Chapter 4

The next morning everyone was up and ready to go recon the mark by 4 am, according to Hardison initial data on their routine the family started their days early up and going by 6 am most days. His daughter was usually at school an hour early for morning clubs or tutoring, the wife would meet her girlfriends at the gym early in the morning followed by a "working" brunch, and Markoff was up with the New York stock exchange after being up most of the night with the Chinese stock exchanges. So, the team had to be prepared to beat the sun in order to beat the Markoff's. Hardison was at the "rented" office, in the high rise working on making sure every system was up and running perfectly, while Nate, Sophie, Parker and Eliot all went to see the house.

Parker was going to break in and place wireless transmitters for sound and video, it also made a makeshift backdoor for Hardison and left almost no digital footprint this way.

Nate and Sophie were on the grift to see just how well his guards reacted to people in their area, and Eliot was to take pictures from the car from different locations for further recon at the hotel.

Lights came on well before dawn just like their information said, the house became alive with movement, Parker slipped out the back-passenger side door quietly disappearing in the dark before the dawn. Eliot started to take a few pictures of any movement from in front of and as much of the house as possible. Nate and Sophie stepped out of the car and walked down the block away from the house, to grab some coffees and make it seem like they were just arriving in the neighborhood when it gets lighter.

Eliot was sitting and waiting for movement when he saw someone walking up to the house, it was the teenager from yesterday, she walked up to the guard station opened her bag and after it was searched, she was waved through the front gates. Eliot made sure he got some pics of her walking up and entering the gate, she walked right up to the house and went in. He looked at the house next door and he could swear no lights ever turned on at the house, so she must have gotten dressed in the dark. The school girl was question to him because he doesn't miss a thing but he missed her until she was at the house already.

"Morning Erica...you need some coffee, cuz you look tired!" Danni walked into the Markoff house dressed and ready to go, to Erica it seemed like she was never not ready to go, it was too early for that bullshit in her mind.

"how about a senior skip day!? I could use some time off to rest my brain, it's about fried with the workload I've got going on. Why did I start applying myself again, life was so much easier when they thought I was an idiot." Erica was dressed but her uniform was a wreck, Danni saw that she must have just slept in it, to avoid the effort of putting it back on in the morning.

"first off, you're a junior, not a senior so no on the senior skip day. 2nd you look like shit, don't you have a fresh uniform and a brush somewhere in your multimillion-dollar mansion?" Danni looked at Erica and saw how fried the kid was, she had at least 3 tutors, and 2 clubs she was a part of outside of school. "... but you have been working hard lately and have been behaving. Let me talk to your dad and I think a sick day can be arranged for some time this week, no promises so while I do that you go put on a crisp uniform, you're not leaving the house like that." Erica looked at Danni like she had grown a third nostril she didn't think her bodyguard would even consider a skip day an option no matter how cool they seem.

"... Yea, sure... I'll be right back." Erica took a couple steps in the direction of her room then turned around "... You're really going to talk to him about a skip day?" Her face was scrunched up in disbelief, not sure if she should believe her bodyguard or not.

"I know when I first started here my policy with you was super strict, but as you've proven yourself to not be a shit and you follow my orders better, I figured you've earned some slack. You're working hard in school and outside of school, your part of 2 clubs that you enjoy, and your grades are up. Why shouldn't you be rewarded." Danni smiled at Erica she had come a long way in such a short time. She turned and walked to her employer office where he would be going over his paperwork.

Erica squealed with excitement she hadn't had a day off in so long and not having to look over her shoulder or ditch her phone somewhere was going to make it all the more relaxing. She bounded up the stairs to her room 2 and 3 at a time to go get ready for school.

Danni approached the office and knocked on the door, waiting for her boss to acknowledge her presence. "come in" his voice sounded distracted as he granted her entrance into the office. "Sir, I've come to make a request, your daughter Erica is working very hard in school to get her grades up and stay out of trouble...serious trouble at least. I think a mental health day is in order for her to have continued incentive to work hard. She has a couple of quizzes today and possibly a pop quiz so I was thinking maybe tomorrow she could have a day off?"

Standing there in the office it didn't seem like Jacob heard a word she had said, and there was nothing more annoying than a boss that purposely made you squirm to "remind" you who's in charge. If she needed to be reminded or intimidated then she wasn't doing her job right.

Finally, he took a break from his papers "No, not tomorrow do it the day after, it should be a better day." He didn't look up to look at Danni but halfheartedly sorting papers while talking.

"Sir, the day after tomorrow there will twice as much people out in public because it so close to the weekend, tomorrow the crowds will be minimal, that will make my job easier."

Markoff put down his papers and looked up for the first time since Danni entered the room, he sat back and stared at her. "So why are you here requesting this? Do you have external plans tomorrow and are dragging my daughter along? Why isn't she here asking me herself, did you forget you work for me not for her? Talk to me" Even though he said to talk to him, it was clearly one of those situations where he was being redundant and didn't her to actually answer him, but being in the military she was more than used to this type of male in charge persona and was not phased.

"My plans are to take care of your daughter sir, of which I've been doing an excellent job as you yourself have remarked several times. If she was here asking to skip school with your permission would you even hear her out, let alone respect her enough to consider it. And I never forget who I work for." She looked at him coolly, showing that she was unimpressed with his show of bravado but she didn't have an attitude so she would at least appear respectful to him. "Your daughter has been working to the point where she falls asleep in her uniform from the previous day because she's studying and doing her homework. I would think you would want your daughter to have time off to recharge and plan it for a day that wouldn't be so busy so I could properly do my job to protect her and not have to worry about the 5000 people surrounding your daughter on a regular day basis."

Markoff looked at his daughters bodyguard and was wondering not for the first time if he had made the right decision going in such an unorthodox route for her protection, its been almost two years since she was hired, shes lasted longer than most guards and there have been minimal incidents since she was hired. He knew Danni did her best not to ask for too many favors especially with his daughters schedule, and she was right that Erica was working harder than she has in a long time. Erica might even get into a decent college on her own merit, of course he would step in and get her into an Ivy League school but still he felt she could hold her own now and was willing to throw money at the situation. "... Fine you may take her out of school tomorrow but i want a full itinerary of your day, and I still might cancel or even assign more men to add protection."

Danni knew that he was being very generous and lenient at this time, he paid the bills after all, she took the win "Thank you sir, I'll have an itinerary ready for you to go over with my regular report." She turned and walked out of his office before he changed his mind, truth be told going through high school again could be very tedious so she was grateful for the day off as well.

Down in the kitchen Erica was waiting for her, wearing a clean crisp uniform and had her hair brushed for good measure, Danni wanted to fuck with her but their time in the car and before school started would be their best time to plan and get an itinerary together so she could put it in with her report. "First tell me that I'm your favorite body, ever!" Danni laughed.

"OH MY GOD YES! I cant believe you got him to agree to this!" Erica was jumping for joy around the kitchen.

"First lets leave right now and grab some coffee on the way to school, it will be just our luck your dad pops up right after i tell you yes and he changes his mind."

They grabbed their bags and almost ran out the door to the car, the driver opened the back door for them to get in "Your dad said yes but with some strings"

"Of course there are strings!" Erica rolled her eyes

"They're really not bad as far as strings can go, I'm assuming he was about half a cup of coffee into his day otherwise he would have added more strings and it would have been better to just go to school, you know."

"Ok so what are they, the strings?" Erica was getting a little impatient.

"We have to plan and submit an itinerary to him, he reserves the right to cancel at any time, and the strong possibility of an entourage for added protection."

"I hate having 30 guards surrounding me like I'm some wannabe gangster or pop star or something, doesn't he realize that only draws more attention to me than if there's only us!"

"subtlety when it comes to protection detail is not in your fathers strong suit I've seen, in some things less is more but thats me."

They spent the rest of the car ride planning out their day not wanting to waste their opportunity at a sort of day off.