The Hannah Carmichael Chronicles
The world may think that Zeke is dead at Hannah’s hand, and with their complicated recent history, it wouldn’t be too hard to believe. But how did Hannah and Zeke start? Zeke has already admitted that the start of their relationship was orchestrated to gain an asset, but things changed quickly for him. This very special flashback instalment is a glimpse into how Hannah and Zeke met, and the mission that was started when they did! Enjoy and tune in for the next part of the current day instalments soon!
Zeke sat back in his chair and winced as the woman on stage attempted a karaoke song. He sipped his coke again and glanced around the room. His mark hadn’t come back from the bathroom yet, and he was getting tired of hearing the same song fifty times in a row.
The song ended and the staff member got back up on stage, “Well, thank you Missy for that beautiful rendition of Chandelier by Sia.” He moved his microphone away from his face and leaned towards the man in charge of lyrics, “For the thirtieth time tonight.”
Zeke smiled at the comment only he had heard and sighed. Where was his target?
“Next up we have,” the man paused and looked down at his clipboard, “Hannah Carmichael singing, You Send Me by Sam Cooke.”
Zeke’s ears perked and he sat up straighter. The one person who chose to sing a song that wasn’t top 100 just happened to be his mark. Hannah Carmichael walked up onto the stage with scattered applause from the audience.
Hannah was currently working with CGT, and Zeke had been sent to ‘bump into her’ so he could turn her as an undercover asset. If Hannah did well on this song, Zeke wouldn’t get near her. She was prettier than her file picture and he looked around the room. The men around him were drooling already and he groaned softly.
“What? What’s going on?” Baxter’s voice came through his comms and Zeke cleared his throat, talking low.
“Carmichael is getting up on stage to sing,” Zeke said as the music started to play. This was actually one of his favourite songs. Not many people under forty still listened to this kind of music.
“Darling you, send me.”
Zeke held his breath as Hannah started to sing, a switch from the whiny voices they had heard all night. The whole bar was silent as she sang her song, hitting every note perfectly. When she had finished, the whole place erupted in applause with whistles and hoots over the top.
Hannah bowed slightly and smiled, walking off the stage with humility. Zeke stood and watched as Hannah ducked and weaved through the crowd, avoiding the men coming to congratulate her on her performance.
He followed her eye line to her friend and changed course, heading to the bar where they had been sitting. As he got closer, he watched Hannah from the side, until they were next to each other. Cautiously, Zeke moved closer and bumped into her.
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” He said, smiling sheepishly and stepping back. “Hey, you just sang. You were amazing.”
She narrowed her eyes and smiled, “I suppose you think that this little bump into me was fate then?” She asked, putting her hand on her hip.
He tried not to frown and chuckled, “I don’t know. Perhaps it was.” She was sharper than he thought. She gave him a pity laugh then shook her head and rolled her eyes.
“Every guy in here wants to tell me how amazing I was. I’m not stupid you know.”
He stumbled through his thoughts for a moment, thrown at her response. “Well it seems you’ve caught me out.” Zeke said, crossing his arms and tilting his head. He gave her his most charming smile but she just rolled her eyes.
“It wasn’t hard. Bumping into me on purpose is one of the oldest moves I’ve ever seen.”
He chuckled at that and dropped his hands. “You’re right. I wanted to meet you since before you got up and sang, but I was too chicken while I was sitting by myself.” He extended his hand to shake hers, “I’m Zeke, Zeke Anderson.”
She looked down at his hand then back up at him. She exhaled and shook her head, “Hannah,” she said finally. Hannah moved past him and he walked a step behind her as they reached her friend at the bar.
“Excuse me Miss?” Zeke turned to Hannah’s friend. She pointed at herself and Zeke nodded, “yes you. Would you tell your friend here that I’m really a nice guy?”
Hannah turned and frowned, “Are you still here?” She asked, putting her hands on her hips. He smiled and nodded.
“I’m Stephanie, you’ll have to excuse Hannah here.” Stephanie leaned forward and extended her hand. Hannah pulled it backwards before Zeke could shake it and he smiled, leaning on the bar.
“Why don’t you want to talk to me?” He asked, “Is it because of my height? I’m too tall to talk to right?” He shrunk down a little and Stephanie smiled.
“That must be it, because Hannah has been looking over at your table since you sat down.”
Hannah jabbed Stephanie hard in the ribs and Zeke smiled wider.
“Really?” He asked, trying not to laugh.
Hannah scoffed and looked in the opposite direction. “Don’t get any wrong impressions, there was a reflection on your table from the disco ball.” She pointed to the ceiling where the mirror ball hung over the room, sending light in all directions.
“Oh I see,” He said, stroking his chin. “So you were just looking at the shiny things?”
She turned to him, her eyes fiery. “Hey, I’m not a ditsy blonde you know. If you’re implying that all blondes are stupid, then you are so mistaken I can’t even-“
“Hey, calm down,” Zeke said, standing straighter and trying to look hurt. “I already know you aren’t a ditsy blonde.” He leaned in closer and raised an eyebrow, “Although you did turn me down, so I can’t say too much more than that.”
She moved closer to him, “I didn’t turn you down. You never asked me out.”
He lowered his voice, “Well then, I guess you’ll have to have a drink with me. That way you can show me how smart you are.”
She shook her head and pulled away, rolling her eyes. “Do you think you’re smooth?” She scoffed, “Because you’re not.”
Zeke took a deep breath and glanced over to the front door to where Baxter walked inside. He waved at him and smiled, “It appears my friend is here.” He started walking away then turned, resting his hand on her arm.
“It was nice to meet you, Hannah.” He walked away and met up with Baxter at the other end of the room.
“What was that? I heard you struggling through your comms.” The smile on Baxter’s face was irritating and Zeke shook his head slightly.
“All part of the plan,” He said, taking a seat at the table Baxter had secured.
“Yeah sure,” Baxter said, rolling his eyes. The next singer was finishing their song as Baxter leaned across the table.
“It appears that plan of yours may actually pay off.” He nodded behind Zeke and he turned to see Stephanie walking their way. She waved at them and sat down at their table.
“Can we help you?” Baxter asked, waving her off.
She shrugged, “I think I can help you.” Stephanie said, pointing at Zeke. “Hannah really is interested in you.” She leaned in closer and lowered her voice, “Trust me. She just got out of a serious relationship so she’s just a little jumpy.”
Zeke nodded and smiled.
“Come to a birthday party I’m having next week. I’ll make sure you’re sitting with Hannah. Then you can ask her again.” Stephanie winked and stood, handing him a card. “My address is on there.” She walked away and Zeke held up the card to Baxter, smiling.
Thanks for reading this instalment of the Hannah Carmichael Chronicles! Hannah will be back Next Thursday for the exciting next part of her adventure – we both look forward to seeing you there!