“Can you keep a secret?” I trace the tip of my finger on the lip of the wineglass. “No,” My sister smiles and leans back into her chair.
“I thought you knew me well enough, Ky.”
“Ah… I don’t know about that.” I get up and walk around her hallway, which is huge. The world’s richest person isn’t bound to have a normal hallway, are they?
The world’s biggest thief.
At least that’s what I’m supposed to find out.
“Ky, wait for me!” I pause, letting Kris catch up to me.
“How have you been?”
“What do you mean?” I walk with her, my long strides making her half jog.
“I- I have a job I love.” I settle on that, knowing I can’t live with myself if I lie.
“Anything you need? Money?” She looks and sounds so sincere.
“Oh god, no!” I laugh.
“You’ll know where to come if you need money.”
She raises her arms and flourishes. “I have plenty to spare,” Kris grins, as if this was some inside joke we both knew.
“Really? I couldn’t tell.” Kris has changed. At least in the ten years I haven’t seen her. To be honest I haven’t missed her. Life is just life. And she was too obsessed with our father anyway. She grew up to be just like him.
I close my eyes for a second, clearly remembering his last words to me. A father wouldn’t usually like to die knowing his son was a failure, but I guess I’ll have to compromise.
That compromise was Kris.
She walks like a businesswoman. Straight back, imposing stare. She talks like one, with a flat, serious tone. The second she saw me, all of that fell away.
Her eyes… they were just filled with joy. Her eyes were always a beautiful color. Some say they’re gray. Or a cloudy green.
Kris’s eyes are one of those things you could get lost without knowing it. They’re those things you don’t know you’ll miss until they’re gone.
She sets her empty goblet on the table, her lips wine-stained. “I haven’t drunk wine in forever. My physical trainer says it’s bad for my… everything. Every other drink is okay though,” Kris rolls her eyes.
“Eh… I don’t know.” I chug another glass one of Kris’s maids gave me. Maids. She’s that rich. Wait, I should stop.
Getting drunk on a mission is not preferable.
I remember the last time my partner did that.
That did not end well.
“Let’s go out, Ky,” Kris says, slurring her words. She stumbles, reaching for her refilled glass. I pull it away from her, giving it back to one worker.
“Actually, I better be going,” I say as she (tries to, at least) gaze into my eyes. Her eyes glaze over, a clear sign that she shouldn’t be driving.
“No, we should go out! It’s super fun. Hey, when did you grow out your bangs? They look so weird,” She giggles and proceeds to touch them. “Ooh, soft. Good boy,” She ruffles my hair.
I stare at her, wide-eyed, not knowing if “weird” is good or bad.
“Dontstareatme,” Kris bawls her eyes out seconds later, slumping on the floor. It took me that long to figure out that she said “Don’t stare at me.”
“You know every one of those media photo peoples are always here? It sucks to live like this. I hate it here. I hate it.” She continues crying while I pat her back in what I hope is comforting.
“Hey, Kris. Where’s your room?” I pick her weightless body off the floor, my hands at the back of her neck and knees.
“Top right. Like when we were kids. Remember Ky?” She seems to float away into her memories, probably oblivious that I’m holding her.
“Yeah, I remember.” I grunt, opening the door with my back.
“You wouldn’t let me call you Ky in front of your friends. Always wanted to be called ‘Kyle’ because that’s your ‘real name,’” She giggles again. Wow, her drunken giggles seem straight out of a movie.
I put her on the bed, and she snuggles into her blanket, muttering incomprehensibly. Her room has a glass ceiling, the moonlight spilling into the room.
“Ky... “ She groans. “Ky, are you still here?”
“Yeah,” I look around the room, looking for a secret safe. Some kind of key. Another laptop, a USB.
Anything to prove my sister guilty.
Anything to prove that her business isn’t the only way she’s earning all this money.
“Can you come here?” She pats the edge of the bed.
I walk over to her bed, and sit down there. “Sure.”
“Can I tell you something?”
A wave of pure dread engulfs me.
“Sure,” I say, keeping my cool.
She sits up, and her finger traces my jaw. “I know you aren’t who you say you are…” She smiles at me, but her eyes are somewhere far away.
“You probably had one glass of wine too many.” I get up from the bed, leaving and calming my heart. She doesn’t know about my mission.
She grabs onto my arm as I’m leaving and groans, “Don’t go… You can stay. Ask for Mimi, she'll show you the spare room.”
I suck my breath in through my teeth. I haven’t completed my mission yet… I would be better off here.
“Okay.” I say, but don’t move. I don’t feel like moving.
“You could sleep in the spare room… Or you could sleep here,” My sister throws me a lazy smile, a drunken one. She looks like she doesn’t know what she’s suggesting.
“I’ll…” I walk to her bed and lie on the very edge of the side opposite to her. Let’s just keep up this charade until she sleeps.
Kris stares longingly from the other side of the bed, and I ignore her. “Ky, I miss you. I want you to move here,” She says, her voice steady. “I don’t like the fanciness of everything. I don’t like how I have to put on a mask every time someone talks to me. I hate it here.” Her words are even harder to understand now.
“You want me to move to Shanghai?” I laugh for a second until I notice the look of hurt on her face.
A maid enters the room, putting my wine on the dresser, whispering, “You forgot this.” I nod as a thanks and take a sip, careful to not spill it on the sheets.
“Is that hard for you? You can quit your job, I’ll give you one. Or don’t do anything at all! I just want you here with me. After Mom died, I can’t be myself anymore,” She sobs.
A pang of guilt hits me. I came here on a business trip. Seeing my sister was the business trip, but if I weren’t assigned that, she wouldn’t have crossed my mind.
“I can’t.” I simply say it.
Because I don’t want to leave the FBI.
“Why not?” She whispers. I didn’t realize how close Kris had gotten to me. I can smell her shampoo from here.
“I…” I feel all that wine hitting me. Oh no.
Oh no. I am not going to succumb to wine in my mission. No way.
“Ky?” Kris’s hands graze my cheek. “Please.”
I don’t want to leave the FBI.
She twines her fingers around mine and places a hand on my chest, turning me to face her.
She pecks me on the cheek, and my cheeks bloom red. I pull away and she mutters, “Wait, don’t go… Tell me if you don’t like it.”
“We’re siblings. This is not happening,” I say while my heart says something else.
“Okay.” She says and rests her head on my chest. I put my arm around her shoulders, relishing the warmth. “Will you stay?”
No. I want to be an agent. For better or worse.
“Why?” Kris asks right after I realize that I said that out loud. I look down, and Kris suddenly looks so small.
“Because I don’t want to leave the FBI,” My words slur together, sleep taking me over before I can process the danger of those words.
- - -
I wake up to the sound of metal on metal. The maids look around worried as soon as I see them.
“Sorry! We’ll go now,” They whisper, trying not to wake Kris up. I slowly get off the bed.
“No, no, it’s fine,” I say as they flee from the room. Sighing, I look at the scrambled eggs set on the dresser and reach for the fork.
“I’m hungry too, Ky,” Kris groans, scaring me half to death.
“Then get up and eat your own food,” I grumble, stuffing everything in my mouth.
“Ky. Ky, do you work for the FBI?”
My fork clatters to the floor, and I turn my head slowly. “N-No. No, I don’t work for the FBI.”
“Then why did you tell me last night you did?” She asks, her face full of emotion.
“I was drunk. I say weird things.” I get up, “Where’s the bathroom again?”
She stares at me, and points to a door. I nod as a thanks and quickly walk in, shutting the door.
I dial a number and wait until she picks up.
“Hey, Marilyn. Yeah, I kinda got… Well, she knows. About me. And the FBI.”
“You told your sister?” I hear my colleague shout from the other side of the phone.
“Look, it’s fine. I’ve handled it,” I say, shuddering at the thought of not handling it.
“How can you ‘handle’ something like that, Kyle!” Her voice fills with worry. Fills with dread.
I’ve waited a long time to do this. Didn’t think my first would be my sister, but no one’s here to miss her. Not me at least.
I can’t wait to go back home and finally qualify for the Mafia.
I grin, “Well, let’s just say two can keep a secret.
I hang up and whisper, “Especially if one of us is dead.”