Chapter 24 - It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas
Sharon was on her way out, wanting to leave Hanna and Eyal alone when he caught her hand. "No you don't, come here. Eyal pulled Sharon close to him.
In this situation Sharon would have liked for Eyal not to be a highly trained spy, sneaking out on him was not an easy task. "Eyal, this might be just a bit awkward, you two must have some things to talk about privately. Anyway I'd like to catch up with Annie."
"You can catch up with Annie later, no news is good news. Eyal again pulling Sharon close to him with a look that she knew not to argue.
Hanne surprised them by taking both their hands putting them one on top of the other and signing an OK with her thumb and index. She had to laugh at their shy reaction.
Sharon handed Hanna her IPad showed her how to work the Notes application. Hanna node and wrote: "Don't have to be a spy to know you two are kind of together. You looked so cute sleeping just now"
Eyal shook his head and looked at Sharon "There goes the 'cute' word again."
Sharon laughing "Hanna, my daughter said the same thing to us the other day and Eyal said he had never been referred to as a 'cute couple'. He found it amusing."
Hanna writing "Maybe because Eyal hasn't been 'a couple' since we were together and being childhood friend, it was natural to see the two of us. After 'us' he gained a reputation of a player for girls so seeing him looking kind of 'domesticated' is cute!"
"Domesticated" Eyal and Sharon said in unison all the while laughing at Hanna's comment. Well Sharon was laughing, Eyal didn't quite know what to make of that comment!
"Have so many questions for you two, wish I could talk, but for now how did you find me?"
Eyal and Sharon both looked at each other, Sharon answered "Well you know our line of work, so let say it was 'spy team' work in action. We managed to track that gymnast keychain you got from the stunt our sons pulled on us and are presently grounded for! Lucky for you that you had it with you!"
Hanna smiled and typed away "So you guys can also put your talent to good use and not only stir Mayhem and Murder"
Sharon noticed Eyal's temper starting to boil, she squeezed his hand and took the lead in answering Hanna. "Look Hanna, yes our work is sometime dark and violent but most of the time it's planning, tracking, gathering intel so to be able to work towards resolving a conflict or other situations before they happen. Sorry to say but this 'work' is often quite boring. Our world is a dangerous place but I, and I'm sure Eyal looks at his career in the same manner, am/are proud to be a small part of a solution to make it better. If a downside of this livelihood implicates danger and/or deceit, well we deal with it when it happens. We never go out looking for it. I tried to explain this to you when I was here last but you were not ready to listen. Hope this time around, you can take time to hear what I'm saying and maybe want to learn a bit more of what is exactly is our work."
Turning the IPad towards Eyal and Sharon "Sharon, today I'm alive and I realize that if it wasn't for your 'work' and training, I wouldn't be. I'm not saying I approve of it or accept it but I now realise it can also do good and GOOD people live this dangerous life. I'll take you up on your invitation to learn more about what you two do.…. And Eyal ….breathe … I'm going to miss that temper of yours, always loved to spark it up! Mr. Lavin, never through someone could tame that wild streak of yours."
To that Sharon felt Eyal relax. He even showed Hanna one of his best sweet smile. Sharon couldn't resist to quickly kiss him lovingly and he surprised her by returning it with a bit more vigour.
"Hum, hum" Hanna sounded off.
Sharon had to ask "Hanna, care to tell me how you got implicated with that guy?"
"Going to make a long story short, writing is harder than talking: I am a volunteer at our local "People of divorce' association. When Daniel joined up I was assigned to him. His wife had just left him and he was a wreck. I wanted to help but along the way he confused my wanting to help for love. Yesterday he called me from work and I went to see him. I had the intention of trying to make him understand my implication with him. He didn't take the news well and told me that he could not have another woman leaving him. He would make sure that 'WE' would leave this world TOGETHER. He tied me up and left me, I presume to get the knife he had on him went you found me, Sharon. I was never so happy and surprise to see somebody. You and that blond girl, Annie I think, saved my life. I can never thank you enough. I'm sorry for Daniel, he was such a nice man. I wish I could have helped him more. …And could you two stop flirting, Eyal you're acting like a boy your son's age!"
Both Sharon and Eyal faces turned a nice shade of red. To that Eyal uncle came in.
"Hanna, nice to see you looking so well. I don't know what it is with Eyal's female companions but they seem to be in arms way a little too much to my liking. How are you feeling?"
"Tired but all in all I feel happy to be alive"
'Nice touch with the IPad for communication! Tired is normal and sorry but it's going to take a couple of weeks to get back to your old self. You don't lose 40% of your body's blood without it reacting. Serious R&R and absolutely no straining activities for the next 4 to 6 week. That cut has to heal completely, a major artery was cut... the major artery!"
Hanna looked up at Uncle En with a surprise expression. She had not quite realize the gravity of her injury. Her next question was "When will I be able to speak"
"Uncle En looked at Eyal and sighted "Women… Well Hanna it should take a day or two for the swelling to go down and with pain medication you should be able to chatter away in a day or two. For now stick with the IPad."
Eyal joined in the conversation. "Look Hanna, we will leave you to rest. When would you like for me to bring Avi. I'm sure he's quite anxious to see you."
"Feeling pretty tired now but would love to see him as soon as possible. He must have been worried sick"
Sharon said, "He had his dad and that helped a lot. He was in very good hands Hanna. Eyal was calmed, quickly organised your search and rescue, Avi knew his dad would do everything in his power to find you." Hanna looked at Eyal and whispered "Thank you"
Eyal kissed Hanna on her forehead "You know I would like to do a lot more for Avi"
"You will, I promise" Hanna manage to say on her own while taking Eyal hands and planting a gentle kiss on them.
Sharon seeing that Hanna was torn between her being tire and wanting to talk to Avi "I have an idea. Why don't we contact Avi with Face Time? That way you can talk to Avi and he'll be secure that you are OK."
Hanna and Eyal just looked at Sharon with blank stares. Uncle En was on his way out chuckling "It's a video-chat application, Sharon, bring these two in the 21st century!"
Sharon proceeded to contact Avi on the IPad. Didn't take him long to answer on his own new IPad, a gift from Eyal and Sharon.
"Avi, I have a surprise for you." Sharon then passed the IPad with a couple of explanations to Hanna and this time she was able to skip out without Eyal getting a grip on her. He was quite involve in this 'family' reunion, he having to do the talking for Hanna.
As soon as Sharon was out, she dialed MP's phone to see how everything was going her way. MP answered and to Sharon's relief everything had gone smoothly. As Eyal had predicted, Annie and MP were now the best of friends. Annie had invited MP and Jake for a night out with her and Auggie. MP wanted Eyal and Sharon to join them.
Ending the call, Sharon was thinking 'finally something that went off without a hitch!' Startled by Eyal putting his hands on her shoulder and saying, "Put your spy mode off, Love".
"Yes, I was on 'mother mode'."
"How did it go down for MP and Annie?"
"As planned for a welcome change, and like you said, MP and Annie hit it off. They are going out together tonight and invited us to join them."
Eyal looking at Sharon with 'I told you so' look "We have some time before our team diner, want to rest a bit. We were up early and a night out with MP and Annie could be fun but only if our old bodies hold up"
"I'm with you, would love some down time especially with nothing else on my mind and your wonderful company. Hanna was right, you are getting 'domesticated' Mr. Lavin"
"Never, can't stand a routine and you, Mrs. Welby, seem to be a magnet for action so don't think I'm going to be 'domesticated' any time soon. And Sharon thanks for handling things with Hanna. With Hanna I seem lose my temper at the worst moments. She was always good at pushing all the right buttons. If I want to have a chance to have some time with my son, I need to keep my temper in check. Thanks for keeping me from ruining my chances with Avi"
"Glad to have helped. Lucky for me I can now sense your temper coming on. Hanna has the right word for it, 'flaring up'! As for some 'down time, lead the way, I need some bad!"
Arriving in the hotel room they went straight to the bedroom, both needing those few hours of sleep.
Sharon woke up to Eyal kissing her neck "Eyal is this your way of telling me I'm oversleeping"
Eyal just stopping to answer "Nope…. my way of telling you we had some 'D' time and now it's time for some 'E' time"
Sharon turned to respond to his kisses and added some sensual touching to his little game "Again Mr. Lavin, lead the way, love your knowledge of the English alphabet"
"You're already giving me some very sexy shivers, why don't you just continue, 'E'cstasy time…here we come
Eyal and Sharon arrived just in time for the team diner. Auggie never missing an occasion to tease them "Hey, you two seem to have a habit at being just in the neck'ing' of time"
Sharon responded as fast 'Learning from the best and at least our neck'ing' doesn't leave little red circles for everybody to see. I'm a lot more discreet!"
Auggie looked at Annie in panic "You didn't" Annie just giggle and responded "Teasing over, Sharon 1 Auggie 0."
Waiting for everybody to settle, Eyal took over. "Think you guys are going to like this debriefing, it will be short, to the point and with a surprise ending.
"Eyal's style, love it" Andy shouted
"Thanks Andy, still hate doing it but it's necessary. Really like the way our last intervention went down."
"Yeah no girls, went off without a hitch" Auggie put in, getting himself slapped from Sharon on his left and Annie on his right.
Eric shook his head "Auggie you really like living dangerously, you're lucky you can't see their faces. If I were you, I'd lay low for a couple of hours at least"
Vincent just had to add 'Well the last time Walker shot me that kind of look I ended up with four dead bodies and a certain hard headed Mossad agent I had to put twice on a plane to Israel." All laughed and Eyal tipped his hand to Vincent!
Eyal tried to regain control of his friends but to no avail, they seemed to be all in quite playful moods. Pulling away from the mayhem that was happening in the living room to answer a call. It was his cousin Evans asking him if Sharon would want to sing a couple of songs for some Canadian cruisers that had a night planned at his bar. A night out, this might just be the ticket to calm his group, he thought. He guessed they were just letting off some steam and getting a little restless about news of when they could go home, it being so close to Christmas. For Eyal, Christmas was not a holiday but he did understand the sentiments it brought for Christians. Religion aside he'd always admired the Christmas Spirit - the feeling, seeing people sharing, helping each other, being friendly and more cooperative.
Coming back to the living room he tried to help Andy and Auggie by grabbing Annie and Sharon by their collars and pulling the girls off of the boys. That just got the two girls ganging up on him…pushing him to the ground…'ah hell I might as well join in' and show those girls not to mess with a guy that can fence off fully trained gunmen's…. and this is when Robert would chose to make an entrance!
Funny Robert presence manage to calm all of them in an instant. Robert had to laugh, he had assemble a couple of ace spy teams but this one was quite special. MI-6 had sought CIA's help to form a multi-agency team that could withstand the stress that came with being on these special task forces. Contacting Mossad to have one of theirs for leader had been quite an easy task and their acceptance was immediate. Mossad had to scramble to recommission Eyal in the process through!
Not everybody could serve on such teams. The two last ones MI-6 had assemble were dismantle due to stress related issues and bickering in the ranks. It was Robert's last chance at proving the viability of such teams and especially the multi-agency aspect of it. This time around, Robert had strayed away from the conventional ways of recruiting. He had chosen people that had the skills and experience but also had a reputation for bucking the system. Eyal had added his finishing touch and the results was what he was looking at: 7 very talented agents acting like children in a wrestling match but with results that proved their talent: More intel on the AALY terrorist group that had been uncovered in a year of cover individual missions, two potential terrorist quarters destroyed and the best part was that the intel was retrieved without the terrorist leaders knowing that they were targets. And a bonus - bringing havoc in their ranks by making AALY believe a rival terrorist group was behind the last attack. Results of their leader's quick thinking. New on the job and already taking initiative that only experience leaders would take and some would never reach that level of thinking. Now Robert had to take the annoyed boss look, one that his daughter would take less than a second to figure was fake so why try!
"Eyal, you really have to get a handle on the debriefing part of your job. Did you at least give them the good news?"
Eyal was trying to discreetly coerce Annie and Sharon to get off of him but they were not cooperating. Robert just said "Girls" and surprisingly they both let Eyal get to his feet.
"Can't understand why they listen to you so rapidly and when I try it they just ignore me."
"Eyal, you're not quite 'a suit' yet. Make the most of it, it can sometime get quite lonesome being The Boss". Robert helping Eyal up!
'No, Robert to answer your question, I didn't give them the good news. They were more interested in out quipping themselves to listen to me."
"Well Mr. Lavin, I'll put my authority to good use and tame them down a bit while you read them in" Robert looking at each with a stern look on his face till he got to Sharon who just returned his stare making him loose his composure and break out in a smile.
"Thanks Robert, Sharon sit down now" Time for play was over and all got it from Eyal tone. "Well to get back to the first order of business - Congratulations are in order for all of you. From the chatter we are following, our work has all but put a stop, temporary stop that is, on AALY activities. (That brought cheers from the gang). Also sorry to announce that the peace talks are kind of in a stall at this moment so that leaves us with some well deserve down time to get reacquainted with our lifes! And here is the surprise part: All of you have an open ticket, first class accommodations no less, to get to wherever you want or dream of. So as of tomorrow you can get home, spend your holidays with your love ones and then go wherever you want with a person of your choice! My advice don't take too long to profit of this opportunity, our job has a way off calling us back to duty when we least expect it."
Eyal loved seeing the expressions of surprise on their faces. Benefits on that kind were not in agencies operation books. They all seemed shocked but delighted at once.
Leaving them to talk it out, he signal to Sharon that he had news for her. He relayed Evans message. Seeing Sharon's eyes light up, he knew there was no way she was going to say no to this chance to sing for fellow Canadians.
"Eyal, I'd love to help out but only if you think it won't blow our cover here. Don't want to put our group in jeopardy."
"I'll check with Robert but we came here with the cover that we were filming a reality TV show with a touring music band. Performing for one night in Evans bar/club would just solidify that cover. Evans will back me up with this story."
"Yes! Now I only need to convince the rest of the group to join me"
"Sharon, Evans said YOU could sing a couple of songs, not the entire team. He has his regular musicians"
"Eyal, that just the problem, for tonight he doesn't. His regulars are performing for a TV show of some sort and can't be there tonight. I can sing with pre-recorded music but it would be a shame. Evans has all the instruments we need, you for example, can play the rhythmic guitar…" to that Eyal stopped her on the spot
"No, that's out of the question. You can sing that I know that but I play the guitar just for fun and I'm sure the rest, except maybe Auggie and Andy, are the same.
"I can ask, they only can say no and if so I'll sing to pre-recorded music"
"Well I, for one, am not getting on stage to play the guitar. It's been years since I even held one in my hands. While in Quebec, I just played with your ex. Dave's for the fun of it."
"Coward, you played quite well from what I saw!" Sharon slapping his chess as he brought her close to him to prevent her from repeating her move.
"Change of subject, Eyal when December comes, if I'm not in Canada or England, I feel something missing. Not the religion part but the Christmas Spirit - the feeling, people sharing, helping each other and being friendlier. Also I miss the lights, the decorations, and the music. These things do not have a religious connotation to me. I'd really like to be home for Christmas and I would love for you to join me but will understand if you prefer to stay with Hanna and Avi."
"Sharon, we don't do Christmas remember, so I'd love to join you. But I'd prefer England, Québec City is a bit too cold for my liking at this moment."
Robert appeared "Here you are…. have a surprise for both of you" asking Sharon and Eyal to follow him to the kitchen.
Ima came in with Avi and Kevin in tow. Sharon jumped at Kevin and Avi jumped on his father.
"Robert, I know you, what did you plan." Sharon eying her father.
"Well I was thinking that since I'm staying here with Ima and Robin for the remaining of the holidays, that you two could do some house sitting. Hate to leave the house unoccupied at this time of the year, everything is so beautiful in England now and so much is going on in the cultural scene. So I though you could stay there with the three kids. I have some tickets to a couple of shows that it would be a shame to waste. After the holidays, Ima and I could come over and 'babysit' so you two can take some time together. Just try to pick a destination that won't put you two in armsway. Eyal my daughter's natural attraction for danger seem to rubbing off on you!"
Eyal breathing deeply "Robert that would be great but I don't think Hanna will agree. We haven't had much time to discuss my visiting rights with Avi."
Ima approached Eyal and took his hands "E, I had a long talk with Hanna, it helped that she couldn't talk back (Ima winking at Eyal) but she agreed to let you have Avi for the next four months. After their science fair project, Avi was offered a student exchange with Kevin's school but Hanna had refused. Robert called the school to see if it could still be possible and all is settle. I'll take care of Hanna while she's recuperating and next September Hanna will take care of Kevin while he's here on the second part of the exchange."
Sharon looked at her father and shook her head "You are still feeling guilty for putting me in a bad spot with MP's mission aren't you? Love what you did but you do realise that neither me nor Eyal will be able to be in Québec full time for the next 4 months. A little thing called work, work that you organised, remember!"
Robert took his best smug look "You should know me by now Sharon! I contacted Dave and he is all to OK with having Avi for that time. For once me and your ex. can agree on something. Said it could only help Kevin with his studying ethic to have a strait A student like Avi following him. Dave has a full time maid/nanny. She's in her fifty's and well qualified, I personally checked her out – so Sharon you can shake that look off your face, she's not the bunny type! Hanna has agreed but Eyal you're going to have to promise her that you will be there some of the time. I don't foresee that not happening, from experience the missions are pretty intense for two or three weeks then, like we are presently doing, we have some down time. The only thing your downtime will not be vacationing but parenting. That why you should take our offer to get away for a bit after the holidays."
To that Robert handed Eyal the necessary travel papers to officialise he being Avi's guardian for the next 4 months.
Eyal just stared at them. This was playing havoc with his emotions big time. Avi being there he didn't like to reveal any chinks in his armor but when Sharon came up to him and put her hands on his chess, he just couldn't supress his emotions, want it or not tears came to his eyes.
"Dad are you OK with this, I don't have to go if you don't want me to" Avi shyly whispered.
"More than OK, no worry, you're going. It's just more than I ever hoped for. We're finally going to properly get to know each other" The two of them hugged.
Ima was quite please "Now we only have Evans bar/club Canadians evening to resolve. Sharon think he asked you if you could fill in for the band tonight. Would love to see you sing in a safe environment. Why don't we make it a family and friends gathering? I can call some family members, they would be quite happy to see you Eyal"
Sharon looked at Eyal then at Ima "Well, I can do it but I would have liked for some of our group to form a real live band with me. The instruments are there, they only need some hands to play them. Eyal won't hear of it but I can asked the others."
"Eyal won't what? Ima looked directly at Eyal "Son, you learned the guitar by yourself and you're a natural, it's something you never lose. It's been so long since I've heard you play, tonight you're playing"
Eyal just lifted his eyes and shoulders in defeat!
"Dad, even when you're old, mothers are still on you back" Avi asking
"I'm not answering that, I'm just going to get in more trouble than I am already in" Eyal biting his lips not to smile at Avi comments.
"Once a mother always a mother" Sharon and Ima answered.
Back in the living room, MP had arrived with Jake sticking close by. She was surprised to see her brother was also in Israel. Kevin had told MP of Robert's plan. All other team members were in their own quarters, surely to inform family members of their return to the US.
Sharon looked at MP and discreetly signed (both mother and daughter knew sign language) "What's with Jake, your Sam out of the picture."
"Yes it's over with Sam, but Jake is only a friend… a good friend, tell you more later"
Sharon shook her head and smiled. Eyal had witness the coded talk between them, he also knew how to sign. "Out with the old and in with the new, I'm guessing" Eyal whispering to Sharon.
"Teenagers, don't worry you're going to experience all of it in a near future."
"Hope I'm up to it, I feel like I'm jumping in while the train is in full speed"
"Don't worry, Avi seem to be a real nice kid. Don't think you're going to have any problems, Daddy"
"That title scares me more than being called a skilled assassin"
Sharon sitting near Eyal and putting her arm around his neck "Told you, don't worry, you're going to be just fine. Use your best judgement and don't let him get away with murder… well oups I take that back, real bad choice of word." Sharon had to laugh at Eyal's panic look. "And don't forget, as long as you can put up with me, we're in this together, Mr. Lavin" Eyal responded by pulling Sharon close and kissing her. He had forgotten the 'kids' but the 'oooooo's' from the boys and friendly 'Get a room' from MP brought him real fast to reality. Even Jake was giving him a questioning look.
"Priceless moment" Ima was laughing freely at the site of her grown son and a master spy being caught off guard by three teenagers!
Sharon also having a bout of free laughter "OK, kids give him a break, he's new at this. Look I need to talk to all so MP can you get Annie and Auggie in here. Think I have just the place for our evening out. Eyal, if you're recovered, could you call Vincent and Eric. I'll get Andy.
All were gathered and wondering what was going on. Sharon started
"Hey gang, I have a favor to ask of you on our last night in Israel. How would you like to perform a one night stand as a band? There's a group of Canadian tourist that are expecting some entertaining tonight at Evans Bar/Club. He's Eyal's cousin."
Eric looked at Sharon as if she was a UFO 'You're kidding, I can't get up in front of people"
Annie responded "Eric, if you ever want a night out with a girl, you're going to have to start doing something else than tinkering with tech gear. Sharon count me in, were going to have a blast"
Sharon continued "We can do this, MP on keyboard, Andy on drums, Auggie on synthesizers or percussions, Eyal on rhythm guitar with me and Annie as singers - a Five-piece band. Vincent and Eric could film our evening for future showing. If we ever use the 'reality TV show' as cover again, it could be useful to solidify that cover. Robert can sing his 'Auld Lang Sine' it's awesome! We only have to entertain this crowd for a couple of hours. Have to admit, presently I'm a bit nostalgic of the Christmas spirit and our audience being mostly Canadian, they are surely in the same mood. They still have two weeks to go on their vacations and surely would like a couple of Christmas songs to pull them back home if only for a night. It would be such a fun night to end our first mission together! "
"Can I join in, I can play the sax, have it with me in the sage house' Jake ventured.
Sharon was ecstatic "You're in Jake! Sax, wow that's an added bonus!" Eyal was surprised all were quite happy to help out Evans and Sharon. Auggie was beside himself, a saxophone was one of his favorite instrument
Eyal was just next to Jake in Hebrew he said "Some other words of advice, never volunteer for these kind of 'She' missions, there killers. Wait till she corners you into them and if you're lucky you can weasel out of it."
"Nope, she cornered me good, women are quite masterful at getting you just where or what they want!"
"Don't mind it that much, I often play along, love the paybacks"
Eyal shook his head, flashback time… he had seen it all before.
"OK, let get some food in here and prepare our evening, thanks and love you guys, you're the best" Sharon preparing practice time!
Eyal realising Sharon was in her element. She, as Auggie had said in the beginning, was first a performer then a spy. He had to admit to himself that he also liked the idea of performing, especially in front of his family. It would give him a chance to prove to those who knew what he did for a living that he was not only a killer for hire! He love the art scene, music, singing and dancing but he would never admit it to Sharon!
To be continued for a last chapter, chapter 25 will wrap up this story. My plan was to post it Christmas day (25th chapter on the 25th of December) but didn't have time to write as much as I've liked. I plan to continue posting stories of this team but didn't want to drag this one for too long. Also like to write lighter and funnier stuff, (this chapter is more my style so if you liked it please review or give me your opinion – PM me) Now that most of Eyal 'problems' have been dealt with and him and Sharon have closed 'the Israel circle' it will be less 'dramatic' at least I hope! I have lots of ideas in my head but this time won't put them all in one story line! Thanks for all the reviews and wishing all Fanfictions readers the most wonderful 2014 year!