Thank you for all your kind messages and thoughts. It is very uplifting to know that you’re sending smiles to me. I’m sending love and smiles to you too.
I hope that you enjoy reading this week’s scene of Renee and Frei’s – A New Assignment.
As always, please excuse my typos.
Renee and Frei
‘A New Assignment’
Act 3 Scene 2
In a large study adorned with trophies from Derek Lavelle’s law enforcement exploits, Alanna Lavelle stood fixated on the bust of Derek’s first wife. In her mind, Derek was young, handsome and had been promoted through the ranks quickly. He didn’t seem old enough to have had a wife who was clearly twice his age and that they had been married for several years.
Alanna was trying to ignore how confused she felt but that woman, Worthington as Derek called her, was persistent in her friendship and even more persistent in getting Alanna to think about how Derek was treating others. She’d even implied that Derek held Alanna as a trophy too and then asked where Derek’s first wife was. Alanna had tried to be annoyed but Worthington… Roberta… felt like someone she could trust, someone she could like.
“Honey?” Derek called as he strolled in through the front door. She’d always thought his voice was quiet and soothing but now it sounded blaring and demanding.
Alanna hurried out of the office, not sure why she had a USB in her hand. Must be from his computer. Best she put it back. She hurried back inside, slid the stick into the slot and hurried back out.
“Honey?” Derek’s voice filled with annoyance.
Alanna scurried to the living room and plonked down then stared at the picture of Derek and his first wife in a large frame above the fireplace.
“You just ignoring me or have you gone deaf?” He strolled in yanking his tie from his shirt collar and grunting.
Alanna blinked then stared at him. He wasn’t young or handsome and he wasn’t trim or kind. He was… completely different. His eyes were hard, his cheeks blotchy, and his smile was more like a sneer.
“Don’t look at me with that pout. I had a meeting with Hewitt. You know how he beats my ass when he’s not happy.” Derek strode to her and stood there with his legs shoulder width apart, his feet turned out at an angle and his podgy fingers fiddling with one of his cigars while the other hand hung from his belt seam.
“Why wasn’t he happy?” she managed but her eyes wouldn’t stop flicking back to his wedding ring. It wasn’t the wedding ring he wore for her. It was his first wife’s wedding ring.
“He’s trying to find one of Lock’s friends. She’s run from the police… witness… need to get her to court.” Derek scowled at her. “You haven’t even got my dinner ready, have you?”
Alanna glared up at him.
“She’s been wandering around staring at the house like she hasn’t seen it before,” Derek’s first wife said as she walked into the room. Tall, painfully thin, harsh features and sharp eyes.
Alanna knew her and she held in the shock by staring at the picture again. Had she been living there all along?
“I’ll get Bison to adjust the dose.” Derek turned to his first wife and then smiled, warmly, lovingly, and kissed her. “Did you have a less… irritating time in work?”
“No, our stock wasn’t as lucrative to the other owners at auction because they are still using the excuse that Locks and her idiotic business partners stealing their stock has lowered their income.” Derek’s first wife flicked her hand in disgust and then wiped her lipstick off his lips. “They were insisting that Agent Owens has been asking questions but you said you’d gotten rid of her.”
Derek held up a trembling hand. “I didn’t handle that personally. I just made sure the guards let Williams out.”
Alanna stood up and headed to the doorway, purposely walking straight into Derek’s first wife and stuck her shoulder in.
“Idiot,” Derek’s first wife shot.
“Don’t hit her, she’ll notice you’re there.” Derek sighed then cleared his throat. “You’ve gone through the trouble of making her not see you.”
“Give her something useful to do.” Derek’s first wife laughed but Alanna walked out of the room and then out to the kitchen.
“She’ll make dinner now she’s moving,” Derek said then laughed too. His voice loud and echoing. “I’ll call Gem and see if he knows about Owens showing up.”
Alanna stared at the cooker then watched the kitchen door shut and then several people appear as they buzzed to and fro. She stared at them unsure if they were real. She wasn’t sure whether to ask because they could tell Derek so she stepped into one of them who grunted and caught the dish they were holding before it dropped.
They stared at her then at an older man over the other side of the kitchen.
“Careful. Mrs Lavelle will be unhappy if Alanna notices you.” The older man eyed her but with a gentleness, a compassion.
“I have noticed you,” Alanna whispered then looked at the door. “I’m not his wife?”
The older man winced then sighed. “No.”
“I’m a slave.” The realisation jolted her and she rubbed at her head. She remembered Derek’s first wife buying her. “Why pretend he is married to me when he has a wife?”
“You’re meant to be a mistress but you wouldn’t do as she asked enough.” The older man managed a small smile. “You have a lot of kindness in your heart considering your family genes.”
“Bite,” Alanna whispered then scowled. “I’m Alanna Bite.”
The older man nodded.
“They made me a slave?” She glared at the door. “I…” She shook her head. “I found out what my parents were.”
The older man nodded. “You tried to help us… it didn’t quite work.”
Alanna studied him. He was her father’s favorite servant. He’d even had a desk and a chair in his room. “That’s because Mrs. Lavelle found out I was looking for Locks.”
He turned around. “I’m surprised you remember. You have been so confused for years.”
“I stopped taking my medication,” Alanna said then glanced at the door. “Locks. Locks has been trying to help me.”
He smiled. “She has. I’m not quite sure how she found you but her friend has been around a lot.”
“Roberta… She knew Agent Owens… Owens tried to help…” Alanna let out a long slow breath. “My sister… Rachel… She was sold too.”
“I believe Owens freed her.” The older man walked over and handed her a drink. “I worry that you will try and help again and then Mrs. Lavelle will hurt you.”
Alanna put the drink down. “I want you to cover that I am not making dinner.”
The older man held up his hand. “Alanna…?”
“I need to see Locks… or Roberta.” She hurried from the kitchen and out onto the grounds, careful to avoid being in sight of the living room. She stumbled to the fence—not a pristine fence as she’d seen but a large fence with electric through it.
“You might be a Bite but climbing fences was never really a strong point,” Locks said from somewhere above her.
Alanna looked up and icy blue eyes smiled down as Locks was upside down suspended from a wire. “You were waiting for me?”
“No, I just like zip wires.” Locks smirked at her.
Alanna laughed and held up her hands to be pulled upward. “I remember Huber always mentioning your humor.”
Locks gave her a dazzling smile. “I’m glad he focused on the important qualities.”
Alanna was hoisted up and she held on as Locks zipped them over the fence to a waiting car.
“I will have to return to help with dinner. They will blame the slaves if I don’t.” Alanna glanced back at the house.
“Huber mentioned how you had a kind heart.” Locks helped her into the back of the car.
“I’m glad he focused on the important qualities,” Alanna said then rubbed at her arms. “Unlike his mistress… how did his mistress get away without reprimand if my parents were hurt and my sister and I became slaves?”
“Mistresses have better evasion skills than a locksmith sometimes.” Locks drove them away from the house and Alanna rubbed at her thudding forehead.
Yes, Mrs. Lavelle was slippery. There would be slave owners who’d have wanted her as a slave too.
Alanna remembered her being beautiful not harsh looking. She’d remembered Mrs. Lavelle being younger and someone who her parents trusted… and she had trusted. It stung. She looked at Locks at the steering wheel and wiped at the tears in her eyes. Locks was trustworthy. Even her parents, as hard and nasty as they were, they knew how loyal she was to Huber even when no other slave owners would look at him because of his family slip-ups.
Locks loved her sister too. She might understand how an older sister needed to protect the younger one and the other way around. Yes, she might understand and if she was showing up, Huber must want to help.
Alanna took off her wedding ring and pocketed it. She needed to find her sister and make sure she was freed and, maybe, she could free her friends too.
Alanna sighed at her own dumb thought. A slave managing to free her family and other slaves? Sounded more like a locksmith skill and she doubted Lock’s owner, Huber, was going to target Mrs. Lavelle because he had so little finance.
“Huber must want something of Lavelle’s,” Alanna managed as they drove along the busy streets. “I am happy to assist if he can help me find Rachel.”
Locks pulled her glasses down and flashed icy blue eyes her way. “My father wouldn’t bother with Lavelle.” She smiled a confident, warm smile. “And I’ve found your sister so I’d prefer your help with freeing your friends like you say.”
Alanna frowned. “I didn’t say that out loud.”
Locks chuckled. “You did. You told the seat next to you.”
“Oh, I’m… I have… I get confused.” Alanna rolled her eyes at her own insanity.
“I’m used to people talking to seats.” Locks winked then pushed her glasses back up. “It’s relaxing.”
Alanna smiled, shyly, then stared out of the window not to stare at Locks. Mrs. Lavelle had seemed beautiful in her memories but Locks was still beautiful. Alanna glanced over then snapped her gaze away.
“I’m still talking to the seat, aren’t I?” She mumbled.
“Yes.” Locks sped up. “You have good taste.”
Alanna nodded then laughed. It was good to know she had an important quality.