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Gavin grows concerned as the day gets later and Serena has not returned. His eyes fly to the window at every sound, hoping to see her car pulling up in front of the house. Linus does his best to keep him company, which is really just flopping on his lap for belly rubs. The cat sticks close by the boys, as if sensing something is off.
[b "Luna, your mother is going to give me grey hair before I'm thirty-five,"] he grunts, burying his hand in Linus' fur.
The dog gives a big stretch and Gavin takes the opportunity to slide out from under the hefty beast. [b "You two stay put. Luna, protect the house. Linus...use your weight if someone breaks in, I guess."]
Snatching his keys, he makes sure the alarms are all set before getting in his truck and driving in to town. The only problem, aside from finding no sign of her, is that he has no idea how to navigate the town without her there. [b "This is how I die,"] he mutters, backing out of a street that was actually someone's private driveway. [b "Getting lost and getting shot for trespassing."]
By the time he calls it quits, he'd already been out for hours. Banking on the chance that she's gotten home while he's been gone, he heads back to their place. [b "Serena?"] he calls through the hallways, stomach knotting in anxiety when no answer comes.
He throws himself in to the desk chair and rips the post-it note off, crumpling it and throwing it aside. A quick Google search for local news couldn't hurt. When the laptop kicks back on, he finds the program she'd been working on before she left. His eyes narrow as he glances down at his own ring, and then back to the screen where it flashes his location. When his gaze drifts to Serena's location, his paranoia kicks in to high gear when he sees the tracker flashing in the middle of nowhere, timed over the last hour.
[b "Fuck!"] he bolts from the chair and runs to his truck again, dropping the laptop in the seat next to him to follow the tracker. [b "Fuck fuck fuck!"] he slams his hands against the steering wheel.
He's not even sure how he manages to follow the GPS signal without wrecking the truck. His eyes flicker between the road and the computer, being careful not to make a mistake. He prays to any god there might be that his gas doesn't run out.
It's pitch black outside hours later, when the signal finally chimes that he's close. [b "Holy hell,"] he murmurs, sliding out of his seat and listening for any noise, only to hear silence.
He treads carefully, boots crunching on the twigs below his feet, cradling the pistol he'd hidden in his glovebox. [b "What the hell have you gotten yourself into, Serena?"] he breathes quietly.
[center [b [u Time~Skip]]]
Two weeks has passed. Serena was practically a drill sergeant. A few things were made slightly easier for him because of how much he was struggling. However, he seems to be catching on now. It makes her feel proud of herself and him seeing him improving with his training. Cardio, strength and weightlifting is the way to go. Every other day she would teach him how to fight. He first learned how to street fight with head movements fighting techniques. It was also a good refreshing course for her teaching him to dodge a punch. Yesterday she began teaching him something new.
Serena was up early working on her project. It is hard to cross people out. Not to mention how distracted she’s been the pass few days. Word around the village, someone has been asking about them. Not by their alias names but by their real names. She twirls her ring biting her lip. The girl is going to check it out solo. Before leaving the house, she opened a software that she uses to track people. Gavin doesn’t know it but both their rings are bugged with a tracking device. They both of code names; wonder woman and superman. She thought it was cute. The software she uses is a mixture of her own creation and two other good ones. With how she tweaked it, it shows you how long the person stayed at their current or previous location. So let’s say she was thrown into the middle of the forest and she hasn’t moved for an hour you would know where she’s at and how longs she’s been there for…
[center [i ‘Went to go check something out. Breakfast is in the microwave.’]] was written on a post stick that’s on the turned off computer screen. Even though the computer screen is off the hard drive was still on.
What she feared happened. It wasn’t the guy who attacked them a few weeks ago. Instead it was someone she worked with once upon a time. Gwen.
“You were always a fool thinking you’re invincible. Where is he? I won’t touch you. You aren’t worth it, literally. He’s worth a lot more.”
[#af18ae “He’s somewhere safe. You need to go Gwen. We have history. Don’t ruin it because once when…”] she cuts her off to say what Serena was going to say.
“Because once when you get on my bad side there’s no going back. You’ll hunt me down and kill me… blah, blah, blah. Spare me the lecture.” Gwen says throwing the first punch. The girls began to fight. Serena lost. Only because she was outnumbered and she felt sick which through her off. She was tossed into the woods three hours away from the house.
[right [pic https://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/buffy/images/5/50/523369855.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20100902143107&path-prefix=es]][right [b [u [i Gwen]]]]
Gavin snorts.[b "You mean your evil fuzzball that I caught chewing on my shoes earlier? Yeah, she's around."]
He scours the bags of things she brought home, intrigued at more security. They would need it. [b "Just as long as you warn me before you put a camera in the shower. If I'm going to have an audience, I want to put on a good show,"] he teases.
He glances over at her at the mention of training, a grin playing at his lips. [b "I'll have you know that this cake pop belly comes from living a life of spoiled luxury. You don't have to fight when you can pay people to fight for you. My face was too pretty to get punched, so I never needed to learn. But if you insist, I think I can go a few rounds with you."]
Gavin takes Linus outside to roughhouse while she sets everything up. He didn't want to be an even bigger pain in her ass than he already was. The least he could do was take the giant away from chewing on the wires and equipment.
When she calls him to join her, he grabs them both a bottle of water and sits with her. [b "I wouldn't mind learning close combat fighting. I get too flustered when someone is in my space and I don't know what to do next,"] he admits.
Serena forgot how loud the dog is. He would be a good guard dog if he had the proper training. He is too much of a goofball to be serious long enough to do his job. Gavin caught her off guard. The girl was ready to flip him over and step on his neck while twisting his arm. He possibly would’ve died if he did do it. She hugs him back. [#af18ae “You’re very welcome. Is Luna still roaming around?”] it is hard to figure out if what she did today was worth anything. There are two separate leads on the guy Gavin saw. Yet she went out to look for an old friend who could possibly help. Maybe she’s gone or he finally found a way to disappear like a ninja. She was always bad at hiding.
[#af18ae “I got some goodies. I’m going to wash my hands and face before setting up more cameras.] a smile creeps on her face seeing Luna. Her fur baby is bigger now. It’s upsetting. She missed her tiny cute days. [#af18ae “We’re going to start training you again so get ready for tomorrow. It’ll be the same work out as before. Your noodle arms are going bye-bye. Along with your cake-pop belly.”] she says teasingly
It took the girl an hour to set up a few things. The minute she got back she went on the computer to see if she can start crossing out possible ‘Casper’ suspect. Serena is going to have to explain what she’s doing to Gavin. Once when she sets up more computer screens and an extra keyboard, he can help her. He is also going to have to learn the basic hacking skills. All within time of course. [#af18ae “If you get to choose what you want to learn, what would it be?”] she asks him.
Gavin bid her goodnight but stayed on the patio for a few more hours. His head was racing with thoughts of more traps to lay around the property. A sniper rifle might come in handy, as well.
By the time he crawled in to bed beside her, he was far too tired to even press a kiss to her cheek or temple. It'd been far too long of a day. Before his head even settled in to his pillow, Gavin's eyes were shut and he was out.
The sun was high in the sky before they opened again. In his groggy state, he reached out to pull Serena closer to him, but found the bed empty and cool on her side. No note, either. [b "Hello?"] he calls out, stepping in to the hallway.
No response, but he hears something clatter in the kitchen. Gavin doesn't even have time to react before the big furry beast is bounding around the corner and tackling him to the floor. [b "Linus?"] he laughs, burying his face in the dog's fur.
The Saint Bernard pins him to the floor, peppering his face with kisses. [b "I missed you too. Best surprise ever, bud,"] he reassures his dog, planting a kiss to the top of his head.
He's sure the cat is around somewhere, but can't seem to find her. Must be hiding to adjust to her new surroundings. Wanting to get a quick run in before she gets back, Gavin throws on some shorts and takes to the path they'd made the day before. If Linus had been any more active, he would have brought him along. Unfortunately, the dog was as athletic as a sloth.
He returns to the house before she does and quickly showers off. Linus makes quite the noise when she does come home, making Gavin grin as he walks down the hallway. Walking behind Serena, he wraps his arms around her and spins her in a hug. [b "Thank you for bringing them home."]
Serena didn’t want to talk about what happened. Even if it came out the way they both hope it would. [i ‘Or until it ends us…’] she thought to herself.
The girl was stayed outside. It is nice and relaxing. The sunset is beautiful. Not to mention their view made it even better. This was a worthwhile investment. [#af18ae “I may go to bed sooner. There is a lot to do tomorrow.”] she says eventually getting up to clean up and put away the left overs. For once they have left overs. It didn’t take long for her to go to bed.
By the time it was four in the morning she was up and moving like a ninja so he wouldn’t wake up. It took a while to get where she wanted too and pick up a few things. She stopped by the house to drop off the package. Serena got more guns, ammo, gadgets, and their fur babies. Her car was left at the house this time. She walked for miles and miles. She hit a few spots before going to her bakery. She hung out in the upstairs office for an hour before heading home with some goodies.
[#af18ae “I’m home.”] she says heading to the kitchen dropping of the baked goods. She was greeted by the dog. It took him forever to calm down so she can say hi. The family is complete.
[b "Well clearly you have better survival skills than I do. Growing up, I couldn't even be a boy scout. I quit after the first camping trip because it was too exhausting,"] he says dramatically.
Gavin is up and in the kitchen after she announces dinner. He fills a plate and joins her on the patio, taking a free seat next to her. [b "I'm feeling better now that there is food,"] he teases.
After a few bites, he settles back in his chair. [b "I really do feel a bit better after correcting the problem. If I pay him $2 million, that still leaves a few million in my account. Benefit of having a filthy rich inheritance, I guess."]
His eyes drift closed to relax and take in the sounds of the birds in the trees. When she offers to take him home, however, they flash back open. [b "I'm not safer or in better hands than I am right here. I'm not going anywhere. I know I've made a few big mistakes, but I promise I'm going to get better at this."]
Gavin reaches out to grab her hand with his. [b "I'm in this until it's over."]
Hearing Gavin shout scared her. She jumped. [#af18ae “You almost gave me a heart attack!”] she walks towards the living room to toss an oven mitten at him. She heads back to finish cooking. When dinner was done she went to go take over the computer since he moved so she can Google a few things. She laughs hearing what he said. [#af18ae “I grew up learning how to survive this lifestyle.”] On the screen, there were pictures of a few ex-military, FBI, CIA, etc. discharged or fired skilled people. Casper is very skilled. Too skilled. Too good to be true. It only made sense. [#af18ae “Dinner is done by the way.”] she says printing out the pictures and their info. She is going to set up a board and start hunting each one of them down. See what they’ve been up to within the past eight years. It is going to take forever considering there is about two dozen of these people.
Serena didn’t want to take too much time doing it. She got up to go eat before the food got cold. [#af18ae “Feeling better?”] she asks before going outside to eat. She’s in love with this house. Their house. The location and everything. Her heels were on the edge of the seat, making the side of her body touching the table making it easier for her to it. She didn’t want her barefoot to touch the ground. [#af18ae “In all honesty, if this is too much for you I can take you back and that guy can be your bodyguard until I end this or it ends me and then you…”] she is confident that they can handle this. It won’t be easy. None of these is easy. He actually makes it harder but he is learning. Serena is actually ready to go to sleep. She has a big day tomorrow.
Gavin sits guard at the computer, refreshing his page every few minutes to see if anything new has come in. So far their plan was going to shit, and it is 98% his fault. If he isn't more careful, he's going to get them killed. [b "Maybe I should just sit here and look pretty from now on, so I don't end up getting us murdered by some hitmen,"] he grumbles, rubbing at his temple where a headache was coming in.
After nearly an hour, he finally gets something.
[i $2.5 million. Nothing less.]
He melts in to the chair with relief. He could do $2.5 million. [b "Problem solved!"] he calls to her, typing away his confirmation.
A simple wire transfer would do, but he'd have her take care of it so they know it's encrypted enough to cover their tracks. [b "He's never screwed me over before. While he's psychotic, he's a man of his word. I don't think he'll do anything to jeopardize us,"] he tells her.
Gavin gets up long enough to collapse on the couch, groaning in to the pillow. [b "How the hell did you do this for so long? I'm exhausted and we're not even a month in to being on the run."]
Serena didn't say anything. If she was to open her mouth there would be no telling what would come flying out of it. He is already beating himself up. She decided on making Chicken Parmesan with mach potatoes and a light salad. [#af18ae "Please relax. It's a rookie mistake. Send him a message telling him he can get half now and half after he delivers or something."] Good girl... she was nice about it.
During this cooking, semi alone time, she took this time to start thinking about everything. Mostly about things she knows about Casper. Well heard. The faster they take him down the faster Gavin can go back to living his life. He may have been an ex-military or a rouge CIA agent. He knows too much. He is good at covering his tracks. But is anyone that good? Shaking her head, she decided to focus on what happened tonight. They were attacked somewhere where there were high ballers. She may know someone who can help. That is if that person is still alive. Tomorrow is going to be a busy day for her. Not to mention Gavin is going to be even more upset because she isn't going to bring him. She's leaving him behind.
The look on her face tells him that he'd just fucked up. [b "Shit,"] he frantically tries to log back in to Skype, but Oliver was already gone. [b "I just made a big fucking mess, didn't I?"]
Gavin drops his head to the desk, feeling like an absolute idiot. He was still new to this, and if he continued making rookie mistakes he was going to get them killed. He tries and fails a few more times to reconnect with Oliver to negotiate, but nothing goes through.
[b "Goddamnit,"] he shoves himself back and stands up, storming out to the back patio.
[b "Gavin, what have you done?"] he mutters to himself, grabbing a fistful of his hair in frustration.
Oliver may not even be willing to renegotiate. As soon as he lessens the amount of money offered, he could very easily back out. [b "Fuck!"] he shouts, booting a bucket in to the hedges.
Talk about being on the sidelines. She couldn't believe what she heard. He's giving up all of his money. That's bad. A bad move. A very bad move. Do you see how bad it is? No? His friend could die! Someone is after home. It can be traced. They can try to trace the video call from that guys computer. That's bad!
[#af18ae Are you sure you want to do this? Giving him all your money can cause a lot of problems. Is there something else he wants? I can get him a army tank or something."] Serena isn't too crazy about the plan.
Things are just getting harder. Maybe moving would help or she can go hunting at night when he's sleeping. She knows how to make a few things out of everyday life things. She began to chew her bottom lip. [#af18ae Now we wait...] she mutters.
Serena got up to make something to eat. It's what she needs to in order to keep herself busy. When she overthink things happen and it isn't always pleasant. Right now she's hoping her guy finds this dude before Gavin's guy.
[b "I'm on it,"] he says, and replaces her at the computer.
Oliver wasn't exactly a difficult person to get in contact with, but it would take a bit of sweet talking in order to get him on board. [i "Let me get this straight,"] his southern drawl pours through the speaker. [i "You want me to track some guy who's trying to kill you, but I don't get to know why he wants to kill you?"]
[b "Essentially, yeah."]
[i "You understand that the little bits of information you've given me are not helpful at all?"]
[b "Look, it's some guy that Luke hired. You get to fuck over my brother in the process of helping me out. I'm willing to pay whatever you want. I'll give you access to my bank account, just take it,"] Gavin pushes.
The gruff man on the screen runs his fingers through his beard. He looked at terrifying as Gavin remembered. [i "Alright. You wire me access to your bank account, and we have a deal. You get your stalker taken care of, and I get a hefty sum. Everyone is happy."]
Breathing a sigh of relief, he looks over to Serena. Flashing her a thumbs up, he signs off and pushes back from the desk. [b "One problem solved."]
[center [font constantia Serena laughs. Ben has a baby face, but he is young. Not that young though. He won't give her up either. He actually took a bullet for someone because he kept saying he didn't know so and so. So she trusts him. Not to mention she helped him out twice. Now it's time for him to pay back the debt. [#af18ae Yup. I vouch for him. If you can vouch for your ex-marine guy give him a call.] She told him.]]
[center [font constantia It is a plus that the guy hates his brother. If he also hates the sister then he would become her new friend. She moves out of the computer chair so he can get in contact with him. Right now she's trying to get over this brain fart thing that's happening right now. [#af18ae Okay so I'll go into town tomorrow to do some recall. You can stay here. I don't need you running after anyone again.] She not ready for it. The girl just wants to relax. However, Gavin seems like he wants to get this over with and take down this guy once and for all.]]
Gavin watches the whole exchange with a raised eyebrow. Ben seemed harmless enough, but if Serena trusted him to track someone, he clearly has to be skilled. [b "Did we just employ a teenager to do our dirty work? I feel like this is cheating somehow, but can't bring myself to care."]
He takes a seat away from the camera view, since she protected his identity already. Sorry Ben, rules are rules. [b "I have a contact that I met in college. Guy went off to the marines and got pretty high in rank. Honorable discharge and everything. Now he does bounty hunting for a living. If Ben can track the guy who tried to kill us, maybe Oliver can hunt his location?"]
Oliver wasn't exactly one to follow rules. He did what needed to be done to get paid. But, he also wasn't one to rat to the cops. Out of everyone Gavin knows, he's the one he'd trust the most, outside of Serena. [b "He's honorable, wouldn't go running to Luke or anyone about where to find us. Actually, he can't fucking stand my brother, so he's even less likely to screw us over."]
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