A surprise meeting...Mature

They walked back to Harry's compact pick-up, discussing Samedi.

'Well, we've lost any element of surprise that we might have had. He now knows that we're on to him and he'll be on his guard,' Harry said, urging that they should now be very cautious.

'Forget that,' Nadia replied. 'We've gotta be careful, I'll agree, but who's to say that he'll sit and wait for us to make our move? I think this is proof enough that he might now be thinking of taking the offensive. I think that we're involved in this now, whether we like it or not.'

'You could well be right,' Harry agreed, chewing his lower lip anxiously. 'But what do you think he'll do? What do you think WE can do?'

Harry opened the passenger door for Nadia, waiting for her to climb in before going around to get in, himself.

'I really don't know what he can do to us; I only know that he managed to drive Grace into committing suicide for him, so I wouldn't want to underestimate what he can or can't do,' Nadia warned. 'I've a feeling that I may well come to regret ever getting involved in this matter, and I'm really sorry that I may have got you involved in it. In fact,' she said, looking across at him sadly, 'maybe you really ought to just walk away from all this and from me, and just forget that we ever met.'

Harry's face suddenly dropped. 'No,' he said. 'That is SO not an option.' He grinned then, destroying the effect. 'You see,' he continued. 'You've even got me talking like you now. I'm afraid that we're both in this together for keeps; right until it's all finished and done with.'

Nadia shook her head, frowning. 'I really, really appreciate your support, but I don't think you're making the right choice, Harry. Any time you feel like you want to change your mind, just tell me. I'll not think any the less of you, I promise!'

'I'll pretend I didn't hear you say that', Harry growled. 'I'm upset that you could think I could leave you to face this alone.'

An uncomfortable few minutes then followed while Harry and Nadia sat together in an uneasy silence.

'Harry. I'm sorry,' Nadia said, awkwardly. 'I never truly thought that you'd just leave me. Honestly, I didn't.'

She sniffed, then continued.

'I just don't want you to be at risk if anything bad does happen. I just don't want you to ever get hurt.' She looked across at him, the tears brimming up above her eyelids looking ready to fall.

'I just think... that I might sort of like you too much... to ever think of you putting yourself into danger... over something or anything... at all.'

Nadia and Harry both looked long and hard at each other. Then Nadia broke the silence.

'Well then. Are we still cool?' She looked at him levelly, willing him to say yes.

Harry laughed. 'Most definitely! He held his open left hand out to her, palm up, and Nadia took it into hers and squeezed it fondly.

'That's good! I'm really SO very glad,' she grinned.

Harry smiled back at her. 'Well then. What are going to do now,' he asked.

Nadia thought for a moment. 'I think we need to go back to the house again, but this time we'll need to be alone.'

The compact pick-up drove past the gate they'd gone through before when they visited the house earlier and then continued along the rutted track running parallel to the perimeter fence.

'What are we going to do,' Nadia asked. 'Have you got a plan?'

'That I have,' Harry replied. 'I didn't work here for four and a half years and not learn a few things. Like where the security fence starts and finishes, and where the gap between the two ends is, for example.'

Nadia laughed. 'That would be useful. Is there anything else that you know that could potentially be useful?'

'Yup. Like where the the spare key to the back door used to be kept.'

'Really?'

Harry nodded. 'Really! It's under a plant pot near the door, would you believe?'

They both laughed.

A few minutes later the pick-up bumped to a halt close to a larch tree which was growing up against a section of the drystone wall that surrounded most of the property.

'Its near here,' Harry said, motioning toward the tree. 'If you'll just step into my hands, I'll give you a boost up onto the wall, so you can wait for me to help you down once I've climbed over.' He moved toward the wall and crouched slightly, cupping his palms into a impromptu stirrup so that Nadia could step up.

'Thanks Harry,' Nadia giggled. 'You are such a gentleman!'

'No problem,' Harry grinned, helping her up and then making an easy vault over the wall himself. 'You want to come down the same way, or in a Firemans' lift, or would you be happier climbing onto my shoulders?'

'None of those,' Nadia replied. 'How about I jump, and then you catch me?'

'What?'

'Like this!' Nadia jumped, throwing herself toward Harry who, instinctively, raised his arms and pulled her close to prevent himself from dropping her.

'Oooff! That was close! What did you think you were doing,' Harry scolded her.

'Having fun,' Nadia grinned. 'Didn't you think you were up to catching l'il ol' me? I'm barely a waif!'

Harry lowered her to the ground, smiling. 'It would have been nice to have had a little notice, you know?'

'Nah. I've no worries about you on that score. You're my muddy white knight in denim. You'll always be there to catch me when I fall. Besides, it made you hug me tight when you caught me.' She looked up at him; giving him a look that promised him more than just a casual friendship. 'I liked that.'

'What?' Harry was almost lost for words. 'You're such a tease, aren't you?'

'You catch on quick, Einstein,' Nadia replied, laughing happily. 'Come on, we've got a house to look at!'

They made quick work getting up to the house, closely hugging the walls wherever they could, so as to be less conspicuous, finally reaching the house when the sun was low down on the horizon.

'It's not going to be so easy making our way back in the dark,' Harry warned.

Nadia nodded. 'I know but, by coming now, we stood less chance of being seen when we were making our way up to the house. We'll just have to be careful but, if we have to, we can just hide somewhere and snuggle together until dawn.'

'Oh my lord! I'm picking up on a common theme here,' Harry sighed, smiling. 'You never give up do you? Not that I'm complaining, mind!

'You've not had much experience with teenage girls, have you,' Nadia giggled. 'You should know by now that I'm very, very tenacious and that you might as well just give in. Besides,' she added, 'by being here with me now, you've already admitted that you want to accept liability for the 'package'. Admit it to yourself, you want this too, don't you?

'Ummm. Yes. Of course I do,' Harry replied, awkwardly. 'It's just that there's a time and a place...'

'For everything,' Nadia said, continuing his words. 'Yes. You're right. There is. But have you ever thought about what we're doing? We may not have the opportunity to get close again any time soon, if things don't go well.' She smiled up at him. 'We've made a commitment to each other just by being here together, so we owe it to ourselves to make the most of it while we can.' She reached up to him and pulled his face down to hers and gently kissed his cheek. 'There,' she said. 'My first kiss to you. I guarantee we'll both never forget it and the circumstances in which I gave it you!'

'Awww. Nade. My doll.' Harry crushed her close to him, kissing her back. 'You're so right. As always.'

Nadia pulled back, her eyes twinkling. 'You keep on thinking that and you and I will always see eye to eye.' She grinned. 'Despite the height difference.' She gently pushed him away. 'Come on. Time's a wasting!'

They turned the corner, coming up to the court yard to the rear of the building.

'Look,' Harry said, stopping suddenly, causing Nadia to walk into his back. 'Samedi's car is here.'

'Damn,' Nadia cursed. 'I can't say that I'm surprised. Especially since we saw it at Burger Zone. What do you think we ought to do now?'

Harry frowned. 'I think a tactful retreat is probably in order. There's no way we can risk sneaking a peek inside the house if Samedi's going to be in.'

'Agreed,' Nadia replied. 'But before we go, lets just have a look in the car. You never know, we might find something useful in there.'

They both looked around, checking that no-one was watching, then hurried across to the car, keeping low.

'I hate these executive cars with the heavily darkened one-way glass,' Harry muttered. 'I guess we'll just have to see if the doors are unlocked, so we can get inside to see what we can find.' He thumbed the door lock and tugged on the handle to open the door.

'It's not locked,' he said, cheerfully, pulling the door open.

The figure inside the car turned to greet them. 'I thought you would never get here,' said Grace.

The End

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