The next morning in Las Vegas, Brenda found herself with Illya in a wedding chapel and a minister asking her "Do you, Brenda Marie Antoinette DeBeauharnais, take this man, Illya Nikovetch Kuryakin, as your lawfully wedded husband?"
She said nothing for a second, but stood there, her head cocked to one side and her facial expression said one word: duh? She suddenly came back to reality and, before she could reply, heard a familiar voice shout "Wait a minute!" She turned around and was shocked to see Travers. "What in Hell are you doing here?" she asked.
Illya was just as taken aback. "You're supposed to be looking for Larry, aren't you?" he asked.
"This won't take but a minute," Travers persisted. Turning to Brenda, he asked, "Can we talk outside?"
"What for?" she asked, mystified by his presence.
"Please," he begged, looking at the minister and at Illya. "Just for a minute."
Brenda sighed and looked at Illya. "I'll be back in a minute," she reluctantly replied and started up the aisle after Travers.
"One minute, Travers," Illya warned. "If Brenda isn't back in here, I'm coming to look for you."
Outside in the foyer, Travers pulled Brenda away from the doorway and into the corner. "I can't let you marry him," he bluntly told her, holding her arms to prevent her from escaping.
"What?" she asked. "Where do you get off telling me who I can and can't marry?" she asked rather defensively.
"Brenda," he started, "do you remember that night on the balcony?" When she shook her head, he continued "you were on the balcony, watching that sorry-ass bastard with that whore?"
Her face froze in a shocked expression. "What?" she managed to croak. "How in God's name did you know?"
He shook his head. "It doesn't matter how I know." He unzipped his pants and whipped out his erect penis. "This is what you do to me every time I see you."
"Some compliment," she returned, quickly thrusting her forearms toward him and sending a knee to the groin, effectively sending Travers down to the floor in immense pain. "I'd rather be choked to death than tickled to death," she taunted.
Illya came out upon hearing Travers' screams, asking, "What's going on?"
Brenda shrugged and looked innocently confused. "I dunno," she responded. "One second he was offering me his best wishes, next minute he's on the floor." She grabbed his arm and dragged him back into the small chapel. "He'll be fine. Let's go."
Back inside the chapel, the minister picked up where he had left off. "Do you, Brenda Marie Antoinette DeBeauharnais, take this man, Illya Nikovetch Kuryakin, as your lawfully wedded husband?"
Brenda looked Illya in the eyes and replied, "Yeah, I do."
"You weren't so sure a minute ago," Illya whispered. "Are you sure you're okay with this?"
"Yeah," she replied. "Are you?"
He nodded. "Yes," he whispered softly. "I've never been so sure of anything before in my life."
She noticed the mystified look on the minister's face and replied "Just ignore me, I'm just nervous."
The minister nodded and continued. Looking at Illya, he asked "Do you, Illya Nikovetch Kuryakin, take this woman, Brenda Marie Antoinette DeBeauharnais, as your lawfully wedded wife?"
Without hesitation, Illya answered "I do."
After the exchanging of the rings, the minister concluded "By the power vested in me by God and the state of Nevada, I now pronounce you husband and wife."
With that said, Illya pulled his bride into his arms and gave her a long, lingering, passionate kiss. "I love you, Mrs. Kuryakin," he whispered.
Brenda giggled. "I love you, too, but Mama Jackie's going to be disappointed."
"He'll have to get over it," he warned, not able to take his eyes off her. She looked absolutely adorable in a white satin tea-length dress with a portrait neckline, matching white satin pumps and her sister's hat with the long veil. "I hope Lynda won't be too put out with you over the hat. Why didn't you borrow the dress as well?"
"I had to pack in a hurry," she replied, giving him a smartass look. "Besides, her dress was a little loose in the middle. What else have you got up your sleeve?" she asked.
"That's for me to know and you to find out," he answered as they walked out of the chapel. "You still haven't told me yet what the two of you did with Harry's inheritance."
Brenda smirked. "Let's just say that's for me to know and you to find out."
That evening, inside an elegantly decorated hotel suite somewhere in Las Vegas, Brenda was in the bathroom, adding the finishing touches to her makeup. "I'd hate to be in my father's shoes right now," she called out, delicately applying mascara to one of her eyes. "But I guess it makes sense. Nobody can touch him if he's in a jail cell, now can they?"
"How much longer are you going to be?" Illya asked grouchily from the bedroom, where he was tying his shoes.
"I'll be out in a minute," she called back. "I've only been in here fifteen minutes."
"You've been in there thirty minutes!" he retorted. "We're going to be late."
"You should've made the reservations for eight instead of seven then." She checked her watch. "It's only six-thirty. Pipe down." She worked on the other eye. "What was the latest on Travers?”
“Apparently he’s headed toward the eastern part of the United States. Nobody will know until the signal stops moving.”
She came out of the bathroom and turned around with her back to him. "How about zipping me up while you're standing there, darling?"
"Not really," he answered, walking over behind her and quickly zipping up the back of her pale green dress. "How are we going to tell your father?"
She felt a lump in her throat suddenly and her heart beating like crazy at the thought. "I’m not sure right now," she answered weakly. "How do we tell him we had the gall to run off and do something so wild as to elope?" She took a deep breath and went back into the bathroom to resume her makeup. "But there again, that might be the least of his worries," she said, finally done and putting the mascara tube back together before tossing it into a small bag. "I'm ready." She walked out into the bedroom.
"It took you long enough," he remarked, pulling her into his arms and kissing her.
She pulled back after a minute. "I thought you were ready to go."
"I am." He let go and gently took her hand. "Shall we, Mrs. Kuryakin?"
She blushed crimson and nodded. "I don't know if I'm ever going to get used to being called that," she giggled. "It's like, totally unreal."
They walked out of the bathroom, through the bedroom and then finally reechoed the door. "Do you need a jacket?" Illya asked her. "It's a little chilly out."
She shook her head. "I'm fine." She giggled again and pushed her glasses up toward her face. "Are you sure it's safe to be going out? I mean: if Travers is working with Harry, either he would still be around or have someone watching us.”
"I think it would be better to be out in the open, so to speak," he answered, opening the door for her. "It's better than being cooped up in here."
He stepped out behind her and locked the door. "I don't know about you but I'm starved," he remarked as they started down the hall, their arms wrapped around one another.
"I am too," she agreed as they approached the elevator. Illya pushed the button beside the doors and they waited for a minute before the doors opened. They stepped into the empty elevator and the doors closed. He pressed the button for the lobby and the elevator started down.
An idea popped into Brenda's head. "How about we send Mama Jackie a postcard?"
He was caught totally off guard and he laughed."That would give him a heart attack."
"He'll probably have one anyway when he finds out we're married." She twisted her gold wedding band nervously. "How did you get everything arranged so quickly?"
"I have a friend who owes me a favor," he answered, not wanting to give too much away.
"Can't you be more specific?" she asked, her curiosity growing.
"One day I'll tell you."
The elevator stopped a couple of floors down and a six foot six guy in dark slacks and leather blazer got on without a sound. He pushed the button for the basement and without a sound, moved to the back. Brenda nervously moved out of his way, not saying a word. The guy pulled a gun out of his jacket and in a split second, knocked Illya out cold.
Brenda let out a frightened scream as the guy grabbed her arm and pointed the barrel of the gun at her. "Not one word, young lady," he ordered.
She tried to pull away. "Let me go!" she screamed, kicking at him furiously.
"Not one word!" he barked again, pointing the cold, hard steel barrel closer to her face. "Your uncle wants you."
The doors opened when the elevator reached the lobby and Brenda was dragged by the arm into the lobby and out the front door to a waiting car. "Get in."
"No!" she said stubbornly. "Send Harry my regrets." She tried again to break free from his strong, tight grip.
"Harry wants more than just regrets," he said, shoving her into the back seat. He got in beside her and grabbed her waist as she scrambled over to the other door. "Sit still!"
Brenda kicked at him and, just as she pushed on the door handle, the door came open and another guy grabbed her by the shoulders. "NO!" she screamed at the top of her lungs as a cloth soaked with chloroform was pressed against her face. She struggled for a few seconds until the odor took her breath away and everything went black. The two guys stretched out her limp body onto the back seat, closed the doors and locked them and got into the front seat. The motor started and the car quickly drove away into the late afternoon traffic.
A couple of hours later, she came to and found herself on the sofa inside the lounge of her grandfather's plane. She waited for a minute while her eyes focused before she asked "Where am I going?"
The big, hulking fellow who snatched her off the elevator was sitting in a leather chair, making himself quite at home with a drink in his hand. "You've been invited to a family reunion," he answered sarcastically as he sipped on his drink. "I suggest you kick back and enjoy the flight."
Brenda tried to get up, but her legs were wobbly and she fell back onto the sofa. Her head was pounding and her mind was racing. This just wasn’t happening here, she kept thinking. Her mind raced, wondering about Illya, and Larry. What if she couldn’t be found? What then? She knew if she didn’t do what Harry wanted, he’d kill her. Literally. The six feet under the ground, pushing up daisies kind of dead. She didn’t like that thought at all, naturally. Wasn’t in her nature. She felt she was destined for other things.
Then, she remembered what her granddaddy always said: don’t get mad, get even. She had already gotten even, in this case by transferring all that money, in her opinion. Harry would never see that money ever again. She smiled to herself, recalling that December evening. She and Lynda both thought they were hot stuff coming up with Leprechaun. Actually, in her mind, she was hot stuff. She wasn’t going to be outdone by these not so bright terrorists. She actually laughed out loud at the thought.
Then she came down from her mental pepping up by thinking: what would the guys at UNCLE think of this. Last month, I was with my sister, holding up a churchful of UNCLE agents hostage, now I’m being kidnapped by THRUSH. My sister will never let me live this down as long as I live. If I get out of this alive, that is. If not, I’ll die trying.
“Shit,” she simply grumbled.
Back at UNCLE Headquarters in New York, Kowalski was in Sir John’s office, reading the latest reports and had files stacked on the desk while Sir John was packing his briefcase. “We know the signal ended in Bermuda, but there’s so many islands there that by the time we search them all, it may be too late.”
Sir John was distressed, to say the least. But trying to keep a level head about the situation. “I pray it’s not,” he answered. “Do we know Brenda’s last position?”
“This morning, it was Las Vegas, Nevada. But now it seems to be in the same place Larry is.”
“Las Vegas?” he asked, curious. “Hmm. Travers’ signal was in the same location this morning. I don’t think it’s entirely coincidence, do you?”
Kowalski picked up the phone, but his communicator started beeping. He opened his pen and answered “Kowalski here.”
"Kowalski?" Illya asked, sounding rather dazed. "I've tried to reach Napoleon, but he isn't answering."
"Maybe his communicator is off the hook," he answered, with a slight cackle. "no thanks to that Brat from Hell. Speaking of Hell, you sound it. What's new?"
"A concussion," Illya replied dryly. "Sent Special Delivery from Harry."
"Ouch," he attempted to sympathize. "I thought it was from the other Brat from Hell."
"The other Brat from Hell, as you refer to her, has vanished."
Kowalski sat straight up. “Why am I not surprised,” he replied. “Come to think of it, that’s probably the first thing I’ve ever heard of THRUSH doing that was for the public good.”
“I realize that there’s personal animosity between you and Brenda, however I find your comment in very poor taste," Illya replied. "I've activated her tracker, but the signal got jammed at the airport. The pilot's gone as well. I'm suspecting he's working both sides of the fence."
“We’re tracking her, but the signal keeps moving. We don’t’ know which way she’s headed. Travers is in Bermuda, so I’m thinking Larry’s probably there.”
“I’ll be on the next plane out,” he decided. “Tell Napoleon that I’m going to handle this by myself.” The communication went dead.
Kowalski grimaced and sent out the command "Open Channel D. Number eleven, Section Two."
Over the communicator, Napoleon croaked. “Solo here.”
"You're still up?" Kowalski asked. "I thought you'd be in need of a casket by now."
"I'm still among the living, at least for the moment,” he answered weakly. "What’s the latest?”
Back at the apartment, both Napoleon and Lynda listened as Kowalski filled them in. “All right,” he answered. “I’ll book a seat on the next flight.”
Sir John got on the line. “No,” he answered decisively. “I’m on my way down to handle this. I’m leaving Kowalski in charge of the office until my return. “
Back at the office, Sir John picked up his briefcase and started for the door. “I’ll call when I arrive at our Bermuda office.”
Kowalski, are you still there?” Napoleon asked.
“Yeah, I’m here.”
“I have a huge favor to ask. I need you to take Lynda back to headquarters and, if you have to, put her in a security cell until I get back.”
Kowalski laughed. “You owe me big for this, Pal.”
Inside a dark, heavily paneled study in a villa somewhere on one of the many islands of Bermuda, Brenda was seated in a wingback chair, all nerves on alert and having to deal with Harry. Her glasses were missing and her dress was a bit messed up. So was her hair, but she wasn’t paying any attention at all. She just miserably sunk into the chair, hoping it would swallow her up and make her disappear. A bullet to the head would have preferable at that moment than listen to Harry drone on and on and on.
He chided her over everything she and Lynda had done. The program, hiding his money, the incident at the church in March, and of course he was not pleased over the state of affairs concerning her sister and, last but not least, he knew about the wedding in Vegas. He sat in the other wing chair, facing the fireplace. “You’ve created quite a mess, young lady,” he rambled, sipping on a glass of cognac. “I would offer you a drink to settle your nerves, but your grandfather would have my hide, seeing as you’re underage,” he finished, adding that last comment in a sarcastic tone.
“I created a mess here?” She leaned forward in her seat and, raising her voice “I CREATED A MESS HERE?” she repeated. “Seems to me you’re the one that created the damn mess when you decided you were going to help THRUSH with that mess with the nuclear bomb and all that crapola. You’re not getting any more money. No way, no shape, no form.” She was on a roll and could not shut up. “Oh, and by the way, I’m not going to stay here with you. I am NOT going to help you. Now, you can sit there and swill that liquor all you want to and dream about taking over the world and all that shit. I am getting out of here. I am taking Larry with me. And yes, I know he’s here somewhere. You had to go grab him, didn’t you? Well, you did. Congrafuckulations! I hope you feel real good about yourself.” She broke out in hysterical laughter as she rose to her feet. “Catch you later. I gotta grab Larry and run.” She started toward the door, but two guards with rifles aimed right at her made her change her mind.
Harry just calmly looked over his shoulder and asked, “Weren’t you just leaving or getting ready to close that damn trap of a mouth?” He took another sip of cognac. “You can’t leave. Either you can transfer my money back where it belongs or,” he added as he rose to his feet “I’ll have you killed.”
“That’s fine with me,” she said in a moment of braggadocio. “Go ahead, Harry.” She got within inches of him and stared him right in the eyes. “Make my day.”
“Then, after I kill you,” he grinned sardonically, “I’ll find your sister and have her brought down here and force her to do it.”
Brenda knew she was licked. Or maybe not. She just couldn’t let him know that yet. If she had to, she could fake it. But she wasn’t going to have Lynda dragged into this farce. No way, Jose. She decided to just shut up and act like she was going to go along with it. “Okay,” she sighed in resignation. “Can I have some time to think over my options?”
“You’ve got until Midnight tonight. If I don’t hear of your choice, Brenda, then I’ll assume it’s ‘no’ and I’ll have you killed.” He motioned for the guards to take her out of his sight.
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