Just a short story featuring my two little spies from NaNo 2017, Andy and Leon.  Do I need to warn you that there’s violence and such?  There is… but it’s not graphic.


“Well,” Andy said, glancing around, “this is a nice change of scenery.”

Leon frowned, his gaze sliding over to his partner. “It’s a prison cell,” he said, shaking his head.

Andy sighed. Meeting Leon’s gaze, he said, “I was being sarcastic?”

“Ah, yes,” Leon said, smirking. He looked through the bars at their captor. “I should have guessed that, really.”

“Being in a cell should be the least of your worries,” the man growled, locking eyes with Andy. “Tell me what you were doing here.”

Andy blinked. “I’m a writer,” he said, nodding. He was speaking slowly, as if their captor wouldn’t understand him otherwise. “Leon’s a photographer. We’re working on a book together. He was taking pictures of the local wildlife, which I intended to incorporate into my story.”

“Do you think I’m stupid?” their captor snapped.

Leon bit his lip and glanced over at Andy. The expression on his face was one of mild annoyance. It seemed like he was about two seconds away from saying that was exactly what he thought. Clearing his throat, Leon said, “It’s the truth!”

“You’ll have to forgive me if I don’t believe you, Mr. Reilly,” he growled.

Andy blinked and looked over at Leon. “I thought your name was Jones,” he said, his expression one of wide-eyed innocence. He shook his head. “Who’s this… Reilly?”

Leon shrugged. “Search me,” he said.

Rolling his eyes, Andy said, “They already did that!”

“Enough,” their captor snapped. He turned to one of his goons. “See if you can force the little one to talk. He looks soft enough that it should be easy to break him.”

Frowning, Leon watched as the goon strode into the cell. As he approached Andy, the smaller man shrank back in his chair. Leon bit his lip, struggling to read the other man. Was he only pretending to be afraid or not? He couldn’t say for certain it wasn’t an act, but he also knew that Andy was easily frightened.

“What are you going to do?” Andy asked, shaking his head. He blinked as the handcuffs locking him to the chair were loosened. Then, he was being half-dragged to the center of the cell. He squawked as he was lifted off the ground and his wrists were locked into shackles that hung from the ceiling.

Their captor smiled. “Let’s see how much it will take to get you to talk,” he said, drawing a whip out of seemingly nowhere. He stepped around Andy and began lashing at his back. The shirt dulled the sting of the whip, Leon knew. At the same time, it wouldn’t help for very long.

He met Andy’s gaze and was not surprised to see tears standing in the pale blue eyes. What did surprise him was that Andy didn’t make a sound through the entire beating.

Finally, when their captor paused, he said, “We’ve told you why we’re here. What… could you hope to accomplish by… this?”

For the first time, their captor’s confidence seemed to falter. Glaring at the goon, he said, “Get him down. We’ll give them some time to consider their fate.” Then, after Andy had been deposited on a nearby bed, they were left alone.

Leon was about to call out to Andy when the other man lifted his head and frowned at Leon. “Think they’re watching?” he breathed.

For a moment, Leon didn’t know what to say. He glanced around, trying to spot anything that might be a hidden camera or a listening device of some kind. Turning back to Andy, he shook his head. “I don’t think so,” he said, finally.

Nodding, Andy took a deep breath and pushed off the bed. He was a bit unsteady on his feet, but he made it to Leon’s side and made quick work of the handcuffs locked on his wrists. As Leon stood, he wrapped his arms carefully around Andy. “How did you do that?”

“Vector Training,” Andy said, giving him a tight smile. “That goon hits like a girl… or, at least, he’s not nearly so good at giving lashes as my handlers were. Shouldn’t we be on our way?”

“Definitely,” Leon agreed. He helped Andy over to the door and was surprised when Andy made quick work of that lock as well. Perhaps it shouldn’t be so surprising. After all, Andy was specifically trained as an acquisitions agent. Locks and safes of any kind were his specialty.

They moved quickly, but quietly and carefully down the corridor until they reached the exit. It was, naturally enough, guarded. Andy gave Leon a crooked smile. “I’ll take care of them,” he breathed.

“You sure?” Leon asked, his voice hoarse. Andy still didn’t seem all that steady on his feet.

Giving Leon a playful wink, Andy stepped out into the open. “Be ready,” he breathed. Then, he cleared his throat. As the guards turned to him, he smiled. “I say! Have you happened to spot my partner? I’m afraid I’ve quite lost him.”

Laughing, the guards advanced on him. “Why don’t we put you back in your cell and then we’ll find him for you,” one said. He chuckled again when Andy gave ground before them.

Leon watched as they moved past him, totally missing Leon’s presence. He was surprised but he didn’t waste Andy’s effort. He stepped out and grabbed the gun from one of the guards. He struck the man in the face with the weapon, as he turned to Leon.

As the other guard turned to Leon, he smiled. “So, you’ve found me,” Leon said. He arched his brow and added, “Hands on your head.”

Scowling, the guard did as Leon had ordered. Andy neatly disarmed him and then they tied him up, gagged him and put both guards in a convenient closet. “Might I suggest we hurry?” Andy asked, smiling wanly.

“Absolutely,” Leon agreed. He definitely didn’t want to linger in an ACRE base for too long. They slipped outside and moved across the yard to where there were several cars parked. Leon stood guard while Andy broke into one, which just happened to have the key tucked inside the ashtray.

Leon sat in the passenger seat, while Andy drove. When they neared the gates, which were guarded, Andy ducked downward and slammed his foot down on the gas pedal. They crashed through the gates under a hail of gunfire. Then, they were out and away. They drove at full speed until Leon felt certain they’d lost any pursuit. Then, he touched Andy on the sleeve. “You can slow down now,” he said.

Heaving a shaky breath, Andy nodded. The car slowed down to highway speed and they turned onto a main artery into the city. He smiled at Leon as they joined the flow of traffic. Then, he began chuckling softly. “When we get to a rest stop,” he said, “You’re going to drive. I need to lie down.”

“Sure thing, partner,” Leon said, nodding.


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