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Styx And Stones By Deborah McNemar

Walt must bring his enemy out of the shadows. Will Serena ever forgive him for using her?

Styx And Stones

A tall blonde woman strolled through the streets of Mexico City, her pale hair coiled away from her face and held in place with two silver sticks. Her classic features and golden Titan tan drew admiring looks. She didn’t seem to notice the attention she garnered but wandered, pausing from time to time to study a trinket through a shop window in the upscale business district. The cream linen suit and soft green silk blouse complimented her fair coloring but, while nice enough to be casual business attire, the soft fabric was indicative of a fashionable tourist. But in a city that lived on tourism, a single woman, no matter how lovely, was no rarity and she was soon forgotten.

Team in place. Phase two. Go.

The voice murmured in her ear and Athene shifted one of the sticks in her hair in answer. The dry air that blew in out of the desert burned at the back of her throat with an acidic bite. Tucking her hands in her back pockets, she sauntered down the street and turned onto a wider way lined with tall office buildings. People dressed in business attire bustled about, the occasional tourist wandering through the mass of bodies, obvious in their casual, colorful clothing.

A tall man with pale hair and grayish blue eyes detached himself from the shadows. His silver gray suit suited him, she thought as he touched her arms with a faint smile that didn’t reach his eyes. Shadows were an appropriate venue for Thanatos.

“Local Enforcement is waiting. All we have to do verify that the meeting is taking place and they will take care of the rest.”

He nudged her toward a building a few yards away and she went, tucking her hand through the crook of his arm. Andrew Fairchild, aka Thanatos, was a handsome man, taller and more striking than Pan, their team lead, and yet, he was less memorable. Just another handsome face in the crowd. It made him perfect for covert insertion. People trusted that face and Death walked through their doors without question. The cool of the marble and gilt foyer enclosed them and the Security at the front moved to intercept them. “Estado de su negocio.”

“Que tenemos arriba de negocios con su jefe,” Thanatos told the man. Athene held her peace. She would give him a chance to do this his way. Her patience was too thin for more than one, though.

“Hoy, no.” Security held up his hands and moved to block their path. “Tendrá que volver mañana.”

Her Spanish wasn’t the best, but she understood that. “The hell I’m coming back tomorrow.”

Her blow took the man just under the ear and he went down like a string-cut marionette.

Thanatos looked down at the fallen Security and shook his head. “You need to work on your people skills.”

“My people skills are just fine.”

“For hostile takeovers, maybe.”

They stepped over the man and headed for the wall of lifts at the back of the foyer, moving a little quicker now. Internal vid should have picked up their less than amiable entry and more Security should be on their way to pick up their fallen comrade. Should. Not every corp had decent security systems or personnel, but she wasn’t willing to risk it. Not when she was this close to answers.

“This isn’t a takeover. It’s a take-back. It requires a specific set of skills and playing nice isn’t one of them.” Thanatos paused beside the lifts and pressed his fingertips to the keypad. There was a moment of silence and then the doors slid open. They stepped inside and took up positions on either side of the doors as the lift began to rise. “I notice you don’t argue the hostile part.”

Athene thought about that and shrugged. “I’m feeling a bit hostile, I suppose.”

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Will be published on 06-August-2015