Killing Time OST – 9c – Pattern

<< 9b – Pattern

Despite the harshness of the bad news, Vexx’s good news did ease my mood. He noticed it and the rest of his explanations lost its tension to give way to excitement. Apparently, the bits and pieces of compromising information were scattered throughout Merrilyn Tech’s complex network. The fragmentation made it impossible to find data unless you specifically searched for it with the appropriate codename.
“Sounds like Nathan Blode to me,” I said. Vexx’s smile confirmed my impression; besting the security expert was his favorite pastime.
In a nutshell, Merrilyn’s higher-ups accessed the sensitive information because they knew what they needed. Even then, each VP had so specific a list of tasks that they could never put it all together which squashed the possibilities of betrayal.
“There is one failsafe in case all the sensitive data needs to be transported elsewhere while new security measures are put in place.”
Apparently, said failsafe was a device that could be plugged in a specific, highly guarded terminal. It then automatically sought key information, downloaded it and erased it from the main network.
“So we steal the device.”
Vexx shook his head at my suggestion. Things couldn’t be that simple, could they?
“I’d rather not try anything before I can examine the device itself and figure out the security around it. It’s not as if they advertised its existence.”
“So you want to be my plus one at the ball.”
Vexx nodded and smiled.
“Nightshade can’t risk being seen there or the whole security protocol might be reset,” he said as he confirmed the transfer of the whole case file to my computer. I’d read it later.
“She can’t be seen in town period. It’s too hot here these days.” The FBI agent might have been cute, but I didn’t plan to have a second date with him.
I glanced at the clock and grabbed Vexx’s arm.
“Watcha –”
“– We just have the time to order you a suit,” I explained so his knees would unbuckle and let him get up the stairs. “You need to look the part.” I couldn’t afford to wait one more day or Meredith might refuse the order. “You can explain the rest of your plan once that’s taken care of.” If Vexx’s outfit and mine didn’t match with each other it would draw unnecessary attention.
Damned be the rich buzzards.
Vexx reluctantly followed me up to my bedroom where I grabbed a fresh set of clothes. In the bathroom, I bandaged my hands properly, changed and brushed my hair. My return stopped Vexx’s ogling of the paintings on my walls.
“I’ve never been in the house this long,” he said, still looking around. “It’s kind of intimidating.”
I laughed and pulled him in the office. Three taps later, Meredith’s face appeared on the hologram.
“Hello Miss Beyer! Am I to understand you’ve found you’re plus one for the ball?”
“You bet!” I pressed myself against Vexx and planted a kiss on his cheek. After stiffening awkwardly, he relaxed and wrapped his arm around my waist.
“Gosh darling! What happened to your hands?” I suspected she might ask.
“Some stupid porter slammed my trunk on them. Can you believe it?” I added the gossip-required amount of disbelief.
“What a filthy slummer!” Meredith said, outraged. What outraged me was the way the derogatory name for the people living in the slums became a common insult. I dug my nails in Vexx’s shoulder a bit too much but kept myself from giving Meredith a piece of my mind.
“Luckily, my sweetie’s taking care of me tonight. Think you can dress him up?” I was suddenly eager for this conversation to end.
“Sure!” Meredith giggled and blushed when Vexx smiled to her. “Take off your shirt young man.” It was my turn to giggle as he eyed me questioningly.
“Forgive him. He’s not used to this,” I said, pulling the loose t-shirt over Vexx’s head so the computer could take precise measurement of his figure. Meredith purred. What was with her tonight?
“It’s a good thing,” she smiled. “He’s no gold digger.”
After the rocky start, ordering a suit for Vexx turned out to be the highlight of my day. He tried to hide his uneasiness but couldn’t fool us. Meredith cooed him through the process, giggling every time he made a first timer’s mistake.
That’s what you’ll wear?” Vexx said when the holographic representation of me in my evening dress appeared next to his to confirm our outfits were appropriately assorted.
“I know, right?” Meredith sighed. “I tried to convince her to lose some fabric but she’d rather look like a prude.”
Vexx swallowed hard and looked at me sideways. I couldn’t help my grin.
“Don’t let your jaw drop at the party,” I teased. He’d seen enough magazines’ covers to know tech stars wore very little clothes on the red carpet; imagining such clothes on a person he knew seemed to alter his appreciation.
“I’ll behave.” He winked which summoned an arpeggio of giggles on the hologram.
“Thanks Meredith,” I said, swiftly hanging up the video conference as I leaned closer to Vexx. She would think I got carried away and spread the rumor of my torrid new passion. In fact, I just reached behind the hacker to grab his shirt and returned it to him. He fumbled with it for a few seconds before he pulled it over his head.
“This feels weird,” he said, still half hidden by the fabric.
“Get use to it. We’ll need to take it up a notch.” I opened the bottom drawer of my desk and grabbed the bottle of bourbon I kept there.
“What?” Vexx finally emerged from his t-shirt. Only to realize he put it on backwards. I bit my lower lip to swallow a chuckle.
“There’s only one way a plebeian won’t spark too many questions.” Two glasses joined the bourbon on my desk. I poured a generous gulp of alcohol in each. “We need to be head over heels.”
If the puppy dog look was any indication, Vexx hadn’t thought his whole plan through. I smiled in what I hoped to be a reassuring way, fished a couple of ice cubes in the mini-fridge and pushed a glass toward the hacker. He finally had his t-shirt straight and picked up the glass. We toasted.
“So, honey, what’s the plan?”
“Isn’t that the pet name for people you intend to kill and-dash-or have sex with?”
I grinned and took another sip. This game would be awesome.
I liked when my mood swings ended on a high.

10a – Dance >>

About Aheïla

Somewhere in Quebec City, Aheïla works as a Game Design Director by day and writes by night. Known for her blue hair, unyielding dynamism and tasty cooking (quails, anyone?), she’s convinced “prose is the new crack”. She satisfies her addiction daily on The Writeaholic’s Blog and weekly on Games' Bustles View all posts by Aheïla

6 responses to “Killing Time OST – 9c – Pattern

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