Frontline (Sequel of For Love and War)

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 18 (v.1) - Eighteen

Submitted: October 09, 2019

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Submitted: October 09, 2019

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All of their mouths were hanging open. Zeta tried not to let their overwhelming shock get to her. She wanted to stand firm in this, remember why she was doing it.

 

"Zee, can I talk to you for a minute?" James asked, voice still shallow from shock. Zeta gave a glance to Lucas and Cashton before nodding and following James out the door. "What are you doing?"

 

"What do you mean?"

 

"You didn't want to have anything to do with Headquarters, much less run it, not twenty-four hours ago." James crossed his arms over his chest defensively. "What happened?"

 

Zeta worried her lip and placed hand on James's chest gently. "You did."

 

"Wha-"

 

"You said you wanted a future...with me. You said that once we fix this we can be together."

 

"I didn't mean..." James loosened his stance and stepped closer to Zeta. "You don't have to do this for me."

 

"I'm not exactly, actually. I'm doing it for us." Zeta fingers tangled in James's loose tee. "I want us to be able to move on from here. And if I can make this place safe and be done with it, then so be it."

 

James's face broke into some involuntary fond look. "You'd do that for us?"

 

"I'd do anything for us."

 

James leaned in to rub his nose lightly across Zeta's. "Thank you. You're amazing."

 

"I need you with me though. I can't do this by myself, and Lucas won't agree I can tell you now."

 

"Of course." James squeezed Zeta's arm. "Whatever you need. Lets just fix things so we can work on us instead of this." Zeta gave James one good kiss before pulling them both back into the camera room.

 

"If you two are finished, can you please explain what the hell is going on," Lucas snapped.

 

Zeta came over to Lucas and pulled Cashton off him with a kind nod before kneeling in front of him and laying her head down on Lucas' lap. The other looked on in mild concern, but Lucas recognized this Zeta, the one that he so rarely saw; definitely not in front of people. This Zeta needed Lucas to trust and support her because she was so scared. She was letting her guard down and showing Lucas all her cards.

 

Lucas laced his fingers into Zeta's hair and opened his legs for Zeta to move closer. "Okay, Zee. I'm here. Just tell me what's going on."

 

Zeta's fingers dug into Lucas' jeans when she said, "I need you to trust me. I have to do this for us, and I need you back me up."

 

Lucas lifted Zeta's head up gently and looked down at the only person that he'd really known his whole adult life. Of course he trusted Zeta, if there was only one person he had to trust it'd always be Zeta. Or maybe Cashton now. But always Zeta. "I do," he sighed and corrected, "I will."

 

Zeta stood back up, stance firm, and nodded. "I'm taking over the organization. We're going through every current mission and calling them off. We're not killing anyone else."

 

"Okay," Lucas agreed easily.

 

"I'm going to send all the agents to safe houses until further notice." Lucas nodded again. "I'm changing the way things are done. I won't hurt people anymore."

 

"We," James tacked on.

 

Zeta spun around to him like she'd forgotten he was there, if that were possible. "What?"

 

"Stop saying I. It’s we. You've got us, too."

 

Zeta's body softened instantly and she bit her lip to stop her smile. "Yeah, I know. We," she amended. Zeta pulled James to her and kissed the edge of his lips. "We," she whispered against his skin.

 

"We," James confirmed.

 

Zeta turned back to Lucas with renewed hope. "So," she rubbed her hands together. "How's the leg?"

 

"Much better," Cashton answered for him with a smirk.

 

Lucas rolled his eyes fondly and gave Cashton's bum a light smack. "It's nearly there. Jada suggested I wear strengthening wraps around my knee or ankle for a while but I can move and walk and-"

 

"And other stuff," Cashton piped up.

 

Lucas sighed in exasperation and pulled Cashton back down to sit on his lap before pinching his side in warning. "I'm fine," he answered Zeta.

 

"That's great, Luke. You know, even if you weren't I'd still just be glad you're alive. But I'm glad you're good."

 

"Me, too," Lucas agreed. "And now you have no reason to keep things from me."

 

"I never had a reason in the first place." Zeta ducked her head with the truth of it.

 

"No, you didn't." Lucas pursed his lips. "But, that's over now. We've got a lot to do."

 

Zeta took a moment to just look at her best friend, her savior, her partner. Lucas would always be the one that owned half of Zeta's heart. James now had the other half, but Lucas would always have a home in Zeta's veins. She knew when she looked at Lucas', often too serious, blue eyes that there was never anything Zeta could do that would turn Lucas away. Even if she was in the wrong.

 

Zeta sat down in the chair in front of the cameras and checked to make sure all of the kids were where they were supposed to be. She pressed the button for the intercom and spoke into the mic. "Five minutes for the gym and then I lock the doors for the night. Head back to your bunks." Kids started filing out of the room to their sleeping quarters to shower and rest.

 

Zeta leaned over to where stacks of files had been piled over the last couple of months and picked up the one she'd been looking at recently. Then she rolled back over to Lucas and Cashton and gave it to Lucas. "Most assassins aren't aware of each other's identities, for protection," Lucas nodded, "But we've all heard stories about each other. Everyone knows you, and after this happened my name got out, but we know stories about other agents."

 

Lucas opened the folder and scanned the information. "Is this...?"

 

"Remember hearing about the girl that practically lived inside the United Nations database for like a month without being caught?"

 

"This is her?" Lucas' eyes went wide. "She's a kid."

 

"She's twenty. And we need her."

 

"You want to bring her here? Zeta's she's the only one I've ever heard of that's better at what you do than you."

 

"That's why I need her."

 

"She's dangerous, Zee."

 

"She's just like us, Luke. We're all dangerous."

 

Lucas' eyes fell back to the page and he huffed, "I trust you."

 

Zeta felt her chest puff out at the confidence Lucas had in her. She went to the computer and sent out a call to the girl to abandon her current mission and come home, to Headquarters. Lucas watched with baited breath until it was done. "There," Zeta said. "Done."

 

"I hope you know what you're doing."

 

Zeta tried not to say out loud that so did she.

 

***

 

James had Zeta curled against his chest in their dark room. They'd talked about the next step, about starting to train the kids in a less lethal way, teaching self defense instead of murder. They'd talked about Lucas and keeping him out of things as much as possible since he already hated the idea of the organization. Lucas agreed quickly. He wanted information not responsibility.

 

Then James tugged Zeta down the hall to where the leader's rooms sat, back to the room they'd commandeered months ago. He'd slipped Zeta's shirt and jeans off and tucked her into his side while whispering how strong and amazing she was.

 

"I can't believe you're doing this for me."

 

"For us."

 

"Yeah, for us," James corrected. He kissed Zeta's temple. "How did I get you?"

 

"Well," Zeta snarked, "all you had to do was get captured by a ruthless, killing underground assassins club and be tortured everyday until I came for you. No big." The lightness in Zeta's tone was outweighed by the heavy regret of each word.

 

"That's over now. And you did come for me. Because you're amazing." James's voice was hollow when he spoke about what happened to him, but it turned full of adoration when he spoke about Zeta.

 

"How many times have you called me amazing just today?"

 

James scratched lightly at Zeta's scalp. "Not enough." He pulled Zeta fully to him and wrapped his arms around her. "You're amazing. Amazingamazingamazing."

 

Zeta smiled was bright in the black. "I love you."

 

"You know I love you." James pulled Zeta into a kiss, easy and coasting, while he traced Zeta's spine with his other hand, curving over his skin and feeling every piece of her body. Zeta gave back into the kiss, pushing James to hold her harder, to dig his fingers into Zeta's golden skin.

 

"I'd do anything for you," Zeta reminded.

 

"Die for me?" James asked, already knowing.

 

"A thousand times." Zeta sucked James's bottom lip into her mouth and bit down, making James moan against her mouth.

 

James pushed into Zeta's body before rolling them on the bed so he could hover over her. He ducked down and kissed along Zeta's collarbone, licking across the prominent bumps. Zeta sighed and let her head fall on her pillow. "Jim, don't tease."

 

"Why not?" James asked and he nibbled on Zeta's tattoos in the middle of her chest, marking her in his own way. Zeta groaned when James bit harshly and pulled on the skin with his teeth. James leaned up and licked his lips. "Teasing is the best part."

 

Zeta whined, low in his throat, and pulled James flush to her again while she wrapped her legs around James's hips. "Give me what I want, James," Zeta demanded into James's ear.

 

James muffled his moan in Zeta's neck, but didn't move. "Not like this," he refused. "I want us safe."

 

Zeta groaned, in frustration now. "I am safe! I'm always safe with you." She pulled James back to look at him. "I know I don't have to worry when I'm with you."

 

"Zeta," James tried to reason with just the one word.

 

"Please, James, please."

 

Zeta could see the contemplation on James's face before it fell resolute and he shook his head. "Not here."

 

Zeta pushed James off her enough to scoot out from under him and sit against the headboard. "Why the fuck not?!"

 

"Because!" James slid his hands over his face. "I don't want, every time I think about our first time, to remember the place that I was nearly tortured to death." He slumped back, his bum hitting the mattress. "I hate it here. I hate this place. I just want to fix things so no one comes looking for us, and then I want to leave." Zeta reached for James's hand but he pulled away. "Let me finish." James released a shaky breath. "Everywhere I look I see that jail cell, that empty room where they tied me up, and beat me, burned me. Zeta," he begged. "I can't ruin something like this with you by doing it here."

 

Zeta scooted down the beg and sat in James's lap, kissing all over James's face and neck. "Why didn't you tell me?"

 

James nuzzled against Zeta's soft cheek. "I didn't want to be weak. I just want to do this and be done." He took Zeta's face in his hands. "Then I want you so badly."

 

Zeta turned her face and kissed James's palm. "Whenever you want, whenever you're ready, you have me."

 

James surged forward and kissed her hard, just a firm press of their lips together. "Amazing."

 

Zeta laughed and pulled back. "Stop that. I'll get a complex or something."

 

"Never," James promised and spent the rest of the night mumbling amazing into the smooth expanse of Zeta's body until he fell asleep.


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