It wasn’t until three miles away from their safehouse that Curt spoke up.
“Now we know it’s not teenagers, I guess.” he joked. Owen was not in the mood for jokes.
“Yes, and now we know we’re in danger.” he snapped, “There is nothing funny about this, Curt.”
The man immediately turned his head away: “Sorry.”
“Don’t joke about this. Please.”
“Jeez, sorry.” Curt mumbled, leaning against the car window.
He looked tired. And somewhat uneasy. Most likely cranky about his knee, but he would get over it if Owen spoiled him sufficiently. Which he was planning to do anyway. He took a left turn and Curt perked up.
“Where are we going?” he asked, “That’s not where the next safehouse is.”
He didn’t answer, so Curt asked again: “Owen, where are we going?”
There was something in his voice that betrayed him. A hint of fear. He’d heard that more often than usual from Curt lately. Probably because he was vulnerable and he knew it; and now whatever healing progress he’d made may have been knocked back by days. Curt despised inactivity.
It occurred to him then that he hadn’t answered his question and that that was a sign of guilt if he’d ever seen it.
“Curt, do you trust me?” he asked.
“You’re not making it easy.”
“Do you trust me, dear?”
Curt paused. “Yes.” he answered, finally.
“Good. We’re not going to your safehouse. We’re going to mine.”
“Yours?” Curt’s eyes were wide, “MI6 has a safehouse around here?”
“Not MI6. Me.” Owen swerved into a side road. No other cars in sight. He felt a tingle of nervousness in his hand when Curt glanced at the car door. Like he was looking for a way out.
“So what you’re saying is- whoa!” he exclaimed as Owen pulled over all of a sudden and turned to him.
“Curt. Listen to me.” he murmured, “I have a theory. So far we’ve stayed in registered safehouses.”
“And we’ve always been found. So what if they didn’t follow us?”
“What if they’ve somehow got A.S.S. files or something like that?” Owen asked, “What if we turned off our trackers for a few days?”
“Owen, we’ll get- we’ll get in so much trouble for that. That’s unlike you.” Curt grinned, but it didn’t sound sincere. He still sounded nervous. The first thing he had to do was assure Curt of his good intentions.
He raised his hands to show Curt they were empty.
“Listen, it’s a win-win. If they find us again, we know we’re being followed. If they don’t, we know they have information. We can tell the agencies.” he lied. He had no intention of telling the agencies. Not until he had definitive proof of their innocence.
“And what if the agencies get suspicious? That would mean dropping off the radar.”
“Yes,” Owen agreed, “But we’re not going M.I.A. so they might not even care.”
“Don’t say that.” Curt frowned.
“Sorry. What do you say, love?”
“I say you’re a crazy son of a bitch, Carvour.” he laughed, “But you’re a crazy son of a bitch with a point.”
His expression fell as he reached for his tracker.
“You’re going to take responsibility for this if Cynthia asks?” he said, but it was more like a question than a statement. Owen couldn’t help but smile. He knew his interference would make little difference in Cynthia’s wrath, but…
“I’ll do my best.” he promised.
Curt turned off the tracker.
The new safehouse was even more isolated than the others, up in the mountains and not a soul around for miles. And it was really bloody cold.
“I don’t like this.” Curt whined, buried under a mountain of blankets.
Owen glared at him from the warmest corner he could find, with a single, paper thin blanket draped on his shoulders: “Don’t be a b- a baby.” he stuttered, trying to keep his teeth from chattering: “The heating system’s on, it’ll- fuck - it’ll warm up in a few minutes.”
“Yeah, it better!” Curt hissed, “Just make some goddamn tea, Carvour, you fucker.”
“If I had the energy, I would kick your face in, Mega.”
“That a no?”
“Take a wild fucking guess.”
Curt grumbled something, snuggling into the blankets even more. Grumpy little bastard.
He looked genuinely adorable. And terribly irritating at the exact same time. And that was Curt Mega in two sentences: a poem by Owen Carvour.
He sighed. It wasn’t even 10 pm and he was already shaking from anxiety. Or maybe the cold. Or both.
"I'm so goddamn tired." Curt complained, and he wanted to roll his eyes so badly, because that was so rich coming from the guy who'd got a chance to sleep in the car. Owen was genuinely exhausted. He felt all the stress, the pressure and the worry of the past few days crushing him slowly into a bloody pulp. He didn't know why this situation distressed him so much more than any other before it, but he didn't have the energy to think about it. Nor the will. It honestly didn't matter as long as it ended, soon .
“I want this to be over.” he admitted, quietly, and Curt nodded in silent agreement.
The next time Owen opened his eyes, Curt was fast asleep. Bless him. And curse Owen for falling asleep so soon.
He rose quietly from his place in the chair and his hair fell all over his forehead. His body still heavy from sleep, he dragged himself to his feet and stumbled to the kitchenette in the far corner. He felt an overwhelming urge to drink every drop of coffee he could get his hands on, but he had to restrain himself unless he wanted Curt to be mad at him first thing in the morning. Curt.
He sneaked a glance at his sleeping partner. Curt was out cold, face down on the couch, one arm hanging off the side and the other resting beside his head. He looked somewhat agitated compared to the night before.
Owen leaned against the table, admiring every part of his sleeping body. He wondered if maybe he'd taken the wrong approach. How was he going to tell Curt that he'd been planning on disappearing now? He'd seen him in the car. Curt didn't trust him, not completely. Why? In the field, he never questioned Owen grabbing him or pointing a gun just beside his head, and those were signs of immediate danger that any sane person would react to. So why was this different?
He shook his head.
There was something new on his mind; a promise of sorts. He wouldn't be trapped in the corrupt system that was spy agencies anymore, he'd decided that long before his leave; but he wouldn't let Curt be trapped in it, either.
By whatever means , he swore, I'll get you out of here .
Owen made a promise to himself, but his only witness was the morning star outside.
He realized it as soon as he looked out the window to see the timid sun.
It was 6:37am.
No one had come.