Keeping her back against the wall, she reached one hand against the side of the house, and then another. She shimmied up a few inches, ignored the rock scraping against her skin through her thermal t-shirt, and peeked over the top of the roof. Sure enough, there was a woman sitting cross-legged toward the front, watching the front—and only—door.
There was about ten feet between her current location and the woman. Millie was a good sprinter, but not that good. She needed the woman to either leave her post or come closer to Millie’s location.
She tried to think of a way to create a diversion for the woman to investigate when the woman moved her head enough that she could see her profile and Millie smiled at her good luck. She knew that fair skin, button nose, and mousy brown ponytail anywhere. It was her sometimes friend, sometimes enemy Petra Brandt.
She remembered spotting Petra and her brother back at the pub in Edinburgh, on the night Millie had been taken. It all seemed too much of a coincidence that Petra would show up here, too. At least Millie knew a little about her adversary.
If Petra was doing this job for money, Millie could easily match it. The real question, however, was whether Petra would wait long enough to listen to her proposition or shoot her on sight.
Larsen would never have left Millie alone and unrestrained if Petra had shared the extent of Millie’s skills with him. An average person might think Petra had done it out of compassion, but in her experience, Petra never did anything without a self-serving reason behind it.
Her best option was to approach Petra, keeping the can opener tucked into her waistband, and see how it played out.
It took a few seconds for Millie to hide her would-be weapon under the billowing folds of her shirt. After taking a deep breath, she pulled herself up and said, “Morning, Brandt.”
As expected, Petra turned around with her gun pointed straight at her. Petra didn’t look the least bit surprised by her sudden appearance. Quite the contrary, she looked as if she’d expected it. She nodded. “Ward.”
“Are you here watching me as part of a job or are you doing it as a favor?”
Well, damn, that just made all of this much more delicate. “Then why haven’t you told your boss who I am? You knew full well that I’d try something like this.”
Petra lowered her gun and said, “Because I need your help.”
Millie frowned. “Doing what exactly?”
Petra kept the gun in her hand but took a step toward her. “Something that Dominik can’t help me with.”
“What could you possibly not entrust to your twin brother?”
“I love my brother, but I can’t risk him telling his new boss about the person I want to help.”
She was intrigued since the Brandt twins were well known for always working as a team. “I can’t do anything until you tell me more about what you’re asking, and what’s in it for me.”
Petra eyed her for a few seconds and finally said, “Tell my brother any of this, and I’ll make sure you stay locked up for good.” Millie was unimpressed at the threat and merely nodded. Petra continued. “I need to get an old friend of mine out of an AMT research facility, and if you agree to go with me, I’ll help you escape Larsen’s house.”
“But why me?”
“I never thought I’d say this, but you’re good at what you do.”
“You’re nearly as capable as me.”
“I’d say better than you, but regardless, I need a second person since I can’t let this old friend know I’m behind the rescue.”
Petra hesitated and Millie saw a flicker of emotion she couldn’t name, but it was gone as quickly as it’d come. What would unsettle a mercenary with a reputation like Petra Brandt?
Petra’s face hardened again and she said, “Because he thinks I’m dead and I need it to stay that way.”
Millie knew very little of Petra’s past before she’d started taking mercenary work, but even so, the request was an odd one. “Let’s say that I agree to help you, and you get me away from here, what happens to me after the fact? How do I know you won’t give away my location once your rescue mission is complete?”
“If you’ll consider my offer, I’ll give you an act of good faith tomorrow morning by allowing you to contact your brother Jaxton.”
Petra was going to help her escape and contact her brother? Millie narrowed her eyes. Something was up. “Is this facility in the middle of a bloody jungle, with a moat of piranhas that I have to swim across or something?”
The corner of Petra’s mouth rose. “I’d like to see you try that, but no, it’s not. It’s no more dangerous than anything you’ve done in the past.”