“We’re replacing it. The one you had could be busted in with a good kick.”
“I didn’t say you could replace my doors!”
“Your garage door is fine, but this one really needs to go. Plus, having a window on the door makes it easier for someone to break in. All you need is a peephole and some cameras mounted strategically outside.”
“I’m sorry…” I waited for him to say his name.
I opened my mouth, then shut it. “Really?”
Thumper walked past and slapped him on the shoulder. “It means I require intense supervision.”
“Oh. Well…IRIS, normally people ask before they just start tearing apart another person’s house.”
“It’s about your safety, nothing else.”
“Still, it’s my house. This is a nice neighborhood. I have a standard to keep up in the community.”
“And you’re doing an excellent job with your lawn,” he retorted. “Really, it’s a shining example compared to the other rat holes around here.”
I narrowed my eyes at him, but he didn’t seem fazed in the least.
“Are you done upstairs?”
I spun around, startled by having so many men in the house. “Who are you?”
I sighed heavily. “I don’t want to know. Why do you need to be upstairs?”
“To install the cameras and sensors.”
“Oh, on the windows, in the bedroom, and in the bathroom.”
I shook my head, baffled by what I was hearing. “You want to install cameras in my bathroom?”
“Don’t worry, we won’t look at them unless it’s necessary.”
“No! No, no, no! You are not installing cameras in my bathroom or in my bedroom! Have you ever heard of a little thing called privacy?”
“Of course,” he frowned. “But I sort of thought we could bypass that with the threat of your life on the line. I guess if you’re cool with getting murdered in your sleep or in the shower, I won’t argue with that. Of course, it won’t really look good on my job applications. You know, close protection agent allows woman to be murdered because he didn’t install proper security. Not a gleaming example, but I can work with most anything.”
“Fine!” I shouted, just to shut him up. “Just do whatever you have to do.”
I turned back around to yell at IRIS for replacing my door with the hideous monstrosity in front of me when I saw the fourth one taking my shoes from the closet. I ran over and snatched the boot out of his hand. “What are you doing?”
“Installing a tracker.”
“In my shoe?”
He looked at me funny, and then understanding dawned. Good, at least this one was reasonable.
“See, if you were to get kidnapped, they most likely wouldn’t check the lining of your boots for a tracker. Well, the good ones might, but an amateur wouldn’t.”
Then again, maybe he wasn’t reasonable. He took out a knife and started slicing into the seam of my boot.
“You can’t just cut up my shoes. Those are $500 boots!”
He tossed back his head and laughed. “You can’t fool me. Cash’s girl has the same boots. They’re from Target. Besides, I’m an excellent seamstress. You’ll never even know I tore out the seam.”
“Oh, my boss. By the way, I’m Slider. Nice to meet you.”
I twirled in place, staring at the men tearing apart my house and my shoes, then looked up at the ceiling and screamed. “Do any of you have actual names?”
The banging and overall chatter stopped. Everyone was staring at me like a mad woman, and I probably was. My hair was dripping, I was wearing a robe, and I was on the verge of tears.
Thumper stepped forward. “Um…my real name is Tate.”
I stared at him for a minute before snapping. “I don’t actually care! I just don’t want my house turned upside down!”
“These are all measures to keep you safe. I know the cameras feel intrusive, but it’s how we know everything that goes on in this house.”
“By putting a tracker in my boot?”
“Well, I know it doesn’t seem like a lot, but we have that covered. We’ll place one on your jacket, along with a camera, so we can always see what you see. Your car will be wired up, and…oh, I have this cool clip that has a camera in it also. That way, when you put it in your hair, we can see what’s going on behind you. Pretty cool, right?”
He was holding something metal in his hands that looked like a cross between a syringe and a gun. “What is that?”
“Oh, this is the tracker we’re going to insert in your arm.”
“How does it work?”
“I put it against your skin and pull the trigger.”
I nodded and grabbed it out of his hand, then pressed it to his arm and pulled the trigger. He winced slightly.
“I actually already have one, but thanks!” he shouted as I stormed off. These men were all insane.