The next morning she waited for the limo to arrive and paced up and down the lobby area impatiently. She had packed light and needed only one bag which she could take onto the plane without even have to check it in. The car arrived and she sat in the back quietly as they drove to the airport.
Once her passport had been approved she made her way to the departure gate to await her flight. She had a travelled so many times now that even some of the staff seemed to recognise her and gave her smile as she waited to board. Mia never travelled first class; she couldn't stand all the crap that came with it. Instead she chose business class which just seemed to be a bit more low key. Her employers always reserved her the same seat and nobody ever sat next to her. She hadn't worked this strange anomaly out yet but somehow they managed to pull a few strings and that was how it had been for years.
The flight was a seven and half hour one and she was dreading it, every minute made her anxious and even when the plane was as smooth as a car on the road she still didn't relax. Mia looked around at all the families and business men sleeping peacefully and wished she could do the same but she just couldn't. It wasn't by want of trying but she just couldn't relax enough to nod off. It didn't make sense for a girl who did what she did for a living to be so afraid of a little thing like flying but it just wasn't natural. A massive tin can filled with people being hurled through the air and god knows what speed was one thing you could never call natural. When she thought of all the sticky situations she had been in this should have been a walk in the park for her. Mia watched the air stewardesses faces the whole time and as long as they were smiling she was kind of alright herself. She sat at stared out of the window watching the clouds beneath her, the sky was so blue up here and she wondered if heaven looked this beautiful. Was there even such a place as heaven? She wanted there to be so that she could think of Greg and feel he was at peace. What would he think if he saw her now? He wouldn't even know her, he would have no idea he was even sitting next to her.
When she had been with him her hair had been blonde, short and curly and now she was dark, long and polka straight. She had lost about 3 stone and had the body of a toned athlete. But the biggest change was her face........Reconstructive surgery had been painful, emotional but totally necessary and she had been given no choice in the matter. If she didn't have it then she would be next, if she stayed Catherine she and her family would be put on the same hit list that Greg, his brother and father had all been on. She often caught sight of herself in a mirror or window and it made her do a double take every time. She had thought that once all the operations were over she could just be left alone to grieve but no.....This was just the start of her long journey, her long almost unbelievable journey.
The plane touched down at JFK airport smoothly and Mia felt an overwhelming sense of relief flood over her. She loved New York and felt strangely at home there. The apartment was an half an hour journey from the airport and had been Taylor made to suit her every need. She queued up at Security and watched as they pulled a passenger over to search his bags. The poor guy looked so nervous that she was surprised he hadn't burst into tears at his experience. Soon it was her turn and she calmly walked forward to the kiosk. The man behind the desk was huge and looked like he could have snapped you in two if he felt like it. He surveyed her face for a while then looked at her passport..."Hmmmmm, seems you are here quite a bit Miss...Miss Campbell" he said sounding suspicious. "That's right" Mia said as cool as a cucumber,” I come over here on business at least 8 times a year, it's like my second home". The man mountain smiled at her ” you like it here Mam?" he asked ” oh yes, I just love it. In fact I prefer it here to England but don't tell anyone" she said whilst laughing and giving him her best Mia Campbell eyes. He laughed with her and wished her a successful trip before remarking what a beautiful smile she had.....Mission accomplished Mia.
New York was the most beautiful city in the sun, the light reflected from every window and she strained her neck up to see the tops of the buildings. Everyone looked happy here, not like at home where people seemed sad all the time. Here it was different, people were on a mission and marched everywhere. The hustle and bustle made her feel invisible, no one paid any attention to her as she walked the last few blocks to her rented apartment. The concierge recognised her straight away and his face lit up as she came through the door "well, well, well, hello Mam" he said happily. "Hello Harry, and how are you?" she replied. They chatted easily for a good ten minutes and Mia asked how his family were and whether or not his daughter had had her baby yet.
She put her key in the front door and opened it and the wonderful smell of her Manhattan apartment swept over her, for the first time in months she smiled a real smile. The apartment was beautiful in every way and had been set up just for her. The wardrobe was stocked with gorgeous clothes and bags and the fridge was full of her favourite things. She did a lot of cooking here and sat on the balcony watching the city below. The most important room was well stocked too and had every conceivable weapon you could imagine. It made James Bonds stash look positively lame.
Mia's moment of joy was interrupted by the mobile on the table buzzing, "yes" she answered. "The envelope on the desk has your next job inside, read everything carefully please" the voice on the other end instructed her "It is important that you do not carry out anything until all the players are in place on this one." he said. " I understand" she replied. She had the impression he was going to say something else but silence followed by a small beep told her he had gone. Once again Mia went through the same pattern destroying the SIM card and replacing it with a blank one. The envelope was exactly where he had said it would be and after reading the contents she set about getting rid of anything that may incriminate her.
Once dressed appropriately Mia hailed a yellow cab. The driver was not the slightest bit interested in her or what she was carrying and she sat quietly in the back watching the New York skyline whizz past her. He pulled over 4 blocks from her destination and she paid him the total amount before grabbing her bag from the back seat. As she watched him disappear out of sight she wondered if he liked his job or was it just a means to an end. She had only ever had a few cab drivers over here that had been chatty and most of the time they just ignored her.
The car park stood tall and grey in front of her and she found the back entrance easily, the instructions had been very clear and Mia followed them to the letter. As she reached level 15 she was careful to check her surroundings before leaving the elevator. The deserted construction area was sealed off with heavy plastic sheeting and Mia noticed the strong smell of dust mixed with soldiering metal. She pushed quietly through and the fresh air hit her full in the face, she scanned the scene in front of her and found her bearings easily. The sound of her bag being unzipped broke the silence around her and she carefully lifted her long, sleek weapon out of its home. She lined up the scope and closed her eyes for a couple of seconds to prepare herself mentally before beginning.
The target was exactly where he should be and she could see him clearly through his window from across the water below her. He looked so relaxed and as the instructions had said there was a girl beside him who looked like she wanted to be anywhere else but by his side. He lent over and grabbed the back of her hair forcing his lips onto hers, she winced in pain but he carried on regardless of her obvious discomfort. Mia hated men like him more than any type, those men that thought they could buy and manipulate others to suit themselves.
The girl could not of been much older than 18 and she looked terrified and confused. The door opened and a second man came in with a tray placing it in front of the pair. He lifted a syringe and waved it in front of the young girl as if teasing her, the men laughed as the girl attempted to stand up. It was at this point Mia realised she was tethered to the chair and there was no escape. The second man plunged the needle into her arm and she flopped forwards like a rag doll that had been used and disposed of. As she raised her head the man smacked her hard across the face and once again laughed, the young girl stared as he started to unzip his flies and the realisation of what was about to happen flashed across her eyes.
Mia had seen enough, she always watched for a few moments as if attempting to justify what she was about to do. She had a clean shot and she focused completely almost disappearing into her own world. And then.........It was all over........The man almost gracefully fell to the floor, the girl let out a silent scream and the door burst open to reveal several burly bodyguards. Mia laughed to herself......"Call yourselves bodyguards" she said out loud. She wanted to stay and watch the shock in their faces but knew what had to be done next.
As she exited the car park she carefully pulled off her wig and discarded it into a bag and then into the river making sure she wasn't seen. "Right" Mia said to herself "time to vanish". And that was exactly what she did.......Vanish......Right into the crowds.