Kari led the boys out the back and around the side of the house. From the alley she peered around to see the agents filing inside the house. A commotion started as Mrs. Tennyson made her distraction. Kari then waved for Drake and Chris to follow her quietly.
As casually as possible, they made their way to the sidewalk and walked away. They made maybe ten feet when they heard a violent crash, breaking glass, yelling and screaming coming from Chris’s house. The trio stopped; neighbors were drawn to their lawns and windows to check the commotion. After a minute, the men in suits came out of the house, two of them leading Mrs. Tennyson out in handcuffs.
“Mom!” Chris called out loudly. He covered his mouth in horror of what he just did, but it was too late. The whole street heard it, including the agents. Kari and Drake groaned; one of the agents pointed and the four not holding onto Mrs. Tennyson ran after them, yelling at them to not move. Mrs. Tennyson yelled for them to run. They listened to her.
The boy sits there and describes everything he did to avoid these supposed agents. He’s very animated as he does so; sitting in his chair across from me he’s on the edge of his seat, using his hands and sound effects to describe flips and tricks that would impress professional gymnasts. It’s visible in his eyes the adrenaline rush he gets just thinking about it. He describes flipping from cars, serpentine style running around, even apparently climbing a fence and jumping off it in order to pull himself up onto a one story house.
“… from the roof of the house I could see that Kari and Chris were long gone,” he continues. “From the roof I jumped into the backyard, rolling as I hit the ground to maintain momentum, and jumped over the fence where—”
“I’m sorry,” I interrupt. “You expect me to believe a fifteen year old kid managed to successfully distract and evade four supposed “agents”?”
“Actually, I was still only fourteen at the time,” he responds.
He ran off the roof and landed rolling in the back yard. Without missing a beat he was back on his feet, ran and jumped the fence, one of the agents right behind him. With a swift motion he pulled himself up and over the fence, landing on his feet and continued running.
“Kid, stop!!” came a deep voice from behind him. Drake stopped in the middle of the yard and turned to see a bald agent standing on the other side with his hands up in surrender. “Can we just talk for a second for a change?”
Drake suddenly recognized the man. Turning on his heels, he pointed at the man and said, “You were at my school.”
The bald man nodded, clearly out of breath. His three buddies came around to the yard and he waved for them to halt. Clearly this guy was in charge.
“My name is Mitch Harris and I’m with the CIA,” he explained. “All we want to do is talk.”
Drake studied the men, all of which were still focused on him. Every second he could keep them watching him was another that Chris and Kari would use to get away. Looking only at Harris, Drake asked, “Why should I talk to you? You arrest my parents, Kari’s dad and now Chris’s mom. Tell me why I should trust you.”
Harris kept his hands in the air. “Do you see a gun in my hand?” He looked back and beckoned his men to walk forward slowly. Back to Drake, he added, “Do you see a gun in any of their hands either? None of us are here to hurt you or your friends. Just come back over the fence and we’ll talk.”
Drake considered what he said before asking, “What do you want from me?”
“We just want to—”
“I got that you want to talk. What do you want to ask me?”
“Come back over the fence and—”
“I said we could talk, not that I would go with you,” Drake specified. The whole time he was praying that he was giving Kari and Chris the time they need to get away. “If you can’t ask me now, then it’s obviously not important enough for you to know.”
Harris was getting mad. He slapped his hands against the chain linked fence and gave Drake an angry glare. “This isn’t a game, boy. Don’t be smart with me. Tell me where he is?”
Drake was confused by the question. “Where who is?”
Harris only got angrier. “Listen to me, kid. This is a matter so much bigger than either of us, so just answer the question. Where is Sebastian Angelov!?”
Right then Drake’s phone vibrated. He pulled it out, flipped it open and read the message:
Got away. Meet @ car.
“Sebastian Angelov?” I repeated. “That’s what he said?”
“Yep,” the boy says simply. “Why, do you know him?”
I don’t answer him, but take time looking through his file, really giving myself time to think. Sebastian Angelov. I have actually heard of him. I call for someone to get me more information on him, and in the meantime I ask the boy the same question he asked me.
“At the time I had no idea who he was,” Drake admits. “All I wanted was to get my parents back. Thinking back, I probably still had issues buying the whole situation then, but the name in particular meant nothing.”
“Alright”, I say, “What did you do next?”
About an hour later, Drake started to relax again. Los Angeles was out of sight, and their growing group was now headed back east. Kari had mentioned Las Vegas as their next stopping point, and Drake guessed that she had little intention of stopping in between. Drake felt concerned; Kari was the only one with a driver’s license and she’d already made two huge trips in the last few days. Kari insisted she was fine, but Drake couldn’t shake his worry.
Drake was also exhausted as he sprawled across the back seat and the suit case next to him. He had free-ran more and harder that day than he had ever pushed himself. That plus the other day’s escape and the stress of the whole situation wore him down.
Chris seemed to be still in shock and wanting to ask questions, but neither Drake nor Kari was going to answer. All three of them were a mess of exhaustion and emotions, and they would not be prepared for what came next.