• The rain poured down on our town with no mercy in thought. The wind didn’t help ether, with the force of it’s power I had a hard time walking home from the office. But I wasn’t the only one having trouble, the one man with the long brown jacket and brief case had been following me for a long while. He swayed threw the deep crowded streets worst then I did drunk. I kept thinking to myself in the rain, “Why would this man need to follow me? I only work in the bank, part time of course.” After a block or two the stalker was right behind me. I swore I could feel his heavy breaths down my neck and his dark eyes piercing my body as I walked. A few steps from my door he finally stopped me in dead in my tracks, for he could tell I knew a while back. “John Cross, my name is Tod Silver. I need your assistance.” I just looked at the shadowed face and after a moments silence returned to reality. I nodded unsure of my choice to let him in.
    We both sat down in front of the fire to talk business. The light bounced of his silk skin and so did mine as we both drank a cup a scotch. “How can I trust you if I can’t see who is in my house?” He laughed and apologized for his rudeness. “I am sorry but that is not an option. I am scared for my safety and cannot trust people with my identity. Please forgive me sir.” I yawned then rested my arm on the side of the old plan couch. “I am sorry but I am just a banker. And I do not do threats against the innocent and no bribes to smuggle money ether.” I tried to keep my voice as calm as possible to see how much this stranger really knew about me. “I know your no ordinary banker. You may be able to trick others but not me. I know a lot about you sir. You were born in Walla Walla, at thirteen you went collage, smartest student in history to graduate that early? You are not married for you keep running away from others feelings, how disappointing. And you are not a banker but the best under cover agent in the world. Even the worldwide governments have kept your history private! You help people when they come to you. And I hope you are going to help me.” His hand reached up and took his hat off which then allowed me to see his face. A teenage boy was starring me in the eyes, begging for help. “I guess I’m not much of a secret, but to the one who need help.”
    That’s when it hit me! I have seen this boy before. He was in the front page. “You are Tod, Tod Silver? You, boy, are wanted for murder, robbery, and for hostage situations!” I nudged him in concern, “Not in anyway I would possibly help you? Not even if you dropped to your knees and kissed my feet!” I laughed again. His face turn to a sour, angry, look. Any second I knew he was going to pull something. So as I was laughing I quickly reached in my pocket and pulled out a 357. And at the same time he did too. So their we were in the living room with a 357 at our throats.
    “Your pretty good for a snot nosed killer!” He laughed a bit at what I said to him. “And your pretty bad for an old banker that doesn’t give a dam about the world since Arabella died!” I was silent for he had gone too far. He laughed hard and deep like a fifty year old man. Stunned and broken I dropped my gun to the floor as he picked it up and shoved me into the couch. All I could do was think about what he just said. With the gun now pointed at my head Tod pulled out his little black box, with a flashing red light. “This, John, is called a locator. Any second we’ll be on a helicopter to Washington DC were there we’ll meet the President. It’s better then here in Indiana. Sure it’s a hassle, but you are worth it my friend.”
    As the FBI came and scooped me into the helicopter, with much hassling, all I could think about was Arabella. Her lush hair flowing in the wind. Her eyes bright as the moon’s rainbow. Her body has healthy as a horse. She was so fine and elegant. And no matter what you felt like she could make it better. She could even make a baby sleep by just telling a small story, with her voice woven by an angel’s harp. The only thing that could really make me smile was to see her smile. I loved her so much. But Tod was right. I just kept on running away from the weddings. I was afraid for a reason I didn’t know myself. And because of that she is now dead. Out of all the ways to die, she died by a fatal ship sinking into the sea. There was no evidence of survival.“I would’ve protected you from death itself” a muffle of a few words made me cry in silence. A least the helicopter covered that fact up. But I had to admit I haven’t been myself ever since. It was so hard to find out that horrid secret. Then everything slowed down with me. I wasn’t ready to move on to forget her, how could I? And it didn’t make me feel better that I had almost seven guns pointed at my head incase I was to do something stupid. “You know it would be easier to shoot me if you all didn’t have the safety on.” I glared at them all and crossed my arms to sleep. I would be there by morning, I guess? I wouldn’t hurt to get some shuteye.

    As the helicopter’s blades slowed down to a complete halt Tod was giving me rules. “You will ask no questions. You will address the people you talk to as ‘sir’ and nothing else. Are we clear?” I agreed and jumped a bit as he tightened a pair of handcuffs on too tight. By the time I got out walked across the grassy field and under a blue tarp my wrists were turning blue. Has the men sat me down at a table Tod came to sit next to me. “Remember what I said.” He didn’t even look at me. But I didn’t really care for my wrists were now numb. “Could you adjust these bloody things!?” I growled and whined. My hair was messy and I had a rip in my coat from the ride over. But best of all I had forgotten what Tod said last night. “So who’s coming? Wait, let my guess.” I paused as Tod observed what I was doing. But I wasn’t doing anything but look around at random objects. And something had surprised me, their was no evidence of who these people were. Usually I could figure it out in a second but now, nothing?
    Another engine was working away off in the summer heat. It was coming at an average speed of 30mph and it was on four wheels, most likely a jeep. Sweat was rolling off my foreheads like a river coming out of a fire hydrant. Like I predicted, a small tan jeep rolled up next to the second tent. A tall slim man hopped out and wore sunglasses like he owned everybody he set eyes on. After disappearing in the tent he immediately came back out, with a cool bottle of water. My dried out mouth drooled with whatever was left. My hands had no more feeling in them so I asked one more time for Tod to take them off before the man got here. And finally with that forty minute wait he did, now I just wanted the water.
    The slim man sat down and gently placed the water by his side. But I being such a great actor I just rubbed my wrists and played cool. “John Cross, it’s an honor.” his breath reeked of rotten meat and eggs. Disgusted I just wiped the sweat off my forehead and leaned backwards in my wooden chair. Angrily he pulled his hand back onto the other one so he was ready to interrogate. Tod sighed and punched me in the side and left for the other man to do his work of punishment. “Now that was uncalled for!” I laughed and struggled to sit back up. As I looked at the man’s face I noticed how old he looked. About fifty, smoked two packs a day, had a wife, two or three kids, and wanted to beat the living tar out of me. It was real easy to read this man, maybe he wanted me to, so I tend to soon find out answers of my own. “How about you answer one question of mine then I’ll answer one of yours and well just go on? What do you say?” I agreed because he said I didn’t have to tell the truth about the questions he asked, right? So as I adjusted myself in the chair, he gave me the water, it was gone in seconds. “John Cross, I need to know how good you are at detective work, please do tell.” the crackled smile he showed to me scared me enough to accidently tell the truth on that one question. My face showed no emotion as I spoke. “Well, your about fifty years old, you smoke, your married, two or three kids,” I continued telling him things about people that I’ve never since before. An it was all true, he had files that said every detail about his men. As the day progressed, the sunset was most delightful. It’s shades of reds and oranges bounced around they sky like ballerina at a show. The trees became shadows of Indians surrounding his camp. And bats began to swarm and turn the sky black.
    As the day ended so did my last question. “So we’ve gotten to know each other in these few hours but the one big question still waits, what do you want from me?” our eyes shined in the setting sun’s light, like a candle in a window. He grinned and sat back a little then checked on his men through a hole in the tent, which was letting in mosquitoes. “What do we want from you? Well, I thought you would’ve figured that out by now?” When he said that I could feel him standing above me waiting for a sign of weakness. “Maybe I have, but to be sure enough I want to know, why?” We sat their in silence. His eyes stabbed into mine. They looked cold and sad, but yet happy? I just couldn’t explain it, it’s like he wanted me to do something that would totally ruin whatever he wanted, again why? And there it was, on his left lower part of his face was a huge mole. “That is so gross,” I made a disgusted face as he looked surprised. “I wonder how they get so big?” I couldn’t take my eyes off it. “What!? What are you talking about?” As I just sat there he grew bitterly angry. “John! What Are You Looking At!?” I quickly snapped out of the trance. “Uh...What do you mean? I oh, well,” my heart racing, my chest overheated. “A rat! It was huge! Unlike I have ever seen before! The size of a racoon!” My acting was perfect, thank goodness. “A rat!?” you could tell he did not like that idea at all. I laughed a moment. After a minute he grew wise and sent me back on the helicopter with a folder.

    The rain forced itself against my window followed by a strike of lightning and a crash or two. My head hurt, I smelled like a group of monkeys, the drafts from the windows made a shiver proceed down my spine. I was stealthy as I crawled out of my silk bedding. Then I noticed why I felt uncomfortable, I still had my work clothes on? That’s when it made all the sense in the world. “The folder!? Where is it?” I tore through my apartment looking for the folder with all the answers I needed! And as I finished looking in the kitchen I entered the messy office. And on my desk, next to my lab top, was a tan folder.

    I didn’t understand why my life just suddenly changed that yesterday. I have always been good about not getting into this kinda thing. But I guess it’s to late now. My clammy hands turned the cover and unleashed all these targeted photos of citizens? I knew all of them! They were my clients from this past year?
    “Have they been watching me this entire time? Tod tricked me into coming with him! And I thought I was the only actor. But he sounded so serious about me helping him. What if he still needs my help?” I laughed for a moment, from being the victim. “This must mean they know my every attack and defense?” I sighed and decided to get out of these disgusting clothes. I picked a white, loose, button-up, shirt with a grey blazer and silver tie. Then some boxers and black pants to go along.
    As my eyes skimmed the page there was a note handwritten note. It read, “Morning. I need you to retrieve a jewel worth great sums of money. The world's biggest diamond, believed to be twice the size of the Cullinan, has been discovered in the North-West Province of South Africa. The find has electrified the diamond community, but the circumstances of the discovery are shrouded in mystery. The diamond is expected to attract furious bidding from buyers worldwide and could fetch up to £15m. You have one week to steal the gem. Or we’ll kill your clients one by one. Good Luck.”
    My hands shook under the sudden task given to me. “But that’s impossible!?” I knew then I had to break my oath to god. I had to steal the gem or innocent people would die. “Time for the real John Cross to come and make his appearance.” Knowing that this stone was twice the size as the Cullinan, means triple the security. “I haven’t been given a challenge for a long time.” John grinned and searched the computer for the exact were-a-bouts of the stone. “California. Too easy.”
    The alarm went off the microwave, as I watched a new tv series ‘Robin Hood’, my favorite hero. “I can’t believe I learned everything off a tv show? He is so cool and mysterious.” I grabbed the steaming bowl of pasta and sat back down to finish watching my show. Right when it went to commercial then annoying ring of a phone went off next to the coach. “Hello?” my superior voice sounded. Nobody answered. “Hello!?” Right when I was going to hang up they spoke. “John. It’s Maddy your niece.” I couldn’t imagine why she would call.“I need you to come get me.” I was still unsure. “Where are you, Maddy?” She paused for a long while.“Oh, uh. Well, I ended up in jail.” A long continuous pause between us made it awkward. “I’m down town. Please come and get me.” she hung up. Complete silence fell upon myself. “Better go get her.” I sighed all the way to the police station which was three miles away.
    I burst though the door causing all eyes to set on me. I was dripping wet. As I walked to the counter I wiped the rain drop from my nose and shook like a dog. With a hint of a annoyed tone in his voice he asked me a question, very simple. “Can I help you?” He sounded as if he was holding his nose as he talked. My crooked grin appeared on my drenched face. “Yes, you can. I am here for a Maddy Toles. I have her bale of five hundred.” The man stood up to show he was only about 4ft. His almond hair shined and he put on a smart a** smile.
    As the stranger showed me through a long hall way I noticed he waddled when he walked, I couldn’t help but laugh a deep laugh. He spun around like a girl. “What’s so funny? Hmm?” My eyes widened. “I’m guessing you’re a girl. But how can I tell, by your girly walk, or your voice? Who am I to judge.” I left the cop with his, or her, mouth open. “I’ll find her myself, thank you.” As I came to the door I swung it open and entered.
    The cool chill hit my face, immediately as I walked in. Every person came to the bars and put there face between a pair, the most saddest looking bunch. I searched each cell with a pair of cops hovering over me, making sure I don’t do something foolish. Finally I came to a cell with a number twenty-seven above it. Inside sat my niece. Her light black and purple streaked hair glowed ever so lightly. A white smile appeared in the darkness when she saw me. “Uncle John!” She jumped up and hugged me through the bars. Before she said anything else, I quickly turned to the guards behind me. “May I ask what Maddy is in for?” They nodded unsure of me. “This young lady caused a riot out in the rain when she was drinking under age.” They laughed a bit then got real serious. “A seventeen year old drinking? How did your mother raise you child!?”
    Maddy sat in the waiting area as I finished signing papers for her release. Finally I was walking out the door with her by my side. As I called a taxi, too tired to walk, I faced her. “What do you think you were doing?”She stared at the rain clawing into the ground. As the cab parked in front of us, Maddy dashed for the door and successfully got in. As I sat next to her, she started to cry. “John! I don’t know why I did those things!? I don’t know how to control myself. My parents hate me and pretend I don’t exist! I have no were to go. So I called you.” She wrapped her arms around me as tears fell on my long black coat. In a few minuets we arrived at my household.
    The door swung opened as we entered and Maddy’s sniffles still continuous. I brought her to my bed and tucked her in then turned out the light. She did her prayers, as I went to go sleep on the couch. In only seconds of me on the couch I could hear her snoring, in deep sleep. “Poor child. My sister never really knew responsibility. She’ll just have to stay with me for a little while” The tan blanket covered me and protected me from the chill. “I will devise a plan to steal the diamond tomorrow.” Then in a few minutes my snores echoed through the living room. My dream repeated every time my eyes burst open, unsure it live was reality or not. I stood there reaching for the diamond. Then suddenly I can hear Maddy scream!
    I woke up in cold sweat my heart pounding in my chest. My hands grasped and clawed at the blanket in shear fear. My eyes glancing at every shadow thinking they were going to attack at any moment. As I steadied myself, I looked over to Maddy. Her arm on her face, locked in her dreams until the sun rises. “It was so real? I swear I could feel the texture of the diamonds surface.” I stood up and stretched my legs. “I need to start planning if I’m ever going to steal the diamond.” My eyes slowed from panicked to calmed. My knees unlocked as I started for the refrigerator. When the ice tea touched my lips I lost control. My mouth rammed into the side on the container as my throat guzzled down the tea, I was parched. Thoughts and plans raced in my mind. But no idea was yet worthy of doing. The empty container went back into the fridge as I turned to the bathroom to relief myself.
    The flushing water broke the silence of the night. The covers slowly crawled on top of my tired body. Maddy was tucking me in, but lucky for her I was too tired to notice. Her white eyes appeared into the darkness. She tiptoed out the door with my car keys in hand and a wallet in the other. She shut the car door and went through my black-covered wallet searching for a specific item, my license. The car engine started up with a small banging noise. It rolled out the drive way and headed into the less populated side of the city. After an hours drive she pulled into an old gas station. With beat in windows and boarded doors. Her skinny body managed to slip between some water, worn boards. “Hey Max.” Her voice was alone for a minute until mans voice answered back. “Hey gorgeous. What yo need this time, girl?” a small light was turned on to show a black man sitting in a desk chair. He was wearing a white shirt and some jeans that were too big for him. He smiled at her with a pleasing expression. “I need a new fake id.” He sighed to her reply. “I don’t know.” He scratched his head. “Oh please! Max, you got to help me!” she tackle hugged him as he laughed. She hugged him so much they both almost fell out of the chair. “Ok, ok. But on one condition, right here.” He put his finger on his lips.