TCSC Ep 15 – Hospital Shoes

How does a helicopter tell you why I didn’t refer to the client by any phrase other that “the client”? Because, as it turned out, Monty and I didn’t know anything. The person who hired me, was not who I thought they were. The problem was, I didn’t know who he really was yet, just who he wasn’t. Or anyone else either.

Brendan landed the helicopter at what appeared to be a small gas station. Sven was sitting inside when we walked in. “Hello, well Monty now that you’ve stirred all this up, are you satisfied?”

Monty didn’t respond with annoyance, or anger, both of which I was feeling. Instead he walked over, hugged his stepfather, and sat down. “How’s Mom?” Sven laughed. “She’s fine son, she’s resting downstairs. You were always both smart boys, when did you figure it out?”

“Actually Dad, that’s going to take getting used to saying, it was Brendan who caused it. He kept mumbling a phrase, we weren’t supposed to be important. That meant we were accidentally important, the question was how?”

“ Before you tell me who we really are, let’s talk about Lottie’s client. Who is he really?” Sven looked at Brendan, and Brendan laughed. “I knew when he was ten that stamp collecting wasn’t a good idea. Of course, back then I just wanted him to play baseball.”

Brendan filled Sven’s Coffee, and he started his story. Once, many years ago, there was a girl. Her dad had been a diplomat, who knew his daughter wanted to be a spy. On her first mission, her handler got some bad news, he had to pull her in from the mission to break it to her.”

“It was the first time I saw your Mother cry, and the moment I knew that I was in love with her. The problem was, I was her connection to the agency. If we were to date, I couldn’t protect her, so I didn’t tell her.”

“We went on working together for a couple of months after that, and I was cold, and distant. Then, she got shot in what was supposed to be a routine mission. I panicked, and got her to a hospital. She put two and two together, and asked me about it.”

“I was helping her slip her shoes on to leave the hospital after the Dr had released her. When she asked me when I was going to kiss her? I told her I loved her too much to try.”

“She told me I had read too many novels. Then said she was scheduled for a blind date the next night, and if I didn’t want her to keep it, I’d better act quick. She cancelled the date.”

Monty took the coffee Brendan handed him, and started to talk next. “Well that takes care of the ball, and the Prince. Does that make Brendan one of the mice? After all, if Mom’s Cinderella, he can’t be the wicked stepsister.”

His mother spoke as she got off the elevator. “You and Brendan are no fairy tale, neither is the family we’ve built. That started in an orphanage six months after we were married.”

“I was supposed to go in, get some information, and leave. Then I saw two beautiful little boys, two cousins who needed a home. It wasn’t rationale, it wasn’t safe, and it didn’t make sense, but I didn’t care. I knew I couldn’t leave you two, regardless of what the costs were.”

Monty hugged her. “Why all the secrecy? Why did you raise us with a stepdad we thought was an Uncle? An Brendan why when you figured it out, didn’t you tell me?”

Brendan kneeled down beside his adopted brother. “Because little brother, it turns out, we were more important than we were supposed to be. An this whole thing, was designed to keep this family together and alive. It was about protecting us, and our family.“

I was tired of riddles, and half answers. “You’ve all put both Monty, and Brendan for that matter, through an emotional roller coaster. What was worth doing that? Who were you protecting this family from?”

Monty’s Mom looked at me. “Ironically, from family. Relatives who would very much like to kill both of these boys. They’ve been on the run all their lives. That’s how they ended up in the orphanage. That’s why all of the charades, and antics. It was the only way to keep them alive!”

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