Later that evening, Jessie drove her car into the parking lot a good distance away from the harbor and was surprised to find Nicos motorbike already there. They hadn talked again since the moment she had left the station except when she had texted him to meet her at the docks. She had ended up spending most of the day sleeping since Brielle had claimed to be held up with her work up until the moment she got up to get ready for her night shift.

There was nothing much to do except sit and wait for the ship to dock and then she would lead the team to make sure they had the drugs in their custody but most importantly that none of the smugglers escaped them. She wasn anxious about it at all since it wasn the first one she was leading and that was why she even carried a bag full of snacks to feast on as they waited out. And by a bag of snacks, for her that comprised of burgers,fries and a large drink to go with it. Light snacks just didn do for her.

Closing the door, she gathered her shirt around her as the breeze from the sea washed over her, shielding her chest from the cold. Maybe leaving the house without a sweater at least had been a bad idea but now since she was here,there was nothing else to do but deal with it. As she walked towards the wooden plank that led towards the small fishing boats, several flashes of the dream shed had appeared at the forefront of her mind and as if on cue, she missed a step as if she had been suspended midair then pushed all of a sudden. She turned around,her heart thudding as if what had happened was real. Was someone watching her?

She shook the feeling off and went on deciding not to let the paranoia get to her like that. What she couldn shake was the feeling that this was probably more real than she wanted it to be. Someone was probably watching her and no matter how much she tried to convince herself otherwise, she just couldn . Instead, she just whistled as she walked along and joined Nico in the boat they had hired as their cover.

”Just the perfect thing to make this evening date complete, ” Nico announced as he accepted the bag. She then handed him the two drinks she had been holding.

”Tell me you have a beer? ” she inquired. ”I feel like I might need one after all. ”

”I thought you don drink on Sundays. What happened to you? ” he teased.

”You are in a good mood than you were in earlier. Did something happen? ” she teased him back instead of replying. The sudden diversion of his eyes said much even before he said anything and she started laughing. ”You finally did it, didn you? Kiersten said yes to you? ”

”Well,not exactly. She made it clear that we are not going to date but its still something. I get to hang out with her more often now and kiss more often and- ”

”Alright lover boy,grab me a beer. Im not about to listen to the details of a traumatized virgin who is ready to settle for less than what he deserves. ” She grabbed the bag and took out one burger then bit into it. ”I know I pushed you to do it but Kiersten is a bitch and now Im telling you to start weaning off her while you still can because now you are going to fall in love with her more dangerously and she is not going to acknowledge it. ”

Surprisingly,he didn seem offended by her remark or even disappointed. She didn even know why she had said that but now that she had,it seemed even more true and Nico must have realized it. That woman was not the settling type and not just in marriage but in sexual partners too. She had only pushed him hoping that he would soon realize that and get over it and it seemed like he already was.

”I know,I don even know why I have been so stuck on her for so long. It wasn like I didn know how she is like. ”

”She is hot, thats why. I bet every guy in that department has gone through her. You on the other hand, ”she shook her head pitifully and dismissed what she was about to say and instead settled for, ”Just get it out of your system dude and move on. ”

”Yeah yeah, ”he dismissed her. How long are we going to be waiting here, long enough to use the time sitting in the deck and watch the night sky? ” She shook her head amusedly.

★★★

She opened her eyes slowly, taking her time to take in her surroundings. She had gotten used to the smell of the salty water after falling sick for the first few days of the journey. That had resulted to using lots of the drinking water she had carried with her, causing it to depreciate quicker than she would have wanted especially since she had no idea how long she would have to be inside that ship before she got to any human settlement. The food had also followed suit and now she was down to her last bottle of water which was only half full and the last packet of edibles which she had already opened.

She was tired, exhausted by the monotonous routine she had adapted; sleeping, eating, reading a little bit and taking count of how many days had passed since she left home. At some point she had gotten tired of all of it and had decided to go around looking at the containers that were being transported and since no one came around the back to check them, shed had plenty of time to snoop into those she managed to.

If she didn know her father, she would have been surprised to see his signature mark branded into one of the containers but knowing what kind of work he did underneath the cover of being the town mayor, she had just been angry. She had no idea what life held for her wherever she would land but causing a major loss in his business was just something she could not let pass her by. That was why she had spent most of her days throwing the contents of the box into the sea as the ship progressed further and further away. Now that container was empty and she was looking at the last of its contents lying next to her legs.

She stood up slowly and grabbed it, heading to the railing, hoping to catch some air and regain her strength. She felt like she would need it especially now that she was almost running out of food and didn know how much longer she would have to wait to acquire more. She knew that the next compartment probably had food for the crew but she didn want to risk being seen. What would happen to her if she was seen, being thrown overboard? Maybe the best thing to do was just hold on to the last packet of the drugs so that even though she wouldn have food to eat, she could remain high and not bother about her hunger.

All those thoughts however disappeared the moment she stepped into the evening air and looked ahead. Bright city lights appeared a short distance from where she was,a large city and just as she was about to question whether that was its destination or not, its loud horn hooted as if announcing its arrival. Instead of relief she panicked. They were definitely about to dock and now that she knew that, she realized how unprepared she was about how she would go about her new environment. How would she get off without being seen? She didn have time and she needed to act fast. She quickly ran back, grabbed everything that belonged to her and put it together but just as she was thinking about what to do next, she heard voices and footsteps approaching. Her heart fastened its pace. She had come so far, how could she let herself get caught now that she was so closed to getting away from anyone who knew her father?

At the last minute, she eyed the container she had been emptying the entire way,made the calculations then ran towards it,got inside and pulled the cover closed. Clutching her bag tightly against her chest,all she could do now was to pray not to get caught.

★★★

Jessie took her night vision binoculars and directed them towards the docking ship. There hadn been any movement as far as she could see which only meant she would have to wait for it to get closer to have a better view. Nicos voice came through the two way radio they had.

”Everyone is in position. ”

”Good,no one moves until I give the command, ”she instructed then prepared her gun. ”Nico,can I ask you something? ”

”Yeah, sure. Just don tell me to look after your family if anything goes wrong because theres no way you ain going back. This mission is the easiest you will ever have. ”

She chuckled, ”Shut up! Im not talking about that. ” She sighed and settled back in position. ”Do you believe in abnormal activities going on in real life, like maybe spirits talking to you or trying to show you something? ” Even in her own head that question sounded crazy and she was beginning to see what Brielle had been talking about. If Nico thought it was crazy too, she would now agree to visit a shrink and confirm that she wasn crazy herself. ”I know you are catholic, maybe there are things you are taught about the spirit world? ”

”Its not about being Catholic or anything. And its not abnormal, its paranormal. ”

”Whatever, just go on. ”

”Well, spirits are always hovering around getting whats needed to be done,done and sometimes they use living people to get their work done but at other times they are just there to guide you or warn you about something that is about to happen. ”

His tone went flat as he said that and she took a whole minute trying to analyze it before she asked in a low voice, taking her eyes off the ship.

”Have you ever been warned? ” Before he could answer,the loud horn or the ship sounded again and she looked up, finding it being directed into the harbor. She left the binoculars hanging around her neck and got up. ”Lets continue with the conversation later,move in. ”

She knew that if they waited until they started unloading,there was a very good probability of what they were after disappearing into thin air. It had happened before and if it happened again,the Captain would have their heads, especially hers.

She stepped forward surefooted and appeared in front of the crew that was on duty that night. The surprised looks in their faces were evidence that they hadn been expecting something like this and when one of them who appeared to be the superior one was about to speak, she took out her badge and flashed it in their faces.

”Portland police. Im gonna have to ask you to step back and let us do our work, ” she said as calmly as she could then motioned to the officers who had joined them to make sure none of them ran. If there were drugs in that ship,there had to be someone among them waiting to transport them that same night. ”Nico, you are with me, ”she said as she led the way to board the ship.

”Shouldn we have waited for them to unload so that we can identify it easily? ” Nico asked in a low voice as they moved forward together. She saw some movement and inside and held her gun ready to get inside.

”No, doing it ourselves is the best chance weve got at this. ” She moved forward and kicked the first compartment door open. Two guys looked up in surprise. ”Portland police! We have a warrant to search your ship. Step away from the container and put your hands in the air! ” She had barely uttered the command when the two guys jumped over the containers and disappeared through another door. ”Son of a bitch! Nico? ”

”Yeah, Ive got them, ”he replied and ran after them.

She walked around the compartment but seeing no one else, she decided to head on to the next one. She had barely taken one step when she heard a sound behind her. Being as overly cautious as she had become, she stopped to listen again. Nothing came forth. However looking at the container closely, she noticed an odd carving around the lock. Was it broken? She frowned and stepped back.

★★★

Samiya cursed herself inwardly for not closing her bag properly and the noise the bottle had made when it fell sure had been loud enough to call attention to herself. She had heard the commotion around her moments before the female voice identifying as the police and had been wondering if it was better to be caught by the police or by the rooks who worked for her father or just wait out and get lucky to escape from both of them.

Well,it seemed like even now she didn have control over what happened to her. She should have known that it would be either one or the other. Her heart pounded in her chest threatening to break through the walls. She clutched the bag tightly against her chest and retreated to the furthest corner of the medium sized rectangular container,her knees curled up to her chin.

Sure enough,the footsteps stopped right outside. She listened and felt the person try the lock and within a second,the cover was off. A bright light was flashed in her face and she had to blink severally to focus. When she managed to look,a woman squatted at the entrance,a gun strapped across her chest, staring at her. She stared back unable to say anything or even move. By now,her heartbeats were loud enough to echo in the empty container and visible on her chest.

”What are you doing in there? ” It definitely was the same voice she had heard earlier. She didn know what to say,so she just sat back and continued looking at her. ”Hey, this is the police, come out now! ”

Was it her lucky or unlucky day? She couldn tell. What she knew at that moment was that she had no choice but just obey. She crawled out slowly and stood up in front of the woman who was looking at her up and down in wonder. She couldn blame her. Even she herself wasn sure she felt like a human being anymore. First of,it had been so long since she had a shower and she was reeking. It was a surprise the well groomed officer wasn wrinkling her nose in disgust.

”Why were you in there? ” she asked again. Her eyes now showed more concern than surprise. Maybe her displeasing appearance had just done her some good.

”I… I- ” she tried but nothing else came forth. Instead,fresh tears escaped from her eyes and as if they were what had been giving her the strength to continue standing,a wave of dizziness swept over her and for some seconds she blacked out and staggered back. A hand caught her.

”Hey,are you okay? Can you hear me? ” The voice was so far but she could see her lips moving and her face in flashes. ”Hey. ” She closed her eyes and nothing else registered to he.

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