Mendacii Key

When Teneta uncover Samuel Watford’s lost will, they discover that he never destroyed the Mendacii Key, the key to bring them down: he has hidden it, passed it on to the one person who can finish his work. Now Teneta have a plan, a plan to bring down the Mendacii key and Watford’s daughter, Aliona. Aliona must race against time and fate, to discover the power of the Mendacii Key and fight against the biggest force on the planet. She is given a choice to run, fight, or die. Surrounded by betrayal and lies, there is no room for her to make the wrong decision.

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2. One

Aliona placed down the phone. Ticking off the next name on the long list before her, she swept the loose strands of hair from her face and began punching in the next phone number. With a sigh, she let her aching hand flop and glanced around the office, checking on her fellow workers.

Suzie was ahead of her, halfway down her own foot long list of names: Aliona was at least a couple of inches behind. Suzie was staring deliberately at her work, tapping steadily away and periodically picking up the handset to clear the next few names.

Connor was pacing along the back of the room, his brow drawn into a thoughtful frown, arms crossed tightly across his chest. He had finished work for the day and was waiting for the others to join him. It was around this time of day that his thoughts were generally most active; his strange habit of disappearing into them was mainly a course of happenings for the others; a reassurance that nothing had gone wrong and all was still well.

Alan was fuming. About an hour ago, he had been having a full on debate with whoever was on the other end of his phone. He had ended up swearing loudly at the receiver and slamming the handset down. Alan had refused to talk to anyone else about what had happened and took the opportunity to snap at everyone the moment they made any noise. Aliona reckoned he had lost a customer and was going to be blamed for it. She did not look forward to the aftermath of that: Alan didn’t take criticism well. He would never accept he was wrong and would always put the blame on someone else. Aliona sometimes wished she had a more understanding boss.

Jonas had vanished about ten minutes ago. He’d muttered about unfinished filing in the archives and had slipped away without Alan noticing. Aliona knew he would be back before too long; their day finished in five minutes and Jonas had promised to take her out for their regular coffee in a favourite diner of theirs. Aliona always had twice as much work to do, and was a lot worse than Jonas. She envied Jonas: he always did better than her in everything. She supposed that as his father was the Executive of Teneta, he might have a little to do with it. Jonas didn’t claim to be happy, but at least Jonas knew who his father was; at least his father was around for him and was a well respected man, (the most powerful man on the planet).

On hearing footsteps behind her, Aliona turned automatically. It was Suzie. She grinned at Aliona and bent down to murmur in her ear,

“We can go! Alan just let us off the rest of the list.”

Aliona raised her eyebrows,

“How did you manage that?”

Suzie blushed slightly,

“I managed it. Now stop asking questions, before he changes his mind!”

Suzie grabbed Aliona by the arm and pulled her up. Aliona hastily pushed the phone aside, threw her list of names onto the next desk along and grabbed her wallet and coat. Giggling, they slipped around the corner and out into the corridor. Connor was waiting for them,

“I see you escaped the dragons den!” he remarked. Suzie shook her head dramatically and lowered her voice,

“What is up with Alan? He’s been quarrelling all week with as many people as he can!”

Aliona took a step back and leant against the wall,

“I heard rumours that Unit 2 is busy with something very important and completely confidential. Could it be that Alan’s involved? He is the head of the department!”

“You listen too much to Jonas, Aliona!” accused Suzie, “He makes up half the stuff he says just to look impressive; especially in front of you!”

Suzie looked cheekily at Connor and they simultaneously burst out laughing. Aliona scowled,

“Stop saying that! You think you know everything, but it’s not what you think.” Aliona turned her head to hide the blood pounding into her face. Suzie sighed dramatically,

“Who got you out of work early?”

Aliona shook her head, fed up,

“Watch it, Watford!” teased Suzie, “You never know what I’m capable of!”

“Well I’m waiting here for Jonas.” said Aliona, sounding hurt, “You can go off to do all your gossiping if that makes you feel better.”

There was a silence. Suzie came cautiously over to Aliona and whispered into her ear,

“Gossiping sucks without you. I guess I’ll just have to wait until later, when I can tell you all I know about Alan. Have fun with Jonas!”

Aliona turned back to look accusingly at Suzie. With a little skip, Suzie winked at Aliona and danced down the corridor, out of sight. Aliona watched her leave. Connor hadn’t moved.

“Connor,” Aliona called out to him, “I think Suzie has some explaining to do.” Connor looked questioningly at her, but Aliona nodded down the corridor to where Suzie had just disappeared. Connor seemed to understand and turned to walk swiftly away. Aliona was left alone.

After a couple of minutes waiting by the entrance to the communications centre, Alan stormed out. He stopped to look at Aliona and started muttering violently. Aliona was busy preparing an apology when she was interrupted by Alan talking directly to her,

“Not that anyone works hard for me! You work harder on that Savage boy!”

“Jonas? Oh, it’s nothing!” exclaimed Aliona, hiding her face,

“Well just ask Suzie, she seems to think different.” Alan looked very bored and continued, “Have a nice evening. Make sure you’re not late tomorrow morning.” Alan sniffed loudly then pulled his jacket on before backing out of the corridor. Aliona grinned half heartedly after him before sighing loudly.

“What’s up with him?” Aliona spun round, startled,

“Oh, Jonas, it’s you!” Aliona let her breath out in a puff and put her head in her hands, defeated, “I think he’s finally lost it!”

Jonas reached out to take her coat as he nodded to the exit,

“Let’s get out of here, before I lose it too!” he grimaced. Aliona managed a smile,

“Can we go to…?”

“Of course my lady! Your wish is my command!” Jonas beamed at Aliona. She let out a giggle as they headed away from the day’s troubles.

As the pair left the building, they struck up normal conversation,

“So what filing did you have to do?” asked Aliona,

“Well, Alan found an old pile of documents that needed sorting out. They were just the usual receipts and delivery reports.” He shrugged and changed subject, “I see he had you all busy. God, that looked tedious!”

Aliona let out an indignant cry,

“Tedious? You should try it for a day!”

Jonas raised his eyebrows,

“I think I know what tedious is, seeing as I spend most of my time with you!” He pinched Aliona and sped up, leaving her trying to keep with him. She laughed and tugged at his sleeve. Jonas stopped to turn back to her,

“That wasn’t a compliment!” he added, as he took Aliona by the arm and pulled her down into a bench at the side of the path. It was facing the roundabout, the centre of which was covered in a brilliant display of spring flowers. Jonas knew how much Aliona liked this spot. They sat there, admiring the scene for a moment. Jonas turned to Aliona, his face drawn into a concerned expression, “You wanted to talk to me?”

Aliona turned away, embarrassed,

“You’ve been sneaking around.” she said

“No I haven’t!” Jonas retorted. Aliona looked at him and pulled a face,

“I saw you in Alan’s office.”

“It was nothing!” he cried,

“Nothing is nothing!” concluded Aliona, “What were you doing, Jonas Savage?”

Jonas sighed, giving in,

“You are so observant, I don’t think you’ve ever let anything get past you. Sometimes I wish you didn’t know me quite so well,”

“Especially,” continued Aliona, “when I can see that you’re lying. You can’t trust me?”

“Of course I can!”said Jonas, sounding firm,

“But can I trust you?”

“Of course you can!”

“Then prove it by telling me what you were doing. I want the truth, Jonas!”

“Do you want my guts spilled out all over the floor?”

“Then what’s this about? Don’t tell me your father’s involved!” cried Aliona,

“No!” replied Jonas, “I can assure you it’s nothing like that.”

“Oh, I see. I don’t need to know. Forget it, then.” Aliona stood up and brushed her coat down,

“Aliona!” pleaded Jonas, “I-“

“Forget it!” she persisted, “Now let’s go and get our favourite table before they give it to someone else.”

Aliona started to walk off, away from Jonas. He sighed then followed, quickly catching up with her,

“Aliona,” he repeated, “I’ve been meaning to ask; you know my father’s party tomorrow evening?”

Aliona looked up at him in surprise,

“I’ve told you, I had to reorganise the caterers, the ones we originally hired didn’t have the right menu. I’ve sorted it out, and I found some others that agreed to serve our menu. Did Alan forget?”

“No, Aliona!” chuckled Jonas, “I wanted to invite you! If you’ll come?”

“Me?” gasped Aliona, in shock,

“Will you be my plus 1?” asked Jonas, blushing slightly, “You don’t have to: If you have other plans that’s fine, I’m sorry I didn’t ask sooner!”

“But... but Jonas, I have nothing to wear!” cried Aliona, sending Jonas into a laughing fit. Clutching his sides, Jonas pulled himself up and looked at Aliona, beaming,

“Whatever you wear,” he said, “I’m sure you’ll look beautiful!”

Aliona was so happy. She knew that Jonas was trying to make up for their fight. She also knew that he was still hiding something from her.

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