MOI(1): Truth, Set Me Free

*Chapter Two*

They were coming, and couldn’t hold on any longer, I was slipping.

With one last effort, I was able to swing with enough momentum to clear the beam onto the pallet. There were aches, pain, and a little bit of a scuff to my knee, but it was better than any other alternative. Through the hurt, there was no respite, as flashlights were searching overhead, I had to move.

Little good the head start was, because soon bullets rain down from above, barely missing me. I tucked and rolled behind the nearest pillar, hoping it would be enough to shield me. My assailants were relentless, intent on stopping the truth getting free, by any means necessary. Their employers would expect no less of them, the Men and Women responsible for everything, they expected malicious efficacy in my termination.

They seem ready for my every move, left or right, it didn’t matter.. there was a bullet waiting for me. I felt wetness on my cheek, and almost thought I was crying, but it was blood dripping from a small gash near my brow. There was talking amongst the group chasing me, they were trying to figure out how to get down, it wouldn’t take long for them to figure it out.

I peek to the right and could see another staircase on the other side, it was my only chance, so I counted to three in my head and ran as fast my limbs could take me. There was more gunfire, and their aim was getting better. I didn’t stop until I made it past the doorway and down a flight of steps, pausing a moment to catch my breath, suddenly I felt the searing pain travel up my arm.

*I’m hit!*

The blood pours from the wound, and I have to tear my sleeve away to tie it off, a very temporary solution and a waste of my favorite Chanel blouse. My mind was a mess as I traverse down the many stairs it would take to reach the lobby, memories of this same feeling came rushing back, flashbacks from the past.

One never forgets what it feels like to be hunted, that’s what they were doing, hunting me down, like an animal.

Was the truth worth my life?

Was it worth Jynx’s?

Right now, the truth doesn’t feel like it’s worth the trouble, but I’m already a dead woman barely walking anyway, and I got nothing to lose.

My name is Yurika Ymoja, and they got me all the way fucked up…

_____________________

《 2 months ago 》

I open my eyes to bright sterile fluorescent lights that cause the room to blur, leaving me with a mild disorientation, my vision soon settled and I could see Ti’Hatcha sitting in a chair next to the door.

Once I noticed he was asleep, the image of one of those guard dogs from a Tom and Jerry cartoon popped into my mind, how ironic were the roles we played in this situation. I was the Tom cat, chasing the resourceful and slippery rat named Jerry, we had a chaotic mishap mid chase, and now, Hatch the guard dog is never gonna let me out of his damn sight for more than a second, show’s over.

How could I have been so naive and foolish, so distracted, knowing I was in clear and present danger?

There was a knock to the door, and Ti’Hatcha immediately jumped to his feet, I gave him a wave, letting him know I was awake. There was an initial flash of relief, which was quickly drowned in the anger he had about my carelessness with the rat, I could tell he was ready to read aloud my rights to life but there was another knock, this time more forcefully.

I was wondering what nurse had such hard hands, but then he opened the door to reveal a man dress in a black suit and shades, an agent from the secret service. Someone else stepped out from behind him, it was the man from the cab quarrel. I couldn’t forget those sandy brown eyes and the fullness of his regal features, he looked cut from a magazine.

“Miss Ymoja, I’m sorry if this is an intrusion, but I had to make sure you were alright after yesterday.”

“No, it’s okay, Senator..” I trailed off, slightly embarrassed I didn’t remember his name.

“I don’t think we had the pleasure of formalities in the commotion that happened yesterday but i’m most known as Senator Rockefeller, Richland Rockefeller.. although in intimate settings, just like now for instance, Rich is fine.”

“How the hell do you get elected with a name like Rich Rockefeller?” Hatch muttered under his breath, or so he thought.

“I have my constituency..” Rich quipped back, not missing a beat, before turning back to me. “But let’s not talk politics, I’m here to apologize for everything that happened, I can’t help but think, if I had just given you the cab u you wouldn’t be here. I asked the gentleman you were with for your name and a number to reach you.”

“The bastard pushed me in front of a truck and had the nerve to stick around and give you my contact info?!”

“No, you must be mistaken, I saw with my own eyes, it wasn’t him that pushed you.. it was a woman.”

“A woman?” Hatch and I replied in unison, getting a strange look from Rich, but it was an odd thing we did.

“Yeah, at first I thought she came out of nowhere, but when I think about it, she was there the whole time.”

I thought back to the scene before, wondering when, where, and how I could have missed this woman. Hatch look to me to see if there was any recollection, but I had nothing, Rich just stood there giving me time to digest the new information he had given. Here I was ready to bring the fires of hades down upon Jerry, but for once the rat was innocent, this mysterious woman was gonna be a problem though, and I already had 99 problems, she surely wasn’t needed.

“The head of ER is actually an old frat buddy of mine, he let me know your vitals look amazing and that you should be released in a few hours, once some preliminary tests come back.”

“Isn’t that illegal? You shouldn’t be prying into her medical records, we should sue you and your little buddy.”

“Hatch relax, it’s okay, I appreciate and understand your concern but Rich didn’t mean any harm.”

He looked at me with fury in his eyes, and I understood it, my identity was my most precious asset. It was the only thing keeping me safe, secrecy ensured my survival, I had no idea if my past was still chasing me.

“I truly apologize, I swear he was just letting me know you were getting the best care possible and that you would be well enough to attend a fundraising dinner with me tomorrow night, think of it as my way of saying sorry.”

“She will be too busy recuperating, so she declines.” Hatch replied, folding his arms as he sat back down, staring Rich down like a wild bull.

“I think I’ll let her tell me that verbatim.”

“Okay boys, settle down.” I spoke up, finally able to get a word in, as Rich stood there defiantly. “Yes, I do need to rest and gather myself, but I’d also be happy to attend the banquet with you, Senator Rockefeller.”

“Please, call me Rich.” He said, giving that wide toothy picture perfect smile, as he gently grab hold to my hand. “I’ll leave to ensure you get all the rest you need, and I will make sure to have my assistant send over the details.”

He said his farewells and left me in the room with the steaming red-faced bull, Hatch was a man of few words, so I knew just from how outspoken and confrontational he was with Richland, that I was playing with fire. I wanted him to yell, to holler in my face, scream at the top of his lungs, any type of reaction that would tell me what I’ve always wanted to know from him, what I’ve always felt…

But Ti’Hatcha always had to pivot.

“Does he know?”

I was silent, as we both knew the answer to that.

“Of course he doesn’t, who would know? Who would even suspect, when you look the way you do?”

“Is that my fault? I just want to live my life, I just want to be safe..”

“No, it isn’t your fault, it’s no one’s fault. I just want you to be safe, you need to be protected, but you won’t let me.”

“I have a job to do, you know that, Jynx is depending on us.”

“I know, and we are going to free him, but I need to make sure YOU are taken care of, I can’t free him on my own.”

“I’m going to tell Rich everything tomorrow night..”

“Yuri.. you can’t, you shouldn’t even be going to that damn snob knob function.”

“That is exactly why I have to go, anyone who is anyone in DC will be there, I have to see if I can pick up a lead.”

“I insist that you be mic’d the entire time, don’t debate me.”

“You just want to eavesdrop, admit it.”

His ears turned red, as he stood up moving towards the door, mumbling something about getting food. I just shook my head and picked up my tablet from the end table, Hatch knew me so well as to put it within arms reach.

The media outlets were still running stories about Jynx, and I grumbled, wondering when they would get tired of him on the 24hr news cycle, it couldn’t come soon enough. It was ruining our optics, especially since I went ahead with a motion of appeal on his behalf, I didn’t need Jynx Joseph Ellison to be judged and executed on Fox News.

There was so much gossip and trash about Jynx, that I almost missed a piece about someone else’s movements, it was Father Ellison. The man had finalized a deal with VIOtrex, rumored to be worth upwards of ten billion dollars, signed in partnership with his companies, Oracle Co. and Arkham Inc.

*Arkham?*

The name was familiar, but I had no idea why,  maybe it was a clue. Father Ellison always seem to be one step ahead, yet he double crossed his own heir, to what end? Was it a lesson from father to son? Was it strategic in nature? Was it malice or hate? Why?

I sat there and ponder it over, until Hatch returned with what was supposed to be food, he put the tray in front of me, and shrugged his shoulders.

“I asked the lady for something to eat, she dragged this out.. if it makes you feel better, I snagged extra jello.”

“Thank god for the real miracles.” I praised, as I snatch the three red packs he had, admittedly starving.

We ate the sugary dessert for a moment and let the easy silence that usually ensued, when the two of us were alone, seem to settle in. The soundtrack of my steadily beating heart monitor, suddenly had a miniscule increase in tempo, as he moved his chair closer to me. Grabbing the remote, he turned on the medium sized flat screen, which was automatically tuned to some news channels afternoon commentary hour, of course they were talking about the Ellison’s.

There was a perky blonde and a older black man hosting a group of panelists from different fields consisting of former government officials, political pundits, and news personalities. They seem to havr been going over the latest news updates and speculations, which allow them to put voice to the latest salacious gossip, this was when the blonde preferred to do the most of the talking.

▪▪▪ “Rumor has it, Big Bad Daddy Ellison who has recently gone viral on social media, under the hashtag #DaddyDearest, because some allege he sold out tragic story Socialite Jynx Joseph Ellison, many Twitter and Facebook users recount stories of their double crossing father’s and it seems, Vernan, we all might have some daddy issues.. hahah.” ▪▪▪

We watched as the stale blonde reported, giving her over practiced dry laugh, handing the next article over to her more seasoned and professional co-host, who couldn’t help but to side eye her.

▪▪▪ “That would explain a lot of things Nancy, though I won’t go into it on air, moving along, Recent updates from our sources reveal a motion of appeal for the charges the younger Ellison received, was filed by his legal team Monday morning, which comes at an interesting time given a recent article in the New York Times where they report Ellison has cut off the silver spoon fed problem child, AND the evidence points to the process of him liquidating all joint assets between father and son. A brash move, some say is responsible for the massive upward spike on the market for Oracle Co.” ▪▪▪

▪▪▪ “Ouch!” a bald headed stout man with spectacles commented, earning several winces in agreement from half the panel. “#DaddyDearest indeed, Nancy, this is clearly a hostile takeover.” ▪▪▪

▪▪▪ “On the contrary, Ryan, I think it’s a great public relations move by Ellison, and ultimately a sound business strategy, to distance himself from his son, it creates a clear message that stability is going to be Oracle’s priority moving forward.” ▪▪▪

▪▪▪ ”You can’t legitimately say this isn’t personal, Mary Anne, this a backstabbing dirty cowardly move by a man who expects his son slash business partner to be locked away for a long time, the story of Jynx Joseph Ellison should go down as an American Tragedy, and I hope..” ▪▪▪

▪▪▪ “Come on now Ryan, you’re being a little bit dramatic, let’s hope you never need a job at Oracle Co., rumor has it.. #DaddyDearest remembers everything.” ▪▪▪

I couldn’t stand the annoying voice of news anchor Nancy, so I snatched the remote from Hatch and cut off the screen, there was no way I could sit here and listen to this garbage, these people who felt as if they knew us, as if they could judge us on public opinion alone.

“He’s moving fast.”

“That why I have to move faster, Jynx’s life depends on it, this is why I have to go to that fundraiser with Rich.”

“I don’t think you should go, I’m getting a bad feeling, same as when I let you leave on your own yesterday.”

“I have to, and I need to be honest with Rich about me, I’ll tell the truth about everything.”

“No, that’s out of the question, what reason would you have unless you felt this was going somewhere, and I know you can’t be that foolish.. Yuri, you can’t be serious? This could go wrong in a million ways!”

“He likes me, and there’s just something there, it’s in his eyes. I have to tell him, I have to live an honest life.” I could feel my eyes water, as pent up frustrations began to bubble over, Ti’Hatcha needed to understand the severity of the situation. “I’ve been waiting for the only man to show me love in my truth, to make a move, but I seriously don’t think he ever will.. and Hatch, I’m tired of waiting to finally live, I want to live and love in the now, not ‘one day’, no matter how soon you say that is.”

He stood there silent, measuring my words and tone, evaluating the situation, preparing an appropriate response. That was my problem with Hatch, he never just let things happen, he never reacted with impulse or any type of spontaneous passion. He was a soldier, and that meant he would always be willing to sacrifice his personal life for a greater good. Time just never lined up enough for us, the moment would never be right, no matter how right we were for each other.

Maybe that’s why this time, he didn’t say anything, no excuse, no reasonable response, no reassurance of feelings. Still, I oddly felt just the slightest bit of hope for us, when he turned without another word and left the room, slamming the door behind him.

_________________

  • {{ “You should be arriving at your destination shortly, there’s a red carpet, be prepared to take photos or answer questions. Rockefeller’s assistant said he will be meeting you at the entrance, as he had to meet with one of his donors who won’t be staying for the banquet.” }} •

“I wonder who it was? They had to be donating a pretty penny for him to do an early personal appearance, you think it was Oprah?”

  • {{ “Yuri, stay focused, your car is about to pull to a stop, cutting off com’s, to avoid interference, I’ll link back once you’re inside, good luck.” }} •

I sat in the limo until it came to a complete stop, and a valet open the door for me, he was a handsome young Hispanic boy with a nice smile, he offer me a hand as I exit the vehicle. There was an immediate barrage of flashing lights, as the press took photos from every angle, people were screaming, asking me who I was or who I was wearing.

I opted for an architectural navy blue gown and a simple but intricate head piece, giving them looks for days, my makeup was flawless with a Hershey nude lip and barely there shimmering contour. After dodging as many questions as I could, I finally made it to the end where a grand staircase lead to the ballroom. Looking at the stairs wearing the Louis Vuitton shoes I had on, gave me a small panic attack, but like a fairy tale prince, he was there to meet me.

“You are a vision, and dare I say, I’m the luckiest man in the house tonight with a beauty such as you on my arm, the people are enraptured with you Yurika Ymoja.”

“Senator Rockefeller, flattery may get you votes, but don’t expect me to be easy prey to your charms.”

“Oh, trust and believe, there are rare times when flattery is merely the statement of facts aloud.”

“I’m sure.”

“Look around you, do you see what I see?”

Gazing around, I notice the photographers were still taking my picture, reporters were still calling my name as if I were someone of importance they were missing the exclusive on, everyone’s eyes were on me. I felt so vulnerable, so visible, what if He was watching?

What if He was here?

I had been so hidden and careful my whole life, but the danger felt real, I was exposed to the possibility of Him finding me, whether He was still looking or not. My heart started to flutter and I immediately felt faint, visions of nightmares long forgotten flood my mind, and I felt a sudden numbness. There were gasps and a flurry of flashes from the cameras, as I collapse into the Senators arms. The reporters and paparazzi started to close in tight around us, but he hoisted me up into his arms, and carried me swiftly up the stairs.

There was an assistant in a sharply cut tuxedo, waiting nearby with a first aid kit and some water, he helped me hold the glass to drink as I came to, checking me over for any visible damage. I explained that I had an anxiety episode, and that it hadn’t happened in years, the resurgence was understandable given recent events.

Once the senator was convinced I was fine, his assistant, whose name I learned to be Dmetri, gave me a once over and straighten out my dress and headpiece, commenting approval on my makeup. I smiled as Rich took my hand and lead me into the Ballroom. Tables were set up and so many public figures were present it was hard to keep track, I wouldn’t know where to start if I wanted to do any digging, so I just hung onto the senator and let him introduce me around the room.

It seem like he knew everybody, the next hour was a blur of introduction after introduction, I’d feel proud if I could just remember fifty of the head count of nearly three hundred people I’d met, hopefully Hatch was listening in and keeping tabs. So many of Richland’s fellow senators, the congressmen, the lobbyists, the husbands and wives of the lobbyists, it was never ending.

“Yurika, I saved the best for last, or the worst, we all know perspective is relative.. isn’t that right mother?”

“You were always so melodramatic as a child, it was cute then, not so much in an adult man with the promising future you have, fix your tie Richland.” The stern faced woman replied, I vaguely recognized her but I couldn’t place it, she was dressed in vintage Oscar Dela Renta, the wardrobe of an Alpha female.

“Yurika, this is the newly elected Speaker of the house, Minerva Rockefeller, who I have the unfortunate luxury of having for a mother.” He introduced, as he straighten out his tie, rolling those sandy pale eyes he share with her.

She had a youthful fifties look to her face, a marvel for a Caucasian woman I believe to be hovering close to seventy years old. From what I’ve seen of her in the news, she was a political bulldog and was the go to person to barge through any legislation no matter what party controlled the legislative or executive branch. She’d made a legacy of being a fair and moderate woman, despite her hard demeanor, there were even calls for her run for president but she was considered too old for the mainstream voter.

“It’s a pleasure, my name is Yurika Ymoja, madame speaker. I work for..”

“I know bloody hell well who you work for, and I for one need to send a gift basket to the bastard that finally got your boss out of my damn way, the little fucker sure knew how to cock block legislation.”

“Mother, watch your language, and be respectful.. Yurika is my guest.” Rich scolded, embarrassed at his mom’s crude mouth, Minerva clearly didn’t get to her position due to her gentle demeanor.

“She looks like a tough little princess to me, so why don’t you grow some hair on that twat of yours, and toughen up yourself.” She said in a low voice, getting real close to his face for emphasis, I had never met a more intimidating woman. “Oh look, it’s General Bogart.. what a fucking fag.”

“Oh my god.” Rich sighed, palming his face, as if it could hide him.

”Oh stuff it and watch me work, you might learn something.” She reply, fixing her bust line, before calling out to the general. “Ferdinand Bogart, I see you over there, how long has it been? Is that Susan, your wife with you? You two look marvelous!”

She sauntered over and gave him a hug and a kiss to the cheek, doing the same with the man’s wife, clearly they’ve been old ‘friends’ for years before ascending the ranks, I could see first hand where Richland had gotten his ability to work a room from.

“Please, forgive me on behalf of my mother.”

“Don’t worry, no need to apologize, I’m sure she didn’t get to be third in line for the Presidency by acting like a lady.”

“Or a mother, but that’s a conversation to be had after some more drinks, shall we?” He said, giving me that glistening smile, holding an arm out which I gladly took.

  • {{ “We need to get him talking about his mother, I did some background and found she’s had several visits to Oracle Co. per the visitors logs, she might be connected to this.” }} •

“I don’t think that’s the case..”

“I’m sorry, what was that?” Rich asked, arching a brow at me curiously, I had forgotten Hatch was in my ear.

“I said I should use the ladies room before we get seated just in case.” I reply, smiling through the mishap hoping it would work, he just nodded and pointed towards the restrooms.

As I walked away, there was a notification from my phone, I pulled it from my clasp and saw a text message from an unknown number.

  • It’s Jerry, we have to meet, I’m done running. Meet me at the Playroom tomorrow night 10pm sharp.  –

I forwarded the message to Hatch who immediately ran the specs on the place, I heard him curse under his breath over the mic, and I asked what he found, the only answer I got was that he’d debrief me later. I was about to make a fuss, but I noticed something peculiar going on near where the General and Madame Speaker were having a heated discussion, in what they thought was the privacy of a far off corner.

What they didn’t see was the buxom bombshell blonde, in a shimmering pale pink strapless dress, her voluminous Marilyn Monroe hairstyle and bright blue eyes had me thinking I was looking at a 50s era communist spy in action. She had a delicate rose gold watch on her wrist, that had to have been some kind of ‘smart gadget’ in disguise, because she was recording them from behind the draperies that adorn the wall.

After a moment, her spy senses must have tingled, because she knew she was being watched, and her eyes focused straight on me. We stare at each other, locked in a gaze for the longest second I’d ever experience, until she cracked a grin to her pouty Angelina Jolie-esque matte nude lips. A normal person would have panicked, knowing they’d been caught, but not her.

Standing there watching, as she walked over to the two and accidentally bumped into the General, breasts first, snatching his keys and key card from his waist belt. She was so swift, so charming, so startlingly beautiful, neither Minerva nor Ferdinand, noticed a thing but her smile and her great set of bosoms.

I decided to keep onward to the restroom before I blew her cover, or my own, secret service and private security were all around us, ready to pick up on the slightest suspicious movement. Upon entering the bathroom, I was glad the attendant was gone on a break, I preferred privacy. After cutting off my earpiece connection with Hatch, I went about relieving myself of the three glasses of champagne that seem to run right through me.

My dress was a nightmare to get in and out of, and I forgot I needed Hatch’s help earlier to fasten up. There was the sudden creak of the door opening, and someone sat in the chair by the attendants station, so I assume her break was over, lucky me, because I needed assistance.

“Excuse me, would you mind helping me zip up?”

“Of course, it would be my pleasure.” Was the sultry reply I received, as who I thought was the attendant assisted me, when I finally turn around I was in for a shock. “But then again, why zip up, when we can zip down and have some real fun.. you have got to be the most beautiful thing in this corner of the world.”

“You? What are you doing here?!”

“Well, it is the ladies room, and we both know good enough I have more right to be in here than you do.”

“Excuse me, how dare you?”

“We know you, Yurisaku Kyoto.”

For a split second, I nearly forgot who I was, and where I was. The fact she had nerve to call me by that name, a boy, who as far as I was concerned, was long dead and gone.

We made sure only Yurika survived…

She saw the jerk of my hand, as I had to pull back from snatching her scalp clean of her peroxide blonde, which seem to humor her as she reapplied her lipstick.

“If you know me, then it is best you refer to me as Yurika Ymoja, ma’am, or your Highness, whichever suits your tongue if you wish to keep it.”

“I doubt you’ll want to tear my tongue out, once you see what I can do with it.” She reply, pushing her way into my space, till our lips nearly touch and our breasts seem to awkwardly kiss by ‘accident’.

“Are you seriously coming onto me right now?”

“What can I say, I like pretty things and as I said before, you are a beauty who more than qualifies.”

“Umm, excuse me but I have to get back to my date.”

“Don’t worry, we are watching Senator Richland Rockefeller, as well, he is still out there waiting patiently like a gentleman.”

“Wait, what?”

“Let’s not forget about that fine piece of man always chasing you around, what’s his name, Ti’Hatcha? Yeah, he’s outside the building now, though he’s not as patient as prince charming, his face has gone red in anger. Your Com-link, yes the one ever so concealed in your diamond earing, has been down for more than fifteen minutes, bae is getting worried.”

“Okay I get it!”

“I don’t think you do.” She said, getting close again, so close I could almost taste her Chanel perfume. “We are even watching the woman that’s been watching you, she’s been on your tail since you touch down in DC. We watched as she followed you to Jerry Goldstein’s office, watched as she pushed you in front of that truck, we are watching now, as she sits just outside this door at the table to the left.. wearing a jade green McQueen gown, holding a dragon jewel clutch, and strutting in stiletto heels she could probably kill you a hundred ways with.”

“Who is she and who the fuck are you people?”

“Ooh honey, I’m surprised you haven’t figured it out by now.”

“You smell like government, either special ops or CIA, but more than likely both.”

“See, I told them you were a clever girl.”

“Why is the CIA committing several acts of espionage and conspiracy on domestic soil? That is treasonous, I shouldn’t even be talking to you, I could be tried for collusion.. I have to go.”

“No wait, don’t leave just yet, we have something for you, something elusive you’ve been looking for.”

“What could you people possibly have for me?”

She paused to slowly flick a stray piece of bang from her face, grinning wickedly, as if she knew she had me right where she wanted me.

“We have the Truth that could set him free.”

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