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Poor Gavin. He’s gonna deal with her fake attitude about him sleeping with someone. Hopefully she remembers to tell him later that she doesn’t care. While he’s on the phone with his ex friend with benefits, she looks create an encrypted chat to talk to her dad.
Serena is coming to find out that things are getting hairy. That they threatened to kill Serena if they didn’t give them her whereabouts. The guy called himself Lynch. Which is a fake name used by high powerful military guys. She’s not going to tell Gavin until she gets more information
[#Af18ae “Sounds like she’s probably in love with him. You’ll believe whatever the person you love tells you.”] she tells him. Looking away from the laptop to look at him. The things with her parents aren’t exactly effecting him so he doesn’t have to know, but it does bother her a little keeping things from him.
[#Af18ae “Maybe we should go back for a day or two. Show the company you’re still there. We can pay someone big money to put you in the system and say you’re in rehab or something. Properly take your absence of leave. We have more people on our side...I can’t ruff her up for information. What do you say?”]
It was more unnerving that she was nonchalant about the whole thing than he'd been expecting. She'd never really been the jealous type, but with their history, Gavin wanted to be prepared for anything. [b "I'll get right on her,"] he saluted. [b "It! Get right on it."]
Their burner phones would buy him a little time. He used the second laptop to pull up the security cameras Serena had hacked into. Her office was empty for nearly twenty minutes before Julienne came striding into view. [b "You can do this,"] he breathed to himself. [b "Don't fuck it up."]
Gavin still had his employee's numbers memorized. He watched as she glanced at the ringing phone with a moment's hesitation before answering. [i "Julienne Lyles,"] her tone was formal.
He forgot to speak. [i Fuck!] What was he supposed to say? [i "Hello?"] she grew impatient quickly.
[b "It's me. It's Gavin,"] he blurted out.
Julienne paused both on the phone and the camera. [i "Hello, boss,"] she answered.
Boss. He hadn't been that for long enough that it sounded suspicious. [b "I know it came suddenly, but I had to take a leave of absence. Health reasons. I'm calling to check in on things."]
She narrowed her eyes at the number on screen. [i "Where is it that you're calling from? It's not an area code that I recognize."]
Thank you, encryption. [b "It's a rehab facility. Off the grid. I'm actually not supposed to even be speaking to outsiders until the three month mark, but I realized I hadn't left anyone in charge of my workload."]
He noticed her shift in her seat. [b "I'm placing Edward in charge until further notice. He wasn't at his desk when I called, but since you're on my staff, I figured that you would be able to go ahead and confirm these arrangements with everyone. I want things running as though I'm still there."]
[i "Actually sir, we've taken the liberty of assigning someone more qualified to oversee things while you've been gone,"] she was forcing confidence. [i "You'd left so suddenly, and we didn't know what had happened. We thought it best to appoint someone with seniority to act in your place."]
Gavin tilted his head, though she couldn't see him. [b "But why would a high ranking official such as Todd Byrnes want to oversee local business deals?"] he asked with an air of innocence.
She froze and her back stiffened. [i "I didn't say it was Todd Byrnes."]
[b "No. You didn't. But you didn't have to,"] he interrupted. [b "I might not be there, but I'm still very much aware of what's going on. So why don't you bypass all the unnecessary lying and backtracking and tell me what an FBI agent is doing with several department heads that he has no business with, and why Rollo Industries is getting caught in illegal trafficking of goods and services?"]
Julienne's jaw clenched visibly on camera and her tone changed to one of defiance. [i "I'm starting to get the impression you're not in a rehabilitation center."]
[b "You always were a smart girl. I'm still waiting on an answer."]
[i "I think you gave up your right to answers when you abandoned your father's company. Whatever Byrnes has decided with you is none of your concern. He is still a leading shareholder and therefore has power in this company. It's out of your control. Gavin, you always hated this company. Todd sees the potential. He's just willing to fight for it."]
[b "Todd sees the potential in making himself rich while dragging my father's work through the mud. Not to mention, hiring someone to eliminate me? When my life is threatened, I kind of take it personally. And I'm about ready to bite back. So why don't you tell Todd fucking Byrnes that he has no idea what's coming for him. And sweetheart? I'd take a minute to think about whose side you really want to be on when shit hits the fan."]
She slammed the phone down on screen, leaving the dial tone in his ear. He shut the burner phone and dropped it on the table. [b "We just confirmed that Byrnes is laundering money and at the very least trafficking company goods. Stocks, property, you name it. She wasn't cooperating. Practically sounds brainwashed, if you ask me. It's like Byrnes has them buying into a cult, promising them riches beyond their wildest dreams."]
Serena gives Gavin a look. It may be a scary one, but he doesn’t know that she doesn’t care. She slept around too. Nothing serious. But she won’t tell him that unless it’s a life and death situation. It was cute how he tried to change the subject. [#af18ae “Oh, well call that bitch up. See what she’s up to these days.] she finishes packing and tosses it over her shoulder. [#Af18ae “I think I can do this on my own. Go do your thing. Control your [i hoe].] she says kissing his cheek. She went to go say bye to the pets.
As if on que, another alert goes off. This one was more secretive. But she knew what it was. She exit it out. [#Af18ae “I’ll check later. It’s alssword protected so don’t try to open it. I’ll know and the computer will shut down.”] she stares at the screen chewing her lips. What is her parents up too? She sets the bag down and grabs the laptop. She connects it to a black box. The girl had her back against the wall as she does her thing and he does his. She looks for the headset to connect to the laptop just in case she gets a call. [#Af18ae “Anything on your end?”] she asks chewing on her fingers, staring at her screen. Her parents are safe and they need to talk to her. That’s what makes her nervous.
Gavin was in the middle of forcing himself through sit-ups when the alert came through. His face scrunched as he ransacked his brain for who those people were. [b "Tyrone and Jesse are private security for Luke. Melissa is the department head of international accounts. The others I'm not too sure of."]
Then he flushed red.
He knew Julienne. She'd weaseled her way close to his circle of friends after Serena had vanished. She'd been a drinking buddy for a while. And then a temporary friends with benefits situation. He'd called it off after a few months, but they'd remained amicable. [b "Julienne was part of my staff. She is a mediator for our local business partners, and oversees contract negotiations."]
He probably shouldn't have, but he blurted out, [b "We were a thing, temporarily. After you...you know. It ended quickly. Was barely a thing. More of a momentary lapse in judgement,"] he cleared his throat.
If she hadn't already put him through boot camp, she was definitely going to kick his ass now. He was more than happy to jump onto a topic change. [b "I agree! It's time to strike. Are we still going with the maiming idea? I thought you had a great idea with messing her appearance up. You said she was vain, and that would be a great way to get her,"] he was speaking rapidly, starting to pace the room.
It's have been over a week since she last heard from her father. Her mother escaped the other night. Surprisingly, it isn't on the news. Maybe something went wrong? If Serena wasn't working out and training Gavin she would be on the computer. One of Gavin's alert went on. [#af18ae "Babe, He accessed a file from your computer. A Tyrone Sherman, Cary Edwards, Julienne Lyles, Charles Miller, Melissa Rivera, and Jesse Sanders. But Ms Julienne Lyles sounds like a familiar name... Would you like to do the honors or should I?"] She asks him.
In all honesty, she would want to stay on the computer. She needs to hear from her parents. What if they randomly pop up? There's no telling what they would do. They don't have a plan for dealing with her parents because he wasn't a worry. Now it is. She doesn't even want to tell him. Serena left the computer to get the other half of the cash from her earlier plan for using thug to watch her ex-bestie. [#af18ae "We need to strike within the next three nights before the bitch leaves. Even take the money she got for [i killing me]. My entail tells me she's leaving this week.] Serena stops to stretch her sore arms. [#af18ae "We need to start planning thing. Maybe even move. It's been too quiet for my liking."]
Gavin managed to pull on a pair of shorts, but not much else. She seemed distracted, but he knew better than to butt in to her business when she's put all of her focus on something. He'd manage on his own for the day. [b "Don't forget to take water breaks,"] he pressed a kiss to her head on his way to the backyard with Linus.
From the little he remembered of his fitness training back home, he knew it was important to stretch before his limbs locked up with stiff muscles tomorrow. He found a nice shady spot by the hammock and eased himself into some of the more basic yoga poses that he was confident he wouldn't get stuck in.
Linus was as unhelpful as always. Fifteen seconds into the downward dog, the hairy beast attempted to wiggle under Gavin's balanced form, causing him to collapse like a bridge on top of the poor dog. [b "You idiot,"] he tried to scold, but Linus was too damn cute to even pretend to be mad. [b "You're gonna have to step it up around here,"] he warned him. [b "Guard dog training starts now."]
He tried to playfully grab him in a headlock, but Linus wiggled free and bulldozed Gavin right over. Problem was, it was only to pepper his face in slobbery kisses rather than take down an enemy. [b "Dumb dog!"]
[#af18ae "Trust me when i saw the nudist life isn't that great... There's not a lot of electronics. You'll get banned for stupid reasons and not to mention you'll get lots of fans of all ages and gender. Well minus the babies but they do tend to go for nipples because they don't know better."] she says chucking. Serena isn't proud of it but one of her targets was a nudist and it took three long months to get the job done. It was horrible. Mosquito and ant bites everywhere. People having sex out in the public. It was intense.
It took a while to find something comfortable. Serena heads to the bathroom to shower. [#af18ae "Are you sure? I won't go easy. I'll have you tapping withing thirty seconds. How about you watch some self defense videos first? Practice with your imaginary friend and when you think you got let me know so I can attack. Then we'll see if it works."] she tells him before hopping in the shower. Her shower was quick. She wants to go surf the dark web. Something big has to be going down if he finally decided to escape now when he only has two more years to serve. He practically owns the courtyard. [#af18ae "Hey, so you're gonna have to heat something up for dinner later. I'm going be online all day."] she told walking out naked, slowly getting dressed as she heads towards the computer.
[b "I'd rather not have major shrinkage, thank you very much,"] he put his energy into pulling himself out of the tub before she could make it colder.
Gavin heard her talking to someone, but he couldn't pinpoint who. She was talking just low enough that it was little more than a murmur. [b "Linus, she tried to kill me,"] he whined to the dog, wrapping a towel around his waist and wandering into the bedroom to collapse on the bed.
He looked up from the blanket as she entered the room. [b "Be alert at all times. Got it."]
He couldn't even be bothered to make a comment about how unfair it was that she was fine after such a rigorous workout. Then again, he got to watch her change into new clothes, so that shut him up to begin with. [b "Are you sure you want to get dressed? We could be nudists for a day,"] he tried wiggling his eyebrows.
The air conditioning chilled him as he air-dried. [b "I'm fairly sure I have blood blisters on the bottoms of my feet, but everything hurts too much to check,"] he attempted to roll over, feeling his core muscles screaming in protest.
Gavin kicked his feet, which Linus took as an invitation to lick his toes. [b "No! Not what I meant! Bad dog!"] he pulled at the bed, trying to get away.
He succeeded in pulling himself completely over the other side and onto the floor. Grumbling, he stood up and walked with shaky legs to grab a pair of boxers. [b "Maybe we can practice hand to hand combat next time. Way less painful to get my ass kicked by you than to run that again."]
[#af18ae “You just need sugar or caffeine. And for the record you aren’t getting to take protein. If you drink that and don’t work out it’ll make you fat. If anything meal replacements should do you just fine. Less sugar and caffeine.”] serena says sitting on the bathroom counter. [#af18ae “I can revive you with more ice in the tub.”] she adds chuckling.
Serena took off her sneakers, socks, and leggings. She dips her fingers in the water. [#af18ae “Such a baby. This is close to warm. Balls cold water is better.”] she says walking away to go get more water to drink and something to munch on. She was about to go look at the view outside when her computers began to beep. She walks to he computers to see who’s alert was triggered. [#af18ae “It’s one of mine...”] she says letting her fingers do her magic against the keyboard. A sigh escapes her seeing which alert went off. Her father escaped prison. Her mother is being transferred. That may be a mistake. They probably have a plan to get her out. At the thought of getting up to go shower another alarm buzzed. It’s a secret word that her family used when they need someone to help. The girl began to type in the speed of light to see where the calm was made. She found the call in Staten Island. She puts on a headset and calls the same pay phone. [#af18ae “You’re going to get caught...”]
“Well things are happening right now. We need to meet. Now. I need to get your mother first. Tio Ruben is helping.”
[#af18ae “I’m too far. I’ll call you later. Be careful.”]
“You’re still picking him over is. We’re family. He’s a bank account. Remember your place.” With that her father hangs up.
Serena sighs. She gets up and closed everything down. [#af18ae “Don’t turn off the computers. they need to be on at all times. Except for the laptop.”] she says going to the bedroom to get a new clothes to put on.
[b "Protein shakes only from now on before workouts,"] Gavin groaned, his stomach still churning.
He'd never worked out to the point of being physically ill before, but he can only hope that as he built up stamina and strength, he'd be able to keep on par with her. For the time being, however, his body was revolting in every way it possibly could.
[b "I may be dead before you get back!"] he called after her as she left him in the care of the fuzzy babies.
[b "Linus. Linus, buddy, help me,"] he groaned, holding out a hand.
The dog gave him a few kisses and then wandered off. [b "Luna?"] Gavin looked desperately at the cat.
Go figure she was no help either. It took far long than he'd like to admit, but he eventually got himself into the tub and ran a cold shower. It was a welcomed relief from the heat his body was radiating. It was a challenge to wash the sweat off, but he managed.
When she stopped back in to check on him, he was still sitting in a tub of cold water. [b "I"m not quite sure, but I think I'm dying,"] he called back.
Serena did take off. She knew something like this was going to happened. When guilt creeped up she did twenty burpees and ran back. By the time the girl reached him he had vomited and didn’t look well. The girl wipes a few beads of sweat off her face. [#af18ae “Alright, go home. Go eat. Rest. I’ll walk you back, but I’m gonna continue my run.”] she says swinging one of his sweaty arms over shoulder to help him walk back. He’s probably cramping somewhere. [#af18ae “You did good. Tomorrow I’ll probably have you do laps within a short distance.”] she says looking up to see if the sun would be coming out. Dark clouds seems to be washing up.
When they reached the house she left him at the front. The pets were there waiting. She showed them both love, Gavin a kiss and dodo burpees again before taking off. A little over an hour later she returns sweating like a beast. A sweat dropped from he nose and hit poor luna who was walking by. [#af18ae “How are you feeling now?”] she asks going to get a bottle of water before going back outside to workout more.
The woman was pure evil.
He thought she'd give him a small break. You know, since she claimed to love him and all. But no, she went ahead and ordered him to do the worst exercise known to man. [b "This is purely torture techniques,"] he grunted as he completed the first one.
Burpees. Everything about them was awful. The jumping, the push up, the desperate gasping for air as the rest of your energy leaves your body. Gavin was fairly sure he blacked out at some point, but he managed the five. The last two were completely pitiful, but it was done.
[b "Sweet mother of god, just kill me now,"] he looked desperately at Luna.
The traitorous cat barely spared him a second glance after getting his sweat on her face. [b "Luna, don't leave me with her!"] he called, forcing himself to his feet.
He ran as much as he could - only a few meters - before stopping. [b "I'm gonna be sick."]
There was no dignified way to do it. He hauled himself as close to the bushes as he could before losing everything in his stomach. [b "You did this to me!"] he aimed a finger at her while his head remained buried in the shrub.
Serena didn’t want to go too far. It can discourage the poor guy. Instead she would keep a small distance. Maybe if she does increase spread she’ll stop to do a few burpees. [#af18ae “This is me jogging.”] she says turning to jog backwards. The girl laughs seeing him sweating like crazy. [#af18ae “Wow, I can see why you hate me. Let’s increased that shall we.”] she says stopping in front of him. [#af18ae “Five burpees. Let’s go.] she says dropping down to do one. She waited for him to start the first one before doing the five and more until he completed his five.
After his five, she ran away. Luna reached Gavin and meowsat him. [#af18ae “Tell her to go home before a big bird takes her for lunch!”] Serena shouts from a distance. Luna looks her way twitching her hears trying to find serena. The cat meows again rubbing her beautiful coat fur against his sweaty legs. It was a mistake on her part and she knew it which is why she shook her body from head to toe before going back the direction she came from.
He began regretting the plan as soon as she left the room. Goddamn, were lunges supposed to burn this badly? His thighs and calves were going to catch fire. Even changing to squats did nothing but shift the burn to his ass. Gavin lowered himself to the floor and gave himself five seconds of lying there before sitting up to reach for his toes.
[b "Oh now come on, that's not fair at all,"] he threw a pout her way when she rejoined him dressed like a goddess.
Letting her pull him to his feet, Gavin gives his shoulders a few more stretches. [b "Don't say I never do anything for you,"] he joked, lining up beside her while she counted down.
To no one's surprise, she got a quick lead. He wasn't falling too far behind, but he certainly wasn't gaining ground on her. Linus quit after a few yards. Was it always this hot? Gavin wiped the sweat already forming on his brow. The storm left the air muggy and humid, but at least the sun wasn't burning down on them.
[b "Are you even trying?"] he panted, calling out to her.
She barely seemed phased by any of it. She could probably podium at a championship race. And it was entirely cruel that she looked so damn good while running, when he looked like he'd been dunked in a water tank. His curls were beginning to flatten to his head with sweat.
[b "I hate you, have I ever told you that?"] he whined as a leg cramp started ten minutes into the run.
It’s god to hear that her experimental breakfast is good. It made eating her first bite more magical. With a spoon in one hand and a mug in another. He was right. It is delicious. This recipes needs to be saved. If she remembers where she got it from. [#af18ae “Go do that. Do some lunges, squats and two or three burpees.”] she tells him after he kissed her temple, as the girl watched him leave. [i [#af18ae ‘More for me’,]] she thought to herself.
Serena puts the tray down on the floor to stretch starting off with a split and reaching for her toes. This is going to be a killer not mention how much her appetite is going to increase afterwards. The girl almost chokes seeing him walk in doing lunges in his outfit. [#af18ae “WOW, this is dedication...”] she says closing her legs and tucking them under herself. She grabs her cup off coffee to finish it. [af18ae “Now I need to get ready. Continue stretching. Drink water. Can’t have you dehydrated.”] she says crawling away.
Her hair is up in a tony tail. Her outfit is all black. Black high waist leggings, sport bra, socks, and sneakers. An evil grin apparatus on her face. He is so going to regret this. He may have to soak in a tub full of ice water and that he’ll most likely won’t even attempt to do. Without saying a word she grabs his hand to lead him outside. Both pets followed but she wasn’t worried. The second she left go oh his hand she began to count down starting from ten before taking off.
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