Ten Years Later
“Don’t let my baby fall,” Natasha yelled out to her husband. It still amazed her sometimes that she was now not only a wife but a mother. But she also couldn’t image ever living without them or how she had for so long.
“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 bike. Brittany had just turned five and was sure she wanted a new bike, no training wheels.
Sam was all for it. He had also bought his daughter a pair of roller skates which they would be trying out soon also. Natasha on the other hand just wanted to wrap her back in a blanket with a warm bottle after a Johnson & Johnson lavender night time bath.
Immediately after giving birth to Brittany, Natasha felt what all her ex comrades had talked about who had become parents over the years. The love they felt for this new little person, the need they felt to always protect this new little person. The knowledge their jobs gave them of the things in this world they had to protect them from. Watching Sam and Brittany she felt that love and need to protect for both of them. They were all she had.
She couldn’t help but think about the phone call she had received two days ago. The call that threatened to interrupt her world. Natasha was notified of the early release of DeMarcus Cummins, apparently it wasn’t like he had killed anyone so ten years was enough.
Years that Natasha had used desperately trying 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 was the thought 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. She didn’t know if they killed those women or what. Because she had no proof besides their word that they had done it to others.
If the police hadn’t arrived, knocking just after the last man’s body hit the ground, she would have killed Marcus too. Killed him because that’s what instinct told her to do. But they were just dumbass men, not like the national threats she was used to putting down.
Following the trial Natasha sold every piece of unbloodied furniture she had and got rid of her clothes 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 up for sale. 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 was taking her name and moving 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 was 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 was in love, married and giving birth to a beautiful bouncing babygirl. And 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 was allowed to tell him she decided not to. She knew that it would be seen as a lie. She knew that it could make her husband reevaluate who he had married. But right now she knew the luxury of keeping this secret was over if she was going to protect them.
Natasha knew for a fact that Marcus was coming for her. Deep down she always knew it but it was confirmed with the phone calls she received with the caller continuously hanging up on her. Calling her two sometimes three times in a row. Even though she knew he may come she didn’t think him smart enough to actually find her. But he had and all she thought now was that she had to protect her family. What she didn’t know was how she was going to tell her husband. There were only a few days left until Marcus’s release date so she had to say something soon.
“Look mommy,” Brittany yells proud that her dad had let her go and she was doing it on her own. As much as Natasha wanted to shelter her daughter she knew her daughter was too much like her. Even at five her independence was everything and she always let 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 was hidind 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 moms 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 soon but getting it.
“You’re right we should talk after Brittany goes to bed.”
“Should I be worried,” Sam asks.
“No,” Natasha answers truthfully because she was going to handle 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 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 waiting for her husband. Palms sweating, heart racing she thought of where to begin. A slight chuckle escaped her as she thought of the number of people she had killed yet she was 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 answer 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 was anything she could do or say to make him take his love away.
“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 in 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 was taking.”
Natasha went on to tell her husband about her training. Told about some of her assignments working undercover at law and accounting firms before taking someone’s life. It was important for her to make him understand as much as she loved him she was a killer.
“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 that was 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 was entertaining him in her home, Marcus had opened her doors up to his goon squad. 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 was resulted in his friends being dead and him being in jail. Marcus was 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 was happening.
“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 just thinks I’m a girl playing with guns.”
“Can’t you just call the police or the people you used to work for,” he 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.
“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 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 your gone and you can’t tell anyone. I have something and some people set up to make sure you are OK.”
“Wait what do you mean Brittany and me?”
“I have to stay here. I have to play sitting duck.”
Read Intruders: The End to see what happens when Marcus and Natasha come face to face.
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