“So you made news, Ren,” Shelby said, cooking like usual.
“Yeah, I did. A huge business mogul dies in a flame. Unfortunately, his heir won’t have a top floor office until the building is repaired,” I said, stirring the tea in my cup.
“Either way, I think he deserved it. You made the right move there.”
“When his first eye that I ever met gave me that bicycle, I kind of loathed it. I guess I never trusted him from the start.” Shelby laughed at hearing that.
“Talk about intuition. You knew that whole time to not trust him.” She stirred her pan, and shook it around.
“Not always. There was a very short period where I wasn’t sure. Even in front of him last night had me rethinking. The things he did were things I once did.”
Shelby shook her head at me. “No, not all. Everything you did lead to something better. Now that Donovan owns Ikram corporations, things can get better.”
“Yeah,” I said. I didn’t really have anything else to add. I wanted to just stop doing anything, for a while at least.
“What were Hassan’s last words? Anything profound?” Shelby asked.
“Probably just swearing at me for shooting his leg, then screaming. You know, because he was on fire.” I shrugged.
Shelby laughed again. “Serves him right. Bastard.”
“You seem more joyous of this than I thought you would be,” I confessed. Shelby looked at me and cocked her head.
“Hassan did other illegal things besides fund the horsemen. It was becoming a hassle as an officer, especially since he could just pay his way through any real accusations.”
“The legal system in this state is shit. Seriously, I can’t think of a time in history when it was ever good.”
“That’s why we have to try and make it better. It only goes up from here, right?”
Shelby served up a couple of plates and brought them over to the table. “Dinner’s done.”
“Thanks.” I tasted what she made. It was good, as usual.
“What will you do if this leads back to you?” Shelby asked.
“Nothing, honestly. It won’t come back to me. There isn’t any footage of me, because I disabled all of the cameras. I’m not a suspect in any other way either.”
“Huh. You thought ahead, didn’t you?”
“No, not really. That would make this a first degree murder. I didn’t premeditate. I had actually disabled his security because I didn’t trust him. I didn’t know what he might do to me, and I didn’t want to risk it.”
Shelby smiled. “It still worked out. I’m glad.”
“I’m not sure if I am,” I replied.
“Don’t worry about it,” Shelby comforted me, “It’s already done. There isn’t any reason to be upset. Everything will be alright.”
“I hope you’re right, Shelby.”
“I am,” She said. She was so steadfast in this.
“You know, Shelby, you’re infatuated with someone who has killed quite a few people, right?”
Shelby shrugged, again. “I’m an officer, too. I’ve killed people. That isn’t going to put me off.”
“Well, alright. I should trust you on this matter; you’re probably more experienced.”
“Yeah, I am, Fifteen. I am your superior, after all.”
“That’s Miranda, currently.”
Shelby laughed. I realised after the joke I had accidently made. “Yeah, Miranda. I think she’s getting close to her retirement age, actually. I could get another promotion.”
“That sounds promising,” I said. “You know more about how to handle high ranking circumstances. I just light the one rich man I know on fire.”
Shelby laughed once more. “Do you think you could be a Commander?” She asked, suddenly much more serious.
“I could. I don’t want to, however. Is that what you meant?”
“Not really,” Shelby replied. “There’s a good reason you’re only an officer. You can actually do field work, and that’s valuable. Commanders do too, but usually not as much. Once I get to a high enough rank, I might just hire you out of the police force, for myself.”
“Mercenary work is illegal, Shelby.”
“Not as a mercenary, as a bodyguard. That’s legal. What would be illegal are the things I might tell you to do after the fact.” She laughed.
I laughed, too. “I really don’t have any room to criticise. I do my share of illegal things.”
“I think everyone is going to step away from illegal acts, actually. With Donovan in the spotlight, he can’t afford to run an underground rebellion anymore. I think he wants to take the group out of the shadows, give us a new name, and try to push and pull politically more than violently.”
I laughed again. “Too bad politics aren’t my strong suit.”
Shelby smiled. “Depends on the kind of politics you might be into.” She giggled.
“That still isn’t legal,” I pushed.
“Oh come on, how are you allowed to lecture me on doing things legally?” Shelby laughed.
“I’m really not,” I said, a smile on my face.
Neither Shelby or I said anything for a while. Once a couple of moments passed between us smiling at each other and eating, Shelby broke the silence.
“I’m glad you’re feeling better.”
“You have that effect on me,” I say. I quickly realised what came out of my mouth.
“I’ll count that as a confession of your undying love for me,” She said. There wasn’t a hint of humor or sarcasm in her voice.