Lena slammed her purse down on her desk and sat angrily. She tried desperately to fight the tears that were building behind her eyes. She glared at her attorney, Cat Grant, as she caught her breath and spoke.
“What the fuck do we do now?” Lena asked.
“First, you calm down, Lena,” Cat said, her voice firm.
“Calm down? Are you serious? I’ve just gotten out of jail for something I didn’t do,” Lena seethed, “And you want me to calm down?”
“I can’t help you if you don’t get your head straight,” Cat answered, “And, by the way, do you have any idea how hard it was to get you out of jail? You should be thanking me, not acting like I’ve done something wrong.”
“I know five million reasons you got me out of jail,” Lena said, “Do you expect me to thank you for the absurd bail I had to pay to be free – when I’m fucking innocent!”
Lena stood and started pacing around the room. Cat sat patiently and watched as Lena got rid of some of her nervous energy. They’d known each other more than ten years. Lena hired Cat’s firm to represent her when she’d left Lex Corp in Metropolis and formed her own company, LCorp, in National City. LexCorp was a weapons manufacturer. LCorp developed medical technology. Lena’s exit from LexCorp had been very contentious and she and Cat had grown close as they worked together over the years.
Lena finally seemed to wear herself out. She went to her office refrigerator and grabbed two waters. She handed one to Cat then sat down.
“I’m glad to see you reaching for this instead of the Scotch,” Cat sighed out.
“I’ll have the Scotch later, I’m thirsty,” Lena said grumpily. She sighed heavily then looked at Cat, “What am I gonna do, Cat? Even if I get out of this it’s gonna be terrible for the company.”
“You own the company, Lena,” Cat said, “No one can fire you or remove you. However, I think it’s best that you remove yourself for a while. Let Sam be the face of the company. Work with her behind the scenes.”
“Maybe so,” Lena said, thinking about the changes.
“Lena, I know you’re not going to like what I say next,” Cat said, waiting as Lena looked up at her, “I’m hiring a private firm to help with your case.”
“You’re my lawyer, why do I need another firm?” Lena asked.
“Not more lawyers, it’s a different type of firm that I’ve used once in the past,” Cat said, “For criminal cases.”
“Great, I’m a criminal,” Lena huffed out.
“I know you’re not a criminal,” Cat said, “But you’ve been accused of murder, Lena. Someone set you up. You’re in danger. This firm – Hopper Security – they’re the best. They are extremely selective about who they work for. They will investigate the crime and they’ll provide round the clock security for you. They are not cheap, but Lena, if you want me to represent you the best that I can then I need them.”
“You know money isn’t an issue, Cat,” Lena said, “But I don’t need a bodyguard.”
“Lena, have you lost your mind?” Cat asked, raising her voice and unable to hide her frustration, “Two people are already dead, and someone made it look like it was your fault. You damn well need a bodyguard.”
“Okay, okay, don’t yell at me,” Lena said, “My head already feels like it’s splitting apart.”
“I’ve already call them,” Cat said, “They’re on the way.”
“What if I said no?” Lena asked haughtily.
“Then I’d convince you,” Cat answered, “You’re the scientist and the CEO. I’m the lawyer.”
“Fine, whatever,” Lena sighed out.
Cat checked her phone for the next few minutes while Lena sat quietly, her eyes closed, trying to beat back the thumping in her head. There was a gentle knock at the door and Lena’s secretary, Jess, peeked in.
“There are two women from Hopper Security here,” Jess said, “They said that Ms. Grant asked them to come?”
“Yes, see them in, please,” Lena said. She rose from her chair as the two women strode into her office. One of the women had short, auburn hair and was wearing an all-black uniform that looked like some sort of tactical wear. She approached Cat and shook her hand then turned to Lena.
“Alex Danvers,” she said, holding out a hand to shake.
“Lena Luthor,” Lena answered warily.
“This is my sister and business partner, Kara Danvers,” Alex said, introducing her to Lena.
Kara was dressed in a navy suit with a crisp white linen shirt underneath. Her long hair was pulled into a tight ponytail and she was wearing glasses. She shook Lena’s hand.
“Perhaps we should move to the table,” Lena said, directing them to a small conference table in the office. They all sat down.
“It’s good to see you two again,” Cat said politely.
“Let’s be clear, we’re not sure we want to take this case,” Alex said, her voice firm and a bit harsh.
“Alex!” Kara interrupted, giving her sister a harsh glance. Alex huffed out a breath then motioned for Kara to continue. “Cat, maybe it would be best if I explain what we do to Ms. Luthor then we can go from there.”
“Please do,” Cat said, then she glared at Alex, “And you know I wouldn’t call you for just any client, so please keep that in mind.” Alex gave Cat a steely looked then nodded and seemed to relax a bit. Lena’s curiosity was piqued at the relationship between the women.
“Ms. Luthor, my sister and I grew up without a lot of opportunity. Our mom did the best she could but we couldn’t afford college without help. We signed up for the military to pay our way. We both served four years active duty in the Army then four years in the reserves. We were both called up during our time in active and again in the reserves. We’ve both served our time in the Middle East,” Kara took a short breath and continued, “We are highly trained in combat and very effective with both weapons and hand to hand combat. We have three employees, two are ex-military like us and one runs the business end of the company. When we finished our degrees and our military service we started Hopper Security together. We are licensed private investigators and private security. We can and do carry weapons at all times. We only take cases when we believe in our clients. We do not work for criminals. If, at any time, we find evidence that you are guilty of this crime we will cease working for you.”
Lena looked Kara directly in the eye, “I didn’t have anything to do with these murders. I’m innocent.”
“Everyone says that,” Alex said, her voice serious, “And murderers can look you right in the eye when they say it.”
“Oh, for Christ’s sake, Alex,” Cat said, “What has gotten into you? I told you I know this woman – very well. There’s no way she did this.”
“Yeah, well, I’ve been on cases related to her brother and he’s a complete psychopath,” Alex said, “The weapons he’s developing are absolutely horrifying, Cat.”
“I’m not my brother,” Lena interjected harshly, “That’s why I left his company.”
“Convince me,” Alex said, staring at Lena, arms crossed. Lena looked to Kara, thinking she might intervene again but Kara just sat and waited.
“When I worked for Lex I was helping develop body armor for our troops,” Lena said, sighing then taking a deep breath, “He came in one day and asked about making gas masks to protect against new chemical weapons I’d never heard of – or even imagined. I eventually learned that he was the one developing the chemical weapons. I quit the next day.”
Alex looked at Cat.
“It’s the truth,” Cat said, “I helped her sever her relationship with LexCorp and move her new company here to National City. She makes artificial limbs for children now, for god’s sake.”
Alex relaxed back in her chair. She looked at Lena for another long minute then nodded at Kara.
“I know you’ve had a long couple of days, being in jail and all,” Kara said, her voice much gentler, “You need to get cleaned up and fed and get some rest. We can start working on your case tomorrow. I’ll stay with you for now. Tomorrow we can start rotating agents.”
“I really think around the clock security is unnecessary,” Lena said, looking at Cat again.
“Come here,” Cat said, standing and walking to the other end of the room. Lena followed and they both stood for a moment looking out the large windows over National City.
“Lena, you’re not just a client, you’re a friend,” Cat said, “I need you to accept this. Whatever you’re involved in is dangerous. People are dead. If I lost you on my watch I’d never get over it. Please cooperate with this.”
“Fine,” Lena sighed out. “Alex is scary.”
Cat giggled and Lena couldn’t help but chuckle.
“She’s supposed to be scary,” Cat answered, “And you got Kara for tonight. She’s a little less scary.”
Lena nodded and they walked back to the table. They went over the Hopper Security employment contract and all signed.
“So, I have to run to court in the morning,” Cat said, “Let’s all meet back here at 10:30?”
They agreed and Cat and Alex shook hands then left the office together. Kara stood and walked over to the windows. She gazed out at the city carefully.
“Nice view, isn’t it?” Lena asked politely.
“I’m actually trying to figure out if a sniper could shoot into this office,” Kara said seriously, a crinkle formed on her forehead, “Give me a minute.”
Lena took a few steps back from the window and gathered her things. Her mind was on overdrive. In the last forty-eight hours she had been arrested, spent two nights in jail, arraigned and now she was in her office with a woman trying to see if someone could kill her through her own window. She huffed out a deep breath and Kara turned and looked at her.
Kara saw Lena’s shoulder’s slump and she looked at her for a long moment. The woman was clearly exhausted but she was still undeniably beautiful. Her eyes were sad but there was still some life left in the fiery green orbs. Her pale skin contrasted her jet black hair and Kara wondered if the pout on her lips was always there or was just an effect of the situation.
“Let’s get you home,” Kara said, her voice softer and gentler again, “Can I carry anything for you?”
“No, all I need is my purse and my laptop,” Lena said, grabbing both bags.
“My car is parked in the garage,” Kara said, “Follow me.”
“What about my car?” Lena asked.
“Leave it,” Kara said, “We’ll get it back to your place tomorrow.”
“Okay,” Lena said.
They rode the elevator to the garage. Kara led Lena to a black SUV. Lena stood next to the vehicle for a moment.
“Where should I sit?” Lena asked.
“Wherever you want,” Kara answered, “I’m driving. Front or back?”
“Um, front I guess,” Lena said, climbing into the passenger seat. She fastened her seatbelt and Kara pulled from the parking lot.
“Cat gave me your address,” Kara said, “We already went by and checked out the building. It’s got pretty good basic security.”
“That’s one of the reasons I picked it,” Lena answered.
They rode quietly for a few minutes until Kara spoke again.
“Alex might tell you to ride in the back,” Kara said.
Lena looked at her curiously, “Is it safer?”
“No, she’s just that way,” Kara answered.
“Okay,” Lena answered.
They arrived at the apartment. Kara opened up the back of the vehicle and pulled out a duffel bag and a small ice chest. She followed Lena to her apartment. When Lena opened the door Kara asked her to wait while she made a quick sweep of all the rooms. When she was done Lena came in and they locked up behind themselves.
“I’m gonna change real quick,” Kara said.
“Okay, you can use the spare bedroom right there,” Lena said, pointing to one of the doors.
Kara emerged a few moments later wearing black tactical pants and a tight fitting black t-shirt. Lena tried to keep her face neutral even as her mind was filled with thoughts of how incredibly sexy Kara looked in all black.
“Everything okay?” Kara asked, looking at Lena with a sly smile. Kara knew she looked good. She worked out obsessively and her body was toned and strong. She was used to people gawking, although it was usually men. She preferred women, and she had to admit she was flattered by the fact that Lena was blushing a bit.
“Yep, all good,” Lena said, “I’m going to order dinner. I’m starving. What would you like?”
“Oh, I have food in the ice chest,” Kara said, “Thanks.”
“What do you have?” Lena asked.
“A sandwich and some water,” Kara said, grabbing the ice chest and putting it on the counter. She pulled out the sandwich, which looked like some ham hurriedly thrown on a couple of slices of wheat bread.
“Well, that looks pitiful,” Lena said, her voice genuinely concerned. Kara couldn’t help but laugh.
“I did make it in a hurry,” Kara said, “But I’ve eaten MRE’s in the desert for days. Believe me, this is gourmet compared to that.”
“Well, I can’t very well sit with you and eat hot Pad Thai and spring rolls while you eat that,” Lena said, calling the restaurant and ordering two of everything.
“Suit yourself,” Kara said, internally happy for the much better meal she was going to enjoy.
Lena went to shower and change and emerged from the bathroom wearing yoga pants and a t-shirt. She had no makeup on and her hair was still damp, falling in long waves. It was Kara’s turn to keep herself from ogling the woman. Kara concentrated on her phone as Lena poured them both some water and took out utensils. There was a knock at the door and Kara jumped up to keep Lena from answering.
“It’s just the delivery guy,” Lena whispered.
“You need to let me or the other agents answer the door at all times, okay?” Kara said, her voice firm.
“Yeah, okay,” Lena said, motioning for Kara to answer.
The delivery boy looked impatient as Kara opened the door and took the bags. Lena paid him and Kara brought the food to the table. She unpacked it and folded the paper bag neatly before putting it on the counter. She put one container at each spot and made sure it was perfectly straight before sitting down. Lena eyed all of her movements then sat in her spot.
“Very precise, Ms. Danvers,” Lena said, smiling.
“Military habits,” Kara answered, “And can you call me Kara, please? I hate being called Ms. Danvers.”
“Sure, and you can call me Lena,” Lena answered.
They sat quietly for a few minutes, eating happily. Kara ate quickly and was done before Lena had finished half of hers. She looked at Lena sheepishly.
“I’m sorry, fast eating is another military habit,” Kara said, “Plus I was hungrier than I thought.”
“It’s fine,” Lena said, covering her half-eaten box and putting it in the refrigerator. She covered a yawn and looked at Kara. “I’m exhausted. I think I’ll head to bed. Did you find everything you needed in the guest room?”
Kara chuckled, “Ms. Luthor,” she began then stopped at Lena’s frown, “I mean, Lena. Look, I’m not your guest. You’re very polite and everything but I’m here to provide security. I won’t be sleeping tonight.”
“Oh, okay. I’m not accustomed to any of this,” Lena answered softly.
“I know, and it’s scary,” Kara said, “But you’ll get used to it – and, hopefully it won’t be for too long.”
“Okay, thank you,” Lena sighed out, turning to head to her room.
“Oh, Lena, one more thing,” Kara said, smiling as Lena turned back to her, “You should probably just let Alex eat her sandwich alone when she’s here.”
Lena nodded and grinned before heading to her bedroom.