Arguing Semantics – Part 1

Another short piece featuring Andy and Leon…


“The first thing we need to do is get into her room, to check the safe for the micro-transmitter,” Andy said, his voice soft. “To do that, we need to make certain she doesn’t return while we’re searching.”

“I’ll distract her,” Leon said, his gaze going to the woman. He smiled as he turned back to Andy. “You can break in and find the safe. It should be easy enough.”

Andy frowned. “Why don’t I distract her, while you get the micro-transmitter?” he asked, shaking his head briskly. He refused to admit that he was jealous. That wasn’t the reason he didn’t want Leon to handle the distraction of the woman.

“You’re a thief,” Leon said, his tone reasonable. He shrugged. “You know how to get in and get out quickly and without leaving any sign that you’ve been there.”

“I’m not a thief,” Andy said, rolling his eyes. “I’m an acquisitions agent.”

Leon smirked. “The difference is…”

“Thieves steal things for fun and profit,” Andy said, crossing his arms over his chest. “I steal things when it’s necessary for my job. I’m not a thief. I’m just really good at acquiring things that aren’t mine.”

Chuckling, Leon said, “I’m very good at distracting beautiful women. Let’s play to our strengths. Shall we?”

“Fine,” Andy said, heaving a sigh. He pushed away from the wall, heading for the stairs. Before he got out earshot, he added, “Watch for me to return.”

“You got it,” Leon breathed.

Without looking back, Andy headed up the stairs from the lobby. He used the elevator to go the floor where his own room was. Then, he used the fire stairs to go down to the floor where the woman from ACRE was staying. He chewed his lip as he headed to her room. It was directly below their own, which made it easy enough to find. It also gave him a pat excuse if someone caught him on the way in: he had simply gotten the floor confused.

He made it into the room without difficulty. The hotel used keycards, but OWL technology made it easy enough to bypass that. He eased the door closed in his wake and scanned the darkened hotel room, searching for the hidden safe.

He started by checking behind the pictures in the room. He almost laughed when he found it behind a print of a vase of flowers on a table. Setting the print on the floor, he put his ear to the door. He was glad that the safe, at least, was the old-fashioned sort. That made cracking it a simple matter of listening to the tumblers.

He eased the door opened and grabbed the micro-transmitter. It looked exactly like the picture that Nate had shown them. Tucking it into his jacket, he closed the door and turned the dial back to zero. He was just replacing the print when he heard the door to the room click.

Tensing, Andy hurried to the window. In a heartbeat, he was on the ledge and edging away from it, just before the person entered.

“Find out who that man was,” their target snapped at someone. “I don’t like how friendly he suddenly was towards me.”

“Yes, ma’am,” a low voice replied.

Andy glanced up towards the floor above and back at the window he’d just come out. He didn’t hesitate another moment before he climbed up from the window ledge towards the next floor. He grabbed the window ledge for his own room and then gasped when someone grabbed his wrists.

“Sorry,” Leon said, his voice faint. He peered over the window ledge. “I couldn’t keep her downstairs any longer without arousing her suspicion.”

“Turns out, you aroused her suspicion anyway,” Andy said, as he let Leon help him climb up onto the ledge. Then, he swung into the room and set his feet on the floor. “I’ve got it. Might I suggest we leave before she realizes who we are?”

“Good idea,” Leon agreed.

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