I'm behind him on the bike, watching the empty streets of Pearl City. Him, a perfect stranger.
The wind makes my body quiver. I'm wearing a simple t-shirt while he has a leather jacket. “Where are we going?” I try to speak as loud as possible so that he hears me. He slowly turns his head and smirks, “Patience young lady, patience.” Soon we were outside the capital which I have left only once to check on my mother in Green City.
The stranger is driving fast, making me wonder if he's not afraid to die or worse— get fined. But he doesn’t look scared at all, unlike me. It's not my first time on a motorbike, Jacob had one, but not as expensive as the one I’m riding right now. We used to go on long rides along the river every Sunday, especially when it's sunny. Jacob and I practically never had time because of our studies, but we would always make some time for both of us. This time, it's a Monday and I'm riding with a guy I know nothing about. It would have been exciting if it happened to me a few years ago, but my actual situation makes it look like I'm just making things worse. How can I trust him? I don't know anything about him, not even his name.
We leave the highway and head to what looks like an abandoned village. There's are no lights inside the small houses and the lamppost is barely illuminating the street. “Where the hell are we?” I asked, surprised not to see anyone outside.
“You'll see in a few minutes.” he simply answers.
“No, I want to know now!”
The guy suddenly stops the motorbike and stares at me, “If you don't trust me, you can leave now before it's too late.” he says with a serious tone, making me gulp and shut up. I don't know what to do; if I leave, I will have nowhere to stay, no money to pay a ticket to Green City and I will surely get arrested. I clear my throat and try not to mask my fear. “Alright, let's go.” I hear him scoff before starting the bike. Bastard.
Later I could finally see lights coming from the forest. I spot a large building in the middle of a never-ending field and I gasp when I see all the Lamborghini, Bugatti and Maserati parked outside. I don't know who the guy is working for, but this company must pay handsomely. The building's very modern, it looks like a cut out from the Architecture Digest Magazine.
He stops the motorbike in front of the door. It's calm outside, the street lights are reflecting on the cars, making them look brighter and way more expensive than my own life. “Follow me.” the stranger interrupts my thoughts. I look at him and frown because of that smirk— he never stops.
I follow him as he stops in front of the entrance door and opens it with his fingerprint— fancy. I get inside and that’s when I completely lose it. I the exterior is great; the interior is breathtaking.
The grey marble floor shines, the walls are painted white which makes the reception even wider. Flat screens are hung all along the walls, some showing a list of names I don’t recognize, others show the news and the rest a music channel. Speaking of music, the English version of Adagio sung by Lara Fabian is playing— I love it.
Men and women in elegant black suits are walking, a tablet in their hands. All of them look very young, perhaps the same age as me. Welcome back sir, is what they say to the man who brought me.
“Welcome to the Bullet Agency.” I hear him say.
I raise an eyebrow, “What is this exactly?” I didn't have the chance to get an answer when a man with a strange orange hair approach us with the most charming smile. He's wearing a white shirt with rolled-up sleeves showing his veiny arms. “Welcome back, William.”
William? So, that's the bastard's name.
“Thanks, Jayden.” William smiles to his friend, who stares at me, “A newbie?” he asks.
“I must introduce you, of course.” Says William, “That’s Keira.” he stares at me, “And this is Jayden.”
I snort, “What an original introduction!”
Jayden stares at his friend and laughs, “You’ve got a sassy one.”
William rolls his eyes. “Jayden is the one in charge of the newbies, you can trust him,” he tells me. Look at my life. I’ve never imagined that I’d have to trust complete strangers to save my butt.
“Keira, isn't it?” Jayden puts his arm around my shoulders, surprising me. “Trust your man, I'll make your life brighter now!” he exclaims.
I frown and look around me, whistling, “That’s fancy. The CEO must be a billionaire or something.”
William and Jayden chuckle. “You mean this guy over here?” the orange-haired puts his arm around his friend's shoulders. “He's filthy rich indeed.”
I nearly choke on my saliva. “What?!” I shout, making everyone stare at me weirdly. “You're the CEO?” William nods with a smirk, “And Jayden is the vice president.” My eyes grow wider as I watch them looking at each other proudly. I can't believe these kids are already successful and rich at their twenties.
William leaves because he’s staring and I stay alone with Jayden who asks me to follow him. We walk in the hallways with large windows overlooking the garden. “Already a favourite spot.” I think to myself.
“Where are you from Keira?” asks Jayden, interrupting my thoughts.
He smiles, “We have many agents from Green City.”
“Tell me, what kind of company is this?” I ask, hoping he’d finally appease my curiosity.
“We’re secret agents, we do a lot of things.”
I frown, “Secret agents?”
He smiles again and ruffles my hair, “I'll explain everything to you tomorrow Keira. I'm tired now.”
We arrive at a large dorm where dozens of beds occupy the entire space. It looks like a mixed room, there are men and women sleeping, while some are reading books and some beds are still empty.
“Your bed is beside mine Keira.” I follow him to the end of the dorm where stand two empty single beds. “You can take a shower if you want, it's behind that door over there. I'll give you new clothes and a uniform tomorrow morning.”
When I wake up the next morning, I realize I’m the only one left in the large room. I stretch my arms and legs before I spot clothes on my bed; a white shirt, black trousers, underwear, socks and black leather shoes. I don't know why I got so excited to see clothes when I left a lot of them in my wardrobe. I get up and head to the bathroom to wash my face and brush my teeth.
The bathroom is as fancy as the rest of the building. The mirrors are large and the sinks are with black marble. The showers are equipped with everything; shampoo, body scrub, gels— everything is ready. I know that prison showers have nothing to do with this.
The cafeteria is as big as the dorm. The agents are eating and chatting with each other. I chuckle when I spot Jayden, whose bright hair is hard to miss.
“Good morning!” he exclaims. “Sit here!” he pats the empty seat beside him. I wonder why he's eating alone. “What time is it?” I ask, rubbing my neck.
“2 pm. It's alright, you must have had a rough weekend. Sit here, I'll get your tray.”
I stare at people around me; they're laughing and joking with their partners. Some look tired and others are in a hurry. Well, at least they look happy, which is the most important thing. I really hope I will find my happiness too someday.
“Here is your food.” Jayden comes back with a smile.
“Thanks.” I smile and don't waste a single second to attack my steak and veggies. Someone calls him and I widen my eyes when I spot a girl approaching, looking like a supermodel. I'm not a fashion expert, but I can recognize the famous tiger patterns, this girl is wearing Gucci from head to toe. She’s also quite pretty with her tall figure, her black hair, her almond-shaped eyes and thin lips. “Good morning Vicky, that’s Keira.” I hear Jayden say.
“Newbie?” asks Vicky as she looks at me with a raised eyebrow. “Who have you killed?” I freeze.
“Vicky!” Jayden scolds her. “Be polite.”
“How do you know?” I stare at her with wide eyes.
She frowns as she looks at Jayden, “You still haven't told her?”
“Tell me what?” I ask.
Jayden sighs and nervously rubs the back of his neck. “I did it a thousand times before, but I always feel nervous. Let me explain to you, do you see these people?” he points to the agents. “Each one of them killed someone dear to them. William told me what happened to you.” he stares at me with a sad smile. “Everyone here understands you.”
I open my eyes once again to stop thinking. I turn my head and I see Jayden lying on his bed. I was too drowned in my memories that I didn’t hear him arrive. I sit and take the jacket I was wearing when I came here. I search in the pockets and find my mother’s picture. I lie down and stare at her smiling face. I remember how sad she was when I left Green City after high school when I promised her that I would study well, find a good job and buy her a bigger house. I also promised that I would call her every day, but I didn’t do any of it. I can’t even imagine her state now that her daughter’s face appears day and night on the television.
Later I head to the cafeteria and everyone stops whatever they’re doing to look at me, searching for any bruise or scar on my body. “Are you alright?” Some agents I don’t know ask me.
The next morning, I wake up earlier as I have my first training session with Kyle. I quickly put on my gym shorts and t-shirt to head to the cafeteria. I find the four of them sitting together again, their laughs so loud they could be heard in the entire space.
“The Pearl City Police are still looking for a young student who killed her two friends. We are asking anyone who happened to witness or see anything suspicious to head the station.”
We get in the elevator and find two young women wearing short dresses, surely arriving from a party. They start whispering to each other while looking at the Black Tiger. They are eyeing him from head to toe and I can feel them talking about how hot he looks with his messy hair. They are drooling over him, but he cares less about them. He keeps a straight face, his eyes only staring at the doors. The girls are arguing about who’s going to talk to him first.
“Boyfriend?!” the two girls widen their eyes. “I thought you were—Sorry.” they smile shyly and disappear between the crowd.
Vicky is throwing a pool party, making me wonder if there is a pool inside the building. It’s too big that I didn’t have the chance to see everything. I hear her speak with Jayden but I can’t hear their entire conversation as my mind is too busy thinking about my first mission. I’ve got to do things I’ve never had the chance to do before, like riding a very expensive motorcycle and spending the night in a fancy five-star hotel. The bad side of it was that we had to infiltrate a stranger’s room. I don’t know how to feel about it, to be honest. I know it’s illegal and wrong, but from what the Black Tiger has