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A Game of Cat and Mouse

Chapter Text

It had been a long two days tracking down the target, but all the hard work and tips had finally paid off. All the leads had guided her to this place, an establishment of unknown purpose and well hidden from the main streets with a private entrance way leading inside. Keeping an eye on the place before deciding her next move, Emma had noticed a few people going in and out of the building. The main entrance was guarded by a doorman, making it more difficult to get in.

Emma decided her next move was to casually walk into the place and if possible, take a position and wait for the target to arrive. Entering the foyer, which was much larger than one could have imagined from the outside, Emma had given the doorman a rather large tip, hoping to avoid further questions whether she belonged there or not. She was permitted entrance without any kind of hassle.

The inside decor was elegant yet modern. A reception desk stood on the left hand side, currently unoccupied by personnel. The lighting was dimmer than one would have expected and it made it more difficult for Emma to detect anyone from a distance. Emma was not quite sure whether she had arrived at a hotel or some other type of service establishment.

She was surveying the surroundings carefully so not to raise any suspicions. So far nothing, no familiar faces could be seen. Either Emma had missed the target or was too early. In any case, she was in for a wait.

She glanced around once more and found a lonesome chair tucked away in a corner.

'Nice' Emma thought and headed for the seat.

She sat down and browsed around the magazines and newspapers on the near by table and made her pick. Emma settled in her chair and started reading, or at least, that is what it appeared like for any onlooker. She was prepared for a long wait if necessary...


***

Exactly two weeks ago, a leggy blond with a a southern drawl had dropped by Emma's office and commissioned an assignment. She introduced herself as Leanna Baker, though Emma doubted it was her real name. In this business, no one really used their real names. Even Emma James was a made up name for the benefit of her current job as a private detective; catchy, short and to the point.

But, it had been a little slow lately, so Emma had been more than happy to take this case. Despite the premise being seemingly sketchy and there was not a lot to go on with apart from a few leads and a blurred photograph to accompany it.

After her client had told Emma what the job was, Emma had immediately suspected there was more behind than a search for a long lost family member or missing piece of jewelry. The story she had heard reminded more of a romance gone bad than anything else. But beggars could not be choosers and her client was willing to pay a substantial compensation for services rendered. Emma was not about to turn such a good deal down.


***

Emma must have dozed off and was woken by an unusually loud argument, at least it seemed unusual for this establishment. The overall ambiance was laid back, low key and quiet. Emma squinted her eyes to get a better look at the source of the noise. She spotted an older red headed woman, who was arguing with a young man, something about... footwear?

Emma could not quite make out what they actually were saying since only some of the words were spoken in a raised voice. From what Emma could hear, it seemed the young man had borrowed a pair of high heeled shoes of Red's and returned them with a broken heel.

'Well, that's no good,' Emma though, 'You should always return the things you borrow in the same condition you got them in'.

Clearly the young man was in trouble!

Emma rose from seat and stretched her legs. She surveyed the surroundings again, but no change so far. She sighed deeply and started towards the reception when something caught her peripheral vision... A tall dark figure was standing just behind a pillar, which was blocking a clear view. Emma moved a little closer to catch a better glimpse. She took a deep breath and swallowed hard. Her target had finally arrived.

 

 

Like the big cat on the Serengeti hunting for it's pray, or in this case a more domesticated house cat watching out for any mice in the neighborhood, Emma was ready to pounce when the time came.