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Rated: 13+ · Chapter · Action/Adventure · #2317499
In which certain information is given and received
“You’re checking your phone again.” Jet doesn’t even try to keep the amusement out of his voice. “How many voicemails have you left now?”

Kit, seated on the couch with his phone on one hand, and a king size KitKat in the other, glares at his friend. “Thirty-two.”

“Give up.” Jet makes a deliberately ineffective swipe for Kit’s phone, and Kit flips him the bird, nearly dropping his KitKat in the process.

“Stay the hell out of my business.”

“That’s hard to do when your business is right in front of me.” Jet flips the bird right back at him. “If he hasn’t answered by now--”

“Then I’ll keep trying until he does,” Kit’s mouth is now a hard little line, and he shoots a shut-the-hell-up glare in Jet’s direction, biting off a chunk of KitKat harder than he actually needs to. Jet, however, has no intention of taking the hint.

“Isn’t he supposed to be on vacation? Maybe he’s not answering because he’s busy doing other things. Why does it matter so much to you anyway?”

“Long story.”

“Which you’re not going to share?”

“Correct.”

The two men are in the front room of the condo. It’s spacious, with picture windows that provide fantastic views of Thong Lo in both the front room and the two bedrooms. It’s the only part of Kit’s inheritance that he doesn’t have to share with the rest of his family, so he has an empty bedroom and allows Jet to crash there.

Except for tonight, when that bed happens to be occupied by someone else.

Someone who looks like he’s been through a meat grinder.

Kit hadn’t said or done much after Jet had half carried his bloody companion into the bedroom, just brought what was needed and left them alone. Well, he’d cleaned Jet’s vomit decorated shoes so they didn’t stink up the condo, but that was it.

That was an hour ago.

“I’m not the only one with a story.” Kit finally looks up from his phone. “Do I get to know who that bloody mess of a human being in the bedroom is?”

“You went with a king size?” Jet makes it sound as though he just noticed the candy bar in Kit’s hand.

“I’m out of regular size KitKats, and don’t change the subject. You didn’t want the iodine to use on yourself. ” Kit is one of those people who has the amazing ability to lift only one eyebrow instead of both, which somehow adds even more snark to his reply. “And just because I’m on my phone doesn’t mean I don’t see or hear what’s going on around me.”

“Don’t do the Eyebrow Thing.” Jet barely keeps himself from rolling his eyes. “It’s irritating.”

“Only to people who don’t know how to do it,” Kit doesn't lower his brow. If anything, he hikes it higher. “So, you’re going to tell me about that kid, and about what’s in the folder you’ve been carrying around. No more half-assed small talk you’ve been trying to pass off as conversation for the past three days.”

Jet and Kit had met in their last year of university, and been pretty inseparable ever since. Both had gone to the same UK university for their masters degrees, and both had studied the same subject: criminal justice. It was after their masters degrees were completed that their paths deviated somewhat. Jet had gone into law enforcement, and Kit had gone back to help with his family’s car dealership and restoration company.

When Jet had been recruited by Interpol, he’d been surprised that Kit was also employed by the organization--though in a different department, and in a capacity that still allowed him to help out with his family’s company when needed. That’s what makes it so much easier for Jet to ask for help now.

“Is this an official assignment or something you’re doing on your own?” Kit is obviously impatient with Jet’s hesitation.

“Actually,” Jet brings the folder over and drops it on the coffee table for Kit to look at. “It’s a little bit of both.”

“Interesting.” Kit slides his phone into his pocket, giving Jet his full attention. “Brief me.”

“You’re hilarious.”

“I’m serious. Brief me.” Kit repeats.

Jet sighs, but resumes his seat, flipping the folder open. He and Kit stare down at the photograph. The man who looks back at them is looking directly at the camera, and he’s dressed as a businessman. At first glance, there’s nothing significant about this man at all, but a second look tells a different story. The dark eyes are devoid of emotion, and the face looks as though someone carved it out of marble.

Kit is the one who breaks the silence. “Who is he?”

“Chalam Tian Samongkonchai.” Jet spits the name out of his mouth as though just saying it leaves a bad taste.

“Yeah, he looks like a shark.” Kit leans closer to the photo, as though he can read the man’s thoughts if he stares hard enough. “What’s he done?”

“Nothing that I can prove,” the words come from between Jet’s teeth.

“I’m going to need more information than that. KitKat?” Kit pulls a green mini KitKat out of his pocket and tosses it to Jet.

“You said you were all out.”

“I said I was all out of the regular ones, not the minis. Just eat it and tell me more about Chalam.”

Jet pops the mini KitKat in his mouth, getting his thoughts together as he chews. “He’s the CEO of OmniVentures Ltd.”

“The new corporation in the Central Business District?” Kit sounds a little interested.

“It’s not new,” Jet corrects him. “It’s just expanded enough to be worth noticing. The corporation claims to use its profits to help other companies expand or get back on their feet. If a company is in trouble, Chalam the kindly CEO sweeps in and brings that company under OmniVentures’ protective wing. They also claim to make sizable donations to charities and nonprofits.”

“Sounds like a lawful and philanthropic corporation to me.” Kit says.

“But there are rumors that people employed by those companies or charities disappear when they do something OmniVentures doesn't like.” Jet’s jaw is clenching again. “And once these employees disappear, there are no witnesses to any of Chalam’s activities, legal or otherwise.”

“Which would explain why there’s only this photo in your file,” Kit can’t help needling and Jet flips him the bird a second time. “Anything else?”

“Chalam destroyed my life.”

“Right,” That wasn’t the answer Kit was expecting to hear. “So this is a vendetta?”

“No,” The look on Jet’s face says otherwise. “It’s an assignment.”

“Interpol wants you to look into this?”

“They want me to look into OmniVentures as a whole, yes,” Jet confirms. “But if I can destroy Chalam’s life the way he did mine in the process, then so much the better. I can get what I need if I can solve one little problem.”

“Which is?”

Jet hesitates. “He kind of…hates me.”

“He?” Kit is genuinely curious. “Who is it? Your ex?”

“My younger brother,” Jet’s voice is flat. “I haven’t seen him in about ten years.”

“Because he’s been out of the country?”

Jet shakes his head. “He lives in Bangkok.”

This time both Kit’s eyebrows go up. “You live in the same city and you haven’t seen him for ten years?”

“It’s possible. Other people do it intentionally. Tonight, he got his ass handed to him in a back alley.”

Kit looks up. “That bloody mess in the bedroom is your kid brother? Who decided to put him through a meat grinder?”

“I’ll give you three guesses, and the first two are automatically wrong,” Jet’s eyes are back on the photograph. “I don’t know if what happened tonight will change his mind.”

“About helping you?” It’s a rhetorical question, but Kit asks it anyway.

Before Jet can answer, there is a pounding on the door. Kit gets up and goes to answer it. Mali is standing in the doorway, glaring daggers in Jet’s direction.

“You called my sister?” Jet’s eyes are also shooting daggers, but in the direction of Kit. Kit shrugs.

“I have the right to be worried about you, especially when you drag a bloodied human into my front room with no explanation.”

“I was in the middle of explaining it to you.”

Another shrug, and this time Kit’s eyebrow goes up. “Maybe I thought Mali should hear it, too.”

“Where’s Kai?” Mali asks before Jet can protest again.

“In the bedroom.” Jet steps in front of Mali before she can go tearing through the closed bedroom door. “Leave him alone. He got scrummed pretty good, but he’s sleeping now.”

“When you say ‘scrummed’, what does that mean?” Mali demands. “Don’t give me platitudes, tell me how bad it is.”

“He doesn’t need to go to the hospital.” Jet ticks the details off on his fingers. “He’s got bruises and scrapes and he has one bandage, so he took four painkillers and now he’s asleep. You want to know how the other guys look while you’re at it?”

Mali gives her older brother’s arm a half-hearted smack. “That’s not funny, Hia.”

Both Mali and Kai had called him “Hia” when they were little, before Jet was adopted. Mali had used that same term of endearment when they met again--actually, it had been the first word she’d said to him. Tonight, after Kai’s flat refusal to do so, hearing Mali call him “Hia” made Jet smile at her, in spite of the circumstances.

“All I did was answer your question.”

“Did you at least tell him why you called him?”

“I thought I’d have one decent conversation with him first.”

“Are you two done?” Kit breaks in before the argument can become more heated. “Because screeching at each other doesn’t solve your problem.”

It doesn’t help Mali or Jet’s moods that Kit is right, but they stop arguing, but keep glaring. Kit steps between them before either decides to open their mouths again.

“That’s better. I’m going to go check on the person who got his ass handed to him tonight, and you two are going to have a conversation, rather than an argument. Sound good?” Kit disappears into the bedroom without waiting for an answer.

“He makes us sound like naughty toddlers.” Jet says.

“But he has a point. I shouldn’t have yelled at you.” Mali takes a seat on the couch. “I was worried about Kai.”

“You think I wasn’t?” But Jet’s voice has lost it’s confrontational tone, and he sits down next to his sister. They stare at Chalam’s photo for a minute. Each of them is waiting for the other to speak first.

“Ok. Why don’t you tell me what happened tonight.” Mali finally says.

So Jet tells her about the phone call he got telling him that Kai was in trouble, and how he’d followed Kai to Nightshade, and then out to the alley.

“So….what do the other two look like?” Mali asks when Jet gets to the part about the fight. Jet shrugs.

“They didn’t stick around long enough for me to ask. But I think I broke something.”

“Like—one of their bones?”

“Finger, maybe.” Jet expression turns serious. “They’re Chalam’s subordinates; I’m sure of that much. Apparently Kai stole something that they wanted back.”

“And you don’t know what it is?” Mali knows the answer but asks the question anyway. “What are you going to do?”

Jet’s answer is prompt. “Ask Kai what he stole and use it against Chalam.”

“Hold up,” Kit’s voice sounds from the doorway to the bedroom. “You haven’t seen your brother in ten years and the first thing you’re going to do is ask him for a favor?”

“After I just saved his ass, yeah.”

Mali raises her eyebrows at Jet’s answer, but turns to Kit instead. “I thought you were checking on Kai.”

“He’s fine. I mean, he still looks like shit, but he’s also still sleeping.” Kit comes the rest of the way into the room, and sits opposite Jet.

“You didn’t have a problem with my plan before,” Jet points out.

“Because I thought you were kidding.” Kit shakes his head. “I don't think what you did tonight is enough.”

“What am I supposed to do, then?”

Kit gives Jet a Look. “How about…you spend time with your brother, then ask him for a favor?”

“Kai won’t talk to me.” Jet is fully aware that he sounds like a disgruntled toddler even before Mali also gives him a Look.

“And who’s fault is that?”

“I abandoned him.” Jet says. His tone is emotionless, but his eyes aren’t. “I was adopted. You weren’t.”

Kit shakes his head. “Abandonment means that you cut yourself completely off from someone. You stayed in contact with Mali--”

“Mali was the one who reached out to me,” Jet corrects him. “Kai didn’t, and I don’t blame him. He has every right to be angry with me.”

“He’ll be even angrier if he thinks all you want from is a favor before you disappear again,” Mali points out.

“Right. I’m going to see what I can do about this problem,” Kit picks up the photo of Chalam and points to the still half open bedroom door. “You figure out how to solve that one.”

Mali’s eyebrows rise even higher than before. “Is he always like this?”

“Since uni,” Jet nods.

Jet knows Kit is right. He knows Mali is right. He just doesn’t know how to solve the Kai problem.

“Hia,” Mali says into the silence. “I think the first thing you should do is make sure you’re here when Kai wakes up tomorrow morning.”

“So he can thank me, or kick my ass?”

Mali smiles at him. “Probably both.”

"5. Heir

Read from beginning: "1. Ignored
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