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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."]
When Serena was done she put everything on a plate, along with two beers for them. She watches him type. In her head the girl was judging him all the way. She has a file that has everyone’s information. It’s very detailed. It has passwords to their social media, emails, places where they go too a lot, and a few dirty details that should be locked in their closet but what can she say she loves to blackmail people from time to time. But she’s going to give this to him. [#af18ae “You got this. Start with locations. Look for places you don’t associate with or CEO’s... Ohhh or check if for documents that aren’t within business hours.”] she suggests to him while stuffing her face. [#af18ae “You can have some. There’s more in the kitchen.”] she adds taking off the beer cap with her teeth and spits it out. Serena went checked a few people out. She doesn’t remember seeing anything bad with this dude. But as Gavin went through a few things she noticed a small pattern. It may not mean anything but she isn’t too sure. [#af18ae “Do you think it’s weird that he has certain people sign things for him? I feel like there can be an acrostic code. Maybe he has a bank account in the Bahamas in a different name or maybe has a account in that persons name...”]
He raised an eyebrow as he frowned. [b "You know, I want to be upset that you used me to tap into the company's system, but it's far too impressive to really be angry,"] he said, stealing one of her chips.
The only sound for a few moments was the flow of his fingers on the laptop keys. [b "So at the time of my dad's death, we had about five hundred employees. He wanted to keep it as close knit as he could, while still running a fortune five hundred company. So, our employees were given a code to identify themselves in the system. So their login information is their employee number, plus their department name. So, our IT guy's code is 001TECH. I just have to find Byrnes' code."]
He scoured the page, thankful that the departments were fairly manageable. For Byrnes, there was only roughly thirty people in his department, Government Clearance. Gavin has to go number by number into the files until he finds which one belongs to Todd.
[b "Gotcha!"] he slammed his hand on the table. [b "Todd Byrnes, login 239GOVCLR. All of the documents he dealt with will be saved under that code,"] he drummed his fingers on the desk. [b "We just have to find all of the illegal shit."]
[#af18ae “Planning is my specialty. The only thing that wasn’t planned was falling for you and having sex for the first time with a target... what’s different now is that you’re here and you aren’t exactly a trust worthy partner since you’re new to this. No offense.”] Serena began to make some nachos. A small bowl of cheese and chili. He’s going to what? She stops and walks out the kitchen. [#af18ae “I don’t and don’t hate me but I got that building hacked in every level and corners so it’s super easy to access it without being detected.”] she scratched Linus head before going a hidden folder and doing a small hack to access every computer in his family business. Since he wouldn’t know if they got caught or is getting hacked into she set up an alarm that would flash bright enough for her to see from the kitchen and a siren. Thank god they live in the jungle because it’s going to be semi loud. [#af18ae “I don’t think he can learn how to be a guard dog. He’s too spoiled.”] she tells him going back to the kitchen to finish their snack. She did eat a few strawberries as she waited.
[b "To be fair, planning was never our strong suit. We had a bad habit of just being spontaneous with everything. Coming up with strategies is new territory for us,"] he said, shrugging out of his jacket to drape on the back of the armchair once they were inside the house.
He let Linus out back to roam the yard and grabbed a beer from the fridge. [b "If your laptop has the tech on it to hack into corporate systems, I can try to tap into my office desktop. I had a list of employee codes saved in the hard-drive in the event of shady dealings. I can't think of anything more shady than what Byrnes is doing."]
He downed the bottle faster than he probably should have, given he was trying to be better about his drinking. He grabbed another one and then let the dog back inside. [b "If you don't need the computer for anything, I'll get started on that. I may need your help hacking in though. You're more tech savvy than I am."]
Linus trotted right around him to get to Serena, brushing against her legs like he saw the cat do, begging for a hug. [b "Maybe Linus needs boot camp while we're at it,"] Gavin snorted, moving to the desk and turning the computer on.
[#af18ae “Well it’s most likely connected to the internet. She was never good with hacking, so I can always hack into her server and do a loop. As for the guy, I’m not worried. She likes to sleep around like a little whore.”] She says with a cocky smile. She did keep an eye out for wires, hidden traps and cameras. So far so good. They got to the car okay. She even checked for bombs and tracks. Everything was still peachy. The ride home was quick since she speeded. The plan is to sketch the guys face to see who he is before she forgets. Then to cook something.
[#af18ae “I hate not having a plan… or back up plans… What should we do first? Healing isn’t an option. We have too much things going on and we can’t stop or slow down.”] right now it would be amazing to ask someone who knows what to do in situations like these. Part of her wants to reach out to some family members but her parents and only living grandpa are in jail. She doesn’t know anyone else. [#af18ae “Anything from your guy?”]
Gavin was more than happy to follow her lead as they tracked down where Gwen was hiding out. As in shape as he was starting to get, the hiking over uneven ground was enough to wind him. He made a mental note to add extra cardio to the next workout. [b "Should we be concerned about him too? Maybe he's a guard for her. She seems paranoid enough to not be alone."]
He gave the scope back to her. [b "We should have packed food,"] he said wistfully, feeling his stomach growl at her mention of eating.
He stopped and squinted back at the house. [b "Let me see that again,"] he reached for the scope.
Crouching down enough to stay hidden behind the bushes, he raised it back up to his eye. [b "Well fuck me,"] he sighed.
In the far end of the room Gwen was in, Gavin could faintly make out the edges of computer screens playing CCTV footage. [b "They've got security cameras set up. I can't tell where they're positioned, but I wouldn't put it past her to set them up in the trees too, and run wiring back to the house."]
He looked up at Serena. [b "If we're coming back, we may want to look into a couple sets of UV light glasses. We'll be able to spot the cameras' infrared lights to avoid them."]
Blow something up? She tries so hard not to laugh. What is he becoming? Who is he? [#af18ae "We can't, but we can do it at the end of the week."] She tells him smiling from ear to ear. If her she has a kid and he or she asked that she would be proud. She's still proud of him. After loading another gun, Serena hands him a gun. [#af18ae "Just in case. I have a lot to teach you young one."] she says biting the tip of her tongue afterwards grinning.
The plan is to drive down south, park and go for a quick hike to drop off the money in a secret location and then go scout a place she may be hiding at. If they do spot Gwen they can't do anything because then she'll suspect something is up. She grabs the backpack filled with money, half now and half later. Serena was already to go. It took a long time to get there. They went deep into the south side. By the time they left the sun was rising. It made seeing in the dark easier. They stopped on a cliff. She pulls out an monocular to look at a few windows like a peeping-tom. [#af18ae "God I'm good... She's there and not alone... I've never seen him before."] She passes him the monocular as she points so he can see they found her. Things are slowly moving into motion. [#af18ae "We should go. I'm starving right now and we can't risk being caught."]
[b "Sheepdogs aren't exactly known for being tough. This dude is afraid of mice,"] Gavin sits on the floor and ruffles his dog's hair.
Linus pants happily and wiggles his extra large body onto Gavin's lap, effectively pinning him to the floor. [b "If we need someone licked to death, I think he'll be happy to do the job,"] he groans under the weight.
He gives the dog belly rubs until his eyes start growing heavy. [b "Alright, you big oaf. Bed time."]
Linus barely rolls off of him before passing right out again, snoring like a boar. Gavin crawls into bed with Serena and buries his face in the pillow. [b "I'd say sweet dreams, but I think 'have vengeful dreams' would be more fitting for you,"] he mutters before falling asleep.
It barely feels like he gets five minutes of sleep before she's shaking him awake. [b "What time is it?"] he squints against the hallway light behind her.
She ignores his question and provides one of her own. [b "You know, I don't think I like either option. But I'm awake now, so I may as well come with you."]
He tugs on some of the more tactical clothing he'd bought. [b "Do I get to blow something up?"] he looks slightly hopeful as he starts loading a Makarov handgun.
[#af18ae “Want me to be honest or lie?”] she asks turning around smirking still. [#af18ae “Thank you for doing the dishes.”] Serena says walking to the bedroom. Luna kept following her. Serena called someone. Later tonight she’s going to drop off money somewhere and call them back in a few hours. She puts on gloves to make sure the envelope doesn’t have her fingerprints. The cash is being steamed to get rid of prints and make them straight. The girl made sure she stays hydrated and is eating.
She left the bathroom that feels like a steam room. Wiping her forehead, she lays in bed to rest a little. She got on her laptop to print out miniature pictures of Gwen and the mystery man. Gwen is fair game, but it need to be recorded and the mystery man needs to be followed and have a list of at least four places he goes to a week straight. He is the bonus and it’ll be tripe the money. Everyone would work for 2.5 million.
[#af18ae “I think Luna is a better guard pet. She left me twice because she heard a squirrel. I actually think she killed one. Luna took a while to come back.”] Serena says sitting down the laptop and looking at the time. Serena can forget about everything. Like the scar and how she had a hard time moving a few hours ago. The girl went to sleep shortly after. Only to wake up at five in the morning. It is game time. Once when everything was packed she wakes him up by shaking the bed with her leg as she loads some guns just to be safe. [#af18ae “Wake up. Either you wake up and come with me or I can go alone, and have you worried.”] she says loading the champers of the gun in her hand.
Gavin scrunched his nose. [b "It'll grow back. Besides, I wasn't going right to the skin. I'd leave a couple of inches of hair,"] he stuck his tongue out at her.
He watched her rise from her chair, and readied himself to catch her if she looked a little too off-balance. Surprisingly, she was handling the whole almost-fatal-beating a lot better than he would have. [b "I think you left it in the bedroom,"] he answered, wandering down the hall to check their night tables.
As expected, he found it sitting right where she'd left it a few days before. [b "What would you do without me?"] he smirked as he entered the kitchen to hand it to her.
Stepping past her, he washed her bowl for her and dried his hands off after flicking a bit of water at Luna playfully. The cat howled at him and hid behind Serena's legs. [b "Linus hasn't moved one bit. Not exactly a guard dog, is he?"] Gavin glanced into the living room to see the large oaf of a dog sprawled on the floor with his legs going in four different directions.
Turning back to her, he gently took her face in his hands to examine the wounds. [b "They look clean. As long as we keep them that way, you should avoid infections. And I don't think you'll have many scars. Except this one,"] his fingers ghosted around the edge of the larger gash he'd stitched up.
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