The walls of their new place of business were covered in monitors and several individuals were sat at the desks analysing the footage.
“Novel?” inquired Agent Smith, “Can we have you both in this meeting? It will allow you to be brought up to speed on the investigation.”
They were led into a brightly lit meeting room. A long table was surrounded by many other senior officers. A projector was displaying a series of faces onto a white painted wall. Some familiar faces from Ireland stared back at Novel.
From what they could tell from their investigation and questioning, the group were a major supplier of drugs into the UK. It was being used to fund a trafficking ring that was based on the African Continent. Their main market was buying girls from poor families for use as household help from rich Western and Asian families.
Cassie still felt completely unsure about how she was going to handle this new situation she now found herself in. Her experiences in Ireland had left her feeling shaky and suspicious of those around her.
When Novel and Cassie eventually arrived back at the hotel, the sun was beginning to set. Novel as gracious enough to pick up the phone to order a take-away – neither could be bothered to walk to the restaurant around the corner. A Chinese turned up about an hour later and was silently devoured.
Shortly after the remains of the dinner had been thrown away, Cassie’s phone began loudly vibrating from the bedside table.
“Who is it?” asked Novel.
“I don’t recognise the number, but gave m number to most of my cousins at the wedding. It’s probably one of them,” explained Cassie, “I’ll see what they want.”
She pressed the receive call button and put the phone on speaker-phone so Novel could listen in – and allowing her to have her hand free to make a hot chocolate from one of the provided free sachets. Cassie thought the chances of some scandalous secret being divulged were slim.
“Hello Cassie,” greeted a voice, “my names is Stevon. Do you remember me from the airport in Ireland? I was the nice man that gave you and your cousin a lift from the airport.”
Cassie froze and there was a smash as the mug she was holding fell to the floor. Novel started gesturing at her in an attempt to keep her speaking.
“H-h-how did you get my number?” she stammered, recovering from the shock a little.
“Your lovely cousin gave it me on the off chance I might want to contact you,” explained the man, “although it’s not so much me… More my boss is feeling a little bit more put out that you weren’t delivered. He’d invested a lot to get hold of you.”
“Well tell his to f-fuck off!” screamed Cassie down the phone, tears starting to fall down her cheeks, “nobody owns me and you can’t tell him he can go fuck himself!”
“I can… but he won’t like it…” replied Stevon, sounding calm and collected at the other end of the line, “where are you Cassie? We know you aren’t at your flat.”
She throw the phone across the room. It largely survived the collision, but the back fell off and battery came out – effectively ending the transmission.
Cassie sat on the very uncomfortable sofa and curled herself up into a foetal position. They were watching her flat! What on earth was she going to do? As the thoughts continued to swirl around her head, Cassie stared blankly into the space before her.
“I’m going to bed,” she eventually announced, “we’ve got an early start tomorrow.”
When they arrived at the office the following morning, the tech guys got hold of the phone and attempted to trace where the call had originated from. Their conclusion – some hours later – was that he was within the UK, which wasn’t much of a help. Cassie assumed that he must be in the group watching her flat.
“We’re heading out this evening,” commented Novel, interrupting Cassie’s staring match with the light switch, “They’re collected our bags from the hotel now.”
She nodded not really listening to what was being told to her. This entire situation had become absurdly strange. All she wanted to do was be a good daughter and go to the family wedding with her mother… Now it had somehow ended up with her assisting with the hunt for an international trafficking ring. She was never going to take time off again – for anything! It had all just seemed to go horribly wrong.
They headed out to Africa on a public flight – it had been decided that this would create less attention. The entire team had provided with fake ID’s (for some reason someone had decided that her and Novel were now ‘Mr and Mrs Morris’) and were seated separately over three different flights that headed out to the African continent within the next 24 hours. Their destination was the country that boarded the one that it was thought the gang was based in. It would allow them to enter undercover and hopefully regroup unseen.
Since the last phone call Cassie had turned her phone on to find three text messages from the number Stevon had called her on – he had decided that the best course of action was to make Cassie’s guard fall was to consistently remind her that she would be recovered sooner or later. There was also one from Novel’s mother telling her the cat was happy over at hers and enjoying cashing mice in he back garden. Apparently, this particular cat didn’t set off her allergies.
She had sent a reply back to Novel’s mother to inform her that she was pleased they were getting on so well and that she was grateful the cat was being looked after. Stevon did not get a response. They did not want to risk him being able to track the origin of the message.