No one trying to kill us, no corruption. Just us, a kid, and farm animals. We can learn how to run a ranch,"] he spoke like a true grump.
Serena arches an eyebrow when he mentions Emma. Who the heck is Emma? Crap, why can't she remember her? There's no way this girl can be important. She may have to be taken care of. Emma who?
[#af18ae "Well then we can go ruin that arrangement. What do you say?"] She says smiling wickedly. It would be fine to sabotage something. They can even frame him or ruin his reputation. They do go crazy with allegations. Perhaps they can hire hookers and have him do drugs and take pictures of it. Then there's transferring money around to make him look shady. [#af18ae "This may be a bad time, but your injured girlfriend would like to cuddle."] Right now they need something positive. Something to relax them. Some cuddle time would be nice.
It wasn't a terrible idea. He knew a few people that Byrnes wouldn't be able to buy off. It was just a matter of choosing one, and then convincing them that it would be a good idea. As much as he trusted his friends, it would have to be a careful decision. [b "Do you remember Emma?"] he looked at her. [b "I went to university with her. We shared a few classes, but she majored in Public Relations. After school, she did some work for the military as a liaison to the locals. Clean record, and she'd be an easy addition to the communications branch of the offices. She wouldn't be easy for Byrnes to break, if he even did suspect her."]
Gavin was still swarmed by his thoughts when she called his attention to the laptop. [b "Son of a bitch!"] he crouched down beside her chair.
Byrnes seemed to know exactly where he was going, and somehow had a key to do so. Gavin's desk had been locked since he'd been gone. Still, he sat there helpless as he watched the FBI agent swiftly produced his own key to unlatch everything. [b "I don't even remember what those papers are for,"] he tried to rack his brain. [b "Something to do with the last deal Dad made. He'd been negotiating with an embassy in Europe over a security contract. But what the hell would Byrnes need with it?"]
Whatever it was, the smug look on his face made it clear that he'd found it. [b "If he gets access to an embassy, then he could be pushing for diplomatic immunity. If he's granted that title, he can't be touched by law enforcement in other countries. If he's planning to embezzle funds and then disappear, he's got all the ammunition he needs."]
Oh yea, she can totally hear the hurt in his voice. She would be hurt too... wait, she was hurt. It has happened to her a few times. However, it was best she didn't jump into things she wasn't prepared for. Then again that's simply her. [#af18ae "You're not trained for this Gavin. You can get hurt. You haven't been taking the training seriously."] It took a while for Serena to get off the Hammock. When she did she sat down besides him. [#af18ae "It was just an idea. We have time to think of what we're going to do. Now if you excuse me I have to clean the dishes."] She kisses his cheek fore getting up. Luna curls up next to him, taking Serena's spot. Halfway through cleaning she got an idea. [#af18ae "Hey, what if we hire someone to work there and keep an eye on thing? Someone attractive so they can be apart of every gossip or use their sex appeal to get shit done. What do you think?"] It is a great idea. There's a lot of whores there. With a certain amount of flirting she managed to bug a few things, set up cameras... the cameras! Serena runs to the bedroom to get on the laptop. They still work! [#af18ae "Gavin... the douche-monkey is there, right now. In your office."] she shouts getting up to meet him half way.
Gavin sighed and let his head fall back against the wall. [b "Is that your professional opinion on what's best?"] he looked at her. [b "To send me home so we're separated again?"]
It wasn't his favourite plan. He knew he wasn't the most capable partner in a situation like this, but he felt better that he was at least near enough to try to help her if there were any danger. But, it wasn't the worst idea to be in the thick of things where he can keep an eye on everything from the inside.
[b "It makes sense to have an inside view of everything,"] he acknowledged. [b "And we could have a correspondence every night to go over whatever we find."]
Groaning, he rolled onto his stomach and buried his face in his arms. [b "Nothing ever goes to plan.']
Serena was enjoying the site and the kitty snuggle warmth. She sort of forgotten about the nachos. Why is it so hard not to get her act together? She is struggling. Gavin must be her kryptonite. Her brain is in smush. For once she can’t handle all of these things. She twitches hearing Gavin. For a moment she thought he was sucked into the computer. Searching up people can be interesting.
[#af18ae “Well... we can send you back. Hire a bodyguard. We can pay good money for someone who’s willing to give up their life for you or hire someone on the other end of the law who can spot something shady. I know people who would it if the money is right. Then I can focus on everything else by myself. Of course I’ll keep you in the loop.”] she says before grabbing a cold chip. [#af18ae “It’ll be good because you can keep an eye out on that end. For all we know he probably took over one of your siblings share. Either they willingly signed it over or sneaked attacked it and won’t play his cards until he gained everything he wants.”] she hads looking at him.
Gavin didn't pull his eyes away from the computer as she went to workout. [b "Don't hurt yourself. Don't wanna run low on first aid supplies,"] he called after her.
The son of a bitch had been working behind his father's back for years, by the looks of it. The files didn't seem to be ending. [b "What the hell did you get yourself into, Dad?"] he murmured under his breath.
He didn't want to blame his father for whatever Byrnes was behind, but Christopher Rollo hand-picked the FBI agent to work for the company. Gavin hated to think that his dad had been either stupid enough to be blind to the betrayal, or willfully ignorant about it.
He pushed back his chair and went to join her. [b "I think Byrnes has something to do with the bounties against us. He may be taking my disappearance as a threat to whatever his plans are. When I was home, at least he could keep tabs on my whereabouts and schedule. By me being gone, he's lost an advantage."]
He leaned against the wall and slid down to sit. [b "He's in the FBI, so the bounties could be listed across the globe. Shady people have no problem kidnapping or murdering if it means they get paid."]
Serena is surprised that’s he’s getting all of this information in his own. She feels like a proud mom again. All she did was sit back and watch as she ate her chips. [#af18ae “Alright... well we can see if he has anything sent to places that’s isn’t in his normal day to say bases. For all we know he could be dead.”] she says with a mouth full of chips. Eventually a yawn escapes her. Doing nothing is making her tired. The fact she lost a lot of blood not too long ago makes it even worse. [#4682b4 “Let me know if you need help. I suggest you get some more chips because I may grab some more and train to keep myself occupied.”she fist pumped him since she didn’t want to kiss him with her messy lips. Luna follows her while Linus took her spot.
It’s hard to work out when you’re sore and would rather eat. Serena caved and went to go eat her second serving with her fur baby on her right shoulder, gently swaying on the hammock. It feels wonderful out. The clouds covered the sun. The breeze feels amazing. Nothing can go wrong. Hopefully.
Gavin listened, for once, and did as he was told. His eyes flicked over each page, growing frustrated at the amount of information Byrnes had redacted. [b "I hate him now more than I did before,"] he grumbled under his breath.
A familiar name caught his eye and he scrolled back up the page. [b "That's...not even remotely normal,"] he said slowly.
Calling her over, he pointed at a name on the screen. Cliff Barton. [b "This guy hasn't been employed with us for nearly four years."]
Gavin tried to recall what exactly it was he'd been fired for. Fraud maybe? Definitely some kind of gross misconduct. [b "This guy used to work as our international consultant. We let him go after he'd been spilling company secrets to competitors. But these payroll stubs are going into an account attached to his code."]
He sat back in his chair. [b "Byrnes is either paying this guy off for business information, or he's embezzling funds from a null and void payee account."]
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