Who He Was

The continuous clicking of the keys to her laptop rang through her barren apartment as she sat with her back rigid straight in a chair off the window.

The brick pillar she was lined up with was thick, lined with a few layers of reinforced steel and bricked over yet again, the work had taken some square footage off her apartment but that hadn’t bothered her, it wasn’t as though she used the extra space anyway.

She had widened the pillar also, making the space between windows bigger so she could sit at this very table on her computer without anyone getting a good vantage point on her from any of the neighbouring roofs. Even here in her place before the window, she was invisible.

It was a thought that barely flashed through her mind as she continued to type lines of code to close windows on the Internet and make her location just as hidden as her physical place on her chair.

When she was happy with the amount of walls put up to keep people from finding her, she began her search on Malcolm Hunter, trying to find out just why he would have fallen onto her radar on the first place.

It didn’t take her too long to find what she was looking for, she had trained herself so well knowing how to get just what she needed in a small window of time.

So much of her life, she thought then, was about windows.

Pushing the foolish thought away she looked at bank statements, off-shore accounts, buy outs and pay off wiring, and followed the trail to blackmail, and manipulation in things like politics, environmental movements, financing.

He was as as dirty as they came and he had a hand in everything.

Frowning, she leaned back in her chair and laid her hands flat on the table with her laptop between them.

A picture had popped up, one of a happy family. Father, mother, and two sons; Hunters family.

Leaning forward, she did a search on the location of the other son.

Deceased: killed in the line of duty.

Interesting.

She disconnected before anyone could penetrate her carefully placed walls and closed the laptop. A son that spends his life serving his country and a father who spends his life cheating it.

What of the other Hunter son?

Opening her laptop once again she started to type lines of code.

“I can see you hiding there behind your wall. You’re not used to people seeing you, are you?” His words rang out in her head.

She closed the laptop and got to her feet, pacing to the centre of the apartment where the punching bag hung from a thick chain anchored on the rafters.

What did it matter? She had done as she always had, removed someone who was burdening the existence of man, taken a life to level the balance… And she had chosen correctly.

She spun around kicking the bag so it slid angrily along the metal rafter and smack hard against the brick wall.

Frowning, she stood there with his words playing over and over.

“You know, I’m not going to give up on you.”

Why? She wondered. She had made no indication that she was interested in him pursuing her. She had given him nothing about herself despite the fact that he had let her see into his world, that he had invited her into his mind.

She was plain, and she was invisible in most situations. There were prettier girls who would give him what he wanted.

Yet, every day, there he was.

Standing by his words and not giving up on the possibility of getting to know her more.

She really wished he would.

***

He watched her from across the street, saw the way her shoulders were raised towards her ears, her back rigid and knew that somehow she could sense him watching her. In the past couple days she had made no move to hint she was aware of his presence but he noticed there were days when he couldn’t find her no matter how hard he tried.

It was as though on days like today she let him follow her.

The thought filled him with something. Excitement, joy… eagerness? He wasn’t sure what exactly.

“You’re being creepy.” He whispered to himself and then shook his head at the man who looked over his shoulder at him. “Sorry, not you.” He hurriedly crossed the street to stand in another doorway.

He was being creepy though, he thought. He barely knew this girl and he was already following her around. If she knew… He thought of the way she so quickly spun around, sensing his presence and moving away from his touch. If she knew he was pretty sure she would slug him.

But she did know, he reminded himself, she had to.

Eyes narrowing, Hunter darted across the street to follow behind her.

She walked on with her hands in their usual place, pocketed cozily in her sweater pockets as she moved so effortlessly through the crowd. She didn’t hunch over, but walked with the posture of an experienced ballerina. He moved in close behind her but not too close to give himself away.

His body jerked as his shoulder hit someone else’s and unbalanced them both. “Sorry.” He muttered, looking at the business man who snarled and walked on.

Looking up, he stopped.

“Where-” she was gone. No name girl was gone.

Before he could decide what to do his legs were pushing him forward, making him run through the crowd in hopes of catching up.

Just as a wave of defeat hit him, he was pulled off his feet by the front of his jacket, whirled into an alley and pressed back hard against the cool brick wall. He gasped as the wind was knocked from his lungs.

“I’m growing tired of this.” She stared at him, her gaze enough to send chills down his spine.

Smirking, he sucked in the air he so desperately needed. “What’s that?”

“What are you doing?” She barked at him.

Flames dances through her eyes as she watched him but he couldn’t help but feel glad. “Looking for you, no name girl.”

“Don’t call me that.” She gave him a snarl that put the business man to shame.

“What should I call you then?” He asked her.

The poker face on her was astounding. “Nothing.”

“You want me to call you Nothing?” He laughed. “I guess I could do that.”

“No.” She looked up at him. “You don’t need to call me anything because you don’t need to address me, stop trying to talk to me, stop following me.” Her words were emotionless but he could tell she was annoyed.

“Can you put me down?” He looked down at the feet dangling off the floor beneath him.

She loosened the grip on the front of his jacket without warning, standing there as he fumbled to get his footing.

Straightening his jacket, he looked at her. “Holy Hell you are strong.” He brushed at the front of his coat. “If you don’t want me following you, why have you let me?” He asked.

Her brow furrowed, the first sign of emotion today. “What?”

“You just seem like the kind of girl who doesn’t let anyone do anything she doesn’t want. You knew I was following you, didn’t you?” His brow raised quizzically.

“Yes. You’re not very stealthy, someone both blind and deaf would know you were following them.”

“Is it the musk?” He grinned at her.

He didn’t wear musk, she noted with a crease at her brow. She never knew what he meant, what his intentions were, it was frustrating and something she didn’t have the skills to decipher. Knowing she wasn’t skilled at something bothered her.

“So,” he smiled. “Are you hungry?”

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