As she watched across the activity across the street, Terrah couldn’t help but smile in satisfaction. Her freshly dyed brown hair air-drying as she followed every movement closely. Despite the mass of black vehicles in front of the run-down hotel, she had a perfect view of the operation.
Her hotel room sat two floors above ground level. The individuals at the center of all the activity wore bulletproof vests with rifles as their preferred weapon of choice. Two people stood out from the uniform, both wearing finely tailored black suits. Four groups had gone in beforehand and now were trickling out of the front doors with more people than they started.
All of them in handcuffs and most of them men. Frequent reports of fights, drug use, and prostitution all lent to a high probability of police raids. The hotel wore its seedy reputation as a badge of honor. Anyone looking for illegal substances knew where to go. The city’s police chief worked hard to shut it down entirely, but a final decision remained in limbo for years.
Today’s activity, however, might be enough to shut the place down permanently. The police was the last thing the owners had to worry about. This organized operation had nothing to do with local law enforcement, but federal.
Throughout all the masses of drug dealers, arms dealers, and pimps—a blonde haired woman was escorted out of the front entrance. Skinny, pale, and eyes dilated. Her body shaking as she came off the high from her drug of choice. Everything mirrored Terrah’s usual appearance.
The agents dressed in suits approached the woman, who barely responded to them. She was taken to the back of their black SUV and taken away. The remaining FBI officials spent several more hours clearing the scene. The street reopened to traffic in the early hours of the afternoon.
Terrah sent a text message on a burner phone before picking up her pre-packed bag and exiting her luxurious hotel room. The conclusion of the raid would be on the news later.
Dressed in designer labels and a new hair color, Terrah looked vastly different than just 24 hours ago. With her shoulders back, head held high, she checked out of the room and thanked the staff for a wonderful stay.
She walked out of the hotel and began trekking across alleyways to reach her destination. A few blocks away, she waited outside an abandoned building with an entrance hidden away from the main streets. No one owned the structure so there was no need for security cameras.
Terrah leaned against the brick siding, her mind running through the next steps of her plan. Nausea bubbled in her stomach. So much was at stake—and not just for her.
A red sports car turned down the alleyway, Terrah tensed at the sight of an unfamiliar vehicle in her proximity. Within seconds, the car pulled up next to her, a man behind the wheel. Sandy hair and hazel eyes that could charm anyone.
“You look like you could use a ride.”
The accent was unmistakable. British in origin and hadn’t faded despite living here for nearly ten years. Terrah rolled her eyes.
“I thought we were going to keep a low profile.”
The man smiled, revealing perfect teeth. He was the textbook definition of a model. “This is a low profile. You’re wearing Chanel. I needed a car to match.”
Terrah opened the back seat and threw her bag in there without regard. The duffle contained clothes mostly—ones that had been worn down and ready to rip at the seams. They resembled nothing akin to her current outfit. The change was intentional for the time being.
Eventually though, she would need practical outfits.
She got into the passenger seat and the man leaned in. Terrah gave him a quick kiss. “I’ve missed you.”
“I’ve missed you too, Terrah.”
“We better get going if we’re going to make our next destination.”
The man shifted the car into gear. “Yet another reason why this car will come in handy.”
The blonde woman sat a bland-looking room. A faux mirror on one of the walls. She had been left alone for several hours now. The remaining drugs in her system finally wearing off, leaving her shaky and anxious. Her mind raced through the possibilities of the future.
A few minutes later, the door banged open. Two people in tailored black suits walked in. One a woman, the other a man. The woman had dark hair and eyes, athletic in nature, and sharp features. Her face severe as she carried herself with confidence.
The man slumped his shoulders slightly, but he had beady eyes that thinly veiled his contempt. His muscles were accentuated in the suit and were an obvious product of many hours at the gym.
They glanced over her appearance, but neither of them addressed her current state. There wasn’t much to say for someone whose clothes were stained and torn from repeated use. The crooks of her arms covered in needle marks and hair greasy and unwashed.
She didn’t give a damn about what they thought.
All she wanted to know was what they expected from her.
“Are the remaining drugs out of your system, Terrah?” the female agent asked.
She didn’t answer. Her legs shaking underneath the table.
“Your cooperation is important, Terrah.”
The woman scoffed at the statement. “There’s nothing in it for me.”
With those simple words, the air in the room changed. The female agent forced a smile. “Nothing could be further from the truth. There’s a lot I can offer you. You’re looking at years in prison for drug possession, drug paraphernalia, assault, conspiracy to commit murder, illegal possession of a firearm, and aiding and abetting a fugitive.”
A small smirk stretched across her face. “You can’t prove half of those charges.”
“I’m willing to work out a deal to where you serve a reduced sentence.”
“But only if I tell you where Jaynes is.”
The woman pretended to think about the offer. Of course, she had no intention of revealing that information.
“I don’t know where he is.”
The female agent sighed heavily. “My patience has grown thin, Terrah. I know he tells you everything. Now, tell me where your husband is.”
Her eyes widened. “How do you know about that?”
“We have our sources. We’ve kept the information tight-lipped. We want to bring in Jaynes ourselves and can’t do that if one of his many enemies comes after him first.”
The woman didn’t respond. The feds weren’t supposed to know about their marriage. They had done it in secret and out of the country. No one was supposed to find out.
She let out a laugh in the small room. “And you think that because we’re now married that I’d sell out my husband?” Her response caught the others off-guard. “I’ve never betrayed Jaynes in the twelve years I’ve known him. What made you think that I would start now?”
The stunned silence didn’t last long. The female agent recovered much quicker than her male counterpart. She straightened her posture before speaking. “Terrah, let’s be reasonable, you know what a danger your husband is to society. The people have been terrorized by his hands. Lives have been torn apart because of his actions. We can’t let this continue.”
She leaned forward, closing the gap between her and the agent. The other woman pulled away slightly to create more distance between them.
“Let me make one thing clear, Agent Corbin. I will never help you catch Jaynes McConnell. I’ll die first before that happens, she growled.
The door to the small room opened. A flash went off followed by smoke. It covered the entire room. She coughed and tried to cover her nose and mouth. Then, several rounds went off. One of them hit her body, tearing through her body.
More shots were fired and soon all the sound that remained was the blare of a fire alarm.