“What is Project LEO?” Henry asked. He was more than a little frustrated that his home had turned into so many group’s new social spot. “Rook is what we call a lion. He’s an international player on the espionage scene. He works for the United States, but his effectiveness comes from his leverage.”
“So Project LEO, is designed to maintain and expand his agency’s influence. One way of doing that is the creation of a new operating theater. Oceania is to be an international city, one that draws various undesirable groups to play in its backyard. Then Rook can monitor, contain, and control more of them while still being close to his home base.”
Aaron couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “So he wants to create a cesspool?” “No, not a cesspool, a respected international city like New York. Which is also a wonderful opportunity to give somewhere else for the people he’s trying to catch to escape to and from. He allows them to slip through the cracks on one end, only to catch them on the other.”
“So he just randomly told you all of this?” Nicolai smiled. “On the contrary, he came to send a message. He doesn’t know who you are, but he knows who trained you. He knew I could give you a message. Rook has studied your methods enough to know I am your trainer. Thomas is saying that he owns you.”
Aaron thought this through for a couple of minutes, and then headed for the door. Nicolai spoke to stop him. “You can’t fight him head on. He’ll have agents all around him.” “I’m not, I’m going to hit him … with a little heart to heart.”
Two people got a box of chocolates and a card that Valentine’s night. One came in an extra pizza box along with Elizabeth’s favorite pizza. The other went to Thomas Rook. Each time the pizza guy was different. The first was a certain doctor who, without speaking, stole a kiss, when she saw who it was.
Aaron positioned himself inside the door where prying cameras weren’t. He knew from surveillance who and how they were watching Elizabeth. They only got to see each other for a minute and a half, but it reaffirmed his promise to find a way for them to safely be together.
The next was by a visiting Senator. “Agent Rook, a friend asked me to bring you dinner. I think you’ll be very interested in what he has to say. I can’t stay, but I’ll tell you this, The Sea Horse is a very close, personal, constituent, and I intend to keep his vote.”
In Rook’s box was also a small plastic toy, a caged lion. In Elizabeth’s chocolates was a small heart shaped pendant locket with a picture of two hands holding the other. She would hide it in her most personal belongings for now.
Elizabeth was happier than she thought she could be. Two floors away, the Senator left smiling. Agent Rook was seething, but at least Elizabeth got a Valentine’s Day gift. It was small, but it was a start, even Valentine’s Day is an adventure in Oceania.