Chapter 3: Tifa's Room
The next morning, Tifa sighed, newly awake in her bed dressed in her usual sleep apparel, a tank top and whatever underwear or shorts she was wearing when she went to bed. The sunlight crept through the blinds, telling her that she had overslept. Judging from the fact the sun was near her eyes; it was probably one in the afternoon and she should have woken up earlier to make Marlene and Denzel some breakfast.. Or lunch, even. Well, it was expected to wake up late when you fall asleep at around three in the morning.
She and the three Turks spent a few hours just relaxing, eating, drinking and talking the night before. Tifa, herself, hadn’t had more than two drinks since she wasn’t much of an alcoholic, but she still woke up with a headache. Well, the headache wasn’t from the alcohol.. She knew what a hangover felt like and this was no hangover. It felt like she had been thinking too much. As if she had hundreds of mathematical equations looping in her head.. And she knew the cause.
Those weird memories that never happened were driving her mad last night. The way she recalled them, they were still blurry and uncertain, but some details were clearly identifiable. Details like knowing how soft the blonde’s hair was under her fingertips, the aroma that Elena gave off when they were as close as they were, and of course, the way her lips felt against hers. The soft, warm feeling Tifa sensed in her chest whenever she would remember it..
Wait! Stop stop stop! This is Elena you’re thinking about. Those memories aren’t real! They’re just hallucinations.. Or you’re remembering some kind of dream you had before. Now get up, wash up and get something to eat. End of story.
Still.. Those feelings were way too realistic to be from a dream..
Tifa sat up quickly and ran a hand through her hair with frustration. The locks were shorter now than they were during Meteor. When she cut it, it was like closure for that chapter of her life and it only reached her lower back now. It was still long, but not as long as before. She still found it kind of strange to not have the implausibly long hair, despite wearing it this way for over a year now, but Tifa still liked how it looked now. Perhaps she just missed how it felt to have the long hair since it reminded her of her travels with AVALANCHE. Sometimes they’d be on the road for days and no matter how hard she tried, her hair would always be on the ground through the night and dirty the next morning. Even though she hated it, it was still a fond memory. She even sometimes had to beg Cloud to stay at an inn the next day so she could shower. Then, when they did, and she did get to shower, she’d spend the whole morning hogging it, much to Yuffie’s dismay.
A delicious aroma in the air told her that she wouldn’t have to worry about making food for the two kids, but rather herself. That Marlene is going to be a great wife for someone, someday. Tifa inwardly hoped that Denzel and Marlene would eventually become more than friends, but that was saying too much since they were only nine years old. They would definitely make a cute couple, though.
Tifa turned her body so her legs dangled off of the side of the bed, facing away from the window. She stretched her arms up, releasing a yawn before recoiling back and rubbing her head a little. Even though it was 1:01pm, it still felt too early for her to get up. Her eyes wandered around the room, her fighter’s instinct forcing her to check for anything amiss, and once she had confirmed that everything was fine, her eyes fell on the bed opposite hers. It was Cloud’s bed. As usual, it hadn’t been slept in, but that worry was long gone by now. But it’s been almost ten months since he left.. So Tifa doubted he’d come back this time.
At least she could easily say that she had gotten over him now. She was more worried about him as a sister would, or as a mother would.
The desk beside her bed was still littered with papers, as was the wall it leaned up against. There were more photos of everyone in AVALANCHE pinned to the wall, but two important photos sat in frames on the desk beside the phone. The one big group photo they took after they cured the Geostigma, and the photo of her, Marlene, Denzel and Cloud.
Deciding 1:02pm was a good time to get up, Tifa stood from her bedside. Her feet were annoyed by how cold the floor was on a spring day, but her slippers were a little too far away and the bathroom was just across the hall.
However, it seemed that not going to get those slippers turned out to be a bad idea, “Ow!”
Tifa stepped on a Chocobo Knights Action Figure.
She quickly checked the bottom of her foot for blood. Relieved to see there was none, she picked up the toy and glared at it. She then realized how ridiculous it was to get mad at a toy and laughed to herself, placing the figure on her dresser, “Thought I told them not to play in my room..” Regardless, she took a robe from on top of the dresser and slipped it on, being more careful not to step on anything this time as she made her way to the bathroom.
The sun blaring down on the sleeping form of Elena was enough to rudely awaken her. She instinctively shielded her eyes with her hand, but thought of a better idea and pulled the pillow from under her and covered her head with it. Unfortunately, by then she was fully awake and unable to get back to sleep. Her head retreated from its safe pillow cavern and she squinted when she still saw the sun, “It’s too early for the sun to be..” She then glanced at the clock and her eyes widened. 1:00pm. All right, so maybe it wasn’t too early for the sun to be out.
Reluctantly, Elena sat up in her bed. That didn’t seem to be too great of an idea, though, because she was met with a pounding sensation in her brain on the way up. A head rush? Maybe she sat up too fast.. It definitely wasn’t a hangover. She only had a couple of drinks last night and she knew full well how many drinks it took to have a hangover.
“Ugh.. My head..” She laid herself back down onto her pillow and shut her eyes tightly. Strangely, as her eyes remained shut, all she could picture, or even think about, were those strange ‘memories’ of Tifa. And the more she thought about it, the more her head pounded and screamed at her to stop trying to remember. It was as if her brain didn’t even want to remember if it happened at all.
Despite that, Elena still remembered the feelings clearly, even if she couldn’t quite remember the situation. She felt a certain kind of warmth in her chest as she thought about it, a comforting and content kind of warmth. She knew how soft and smooth Tifa’s skin felt, especially on her cheek and abdomen, even though she didn’t ever remember touching her in any way other than attacking and defending in battle. Elena recalled how once she would practically melt whenever she saw Tifa smile at her or laugh.. And the way Tifa would kiss her..! Shiva! It was so..
‘No! It didn’t happen! They’re just from dreams. They’re not real, they never were real.’ Elena reassured herself. There was no way she could have known Tifa when she was that age. It would have made Elena about the same age, and she knew the first time they had met was in the Mythril Cave. Yeah! She clearly introduced herself, explained what the Turks did, and accidentally told them where Sephiroth was going. She remembered that perfectly!
..Well, that doesn’t change the fact they feel real.
No, no. She clearly remembered her past. She had a loving family and a cat! She had a younger sister.. And.. Wait.. She didn’t have a sister.. Or a cat. All right, start over. She had a loving family and.. No..
..I never really had a family.
The realization hit her like a ton of bricks and her brain hammered viciously as she thought about it. Her family was never around. Elena sat up again and held her head with both of her hands tightly, trying to calm the storm in her mind. Instantly, memories of her childhood flooded back into her.
Her parents were ShinRa employees, both of them. Her mother was a scientist for the company, and she would always try to take care of Elena, but she was always busy, so Elena’s only memories of her were her mother ignoring her. Elena loved her mother dearly, but she always told her to play alone.. And her father.. Her father was..
He was a Turk. A very important Turk. He would always tell her about how he wanted her to grow up and do something to change the world. He wanted Elena to become something worthwhile, not to do dirty work like he had to do. He’d never be home and..
And she had an older brother.. And a dog.. And-
Wait.. What was she thinking about again?
Elena shook her head a couple of times to regain her senses and she looked around. Her headache was mostly gone now and she was in her apartment.. What did she do last night? Ah, right.. She was at the bar with Tifa, Rude and Reno. She hadn’t forgotten about her memories of Tifa.. But she tried not to think about it. Looking over to the clock, Elena sighed softly. 1:02pm. Pushing her blonde hair out of her face, she threw her legs over the bed and stood up, stretching unceremoniously as she yawned. Then she was caught off guard by a sudden rumble in her stomach, and she looked around to make sure no one else heard it, “Gotta get something to eat..”
Elena clearly wasn’t a morning person.
After feeding herself and changing into proper attire, Elena plopped down on her couch and flicked on the T.V. She was dressed to go out, since she planned to head to 7th Heaven pretty soon, but it seemed like heading there at 1:45pm was a little too early when she started work at 4. Sure, maybe the memories had triggered her curiosity a little bit and she kind of wanted to see Tifa to confirm or disperse the thoughts, but that could wait couldn’t it?
Click. News. Click. Some comedy show. Click. Chocobo Races. Click. More news..
Well, it never hurt anyone to be a little early sometimes.
Elena turned off the T.V. and grabbed her keys, wallet, and other usual things she always brought with her, just in case. She grabbed a jacket, put on some comfortable shoes, headed out the door and locked her apartment behind her.
Or at least she would have.
Once she stepped out of her apartment door, she heard the phone inside ring. “Ugh. Perfect timing.” She rolled her eyes and went back into the apartment reluctantly. Elena shut the door behind her and kicked off her shoes carelessly, knowing she'll be putting them on again soon anyways. She nearly tripped on those shoes, but she regained her balance before she could hurt herself on any kinds of corners. She finally reached the phone and she took a breath so she wouldn’t sound rushed, then soon picked it up, holding it to her ear.
“Elena here.” She said into the phone, but inwardly, she was thinking, ‘Why couldn’t they have just called my PHS?’
“Hi, Elena? This is Tifa.” The other voice said with uncertainty. Tifa had never called her for anything other than work before, so this was rather new for her as well. Tifa had actually been staring at the phone for a few minutes after she ate, then she went to see if Denzel and Marlene were all right, just to pass some time. When they dismissed themselves to play, Tifa was left alone again, and with all those strange memories.. She just had to call someone. And who better to call than Elena?
Elena, however, was pleasantly surprised. She smiled to herself and leaned against the wall, ‘Well that explains it. She doesn’t know my PHS number.’ “Ah, hey, Tifa. What’s up?” No matter how hard Elena tried to stop it, she was happy that the girl called. All of those strangely mixed emotions and feelings were starting up again and she tried to distract herself from the feelings and focus on the conversation. So she started playing with the telephone cord.
“Well..” Tifa started, her side having a cordless phone, so she didn’t have anything to distract herself with, “I was wondering if you wanted to come early today and um..” She paced around and started to play with a loose lock of hair, trying to think of a reason. She really just wanted some company or someone to talk to..
“I-I’d love to! Actually, I was..” Elena stopped herself from admitting that she was heading out the door right now. The Turk was too proud and she didn’t want to seem too eager to go over there, “I wasn’t doing anything right now. So I’ll probably be there in a few minutes.” Elena smirked to herself at that. ‘Nice save,’ She cheered in her mind.
“..Help me set up for-“ Tifa continued her explanation, as she sat in her desk chair, still fiddling with that lock of hair. Then she realized what Elena said. Her eyes widened and she smiled, stammering out as she sat up straight, “Oh! Yeah, sure! I’ll see you soon then.”
“Yeah, see you!” Elena hung up the phone and sighed with relief..
But, that relaxed look didn’t last very long because seconds later she was jumping up and down like a giddy teenager who just got a date.
Once she was finished her little outburst of glee, she leaned against the wall again and laughed a little to herself. Now she didn’t have to make up some stupid excuse as to why she was going there two hours earlier than she needed to. Taking a deep breath to regain composure, Elena pushed herself off of the wall and walked over to her shoes again. She had a self-satisfied smile on her lips as she put them on again and she was soon out the door.
She locked her apartment behind her and walked down the hallway with a bit of a bounce in her step.
It seemed like today was going to be a good day.
Once Tifa hung up, she exhaled a breath she had been holding in. She put the cordless phone down on the desk and laid her head down beside it, smiling to herself, “Well, that was difficult.” Simply put, she couldn’t get Elena out of her head. And without anything to concentrate on, Tifa was going to go insane from the numerous confusing, albeit intriguing thoughts.
Agh, what am I doing? Even if I talk to her about it, what would I say? ‘I’ve been having weird flashbacks of you and me making out’?
Tifa had to admit that she felt a painful tightness in her chest and a pounding in her brain whenever she thought about the moments between Elena and herself. And the more she thought about it, the more vividly and frequently they came.
But those never happened! I’m probably just making it up as I go along.. I’m straight! I liked Cloud before and got over him, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like men!
Biting her lip instinctively as the scene flashed again in her mind, Tifa tried to fight it and convince herself that she was straight. Straight straight straight. Not attracted to women and not attracted to Elena. All right, so maybe she hadn’t liked any guys lately.. But it’s not like that has anything to do with Elena!
Then, another flashback returned even more viciously than before.
There was a cold sensation beating down on Tifa’s back. Her surroundings told her that she was in a shower, but the image in front of her spoke volumes of other things. A younger, teenaged, naked Elena stood in front of her with a grin on her face, “Are those injections having other effects on you, Tifa?” A giggle, then Elena’s eyes seemed to wander from Tifa’s eyes down to Tifa’s chest. “I think they’ve gotten even bigger.”
Even though Tifa didn’t realize it, she knew there was a blush on her face at the comment, “I hope not.. I already had to request bigger bras last week.” Tifa replied in a younger voice than her usual one, sticking her tongue out at the girl. From the looks of it, Elena was about the same height as her at the time. Tifa then decided to take initiative and snaked her arms around Elena’s waist, saying with a smirk, “Plus, I think it’s normal, since they have the same kind of effect on your..” She lightly pinched the girl’s behind, causing Elena to jump a bit.
A pink tint colored Elena’s cheeks and she narrowed her eyes at Tifa good-naturedly, “Speak for yourself, double-jug.”
“Same to you, junk-trunk.” And before she knew it, Elena forced Tifa onto the shower wall and-
“Anyone here?” A female voice called into the bar.
Tifa was promptly pulled out of her daze. She could feel her heart hammering against her chest and she had to take a moment to catch her breath. Quickly clearing her throat, even though she didn’t currently trust her own voice, Tifa called out, “Upstairs!” Once she realized that it was Elena coming up the stairs, she quickly checked her hair in the reflection of the picture frame that sat on her desk. When she decided she looked presentable enough, she stood up and met Elena halfway.
“Never been up here before,” Elena said as she looked around. Initially, she was excited to come to see Tifa, but now that she was within 6 meters of her, she honestly didn’t know what to say. She even tried not to make eye contact, since she knew that it would only trigger even more of those memories.
Though, it seemed easier said than done.
Elena looked around at the picture frames on the walls, then into a room that contained teddy bears and knight figurines. That must have been where Denzel and Marlene slept..
Elena tried to fight it, but her eyes were slowly wandering back to Tifa, and once she did look at her, her eyes took in the sight before her eagerly. Sure, Tifa was dressed in her usual attire, the sleeveless black and white top with the black shorts with a semi-apron on. Elena wasn’t quite sure if it was meant to be a skirt or if Tifa just cut up an apron to make something like that.. Either way, Tifa looked great. Sadly, this outfit was a little more concealed than the one Elena first saw her in, but.. ‘Stop thought process there!’ Elena commanded her mind; even though she still recalled the mini-skirt that Tifa once wore, even when she kicked so high, so often. And the white top that, if wet, would probably.. ‘STOP THOUGHT PROCESS!’
“Really?” Tifa started, not noticing, or maybe not wanting to notice, how Elena looked at her. Then with her usual hostess instinct, she started to give a tour, “Right in there,” She motioned to the room beside her own, “Is Marlene and Denzel’s room.”
She then pointed to the room across the hall without needing to move, “And that’s the bathroom.”
There wasn’t really much to tour at all.
Elena shook the thoughts out of her mind and looked at each respective room as Tifa talked about them.
Then, Tifa moved aside so Elena could see past her, “And this is my room.”
Elena took a tentative step into her room and looked around, “Not bad,” She said with a bit of a grin. Then she added on quickly, “Considering you live over a bar and all.” ‘Ugh. Smooth, Elena.’ Stupid pride getting in the way. Then she spotted the second bed and she asked, “Oh, someone else lives here too?” Elena tried to hide the bit of jealous venom in her voice, but her mind told her that she had no reason to be jealous. Nope, no reason at all.
Tifa mock-glared at Elena because of the comment about her living conditions, but shrugged a little and shook her head. It was just Elena being Turk-like. Her mind then wandered back to Cloud for a moment, once he was mentioned, and she watched the bed as she replied, “Cloud used to live here for a bit, then he left to do his own business. I don’t think he’ll be coming back this time, except to use us as an inn or something.”
That statement seemed to calm Elena’s nerves somewhat, but she found herself scanning Tifa’s face for any signs of unrequited love as she talked about Cloud. Finding none, Elena inwardly sighed with relief. “Well, if it’s him, I’m sure he’ll be alright.”
“Yeah, you’re right.” Tifa walked over to her own bed and sat on it, putting her hands under her knees and swinging her legs a bit. Tifa, herself, was also trying to avoid looking at Elena. With that shower memory fresh in her mind, she didn’t know what kind of images she’d see if she even looked at the girl.
Elena shrugged a little and walked over to Tifa’s desk, looking at the pictures on the wall. They were of all of the members of AVALANCHE, yet Elena still scanned for her own face on the wall. It wasn’t so much to confirm if the memories were true, but more to see if she was more than just a regular at the bar or a rival or.. Whatever, there were none there anyways. She leaned over slightly to get a closer look at the ones on her desk. Of course Tifa wouldn't have any pictures of her. “Pictures are a great way to keep memories safe, huh?”
Tifa nodded mutely as she gave up her attempts to not look at the girl. While the pictures on the wall distracted Elena, Tifa found her own eyes wandering over the girl’s body. She definitely never noticed how slim and toned Elena looked without the suit on before now, and normally she’d wear an apron over her clothes when she worked as a waitress..
When Elena leaned over to look at the pictures on the desk, Tifa got a clearer view of her from the side. The sun from the window on the opposite side of Elena just seemed to add to the effect, giving her a kind of unearthly glow. Afraid that she was thinking of an overused cliché, Tifa refrained from laughing at herself when she thought, ‘Especially with the blonde hair, she looks almost like an angel.’ And even though she berated herself for noticing, just like in her memory, Tifa noticed Elena had all the curves in all of the right places. Particularly around..
That was when she realized she was leaning forward in order to see Elena’s behind. That was also where she realized she couldn’t because Elena turned towards her and waved a hand in front of her face as Tifa did to her the night before, “You all right?”
“Huh?” Tifa blinked a couple of times, then quickly sat up straight, shaking her head to get it out of the gutter, “Yeah, sorry. I was just thinking about something..” Tifa tried harder to get the thoughts out of her mind. So she said the first thing that came into it, “Why don’t you have a seat? It’s only two o’clock, so we’ve got plenty of time before the bar opens.” Plenty of time for what, Tifa? Well, regardless, Tifa motioned to the spot beside her on the bed.
Elena knew that it would be just as easy to sit in the desk chair, but she decided against it, for reasons she didn’t quite know or want to admit, and sat beside Tifa on the bed.
“You mentioned memories, right?” Tifa asked, leaning forward and resting her elbows on her knees. It was clear that she was debating with herself whether or not to ask Elena about the strange memories she’s been having, but that was the whole point of Tifa inviting her over early, so..
“Yeah, I don’t know, I was just rambling,” Elena said, also seeing the opening to ask about the headaches and memories. “I just think you’re lucky you have pictures to remember things by,” Elena played with the fabric of her own shirt for a moment, and then looked up at Tifa to see her listening intently, “I don’t have any pictures of myself when I was younger. At least I don’t think I do.” Judging from how many pictures Tifa had on the wall, Elena assumed she had albums of herself as a child and teenager.
Tifa thought about that for a moment, “You know.. I don’t have too many from before Meteor.” She only owned one picture of herself from before she came to Midgar, and it was of herself, Sephiroth and Zack. She didn’t have any clear memories of anything after that, and no pictures to confirm anything from between the time she left Mt. Nibel to meeting Barret and starting 7th Heaven. And she also didn’t particularly want to remember the time they bombed the reactors.. “I like having pictures of good memories, I guess.”
Tifa sat up and turned her body so both of her legs were pulled in and she was facing Elena, “Hey.. Have you ever felt like..” She started, not quite sure how to word her thoughts, “..Like you might have had amnesia at some point?”
Elena’s eyes widened at that comment, but she just nodded wordlessly to allow Tifa to further explain what she meant by that.
“Like maybe you’re remembering things you don’t recall ever doing? Or saying?” Tifa tucked a loose lock of her own hair behind her ear and glanced down at her own knee. She had to gather her resolve, preparing herself for either learning the truth or being looked at as insane, before looking back up into Elena’s eyes. And once their eyes made contact..
They both felt surges run through their minds, both experiencing a blinding headache simultaneously. Elena shut her eyes tightly and lowered her head, while Tifa brought a hand to her temple and shut her eyes as well. When the headaches cleared, they looked at each other again with confused looks.
“Tifa,” Elena started, leaning in a little as she tried to make sure her mind wasn’t playing tricks on her, “How did we first meet?” She asked, watching the girl carefully.
“We were in Mythril Cav-“
“Think harder,” Elena interrupted, urging her to remember further.
Tifa stared at Elena with lost eyes, not breaking contact with Elena’s eyes as if she was searching Elena’s mind instead of her own. Then the flashback came, a wave hitting her brain as she held her head tightly.
“Sergeant Lockhart, you’ve been assigned a new roommate,” A Shinra guard stated as he saluted Tifa, who was lying on her bed casually since it was her day off.
“Really? I thought they wanted me by myself,” Tifa said more to herself than the guard, “Well, let her in.”
The guard left the room and Elena stepped in, saluting Tifa. “My name is-“
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Don’t be so formal,” Tifa said with a grin as she sat up and looked the girl over, “We’re off duty for now, right? Put that hand down.”
Reluctantly, Elena lowered her hand with a sheepish smile on her face, “Sorry, I’m kind of new at this.”
Tifa smirked, “That much I can see,” then she hopped off of her bed and stepped up to the girl, holding her hand out for a shake, “My name’s Tifa.”
Elena looked at the hand, and then took it into her own, shaking it with a genuine smile on her face, “Elena.”
Tifa’s headache soon wore off and she stared at Elena with a surprised look, “We didn’t meet at Mythril Cave..” She then figured for Elena to ask those kinds of questions, then.. “Have you been remembering weird memories too?” Tifa asked with a bit of urgency.
With wide eyes, Elena nodded, finally confirming she wasn’t going insane, “What happened back then? When did these things take place? Why did we lose our memories?” She subconsciously placed a hand on Tifa’s knee and looked at her with desperate eyes. Elena was desperate for the truth and she was hoping she could find some of it within Tifa, “Were we together? Like.. In love?”
Tifa tried to remember, digging into her mind to see if she could recall. She did know about the feelings she felt when she was with Elena. And with her right next to Tifa, asking her about the past and about them being together, the memories of the feelings and her current emotions were mixing together. Tifa just wished she could give her an answer she was sure about. Her brain ached when she looked at Elena, but she wanted to find out so she dug deeper. Her head pounded even more furiously than ever, and with each pound was a newly revealed memory. And when she tried to remember anything further..
“Hey, Elena.. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but..”
“Don’t make it sound like we’re gonna die, Tif.. I’ll definitely see you again.”
“But.. In case I don’t see you for a while, then.. I just wanted to say that I’d never forget you.”
“Neither will I. No matter what happens, I’ll always remember you.”
“..I love you, Elena.”
“I love you too, Tifa.”
Tifa held her head with her hands feeling as if her head would explode otherwise. The fierce pounding ceased, but a deafening high-pitched tone that reverberated in her ears and the world around her began to spin. Milliseconds later, she forgot the memory, but the sound continued. “Are you okay?” All Tifa could see before falling unconscious was the blurry face of Elena with a panicked look on her features.
“Tifa!” Elena caught the girl in her arms as she fell forward, “TIFA!” She shook the girl a little in an attempt to wake her up, but it proved to be useless. Elena swiftly, yet gently, guided the girl down onto the pillow as she, herself, got off of the bed so Tifa could lay down comfortably. “What’s going on here..?” She asked herself, worry coating her voice.
Sitting on the bedside, Elena watched the girl’s serene, beautiful sleeping face for a moment. A memory came back, but not nearly as intense as the ones Tifa went through.
It was a memory of herself, sitting on Tifa’s bedside in a completely different environment. And she was taking care of a younger, more vulnerable, Tifa.
And just like in the memory, Elena brushed away some of the hair covering Tifa’s eyes, then let her fingers rest on her cheek comfortably. Elena caught herself leaning in, so she pulled her hand back and looked away guiltily. ‘I’m not the type to steal a kiss while she’s asleep.’
Elena then smirked to herself, thinking, ‘So much for saying they were just dreams.’
“..A special mission?”
“Yes, I want you to retrieve an experiment that ShinRa Labs has sent out to test for social capabilities. She’s had memory cleansing and reprogramming, so she may seem rather unwilling to go with you, but I want you to bring her back, regardless. The method you bring her isn’t of importance. I just want her alive. Do you understand, Rude?”
“..Affirmative.” Rude answered, “Who is it that I am going to bring?”
“I’ve sent a fax, I want you to bring her as soon as possible. Judging from previous experiments, the effects of the memory reprogramming should be wearing off. Be careful, she’s very clever, deceitful and very, very dangerous.”
The fax printed on Rude’s side of the line and he looked at the picture. His eyes widened behind his sunglasses, but he couldn’t refuse the order, “I understand. I’ll try to retrieve her as soon as I can.”
“Oh, don’t worry about it today. It’s your day off, after all. Ah, yes, I forgot. Don’t tell your comrades about this, either. I'll send some other Turks to accompany you. That is all.”
After hanging up the phone, Rude fell back onto his couch, took off his sunglasses and stared at the paper in disbelief. “…”