The Axe, Part 7

July 15, 2014 Matt and Lara get some interesting news on the wherabouts of the Axe of Perun

Hell's Kitchen

Matt Murdock's stylie loft.


Epic, by Calexico ( )

Mood Music: THE AXE, PART 7

Hell's Kitchen

Even with Matt's impressively dark blinds, a ray of sunlight peeks through the space between the cover and the sill and forces Matt into sitting up.

His voice is aimed at the dark mess of brown hair at the other side of the bed, "You a coffee, tea, or juice kind of woman?" With a bit of a groan at his stiff body and a wince from his headache Matt makes his way, stark naked, out into the main hallway of the flat.

Every 6 or so paces he oddly snaps his fingers as he glides through the hall into the living room and out towards the island in his kitchen. He reaches for his phone on the counter. "Messages." The phone beeps back at him in an angelic English, female voice. "6 unheard messages. First Message. From: Foggy."

"Next message."

"Next Message. From: Foggy."

"Next message."

The tousled mop of dark hair stirs and the woman it belongs to groans. "Normally tea," she replies in a British accent, "But I think the aftermath of Mick's whiskey calls for coffee to take the edge off." Lara Croft pries an eye open to watch Matt head out of the room, then she blindly fishes around on the floor for something to wear with one outstretched arm. She comes up with his t-shirt. It'll do. She tugs it on before padding out to the kitchen after him, yawning and running her fingers through her tangled locks. "Morning," she offers with a small smile.

"Morning," Matt puts some coffee on as its Lara's turn to get a phone call. It buzzes around frantically in her purse. "Sounds like we're in demand this morning." He holds out a bottle of Ibuprofen to her if she wants it and figures he'd better go put some clothes on. "How do you like your coffee?"

"Like I like my men, as uncomplicated as possible," Lara replies with a grin. She reaches for the messenger bag that serves as her purse and draws out her StarkPhone. Only the best will do. "Croft," she says into it. She accepts the ibuprofen with a touch of her hand to his as a thank you after realizing the one she mouthed to him can't likely be seen.

Matt can hear the exhale, though, returns the smile and gives a nod. As he walks by her back to his room he wraps his arm in a half hug and goes off to look for something to put on his bottom half. "What, were all the uncomplicated men busy last night?" His grin widens and he disappears into his room for a bit.

"Lara it's Nelson." Nelson Rooney a colleague of Lara's and one of the good guys sounds urgent. "Lara, this morning the Axe of Verdun got put up on Balcerowski's." Balco, as it's known in the business, is one of the black market websites that deal in art and archeological when normal and regular means just won't do.

Meanwhile, Matt pulls on a pair of pajama pants and grabs for his phone. "Call: Office."

"Nelson and Murdock, this is Karen."

"Karen, is Foggy there?"

He can nearly feel her shock as she laughs in response, "Oh you're so dead. Weren't you supposed to be here three hours ago?"

"I was tired."

"Yeah, I bet. You had a meeting with Williams this morning."

"Foggy with him now?"

"Yeah, and he's pretty pissed off."

"We've both seen Foggy that way before. He can handle his own."

"If you say so."

"Williams is innocent. I'm not worried about a thing. Have Fog call me when he's done. And give him my love."

"Matt, you're terrible."

"I know."

He clicks the phone and begins to head back into the kitchen.

"Dammit, that isn't good. Send me the link to it, I'm on it," Lara says grimly. She waves Matt over, figuring if he can block punches, he can sense the movement. "When did it go up? How long until the deadline for the sale? How much are they asking?"

Matt moves behind her lacing his hands around her stomach and bringing himself close enough to hear the details of the conversation. "Went up at 6:30 am tis morning. Apparently the deadline is tomorrow to the highest bidder, or it'll go for four million to the first bidder. Sending you the link now." Lara's phone clicks softly letting her know she just got an email and Matt presses his lips against her shoulder.

"Thank you, Rooney," Lara says, leaning back against the lawyer before ending the call. She sends the link to Matt's email so he can bring it up on whatever system he has. "Someone is trying to sell the Axe on the black market," she informs him.

"Lovely. Wanna buy it? Four million is a bit rich for my blood. Figure we could get a conversation with the fleecer that way. Getting someone to talk to is always so expensive." Sensing that the coffee is done, he releases from her and goes for two cups in his cabinet and begins to pour. "Or I could save you so money, talk to my hacker, and find out the IP of who posted it and we could do it the old fashioned way with broken jaws and tears. Your choice. Or something other if you've got a different idea."

"I've sent the link to your mail so you can send it to your hacker friend," Lara notes, sliding onto a chair in the kitchen. "I think I prefer the sound of broken jaws for the people who killed Rhys. I'd rather not insult his memory and wind up with his ghost perving on me in the shower," she adds.

Matt blinks as if considering. "Shower. That's not a bad idea." He slides the coffee to her and brings his own up to his lips. With his off hand he forwards the email to Aspect's dummy email account. "Done. When we get the information back we'll make our move. Preferably at night. It'll have to be quick in case there's a sale. If there is, we're dead in the water. I've also asked my guy to watch traffic so we can move quicker if we see something about to happen. Work for you?"

"If the bids start nearing the buy price, send one from me for the full amount. Otherwise, let the bidding war buy us some time," Lara instructs, clearly speaking to her lawyer for a moment as she accepts her coffee. Then she leans in to press a kiss to his cheek. "Coffee, then a shower."

"Your wish, Miss Croft," he responds as her lips press against his skin and his eyes close. His hand slides around her stomach and to the small of her back as he thinks. "Did you see the news yesterday? Some guy almost killed someone in Mutant Town with a slice of lemon. Wore a hoodie. Looks like it might be our guy at the USTOR-IT."

"He gets around. Was he after Charlie?" Lara wonders. Her back is scarred, with the marks left by bullets, knives, arrows, even the claws of animals. It's a textural wonder of sorts, even through the fabric of his t-shirt. "What are we going to do if he's involved in the Axe sale? I don't fancy a toothpick to the eye."

"That's why you leave him to me. A toothpick to the eye isn't as big a deal to me. And I like lemons just fine. As far as the sale goes, I'm not really sure. If he already got rid of it he might be out of the game. Maybe he works for whoever is selling it. Maybe whoever is selling it works for him." Matt continues to roam her back and feel the tales of her adventures as his fingers slowly trace the scars.

"Then I'll be sure to wear safety glasses tonight," Lara quips. She sips her coffee and leans against the blind man. "At least if he messes up my face, you won't care," she adds with a grin.

"I can still see your face, Lara. Just not in the same way. But it wouldn't change the way I feel about you," Matt says flatly.

"Time to go to work."

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