The cockpit had been silent for hours, which suited Grant just fine. But fifteen minutes before they were set to land, Kara unexpectedly broke it.
“Garrett asked me if we’re sleeping together,” she said suddenly.
Grant froze in confusion and surprise. He was not sure how to take that news. He catalogued the various reasons and consequences of that knowledge in his mind before asking the obvious question. “What did you say?”
Kara threw him an exasperated look. “The truth, obviously.” She paused briefly before continuing, “Did you want me to say otherwise?”
Grant furrowed his brow. “No.” It was better for Kara that no one thought they were having sex. He did not know how Whitehall would take that information. He may view it as an indication her brainwashing was malfunctioning and put Kara through the torturous process all over again. Of course, maybe the brainwashing allowed for the victim to care for someone else or want intimacy as long as they still put their controller’s needs first. “Why would he think that?” Grant could not help himself from asking.
Kara’s shoulders hunched in a defensive way, and Grant wondered if he managed to offend her with his question. “It’s not that strange of a conclusion. You steer clear of everyone you’re not forced to interact with, but people talk. We spend a lot of time together, and you did pull me into your room in front of a crowd of onlookers.”
Grant knew what she was referring to, but he had forgotten that the others might take his actions that way. He had assumed at the time that the other agents might speculate, but he never imagined that John would pay attention to the gossip.
“You told me that Garrett thinks you’ve been distracted recently,” Kara went on. “My guess is that he thought it was because you have a lover.”
Grant forced himself to remain outwardly calm as he realized what was going on. John had linked his distraction to a woman. He confronted Kara about him. Kara, his partner who had witnessed him interacting with Skye just hours ago.
“Did he believe you when you told him we weren’t?” Grant demanded. “Did he… threaten you?” Grant was not sure what John would do if he thought his weakness was holding him back again, and Kara had enough problems without getting caught in his crossfire.
Unbidden, a surge of anger rushed through Grant at the thought. Thinking of Garrett attacking Kara for a conflict she was not involved in reminded Grant of his newfound knowledge of the scars that marred Skye’s stomach.
It was terrible to realize that Skye might have died before he had a chance to meet her. That Skye could have been erased from the world as a causality of a war that she held no part in. SHIELD was full of hypocritical bastards, but Skye was not one of them. John targeting her was wrong, especially when Grant recalled she had still been an untrained civilian at the time.
She did not deserve to bleed out, alone and afraid. Skye should live a long and full life that would end from age with those who loved her gathered by her side.
And Grant hated anyone who would try to steal that from her. The problem was the people he loathed were John- and himself. He knew about it back then and said nothing. Despising himself was nothing knew but getting angry with his mentor was unfamiliar territory for Grant. The last time he had been furious with John, or even passionately disagreed with him, was back when he was just a stupid, little kid. It was nauseating to even think that way about the man who practically raised him.
Grant shook himself out of those thoughts and turned to Kara with the intention of interrogating her further, but he noticed she was not looking at him. Or, more accurately, she was not looking at his face. He followed her gaze to see he was rubbing his thigh agitatedly. He immediately stopped the movements but was more than a little disturbed that he had not realized he had been doing so.
“You’ve been doing that a lot lately,” Kara noted worriedly.
“I have been?” Grant said.
Kara nodded. “Ever since Side Door,” she said.
Grant clenched his jaw. Competent spies did not have nervous habits, and Grant was nothing if not a competent spy. Yet he unknowingly had picked one up like Kara’s obsessive playing with her hair. What the hell was wrong with him lately? He was falling apart.
“Does it hurt?” Kara asked. When he just stared at her, she elaborated, “That’s how I would get rid of muscle cramps back when I first started training.”
Grant did not want to connect anything he did with a habit Kara had from her amateur years, but now that she had mentioned it, Grant could feel a light aching in the area. He was so used to ignoring pain that he supposed he had not even given it any thought. He must have injured himself without realizing it. Kara said he had been doing so since the Side Door mission. That was around the time when he was taking multiple missions per day, so it would have been easy to do so.
“It’s fine,” Grant said dismissively. He faced forward and concentrated on landing the quinjet. He endeavored to put all thoughts of the day out of his mind.
After searing her with an intense, agonized look, Grant turned around to leave without another word.
If Skye called out, she was sure he would come back. A word from her, and she could be swept up in his arms once more. She could picture it in her head, how he would clutch her to him as he slanted his lips against hers again. The taste of kiss had not yet faded, and Skye could ensure that their mouths would be sealed together before it had a chance to fade away.
Skye kept her lips stubbornly shut.
She waited until she could no longer hear Grant’s footsteps before releasing the breath she had been holding. She used the wall to steady herself as she tried to calm her pounding heart.
Far sooner than she would like, Skye pushed herself to move. It felt like it took all of her concentration to just put one foot in front of the other, but she knew she could not keep Hunter waiting any longer. As if in a daze, Skye stumbled out of the alley and towards the meeting point, lost in thoughts of what just happened.
It was strange to realize that Grant’s feelings for her were ultimately irrelevant. She had spent so much time torturing herself over whether their interactions were all part of a sick game to him and if he could kill her without hesitation. Grant told her he would never hurt her, and the scary thing was that Skye believed him.
But then again, so what?
Grant promising not to hurt her did not change anything. He did not say he would turn on Garrett or switch sides. He did not reassure her that he would never take another one of her friends’ lives.
Skye could not be with Grant in any capacity. The idea of dating him was ludicrous, not that she was sure that would be something Grant would even want. She could just imagine it now- over dinner, they could discuss the pros and cons of being vigilantes versus terrorists, and in between dates, they could kill each other’s colleagues. Better yet, instead of disclosing the number of people they had previously been intimate with like many normal couples did, they could compare body counts. That sounded so romantic.
Oh, god, Skye cringed at the disturbing thoughts.
She was joking, but the truly terrifying fact was that Skye really could imagine dating Grant. And she wanted it badly enough that not even sarcasm, her preferred method of self-defense, could protect her from the impossible but tempting image that invaded Skye’s mind. Instead of their disastrous morning after in the hotel filled with shrieked insults and broken glass, they would have a shared breakfast and lingering kisses.
That terrified her because she wanted it enough that she was in serious danger of hoping for something more. And hoping for something and losing it hurts more than never hoping for anything.
But even the notion of sporadic hook ups was laughable given the circumstances. What would they be, enemies with benefits? She could not just pretend as though they were not supposed to literally kill each other on sight. It was not like they had lives that came with real days off. It was not like they could pause being SHIELD or Hydra for a couple hours.
Skye did not want to condone what Grant had done and would do for Hydra either. Kissing him and enjoying these stolen moments made Skye feel like she was doing just that. She could delude herself into acting that she did not know who he was, what he had done and who he worked for. Allowing anything to happen with him felt like such a betrayal.
But Skye would not lie to herself and pretend that knowing that Grant felt so strongly about her, of all the people in the world, did not send a thrill of excitement through her. What had Bobbi said forever ago, that not even the Black Widow could seduce him because he was so cold? Well, Skye now knew that she was the exception, and that knowledge was intoxicating.
Forgetting how the fact that a notorious Hydra killer seemed to care only for her made her question her own morality, Skye could not help but revel in the fact that he cared only for her. All her life, Skye had never been good enough, never been anyone’s number one, so knowing the power she had over one of the most controlled men she had ever met did make Skye grin.
The smile quickly died when she remembered that was not entirely true. Grant obviously would not pick her over Garrett, and the idea of being less appealing than John Garrett was enough to sour Skye’s mood again.
Skye could not understand what Garrett had done to inspire such loyalty in Grant. Grant had hinted that he owed him a huge debt. Skye wondered what the story there was.
When Skye arrived at the rendezvous spot, Hunter was predictably freaking out.
“There you are!” He shouted almost accusingly. “I was about to call Coulson and tell him you were kidnapped!”
“Glad to know you have such faith in me,” Skye said dryly. She had not been gone that long. Hunter was overreacting as per usual. “Did you get the weapon?” Skye asked before he could reply. “Grant didn’t have it on him, so I figured Agent 33 was carrying it.”
Skye kept a straight face, but she could not help but recall exactly why she knew that Grant did not have the weapon anywhere on his person. Technically, she had searched him. Thoroughly.
“No, I just carry this because I think it really compliments my suit,” Hunter retorted as he held up a woman’s purse. As Skye watched, he opened the clutch and revealed a compartment that contained the alien weapon.
“Awesome,” Skye said more than a little relieved. She could not have handled the thought that she was kissing a Hydra agent as his partner got away with a device that could level a city block. She had faith in Hunter and knew that Grant did not have it, but she had still been concerned. “So the mission’s a success. Have you called for our ride yet?”
“No,” Hunter said. He closed the purse again and shook it at her to emphasize his words. “I was a bit preoccupied by the fact that you disappeared with Grant Ward after I watched you, I don’t even know,” Hunter threw his hands up, “Flirting with him.”
“I wasn’t flirting with him,” Skye lied. “He forced me out in front of everyone. I was trying to keep my cover.” Hunter scoffed in disbelief, so Skye decided a distraction was in order. “And where were you during all of this? We almost lost the weapon because you let Agent 33 beat you to us.”
“There were a lot of people to weave through. That takes time,” Hunter defended.
“Especially when you’re drunk,” Skye muttered.
“I had two drinks,” Hunter said. “You’re acting awfully smug considering I was the one who stole back the weapon.”
“Only because I was able to hack Rodchenko’s security and set off the alarms from outside.” Skye put a hand on her hip as she grinned cockily. “It was my trap that got them. You would’ve been lost without me.”
Hunter shook his head as he pulled out a phone. “Let’s just call for an extraction before your head gets any bigger.”
Skye smiled to herself as they waited for transport. She got Hunter off her case easily enough. Skye could not help but think it was all just delaying the inevitable though. As much as she joked, Hunter was not actually stupid, and he definitely knew something was up by now. He probably just did not care enough to argue in circles with her about it.
When they arrived back at base, Skye and Hunter went to Coulson’s office immediately. May and Bobbi were just leaving, and Skye made eye contact with her S.O. as they did. She looked away first, feeling a bit awkward when she remembered that May now knew a little about Grant and her. She had not said anything to Skye, and Skye was not about to be one to bring it up, but the knowledge made her uncomfortable anyway. It was as though she let May down somehow.
The debrief was easy. Hunter did not say anything incriminating about Grant and Skye. Skye stayed after to give Coulson the bare minimum about her interactions with Grant. She had promised not to keep secrets about it anymore- but she did leave out many details because it was deeply personal to her. Not to mention there was a lot of weirdness in talking about Grant with someone she thought of as a father.
There were no probing questions or disapproving lectures, but Skye left the room feeling ill at ease. She could not shake the feeling that she was balancing on the edge of a precipice. No matter which direction she leaned, she was bound to fall eventually.
In the days following the Rodchenko mission, Grant tried not to think. He wished he could just shut his brain off and do as he had always done: follow John’s orders. Unfortunately, the events of the past couple months could not be avoided and weighed heavily on him.
The mission’s failure had not really impacted Grant because John did not care, and Whitehall viewed Kara as the reason they lost the device. Kara had been a mess in the wake of Whitehall’s disappointment, and Grant had thought about stashing her away in his bunk again just so he could feel like he was doing something. The memory of Kara’s words before they touched down had stopped him though. He did not want to encourage the rumors and make John target her.
So Grant had done nothing, which seemed to be the theme for him as of late.
At least Kara’s preoccupation made it unlikely that she had reported anything amiss with him to Whitehall. No one had approached him about harboring SHIELD sympathies, and Grant allowed himself to relax a little.
But now he had a new mission, and Grant decided to focus on that instead. It would be a simple but welcome distraction. His job was to break into a tech company and steal the designs to their new, specialized weaponry. According to the intel, the company had been rapidly developing a bomb that was based on alien technology. However, the company’s businessmen got cold feet about engineering such dangerous weaponry and how it would be perceived by the public, so they halted production.
Given his knowledge of explosives, it was unsurprising that Whitehall was sending him out for this mission. It was the choice of Grant’s partner that left him disconcerted.
He had become accustomed to working with Kara. He enjoyed her company for the most part, and that was more than he could say about any of his other Hydra colleagues. But Whitehall was not even sending him out with another Hydra operative, electing instead to hire a mercenary that Hydra had used in the past.
Grant had no feelings on Marcus Scarlotti, but he did not like working with anyone other than John or Kara. It irritated him that Whitehall was forcing him to partner with Scarlotti. He had heard that Scarlotti was busy capturing gifteds for Hydra experimentation on that project Strucker, List and Whitehall were so interested in anyway.
Grant wondered why Whitehall was bringing him out to work with him now and figured it might be some other test. Or maybe Kara was being punished and reprogrammed after her failure, so Whitehall was sending a replacement for the time being.
Grant knew better than to say anything though, so he just gritted his teeth and nodded.
Entering the facility was simple as they had waited until the employees left. Scarlotti idiotically wanted to charge in during daylight. He argued that a bunch of techs and office workers would be no match for them, which he was right about. There was no point though. What would killing a bunch of civilians accomplish? It was pointless and senseless and just the type of thing Grant had come to expect of mercenaries. They had no loyalty to anyone but themselves and that often translated to no focus either.
Grant had been able to convince him that a trail of bodies would be counterproductive as they were hoping to steal the designs without SHIELD knowing they had.
When they entered the building, the two of them had split up to search for the designs. Grant started at the bottom and worked his way up while Scarlotti did the same from the top.
Grant moved soundlessly through the darkened hallways. A clinking noise echoed and caught his attention. He stepped towards a room with the door slightly ajar and light peeking out from it. He could hear the rustling of someone inside. Slowly, he readied his weapon and then lunged.
“What?” The startled, Scottish-accented voice shouted as Grant pressed his sidearm to his victim’s temple. He stopped short of pulling the trigger upon recognizing who he was holding in a death grip.
“Fitz,” Grant growled. Frustration had him tightening his grasp on Fitz’s shirt.
“Ward,” Fitz said as he relaxed from his previous shock. “You scared me. Now would you mind letting go?”
Grant frowned. Fitz was far too trusting and easygoing considering they were enemies. He let him go anyway but refused to put away his gun on principle.
“What are you doing here?” Fitz asked bewildered, as if it were not obvious that once again SHIELD and Hydra had gotten the same intel and were locked in a race to see who could capitalize on it first.
“Never mind that,” Grant said quickly. “They wouldn’t send you into the field alone. Who else is here with you?”
Fitz scoffed. “You make it sound like I need a babysitter. I’m perfectly capable of handling myself. In fact, I’ve been training for the field.” He gestured to his gun proudly- the same gun he had yet to draw despite being confronted by an enemy. “See? Armed and everything.”
“Fitz, focus,” Grant said urgently. Even brainwashed, Kara was far more merciful than Scarlotti. If Simmons were here and she crossed his path, if Skye were…
“Oh, Skye’s upstairs. I’m just tinkering with- hey, where are you going?!” Fitz raised his voice as Grant darted out the door.
Grant heard Fitz clamoring after him and was forced to stop to face him. “Shut up and do what I say,” Grant ordered as he grabbed Fitz’s arm to drag him along. The engineer was so loud that he would alert Scarlotti as he chased after Grant anyway, so Grant may as well take him along.
Cold tendrils of fear spread throughout Grant’s body. He knew Skye was talented and skilled, but whatever else Scarlotti was, he was dangerous. More than that, he was cruel, and if Skye hesitated to make the kill shot or something...
The possibilities were maddening. Grant took the stairs two at a time as he raced to reach them. Fitz grumbled at his breakneck pace, but Grant did not dare slow down.
He heard the sounds of a fight before he saw them. Grant turned to Fitz and whispered harshly, “Stay outside. Do not come in, do you hear me?” He shook the shorter man for good measure.
Fitz looked like he wanted to object to the rough treatment, but he seemed to have picked up on Grant’s serious mood. He nodded without comment instead.
Grant turned and sprinted towards the room Skye was in. He was not sure what he would say when he entered, but all words died on his lips at the sight he was greeted with.
He made it just in time to see a winded Scarlotti fire his gun straight at Skye. The shot was true, and Grant lost his breath at the thought of watching Skye die while he was helpless to do anything about it.
Skye threw her hands up as if she could ward off the bullet with the action- which, as Grant watched disbelievingly, was exactly what happened. From Skye’s outstretched arms, a pulse wave emanated that sent the bullet flying away. The entire room shook with the force of it as the wave traveled back towards Scarlotti and Grant behind him. Scarlotti stumbled backwards while Grant lost his footing. He used the wall to steady himself as he stared at the scene aghast.
Skye’s eyes were wide and horrified as she noticed him, but Grant noted she did not seem surprised by what she had done. Scarlotti righted himself as he glanced at towards Grant as well, but he did not allow himself to be distracted. Scarlotti grabbed the pulse grenade that Hydra used to capture gifteds while Skye was preoccupied with Grant’s sudden appearance.
Panic clawed at Grant’s throat as he realized what was about to happen.
Skye’s heart pounded from exertion as she fought with the Hydra agent. She tried to recover from his kick quickly, but she saw from the corner of her eye that he had used that moment to make a grab for his gun. She had disarmed him when they first engaged, but now he had his weapon again and took aim.
It felt like the whole world slowed down as he fired. Her heartbeat decelerated, and Skye could not hear anything beyond her own steady breathing. She instinctually raised her arms to protect herself and her powers did the rest, as Skye had intuitively known they would.
She concentrated and just pushed out like that day in the woods and watched as the pulse propelled the Hydra agent and the bullet away. She had planned to kill the enemy while he was forced off balance but found herself sidetracked.
Grant had chosen that moment to burst into the room and was now staring at her with an expression that could only be interpreted as disturbed and horrorstruck.
Skye dropped arms that felt too heavy to lift all of the sudden as her face twisted painfully. It was her worst nightmare come true. Grant had finally seen her for the monster she was.
“It’s my lucky day,” the other Hydra agent boasted, capturing Skye’s attention again. He gave a smirk as he held up a strange metallic ball. “A gifted-“
A shot resonated in the suddenly quiet room and sent Skye’s heart thundering all over again. The Hydra agent's body dropped to the floor with a thud. He had not even had time to react before he died from the bullet in his head. The metal ball fell from his fingers and rolled harmlessly across the floor.
“What the bloody hell?” Fitz exclaimed as he appeared behind a stone-faced Grant. “Skye, are you okay?”
Skye could not concentrate enough on the words to answer. Her ears were ringing, and she could not tell what was going on in Grant’s head. He glared at the dead man he put on the floor without a hint of remorse. Skye did not understand. They were teammates. How could he kill him?
“Skye?” Fitz called again as he sidestepped Grant to make a beeline for her.
That broke Grant out of his reverie, and he strode towards her before Fitz could. He roughly grabbed her arm to force her to stare up at him.
His amber eyes were wild and intense as he spoke, “You can’t do that again.”
“What?” Skye whispered. She was lost. He was infuriated and aghast it seemed, but he had also just killed his partner to protect her. “I don’t exactly control it,” she said weakly.
That only served to make him more agitated. He dropped her arm and ran his hands through his hair while heatedly cursing to himself.
Skye wrapped her arms around her stomach defensively. “Sorry that my freakishness bothers you so much,” she bit out.
That halted his movements. “What are you talking about?”
Skye sensed she might have misinterpreted his reaction. “If you’re not disgusted, then why are you so intent I don’t use my powers again?”
Grant pinched the bridge of his nose. “You can’t let Hydra know that you’re a gifted.”
Skye almost protested that was funny coming from the Hydra agent. Instead, she brushed off his concerns. “I know, I know. Hydra might target me for brainwashing if they know what I can do.”
Grant was already shaking his head before she had finished. “No, you don’t understand.” He opened his mouth before snapping it shut again. Grant grimaced to himself.
Skye could tell he wanted to say something but was holding back. She watched as he came to a decision. He approached her again in a far gentler manner and gripped both of her arms to draw her attention. He stared at her seriously in a way that filled Skye with dread.
“If Hydra finds out you’re a gifted, brainwashing will be the least of your worries. Hydra is tracking down gifteds for experimentation. The leaders have labeled the research a priority and already dozens have been captured and analyzed. None of them survive longer than a week.”
Skye was not sure what expression she was making in response to his words, but it caused Grant’s face to tighten.
“No, that’s not possible,” Fitz said. “We would know if Hydra were doing that. Right, Skye? You keep track of gifteds.”
Skye was having trouble remembering to breathe. “I watch for problematic gifteds, yes, but if a bunch went missing, it would be hard to tell. Many powered people are reclusive and alone. Their disappearances would be less likely to be reported.”
And it was not like SHIELD was periodically checking in on people on the Index either. They were stretched so thin in terms of resources and agents that Coulson would not send someone out unless there was a known issue.
“Scarlotti,” Grant cut in as he indicated towards the dead Hydra agent, “Was one of people tasked with capturing the subjects.” He kicked the metal ball that had rolled towards their feet. “This pulse grenade is used to incapacitate them.”
“Subjects?” Skye blurted out, ignoring the rest of his explanation. “Those are people you’re hunting down like animals!”
Grant tensed. “I have nothing to do with that.”
“Just because you don’t personally experiment on them doesn’t mean you’re not responsible. You’re Hydra,” Skye protested angrily. “You’ve known all this time and never done anything!”
“Oh, and what was I supposed to do? Ask them nicely to stop?” Grant scoffed in disgust. “Don’t be so naïve.”
Skye clenched her fists as she geared up for a fight. “Don’t pretend to be powerless. I bet you know where the experimentations are taking place.”
Grant’s silence was answer enough.
“Well, if you’re not going to do anything, we will. Where is it?” Skye demanded.
Grant backed away. His face closed off, and Skye could see him distancing himself emotionally from the conversation and her. “I’m not telling you any Hydra intel.”
“You just did when you told us about the experiments in the first place,” Skye pointed out. “Tell me where the base is.”
Grant shook his head. “You can’t do anything, Skye. SHIELD doesn’t have the manpower to dismantle it by force, even with the coordinates. You’d need an inside man to compensate for the resources you don’t have.” Grant looked to the ceiling as if searching for patience, “It’s hopeless, don’t you get that?”
“You could be our inside man-“ Skye tried.
Grant barked out a harsh laugh. “You can’t be serious. I don’t work for SHIELD, and I take matters of my loyalty seriously.”
“You just killed a Hydra agent!” Skye exclaimed as she pointed towards the body.
Grant did not even look. “Technically, he was a hired mercenary.”
Skye switched tactics. “You said you would never hurt me,” she reminded him as she approached him. She let the fear she had been trying to repress color her expression as she stared at him with watery eyes. “But you just admitted what they would do if they got ahold of me and won’t do anything.” Skye reached for him, but he pulled away.
“Stop trying to manipulate me,” he snarled. “I’ve done you more than enough favors.”
With that, Grant spun around and stalked out of the room. Skye let him go hopelessly while she wordlessly watched with Fitz.
With the weapon designs tucked away in her pocket, Skye knew the mission was a success. Still, she stood there in the silence feeling defeated.
Grant had put miles of distance between Skye and him before he allowed himself to slump against an alley wall.
He supposed that explained the mystery of the shattered hotel room window. Skye had broken it with her mind apparently. Because she was a gifted. Gifted. The word sent his thoughts in a new direction.
Skye had been trying to manipulate him using his feelings for her, he knew that, but that did not mean she was wrong. As long as Strucker was collecting gifteds, she would always be in danger. Her secret could be outed at any time. Hydra might even already know about her and be preparing to capture her as he thought about it.
Grant painfully knocked his head back against the wall. He could not keep trying to play both sides. He had thought that he could maintain his loyalties because John was Hydra in name only and Skye was just one SHIELD agent. He had stupidly believed he could protect them both without any conflict, but that delusion was rapidly disappearing.
He sensed the attack seconds before the fist hit his cheek. Grant reeled back as he inwardly cursed himself for dropping his guard. When he faced his opponent, he started cursing for a different reason.
Grant had only crossed paths with the Cavalry once or twice, but he knew she was not someone he wanted to fight even when he was on top of his game. He blocked her next punch and tried to clear his mind as he engaged her.
The questions came anyway. Had Skye called her S.O. after he left? Had she and Fitz set him up? The sting of betrayal was foolish, but Grant felt it anyway.
Grant dodged the older woman’s attacks as well as he could but still managed to get hit with a couple of well-aimed kicks. In return, he knocked her head into the wall and grabbed her in a chokehold. They seemed pretty evenly matched.
Grant realized with a shock that she was trying to take him in rather than take him out. The knowledge had Grant clenching his jaw. He did not intend to be trapped in some SHIELD cell for interrogation on John.
Grant sent a kick that knocked Melinda May back a few feet and decided to make a run for it. All he had to do was get somewhere public, and she would back down. SHIELD was obsessed with staying under the radar since the UN incident.
But Grant never got the chance.
He sensed the oncoming attack but did not have time to dodge. Someone kicked out his legs from under him. By then, May had recovered enough to capitalize on his distraction.
He recognized Agent Morse as she smirked down at him. She had a phone raised to her ear. “We got him,” Grant heard her say before Agent May’s roundhouse kick robbed him of his consciousness.