Fiction

HCC (TWENTY-FOUR)

 

Hannah Carmichael Chronicles TWENTY-ONE

 

Your Briefing:

Hannah Carmichael is a spy inside the CGT agency. When her husband Zeke, told her that CGT works for profit and chaos instead of the greater good, she went undercover, reporting to him to take them down. While working with CGT, Hannah is also chasing down her mother, Evelyn Carmichael, who is a known terrorist planning an attack. With a USB drive that Evelyn wants and needs for her next attack, Hannah and her fellow agents and friends Stephanie and Ian were trapped in an underground bunker and left for dead. Newcomer Moroz had been taken out and gunshots were heard above them. When Zeke found Hannah and the others (against his boss’ orders), they were let in on the undercover operation. Will CGT believe what Hannah and the others tell them happened? Will they be able to stop Evelyn? Will Zeke be able to keep his job? Will Hannah and Zeke’s relationship survive?

 

TWENTY-FOUR

The fire was slowing as firefighters contained the blaze. Zeke was sitting in the driver’s seat with Hannah by his side. Stephanie leaned forward, crunching chips next to Zeke’s ear.
“The cops bought the explosion then?” She asked. Zeke nodded and turned the radio up louder. Behind him, Stephanie snorted and moved back into her seat. Zeke glanced in his rear view mirror to where Ian was sitting, arms crossed with the scowl that had been glued to his face since this afternoon.
“These clothes are a close match to what we had on.” Hannah sounded impressed and Zeke smiled.
“Well we have been doing this sort of thing for quite a while.” He said, throwing her a side glance. She stifled a smile and looked back to where Evelyn’s barn used to stand.
“So you’re just going to drop us off somewhere and we find our way back to CGT? Hoping they believe our story?” Ian asked, his voice strained. Zeke sighed,
“Did you believe Hannah when you found her after the raid on CGT?” Zeke smiled as Ian huffed and looked out his window.
“Anthony will believe you because there isn’t an alternative story right now. The explosion will be caught by the news as soon as the reporters we tipped off get here.” Zeke turned in his seat and frowned. “All you have to do is use your training and fake it.”
Beside him, Hannah put a hand on Zeke’s arm and he looked over at her. Her eyes were soft but her mouth was pulled into a small tight smile.
“We’ve got this Zeke.” She said, waiting for him to visibly relax his shoulders. As Zeke pulled the car out of their camouflaged position, he waited until they were a reasonable distance from the barn then parked. He had already told Baxter to go back to the office and distance himself from what he was sure would be a suspension.
As the three CGT agents got out, Hannah leaned in through the window, her elbows resting against the window frame.
“Thanks,” she shrugged with a small smile. “For saving me. Not that I needed it or anything.”
He smiled and tried not to laugh. “Always and Forever.” He said, waiting for her to back away from the car. He watched her grow smaller in his rear view mirror as he drove further away.
Back at the office, Zeke slowly made his way towards his desk. He wasn’t looking forward to the conversation he owed his boss. As he stepped through the elevator doors, he saw Oliver across the room, perched on Zeke’s desk. He was tapping his foot and checking his watch.
Zeke fought the urge to duck into the break room and walked confidently to his boss. When Oliver looked up, he frowned and motioned for Zeke to follow him into his office. As Zeke walked inside, Oliver closed the door behind him.
“Sit.” Oliver’s voice was cold and hard. Zeke took a breath and sat on the chair closest to the door, counting the seconds until his getaway. When Oliver sat behind his own desk, Zeke started to explain but Oliver raised his hand.
“I don’t need to know why. I have a wife too, I can guess.”
Zeke shrunk back into his chair and waited as his boss thought for a moment.
“The higher ups wanted the CGT mess tied up as soon as possible. Now, it seems there are more loose cannons than assets.” Oliver’s mouth twisted and he shook his head.
“Baxter suspiciously arrived just before word of the explosion came through the pipeline.” Oliver stood and moved to the window of his office which looked out to the agents’ desks. “I’ve been informed that Stephanie Winchester and Ian Longford are both now aware of our operation.”
“They’re willing to help, Sir.” Zeke said, straightening in the chair. Oliver spun and narrowed his eyes.
“Loose cannons, Anderson! I could understand recruiting your wife,” he spat the last word and Zeke frowned. He waited silently for Oliver to compose himself. “But we don’t know what these other people’s motives are.”
Zeke sighed. Oliver was right. He watched as Oliver walked to his door and put his hand over the doorknob.
“You’re being suspended for two weeks, pending a review.” He opened the door and Zeke stood, shoulders slumped.
“Baxter, innocent though he is not, will be handling the updates from Hannah Carmichael until further notice.”
Zeke nodded as he was escorted to his desk to collect his personal items. Searching through his desk drawer, Zeke found the paperweight Hannah had given him on their first anniversary. Baxter walked up to him and patted him on the shoulder.
“Don’t worry man. I’ll make sure Hannah doesn’t get into any more trouble.”
Zeke smiled and nodded, “I know you will.” He pulled his shoulder bag over his body and winked.
“Besides, now I have two weeks of time on my hands.” He shook Baxter’s hand and started walking away.
“Who knows what I’ll get up to?” Zeke said as he walked towards the elevator and turning to look back. Baxter was subtly reading the note he had slipped into his hand, instructing him to tell Hannah to meet him at their spot.

 

Author’s Note:

Thanks for reading this week’s instalment of the Hannah Carmichael Chronicles! Hannah will be back next Thursday for the next part of her adventure – we both look forward to seeing you there!

Christy Grace

 

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