36.36% Aratria / Chapter 4: The Family (Part 2)

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Chapter 4: The Family (Part 2)

My lips twitched when I caught her holding the spatula in a weird way. She was singing her heart out from Michael Jackson's Billy Jean. I muffled a laugh and went to get a glass of water from the sink near her. She must've seen me for she lowered the volume from her phone.

"Glad you finally made it, Ana." She took a side glance on me and gone back to her routine.

"You don't call me that, unless you already have a death wish." I hissed. "After all, you're not Myckel."

She never truly liked what her son calls me. Although it's one of her favorite pet names whenever she wants to get ahead of me.

She then turned off the fire from the stove all the while weeping her unwanted tears . Sighing, I decided to let the matter drop.

"I heard from a very good Intel of mine that you're on leave, which by the way you didn't tell me about. So, Mark and I decided to make some arrangements on the left side bedroom on the second floor, near your favorite balcony; you can put your things there later on."

I averted my eyes from her and cleared my throat. "Yes, about that...I've only got less than 48 hours until I get back to work." She spun her head towards my direction as she put her hands on her hips.

"Mind telling me where did you spent your two weeks and a half of vacation to?"

I shrugged. "In Bali," A thought suddenly struck.

"I was chasing bananas."

"What?" It was now my turn to laugh. She looked aghast as if she couldn't believe those words came out of my mouth.

I actually did chase some bananas.

She was still under the influence of shock when Mark pop out from the living room with Myckel riding on his shoulders. He was draped with car oil from his face to the very tip of his hands. It was typical to see him like this since he married Lisa. I smiled at him. It was a good change.

Mark slowly lifted my nephew from his shoulders, settling him down; a lope-sided grin was evident on his face.

"Tell me, how did you manage to put my darling dear into a popping eye fish in just a matter of seconds, Tatiana?" He asked as he moved towards Lisa. That earned him a glare and a smack on the nape, to which he willingly accepted.

I inwardly cringed. There really were certain aspects in life wherein martyrdom could be considered norm. Feeling that my feet were going numb, I went to the nearest chair to sit, letting it dangle for a while. Myckel was sitting next to me.

"Well, I couldn't help but chase--" I was cut off mid-sentence by a familiar ring coming from my phone. I clucked my tongue as a form of habit from all those stressful years, and excused myself. Mark's laugh was booming from the kitchen, I guess Lisa already told him what I was chasing in Bali.

The sky was already losing its light when I went out of the house. The cold December air did nothing to minimize the temper that was beginning to consume me. I checked the caller ID again and groaned. I heaved a sigh and swiped the green button.

"Cohen, speaking." I said in a crisp tone. An irritating laugh was the first thing I heard from the other line.

"Good morning to you too, partner. From the sound of it, I think you need a decaf."

"No, I need a gun to shoot on your head." I blurted out. "Stop irritating me, Sanders. Why'd you call?"

"I just wanted to say Hi. I can't even believe I've missed a woman like you." He said in a mocking tone which further irritates me.

"Travis." I warned. I heard a clearing of throat and a mutter of incomprehensible words from him.

"Sorry to cut your vacation short. Chief wants you back here immediately." When he didn't continue, I frowned.

"What for?" I asked, already sensing the seriousness of the situation.

"There had been series of unusual murders going around for some time now."

I snorted. "Welcome to Vegas, Sanders."

"No-- " The line made a cracking sound.

"—Different--" A pause.

"You really need to get your ass back or we'll lose this assignment, Cohen." He said before the call went out.

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