Ten Years Later
“Don’t let my baby fall,” Natasha yells out to her husband. It still amazes her sometimes that she had become not only a wife but a mother. She couldn’t image ever living without them or how she lived so long without this type of love.
“Well with all this gear you got on her she won’t feel a thing,” Sam teased his wife as he helped their daughter balance herself on her new bike. Brittany just turned five years old and she had been sure she wanted a new bike, with no training wheels.
Sam couldn’t be more for it throwing in a pair of roller skates for his daughter as well which they would be trying out soon also. Natasha on the other hand just wanted to be able to swaddle her again while providing a warm bottle after a Johnson & Johnson lavender night time bath.
Immediately after she gave birth to Brittany, Natasha felt what all her ex comrades from the CIA had been talking about whenever they had become new parents over the years. The love they felt for this new little person, the need they felt to always protect this defenseless little person had been unmatched. The knowledge their jobs gave them of the things in this world such as sex trafficking and the drug world that they had to protect them from heightened that love. Watching Sam and Brittany she felt that love and need to protect for both of them. They were all she has ever had or wanted. Not growing up in her own loving home it felt good to provide and become a part of one.
But even as she watched them she couldn’t help but think about the phone call she had received two days ago. The call that threatened to interrupt her whole world. A notification of the early release of DeMarcus Cummins, apparently ten years had been enough time for the murder of his friends and attempted assault on Natasha. Marcus had been accused of convincing his friends to invade Natasha’s home causing their deaths. The courts charged and convicted him with three counts of involuntary manslaughter, kidnapping, possession of a weapon and attempted assault.
In the years that Marcus has been away Natasha had desperately tried to forget that unforgettable night. She had killed plenty of men and women over the years so the death of those men didn’t bother her. It has been the constant thoughts of what they wanted to do to her and what she had known they had done to countless other women. Women who couldn’t protect themselves. Women who either didn’t report it or weren’t believed. It bothered Natasha to think that women were out there ashamed of something these men did to them or the possibility that a woman is no longer with us because of what these men may have done to her.
If the police hadn’t arrived, knocking just after the last man’s body hit the ground, Marcus would have been exempt from standing any trial. Natasha would have killed him because that’s what instinct told her to do. Even if they were just dumbass men, unlike the national threats she had been accustomed to putting down.
Following the trial Natasha sold every piece of unbloodied furniture she had and got rid of every article of clothing from the week she shared with Marcus. She cleaned blood from where she could, had the carpet lifted and walls painted before putting her home on the market. Again it wasn’t the death of those men that bothered her, she just never stayed anywhere too long after gun battles.
Her ex boss offered to change her name again but she had grown used to Natasha. Besides Marcus wasn’t a real threat. She had become someone new plenty of times before consuming more identities than she cared to remember. So she took her name and moved to Miami.
For months Natasha enjoyed the beautiful city alone. She had been hired at an accounting firm as a CPA to fill her days. Bought a house that she spent her evenings painting and decorating.
Love had been the furthest thing from her mind. After her last male-female encounter she just wasn’t interested in getting to know someone, to trust someone. But then Sam walked into the firm needing help with his books from his towing company. Natasha didn’t pay him much mind but his eyes stayed on her. For weeks she avoided him until an appreciation party for clients at the firm. Conversation started and before she knew it she had fallen in love, married and giving birth to a beautiful bouncing babygirl. Thing is that at no point did she tell her husband what she really did before working in an accounting firm, for all he knew that is the only work his wife has ever had.
Sam didn’t know about Natasha’s previous training or occupation. Even after they were married and she had been allowed to tell him she still decided not to, it had been a life she wanted to get away from. She knew that it would be seen as a lie. She knew that it could make her husband re-evaluate who he had married. But right now she knew the luxury of keeping this secret had come to an end if she intended on protecting her family.
Initially Natasha didn’t worry about Marcus getting out or having to protect her family from him. She put him in the bucket with the other chauvaunistic males who liked to abuse women but couldn’t stand up to a man. But with the phone calls she has received lately with the caller continuously hanging up on her. Then calling her back two sometimes three times in a row. Even if he wanted to come after her she didn’t think him smart enough to actually find her. But he had and all she could think about had been how to protect her family. There are only a few days left until Marcus’s release date so she had to say something to her husband soon.
“Look mommy,” Brittany yells proud that her dad had let her go, allowing her to ride on her own. As much as Natasha wanted to shelter her daughter she knew her daughter to be too much like her. Even at five she demanded independence always letting her parents know, ‘I got it.’
Sam came and stood next to his wife wrapping an arm around her before planting a kiss on her temple. He knew something was bothering her just like he knew she thought she had been hiding it well.
“You know you are going to have to talk to me about what’s bothering you.”
“What do you mean,” Natasha asks innocently.
“You think I don’t see something is bothering you?”
Before Natasha could answer Brittany rode over toward them bumping into her dad’s leg.
“No worries baby I think I will survive.”
“Time to head back in,” Natasha states. “We still need dinner and somebody’s got to get ready for school tomorrow.”
“Okay,” Brittany pouts. “One more ride,” she asks looking up at her parents hopefully.
“To the second light post and back,” Sam interjects. “Your mom’s right.”
“Okay. Be right back,” she says turning before either of them could say different. Struggling with her balance a little as she starts off she gets steady on her own.
“You’re right we should talk after Brittany goes to bed.”
“Should I be worried,” Sam asks.
“No,” Natasha answers truthfully because she would be handling it.
Later that night as Sam puts Brittany to bed, Natasha prepares a mood that she hopes will calm her husband. A mood that will settle any anxiety he may have from learning that someone wants to kill his wife. Or the shock of learning that his wife used to kill people. Maybe after they get through this she could tell him about the other threat to her life, the threat that gave him Natasha.
Candles were lit giving a glow to their bedroom’s sitting area, bottle of wine and wine glasses. Natasha showered and put on something more comfortable before sitting and nervously awaiting for her husband to join her. Palms sweating, heart racing she thought of where to begin. A slight chuckle escaped her as she thought of the number of people she has killed yet she is more scared now than in any of those moments.
When Sam comes in Natasha hands him a glass of wine before taking a gulp from her own. Sam didn’t know what to do or think so he did the same wishing it was a beer or shot of Hennessey.
“Do you love me,” he asks. “Just tell me that.”
“Of course,” Natasha answers touching her palm to her husband’s cheek. “It’s nothing like that,” she adds taking a deep breath. “I may have to ask you that after this conversation.”
Sam cradled his wife under his arm, he didn’t think there could be anything she could do or say to make him take his love away from her.
“So you know I left home at eighteen but I didn’t go straight to college. Instead I enlisted in the army.”
“OK,” Sam answers knowing that can’t be it.
“At some point I did start attending classes during downtimes not sure if I wanted to major in law or accounting. I was really indecisive. Bout three years after my army training I was approached by the CIA,” she told him, sitting up to look at her husband. “They had taken notice to my rifle skills as well as other guns in training. They had also taken notice to my grades and the classes I had been getting taking.”
Natasha went on to tell her husband about her training. Told him about some of her assignments working undercover at law and accounting firms right before taking someone’s life. It became important for her to make him understand as much as she loved him she had killed people.
“Well that clears up a lot,” Sam blurts out.
“What do you mean,” Natasha asked looking at her husband stunned.
Smiling Sam explains, “You just like and have more guns than any woman I have ever known. I never believed that it was just a simple liking as you tried to say. Tosh your amount of weapons, the knives, you have brass knuckles that’s not normal chick shit.”
“So why did you marry me, knowing I was lying?”
“I didn’t exactly know you were lying,” he answers with a shrug. “But I was convinced you weren’t a murderer. Not after you convinced me to get a gun and lock it up only in a place for me. If you were going to murder me I didn’t think you would arm me.”
Tears came to Natasha’s eyes as she remembered what else she needed to say.
“There’s more,” she states looking into her husband’s eyes.
Worry spread over his face. He thought the guns and CIA assassin had been it. He could handle that.
Squeezing his hand Natasha begins the other half of her truth. Telling her husband about meeting and dating a seemingly nice man named Marcus. Telling how while she had been entertaining him in her home, Marcus had opened her doors up to his goon squad. Told her husband how they locked her doors and windows with plans to do vial things to her. The plan to torture and torment her for days and hours on in.
Then explained how his ignorance of who she really has been in life resulted in his friends being dead and him being in jail. Marcus had been sentenced to twenty years but his supposedly good behavior and well paid attorney made it possible for him to only do ten. How hard he had to work for that good behavior she didn’t know but this it happened for him.
“So you think he’s coming here?”
“I’m sure he is. If nothing else his ego is a little damaged that a girl got the best of him. Like you I’m sure he thinks I’m just a girl playing with guns.”
“Can’t you just call the police or the people you used to work for,” Sam questions now pacing the floor.
Natasha thought it sweet that her husband wanted to protect her but she knew what she had to do. And she needed her love to understand the ugly truth of what she had to do.
“As they were locking me in all they talked about was what they were going to do to me. How that had done the same thing to other women. Women who didn’t come forward to help put him under the jail. Some that I’m not sure even survived the attacks.”
She gave that informatuon time to settle into her pacing husband before saying, “I can’t take him going to jail only to threaten me and my family again years later. And Sam the reality of my job was I put people down for the CIA. They will kill him and I will help.”
“What does that mean,” Sam turned looking at Natasha but already knowing the answer.
“Brittany and you will leave the day of his release. Brittany can’t know till you’re gone and you can’t tell anyone. I have something and some people set up to make sure you guys okay.”
“Wait what do you mean Brittany and me?”
“I can’t go I have to stay here. I have to play sitting duck,” Natasha informed her husband.
Read Intruders: The End to see what happens when Marcus and Natasha come face to face.
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