Sharon watched Sarah King drive away from her house and felt her heart beat faster and took a breath to calm it down. Brian took her hand and she looked away towards him. He motioned her to follow him. They walked out of the trees and strait up to the house.
"What about security?" she asked. Brian shook his head as he worked on picking the lock.
"Amazingly, she doesn't have any. Come on, we have plenty of time to get you familiar with the layout of the house. She will be gone for a couple days but this shouldn't take more than an hour or two." They walked in and Sharon whistled at the large foyer and grand staircase.
"She lives in a place like this and doesn't have security." she said as she walked around, looking up at the ceiling and elaborate molding. Brian didn't say anything but watched her as she took it all in. After a minute or two he took her hand and she looked back towards him.
"According to our information your room is this way." He lead her up the stairs and into the west wing. The third door down on the left opened into a large suite decorated in yellows and blues. Brian kept hold of her hand as she walked around the room. There were framed pictures on shelves and the desk and she looked at them carefully. She picked up one with a small girl holding the hands of a young couple.
"Are these her parent's? The other Sharon I mean?" she asked. Brian took the picture and studdied it for a minute before putting it back down.
"Yes. They were killed in a car accident when she was seven." Sharon walked around the room one more time and then let Brian guide her out. She stopped at the door though and looked back. Her head was starting to ache again. She hadn't had these headaches in years. Maybe just the strain of being on her first mission. She closed her eyes and touched her forehead. She felt Brian's arm go around her and she leaned into him. He could always make the headaches go away.
They walked around the house more, and Sharon started to get the lay of the land. They ended in the kitchen and she jumped up on a stool.
"So how is this going to work exactly?" she asked. Brian took a seat next to her.
"When she gets back, we'll put you in. Your going to have to sell it Sharon. It...it might be difficult."
"Difficult how?" Brian covered her hands with his.
"We need you to have a real reaction; the emotions, the amnesia...the escape." Sharon closed her eyes for a moment.
"And you can't be there can you?"
"No. They have my name and face. But we won't completely loose contact." He reached into his pocket and pulled out an ear wig radio. "I'll hide this in your room tonight. We'll have a set time to communicate. You won't be alone." He handed her a watch. "If for some reason you find yourself in danger for your life, turn the stem and it will broadcast your location and a distress signal." She handed the watch back to him.
"Put it with the radio. They might be suspicious of anything they find with me." Brian nodded and took it back.
"Most importantly, Sharon knew nothing about Sarah's real job."
"Right." Sharon looked around the kitchen and took a deep breath. Brian gently turned her towards him.
"There will be one more thing with the watch and radio." He held up a small, plain, silver ring.
"What does this do?" she asked. He slid it on her finger and then kissed her hand.
"It reminds you of me. If you get scared, unsure or those headaches come back, just hold on to this ring and I'll be holding your hand." She closed her hand around his and put her forehead against his. He had always been able to calm her ever since she had woken up from her coma. But she had to step away from him now. She felt a sense of loss when he pulled the ring from her finger. "Come on. Lets get these hidden and get going. You have more studying to do before she gets back." They hid the items and left the house.
*** *** ***
Brian walked into Malcolm's office and took a seat across from him. Malcolm handed him a cigar and Brian clipped it, lit it and puffed slowly.
"How did it go?" Brian blew the sharp smelling smoke up into the air and smiled.
"Smoothly. I think the headache only started up once. She responds so well to me that I think the ring will do the job to keep her from sliding backwards. It is just a stop gap though. Once we put her in we are on a time line." Malcolm nodded and blew his own stream of smoke into the air.
"Fair enough. I'm not anticipating any difficulties." Brian watched Malcolm for a minute before leaning forward.
"Who is the General? You know and you are excited about it. You said things were going to change. I need to know when and how. The General was never a part of the plan. Why do I have the feeling he is now?" Malcolm smiled and rolled the cigar with his fingers thoughtfully.
"You are right. The General is now part of the plan. Don't worry. You will have plenty of time to prepare Sharon." Brian sat back and studied Malcolm. The man was cold and calculating. He had known that from the start. Now he wondered if perhaps working for him was getting him in over his head. He had known from the start the Sharon was expendable to the old man, just a pawn in his twisted game of chess. He wondered how many moves were left and for the first time, if he would be able to do anything about the outcome.