“If it is Lavina,” began Kristina, “why did she not just kill you? That is what she wants to do.” “Well, she might have a different way of doing it,” I said. “Oh, I should have thought about that,” she said, “but why take me, I am not important.” “You are not thinking again,” I told her. “But I could not be used to influence you in any way,” answered Kristina, “I am just one of the team.” I am glad she could not see my face right then.
It seemed like a long time, just lying in the dark on that cold rock floor, but I am sure it was no more than an hour. “That scent we smelled,” I said, “it must have had something to do with drugging us and knocking us out.” “Yes, I agree,” said Kristina, “it was a beautiful scent, I have never smelled it before.” “Neither have I,” I said. Then we heard someone coming, and a bright light shone in our faces. “They are awake,” said a woman. Then that beautiful scent again. When we woke up…
Meanwhile… Rock did not want to do it, but he knew that he had to call Baldwin with the news. Unfortunately, Baldwin would be in bed, still, it had to be done. “This better be important Rock,” said Baldwin sleepily, “I was sleeping!” “Sorry boss,” began Rock, “but I have news, both good and bad.” “Give me the good news first,” answered Baldwin.
“Well, we got Toledo with no problems, and we are all okay.” “Good, now the bad news, and it better not be too bad,” said Baldwin. “Well, it is very bad,” began Rock, “someone kidnapped Steve and Kristina while they were walking along one of the paths through the wooded section and…” “What?!” yelled Baldwin, “how could anyone get on the property? What happened to our electronic surveillance system?
We have cameras all over those paths, who was watching the monitor? Answers Rock, and fast!” “Well, Annelie was watching the monitor, but she left to use the bathroom,” he began, “and that is when the cameras were blacked out with paint and…” “Who took Annelie’s place watching the monitor?” asked Baldwin. “Um, well, no one,” said Rock, “everyone was outside, except Sigurbjorn and she was giving Jennifer a massage and…”
“What?!” yelled Baldwin again, “has everyone forgotten the rules around there? Sigurbjorn is Steve’s bodyguard, she should be with him at all times, even when someone else is with him, that is more important than a massage! And no matter what length of time Annelie is going to be away, someone should replace her! What information has Toledo given you?”
“Um, well, I have not had time to question Toledo yet,” said Rock, getting more nervous all the time, “this came up and I came back here to find out what was happening and…” “And what have you found out?” asked Baldwin, “nothing!! I want to know answers, not more questions. I want people doing things properly, not excuses! I want action from you Rock, or you and Annelie are fired! Do you hear me?” “Yes boss,” said Rock, very nervous now, “action is coming, I will get at Toledo right away.”
“I am calling Charles, I trust him, he will get over there and find some answers about our security system,” said Baldwin, “there must be more listening devices and cameras in that chateau, even though we checked it before.” They hung up and Baldwin called Charles and told him what he wanted done, and now! “Use the cats to sniff out devices, not the detectors this time,” Baldwin told him.
“You are not really thinking of firing Rock and Annelie are you?” asked Charles, “they are among the best of the team, firing them would be wrong.” Charles knew he was taking a chance talking like that since Baldwin was so angry right now, but he just had to say something. In the morning Baldwin called the chateau and Sigurbjorn answered.
“Oh, I am glad you called Mr. B.” she said, “I am totally at fault in this and once this is over, I will resign from the team. I am not good enough to be a part here.” Baldwin was silent for a moment. “Yes, Sigurbjorn, you messed up terribly,” he said quietly, something rare for Baldwin, “you are Steve’s bodyguard and should be with him all the time. But you are not the only one to mess up, others did also, including myself.
As the head of this organization, all responsibility lies with me. I cannot force you to stay with us, but, please Sigurbjorn, please, I would like you to stay. You are a very important member of this team, and Steve really needs you right now. I am sure you understand.” Now Sigurbjorn was silent.
“Thank you very much Mr. B.” she said, “thank you for giving me a second chance, even though I do not deserve it.” “We all need a second chance now and then,” he said, “I have had a few of them myself.” Meanwhile… I opened my eyes. I was lying in a field and Kristina was beside me. She was still unconscious. I must have looked like she did, it certainly felt like it anyway.
To Be Continued.
©2022 Steve McLeod.