Yun went to the apartment door and looked through the peephole. Rhys got out of bed with a groan and wrapped the sheet around him. He hid behind the bedroom door, retrieving his pistol. Cleaned and reloaded; Yun was always thorough. He nodded to Yun and readied himself.
‘Who is it?’ Yun asked, faking a disinterested tone.
‘Oh, hi,’ an uncertain female voice replied. ‘My name is Samantha, and um, I need to ask you a few questions.’
‘Questions? Who are you with?’
‘No, I’m by myself.’
‘I mean, are you police or something?’
‘Oh goodness no. I’m a, well, sorry this is hard to explain through a door.’ Rhys nodded again to Yun, who opened the door, the chain still attached. ‘Hi, let me start again. I’m Samantha. I work for Redeem Finance, a company that’s based here in Edinburgh. We’re into finance, and well, I’ve been investigating some anomalies-‘
‘Yeah, with one of our clients and,’ she paused to lower her voice, ‘and my investigation has led me to this address.’
‘I think you may be mistaken. We haven’t employed any agency for finance or whatever you do.’
‘I expected not. I think they’re using this place as a front, you know, an address to make their business look more legitimate.’
‘Ok, but I only rent. How can I help?’
‘Well, can you provide me with details on the landlord or real estate you’ve gone through? It would help us out a lot.’
‘Oh, yeah, I’m investigating with a colleague of mine, but he’s following up other leads.’
‘I see, one moment.’ He closed the door and walked back into the bedroom. ‘Thoughts?’
‘It seems she knows we’ve rented a few apartments around the city. But we’ve done it ourselves, how can her company know about us? We need to know more. Tell her to meet you in one hour at the café down the street, the one you normally go to.’
‘The K is silent, but yeah, that will do. I’ll trail you, and you get what info you can, then I’ll follow her.’
‘Are you up to this? I mean, if it’s a trap.’
‘Can’t afford to miss out; there must be something here. Get her partner there if you can.’
An hour later, Yun was sitting outside on an uncharacteristically sunny afternoon. Rhys was a hundred paces away, feeling tired and sore, but dressed once again in the coat that seemed to help him slip into obscurity wherever he went. He wasn’t wearing his body armour. It was savaged from the last attack. Besides, his shoulder protested at even putting his undershirt on. He contemplated his powers for a moment as he waited. ‘you are like a child, stumbling in the dark,’ that creature said to him. Perhaps, but he was a fast learner.
The woman, it must be Samantha, arrived with another man and sat with Yun. They both ordered something. They didn’t have time to set up recording equipment; that was the disadvantage of operating out of a safe house rather than where they kept the lion’s share of their equipment.
Rhys scanned the area. There were dozens of people moving, a few cars, one bus and a black taxi cab; a remnant from the pre-ridesharing era as outdated as the red phone booths that remain in London merely as tourist curiosities.
A figure caught his eye, a woman. There was something about her. He didn’t sense her but somehow knew she was dangerous. She was tall, taller than Rhys and had skin slightly darker than his. She moved gracefully, like a dancer. Her long bleached white hair was tied back in dreadlocks and stuck up in the air. She stopped just behind the café, quite secluded from Yun and Samantha, but this stranger was clearly watching them. Was she after Yun? Was this a trap set by Samantha? Rhys couldn’t say for sure, but something in his core, his base instincts, told him that no, this woman was after Samantha or her partner. She was in danger, and so was Yun. He had to do something.
He made up his mind to intercept the woman before she did anything. Still, before he moved, the stranger turned. Her cold silver eyes stared across the street and a hundred paces directly to Rhys. She could sense him, but he wasn’t using his powers. This should not be possible!
But there was no mistake. She glared directly at him and smiled in a way that sent a cold, deathly shiver down Rhys’s spine.