Tuesday, October 18, 2011

S2: Chapter 09: The Price of Freedom

Vic hung his head heavy as he dragged his equipment into the garage and dropped onto his work bench. He hadn’t slept soundly for a week and now that he knew Yvette was alive, he didn’t expect that to change much. Now the focus would be on resolving the case and finding the person that placed the hit on her.
He was so lost in thought he hadn’t realized his son was standing beside him rambling on about the motorized car Kiara had thrown into the bathtub and ruined. He stopped talking for a minute and stared at his Daddy waiting for an answer to a question that went unheard.
“I’ll get you another, Chase. Go get ready for bed ok?” he said turning his chair to face him.
“But what about Kiki? This is the third time she’s done that!”
“She’s a baby; your baby sister. It’s your job to protect her you know. She just wants to play with your toys and be like her older brother. She looks up to you Chase, it’s not a bad thing,” he smiled. “I’m sure she didn’t mean to ruin it. I promise to pick one up for you on my way home from work tomorrow ok?”
“Ok!” he beamed brightly and wrapped his arms around his neck. “She’s a baby and still learning and that’s why she does these things?”
“Exactly. If you teach her it’s wrong, she’ll stop.”
“I love you Daddy.”
“I love you too Little Man now go on and get your bath and I’ll be up to tuck you in.” He turned back towards the table and began cleaning out his weapon. He heard the door again open behind him but he stayed focused on his task.
“Hey Baby,” he smiled as her hands rubbed down his chest and she clung to his body. He inhaled the scent of her Elizabeth Arden Sunflower perfume as she continued touring the length of his stomach, tickling down his happy trail as she nibbled his ear.
She got the button undone on his jeans and the zipper down halfway and began toying with the silky, trimmed patch of hair just above his hardening cock. He moaned and leaned into her a little allowing her more access into his boxers. He reached up and pulled her mouth to his, kissing her pouty lips and brushing a quick hand through her hair.
He jerked back as he realized the curls his wife was so fond of were not gliding between his fingers. “Jesus Sierra!” He stood from his bench and zipped himself back up. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?”
“Giving you what you want; what I want. Come on; don’t pretend as though you didn’t like it!”
“I thought you were Simone! Why the hell are you wearing her perfume and her nightgown?”
“Well I’ve always loved this scent. Like Simone, it reminds me of Mom and it’s nice to have that memory. As for her gown, your dryer sort of ate mine. If you prefer, I could always walk around nude,” she smiled as she lifted the hem of the gown revealing that she was not wearing panties. “I’m sure you’d really get a kick out of that!”
He ran a nervous hand across his lip and tried to get the sight of her nude form out of his head. “You have been doing this all week! Walking around, flirting with me and making sure I see you wearing next to nothing. You knew damn well I was in the shower last night.”
“Of course I did Victor. I just thought you wanted a little company,” she smirked.
“You can’t keep…I don’t want you Sierra, I am a happily married man and this sick obsession you have…just stay away from me.”
He started for the door and she quickly moved in front of him preventing him from leaving the garage. “That’s not what you really want, we both know that. Now, Simone is asleep, she had a long day and I gave her one of my sleep aides to help her rest. The children are preparing for bed and so it’s just you and me.” She licked her tongue across his lips as her hand once again found his crotch.
She gripped him firmly in her hand and stroked him slowly through his jeans enticing the reaction she wanted. He pressed her against the door and stared into her eyes. “I told you this was not going to happen.”
“Yeah, your mouth is saying one thing, but your body is telling me a different story!” she wrapped an arm around his neck and pulled him into a kiss. He resisted; reaching for her arms to unlatch her grip. He looked at her and she smiled seductively, teasing him slowly with her knee against his thigh.
Her chest heaved deeply at him and he sighed before falling into her, releasing his grip on her wrists and pushed his body against hers kissing her back. Her warm breath blew across his face as she panted loudly at his touch.
She dropped her head back and smiled as he forced her arms above her head and kissed his way down her neck. She reached for him and he pushed her hands away again, backing up so his eyes were on hers and a look of warning for her to let him keep control.
His lips fell on hers again, dropping quick, wild kisses on her mouth and cheek. She moaned in passion as he held her tighter against his chest; his arms cradling her as the heat between them crawled to a stifling temperature.
He moved quickly; aroused by her sensuality and blinded by lust. She raked her nails down his back, grabbed his shirt and pulled it off over his head. His mouth found hers again and he pressed his erection against her thigh. He gripped wildly at her gown frantically trying to remove it from her hips as he continued pushing himself towards her.
She lifted her leg and wrapped it around his hip as she again reached for his pants and undid the zipper. She pulled at the waist of his jeans, lowering them just enough to free him from his boxers.
His hands rubbed along her thigh gripping her ass tight as he lifted her against the wall, slamming her back hard against the wooden frame of the door. He nibbled down her neck once again as sweat began building on his forehead, her hands ran frantically through his hair as she placed uncontrolled kisses on his face. His tongue danced along the curve of her chin and down her chest once more as his open mouth panted hungrily taking in her taste.
He groaned once in her ear as the throbbing from his expanded cock intensified, egging him on to take what was right in front of him. Humping her side like a dog in heat, he rubbed the full length of his erection on her inner thigh; the moisture from her pleasure spot radiated humidity onto the tip as he neared her. She moaned again louder this time as she waited to feel him inside of her.
“Yes, Victor, do it!” she begged. “Do it!”
Hearing her say his name broke him out of the trance she’d held him. He pulled back and looked at her, ashamed at what he was doing; almost did. He punched the wall beside her head with enough force to crack the plaster and screamed. The thoughts of his wife only rooms away broke him and he hated himself for the man he let his sister-in-law make him.
Reaching for his shirt and pants, he turned his back to redress, “I want you gone tomorrow.” He straightened his clothes and pushed her away from the door as he made his way towards the stairs.
“I didn’t think you were going to join us this morning,” Simone smiled as Victor stepped into the kitchen.
“What do you mean?” he stretched and looked at the clock on the stove. “Shit! Simone it’s almost 10!”
“Yeah. So?”
“So I have to get out of here! I should have been at work 2 hours ago! Why did you let me sleep so long?”
“Because you needed it! You haven’t slept in nearly a week and your body was finally getting what it wanted.”
Sierra perked up hearing those words and smiled. “Yeah Vic, I think it’s great giving the body what it wants. And you need breakfast. There’s no way you’re leaving out of here without it.”
“She’s right,” Simone glanced at her husband with a stern look. “Sit.”
“Uh…no arguments, sit,” she said once more and followed him towards the table as she sat a stack of pancakes in front of him.
“The kids get to school?”
“Yeah, Sierra dropped them off for us so we could sleep in a little longer.” She kissed his cheek and moved back towards the stove to finish up on the eggs.
He looked at her and gave her a straight smile to show his appreciation before diverting his attention to the food in front of him. Very soon into his meal he felt her hand gliding up his lap. He shook his leg to try and remove her touch but it remained, sliding higher and higher towards his crotch.
He stood suddenly and moved towards Simone, hopping up on the counter as he finished off the last of the pancakes. “I can’t stay much longer; I have a team to command Baby.” He pulled her away from the stove and rubbed his hands down her body, kissing her forehead, neck and chest. “I love you Simone,” he said placing emphasis on the token as he looked towards Sierra.
“Victor! I love you too.”
He smiled and jumped down from the counter giving her ass a quick slap as he headed upstairs to shower and change. He started for the door after grabbing his equipment bag and keys. “I’ll be home early today, Baby,” he called into the kitchen.
“Why is that?” she asked joining him by the door.
“Cases are closing and the team is working on some older unsolved stuff, nothing exciting happening right now so I’m going to slip away and take you to dinner or something.” He leaned forward and kissed her nose.
Sierra stepped back inside the house and groaned as she dropped her purse down on the table and started for the living room.
“What’s the matter Sissy?”
“There’s something wrong with the rental. I called Triple A, they should be here soon.”
Simone smiled at Victor and he wordlessly dropped his bag and moved out towards her car to check under the hood for her. They followed him out and watched as he checked the wiring, distributor and battery. He sighed as he moved towards the crank sensor.
“Try it for me,” he said without looking back.
Sierra slid behind the wheel and turned the key in the ignition but the engine refused to turn over. Victor checked the spark plugs and asked her about the last refill she made on the tank before finally looking at the starter.
“It’s the ignition,” he said seeing that the starter motor simply was not turning the engine but knew the battery was fine. “It’s a pretty common issue for this kind of car. But being a rental, you’d think the company would have checked that.”
“Well that’s peachy; I’m going to miss my flight in that case!”
“Victor, Baby,” Simone said wrapping her arms around his waist.
“You know at this rate I might as well just call in and tell them I won’t make it,” he grinned kissing her as he understood her position. “I’ll drop her off, Sexy, no worries. Why don’t you call the rental company and tell them to come and drag their shit out of our yard?”
“Thank you, Vic.”
She moved towards Sierra and gave her one last hug as Victor came back out of the house with his bag ready to drive her to the airport. Simone waved them off from the living room window and closed the curtains as she prepared to straighten up the house.
The black sedan that had been parked across from the house turned as Victor started towards the airport and followed them. “Don’t lose them!”
“So are you sad that I’m leaving?” Sierra asked as she checked her lip gloss in the mirror. “I’d planned to stay another night but…after last night, you know you’re telling me to get out, I figured I’d worn out my welcome.”
“You did that the day you arrived,” he sighed and leaned towards his window.
“Ouch! You know Baby if I thought you meant that it might actually hurt me!” she said walking her hands up his leg and laughing.
“Sierra, why do you keep doing this?”
“Because, you and I never got the chance to explore our feelings before Simone stole you away! You know I saw you first that day on the football field? She tripped me and ran to you before I could. It wasn’t fair then and it’s not fair now! She knew how much I was crushing on you but do you ever think she cared?”
“So this is some sick revenge thing? You’re trying to use me to get back at her?”
“No, I don’t want to use you at all Victor. I want you, I’ve always wanted you. I fell in love with you in high school and being close to you and not able to have you all these years has really eaten away at me. I don’t want to hurt Simone. I love my little sister very much, but I can’t help the feelings I have for you! I don’t mean for it to cause you any awkwardness or anything, it’s just hard to resist you.”
Sierra sat patiently next to him, twisting a strand of her hair around her finger. “I love Simone, Sisi. I always have. I’m sorry about what happened between us but I love my family and will never abandon or hurt them. Nothing will ever happen between us; I can’t and won’t let it.”
“Alright if that’s true then answer just one question for me and I’ll drop it.”
He looked over at her for a second before glancing back towards the road. “What is it Sierra?”
“Back in high school, when you and I fucked in the hallway you knew it was me and not Simone then didn’t you? Later you said that you were confused and thought I was her but you told me that the two of you never did oral and never actually fucked until much later in your relationship because she was always so timid. So the second my lips wrapped around your dick, you had to have known!”
He sighed and kept his eyes on the road.
“Answer me Victor!”
“YEAH ALRIGHT YES I KNEW IT WAS YOU!” he replied much angrier than he’d anticipated. He let out another sigh before apologizing to her. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to yell. I knew who you were before we kissed but I was young, dumb and horny. The things we did then were new to me and it’s the only reason I kept going Sierra, the sex, nothing more.”
“Fine, if that’s what you want to believe.”
He sighed as he pulled up to the airport. “Take care of my sister ok? And take care of yourself.” She kissed his cheek, allowing her lips to linger on the scruffy side of his face before sliding out of the door and grabbing her bags from the back seat. She ran into the front door of the airport and he watched her approach the counter and check her bags before pulling off finally heading to work.
The black sedan parked on the curb. Its Russian occupants watched as Sierra jumped out of the car and enter the airport. “Dah boss von’t like dat much!” one of them hissed as he reached for his phone.
“Oh well look who’s decided to join us today!” Dustin said nodding towards the clock on the wall that read 1:40. “Just in time for lunch!”
“Aren’t I your Boss, Dustin? I don’t need you to keep tabs on me!” he sat a gift box on the table smiling as he thought of Chase opening it.
“Technically, but we know better,” he laughed and looked at the gift box. “Aww for me? You shouldn’t have!”
“Good, because I didn’t. It’s for my kid.”
Dustin glanced at the calendar on his desktop. “It’s not his birthday.”
“It has to be a birthday for me to get him a gift? I can’t show my fatherly love by getting him something he’s wanted?”
“I suppose but isn’t that spoiling him?”
“Dustin, you have met my kids. They can’t get anymore spoiled right?”
He smiled and pushed an envelope towards him. “Something came for you today by courier.”
“What? What’s this?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t open it. It came about 10 minutes before you did.”
“Hmm,” he said flipping it over and noticing no return address or markings of any kind to identify its origins.
“Murphy!” Scott called as he rushed into the door. “My office, now!”
He looked at Dustin who shrugged before following Phillips down the stairs.
“Have a seat,” he offered shutting the door behind him. He moved to his desk and stood just behind his chair watching Victor take his seat and wait to hear what he had to say. He sighed and paced the open space behind his desk trying to find the words to accurately convey what he was feeling.
“You…you know where my daughter is don’t you?”
Caught off guard, Victor sat motionless with a poker face unsure of whether Scott’s question was to confirm his belief or a fishing expedition. He wasn’t about to betray Yvette and no one knew where Scott stood as far as what she had planned. One thing has always been certain; he was a by-the-books kind of man. Any information regarding Yvette could hit the wrong channels if he ever knew.
He sighed and continued pacing. “I trained my little girl from the moment I knew she’d become an agent. I knew she would want to follow in her Mother’s footsteps. The things she learned, picked up on the way and on that team with you, survival skills, weapon skills; she’s cunning and so damned smart.” He paused and looked at Victor before continuing.
“I mourned her same as everyone but never for a second did I really believe she was gone. I know I’m putting you in a bad position and I won’t ask more about her. She’s hiding, understandably, but it’s left me in the dark and I know she’d want to keep it that way,” he paused again and smiled as he thought about her. “I know everyone thinks that I’m too stuck in the ways of the department to really help her but I’d give my life for her this job means nothing. She’d never let me though and that’s my Yvette. She was always looking out for me, you know? Get that? I’m the parent but she looked out for me.”
He stopped and stared at the wall for the longest time. A picture of the two of them on one of his trips to his ranch where they’d spent countless hours riding, fishing, hunting caught his eye. It was where he’d trained her; showed her how to protect herself and be the best agent she could be. “She’s all I have, Victor; the only thing in the world that matters to me. When you see her again tell her...tell her Pop loves her and wishes her luck.”
He nodded at Victor to let him know he could leave before dropping in his chair and hanging his head.
Victor stepped quietly into the hall just as he heard the first sobs escape Scott’s mouth. He too felt a slight pinch of sorrow and the burning of his heart in his throat. He knew what Scott must be feeling; he was completely alone and knowing Yvette, he’d remain that way just so she could keep him alive and safe.
“What did the Big Man want?” Ryan asked as Victor rejoined them in the unit room.
“He wanted to talk about Vette. He said he’s never believed she was dead and thinks I’ve had contact with her.”
“What did you say?”
“Nothing, he did all of the talking. He just wants her to know she has his support.”
“In speaking of Yvette,” Dustin said pointing to the monitor. “Just got an email from Gabe, it looks as though the sit down with Nicky Luciano bore fruit after all. He called Yve, told her where they can find his old man.”
“That’s what I’m reading, man. Baby boy sold out his dear old Dad, gave him up. If the son of the Genovese mob boss is willing to give him up to his enemies, I can only imagine what their family reunions are like. Pass the gravy takes on a whole new meaning.”
“Wow. That must have been one hell of a meeting,” Ryan said stepping closer.
“Yeah well we know Yvette can be very convincing when she needs to be. Where are they now?”
“Newcrest; are we going on a roadtrip?” Dustin perked up.
“Get Yve on the line. Let her know she has backup and let’s gear up and move.”
“Thank you,” Brett said looking over at Yvette. “I know everything seems to be crashing down on us all at once, but I really do appreciate what you did for Nathan and me. It…”
“It’s something I’m used to doing. I couldn’t let you beat that man to death even if you felt you could at the time. It’s a sort of guilt and trauma I’ve dealt with for years and so one more on the bone pile doesn’t matter for me but for you, I couldn’t let you live with that pain.”
“No I really mean it Yve. I hate the idea of you even thinking you had to do what you did. And I can handle anything Babe, but I want you to know that I genuinely thank you for everything. We wouldn’t have been in that situation if I’d have just listened to you in the first place,” he said scooting closer.
“Brett, killing in the line of duty is way different than just taking someone’s life.  You followed your heart and I could never fault you for that. It’s one of the many things I love about you.”
“Regardless of that Yve, you shouldn’t take on the sole responsibility. I made the choice to be here. I am prepared to do whatever it takes because of it, even more now. There they are,” Brett said nodding towards the arriving van. Ryan parked it across the street from them, flashed the headlights twice and waited.
Yvette, Brett and Gabriel hopped out of their car and quickly moved towards them. “Hey! Glad you could make it,” Brett said climbing into the back and helping her inside as well.
“It’s a pretty full house in here!” she smiled loving that the whole team was together.
“So what’s the plan?” Ryan asked checking the gun Victor handed him.
“From what Nick said Anthony is holed up in the penthouse. There are three armed guards on the door and two in his room. Brett and I scouted it earlier; there are four exits on the main floor: the front, laundry, deliveries and kitchen. There is one guard on each of those doors as well as a few within the lobby and near the elevators. All in all I saw about 14 guys but there is possibly more and all with heavy firepower; M4 Carbine Semi-Automatics, Beretta shotties, a few household glocks and some mini subs.”
“Oh Yve, you know what that kind of talk does to me,” Vic smiled. “Sounds like my kind of party and trust me; I brought more than enough housewarming gifts.”
“Good. We’re gonna need plenty of ammo. The way I see it, our best shot at getting in is the laundry, it’s also going to be our out so we need to keep it cleared once we take control of it.”
“Brett you and I will take that,” Vic chimed in. “Make sure the door stays open. Unless you had other plans, Yve,” he smiled.
“No, this is your team now right? I’m just used to…”
“Ordering people around? We know,” Gabe smiled.
She laughed. “It comes natural! That sounds great to me though. Ryan and I will take out the ones in the lobby and make it up to the penthouse. Dustin, you got us access?”
“Who are you talking to Boss…es?” he sat the keycard on the small counter near the computer. “Primed and ready for action.”
“Mic check your comms. and have them on at all times. Don’t forget your silencers boys; no need to wake the neighbors until we’re inside,” she said handing one to Brett and waiting for him to screw it onto the barrel. “Dustin, Gabe, hold down the fort.”
“What? Babysit computer equipment? No way Yvette I’m going in there!”
“Gabe, look at me and listen to the tone of my voice. You are not a field agent and I’m not taking on the responsibility of watching your ass in there. Take a seat, keep Dustin company and don’t make me repeat myself.” She slammed the van door shut and moved towards the others.
“Victor, whatever happens here, make sure the team is taken care of; Gabe included, he’s such a child.”
“I heard that Yve,” he said over the comm.
“Then we agree!”
“Always worrying; I have your back Vette, now let’s get these fuckers!”
They moved towards the building and Brett and Victor took the lead, falling in towards the door. Ryan rushed up, picked the lock quickly and moved back towards Yvette.
Victor entered first and took out the two men standing near the door as Brett took cover by the industrial washer. “Clear, get in here Diamond,” he said over the comm.
She and Ryan hurried inside and Victor moved up one more step watching and waiting for the next set of guards to get within his line of sight. Brett took the shot at the next guard by the lobby entrance, dropping him immediately and motioning to Ryan.
Yvette and Ryan exited to the lobby, quietly moving a few bystanders into the laundry room for Vic and Brett to remove safely from the building.
Two of the lobby guards surprised them and Ryan shot at them, missing one but hitting the other in the head, dropping him in front of the entrance. Yve looked at him and he shrugged as three more men came around the corner and opened fire.
They quickly took cover, Ryan behind a nearby counter and Yvette behind the front desk. “I think it’s safe to say they know we’re here, Boss,” he yelled over the gunfire.
“Yeah and now we’d better move faster!” She popped up from her position and shot in the direction of the men near the door. Ryan followed her led and took out another guard before jumping behind the sofa.
Yvette finished off the last lobby guard and moved towards Ryan.
They caught the elevator to the penthouse, swiping the card to unlock the floor. The moment the doors opened, they were under fire again. Yvette rushed to the open space on the left and covered Ryan’s exit.
He threw a smoke bomb down the hall at the men and they used the cover to get closer.
Yvette kicked open a hotel room to the surprise of a couple in the middle of their lovemaking and took cover within the door frame. Ryan fired blindly down the hall and heard one of the men groan in pain knowing he’d hit him successfully.
Pulling on gasmasks, they rushed down to the door and ensured the remaining guards were dead. Yvette nodded at Ryan and he kicked open the door and she launched another smoke bomb inside. They moved to the living room as the men inside choked and gagged on the contents within the can. “Don’t move!” Yvette yelled holding Anthony “The Guns” Luciano at gunpoint.
Ryan ensured the guards were out of commission before reporting to Victor to move up for extraction.
Victor scooped up “Guns” and began escorting him out the back staircase to the elevator as Ryan and Yvette held cover fire. Brett remained at the exit as Vic came down and rushed with him to the van cuffing Luciano into the back. “Where’s Yvette and Ryan?”
“On the top level,” Vic said placing a new clip into his side arm. “Diamond, report.”
…“We’re a little busy here Cottonmouth…,” she said as gunfire sounded over the comm.
…“And running out of ammo…,” Ryan added.
“Let’s get up there,” Vic said grabbing extra clips and following Brett back towards the back door.
“That was my last shot, Cobra. How are you doing over there?” she looked across the hall to where he took cover behind a door of an opened hotel room.
“I’m out too,” Ryan said as he checked the clip one last time. “Now what Yve? We can’t just sit here.”
“The guys are coming back up to us.”
“We’re under heavy fire, there’s no way they can get here in this!”
“Then in that case, we fight our way out!” she said placing her weapon in the holster and unplugging the floor lamp beside her. She quickly uncovered the wires exposing the copper beneath. “When the lights go out, move straight and towards the left; I’ll take the right.”
He nodded at her and she grabbed the prongs from the bar and made sure she was properly grounded before sticking the exposed ends into the wall socket.
The lights instantly went black and she and Ryan moved from their positions charging towards the three remaining men at the end of the hall.
Taking a target each after quickly distracting the third, Ryan and Yvette’s martial arts skills kicked in. Ryan gripped the man around the neck sending his fist quickly to his left jaw followed up with another blow to the abdomen and chest. The man doubled over and received a knee to the nose for the trouble. His head bounced off the wall and he was out.
Yvette’s right foot broke her opponent’s jaw and she recovered from the jump with a fist to his eye, blinding him just long enough to get a heel kick to his chin and knocking him on his ass.
The third man regained his composure and hopped into the fight. Catching Yve off guard, he sent three sharp kicks to her belly and one to her chest. She fell hard, momentarily dazed and gripped her stomach. Ryan came up and sent a spinning heel kick into her attacker pushing him back away from her before sending a hard right to his jaw knocking him out.
“Yve!” Brett yelled rushing to her side as he and Vic entered the hall. “Baby are you ok?
“I’m fine. Just a little spill is all, how’s Ry?”
“Come on Yve, I’m the King of Awesome,” he smiled as he stood behind the three handcuffed men. “You should know better than to ask such a silly question!”
“Let’s get them out of here, we’ll drop them off at the locals,” Victor said pulling them to their feet.
The team got rid of the soldiers to the locals and drove back home with Anthony Luciano in tow. “How are we handling this?” Vic asked as they pulled up to the sewer entrance.
“You guys get home, relax, enjoy a job well done. I’ll take care of the information extraction, should be fun getting reacquainted with Guns.”
They nodded and headed out. Victor pulled Yvette to the side and told her what Scott said as Brett took Anthony to a small room in the hideout, restraining him securely before locking the door.
“We can start on this in a minute,” Yvette said limping towards the bathroom.
“Baby?” Brett followed her closely. “You’re limping. You said you were fine. Where are you hurt?”
“I am fine. It’s just my side; my stomach, he knocked the wind out of me and I think he may have cracked a rib.”
“Damn, we need to get you to the hospital,” Brett said stepping closer.
“No, no hospitals, I can’t. Too many eyes, too many cameras,” she refused.
“So what then? You agonize here in pain?” he rubbed a hand across his top lip and helped her to a seat.
“I have what we need here, I can just tape it myself, or you can for me,” she groaned in pain as she turned slightly to the right.
“I’d rather you let someone look at it Yvette, it could be serious. Could I bring a doctor to you?”
“You’re going to kidnap hospital staff? Sure, why not add more charges to our laundry list of criminal activities.”
“That doesn’t concern me in the least, you need help and I’m going to get you some Babe, just try and relax. Lay down and I’ll get back as soon as I can.” He pulled her to her feet and carried her to the bed, kissed her forehead gently and rushed out the door.
Forty-five minutes passed before he was escorting a blindfolded emergency room physician through the doors of the bedroom.
“She’s there,” Brett pointed. He removed his blindfold and moved towards the bed. “Yve this is Dr. Yates, he’s an old, trusted friend of the family.”
Using the rudimentary items he brought with him, he examined Yvette for close to twenty minutes. He noticed as his hands pressed into her abdomen she winced in pain more so than her side.
“How long had you been pregnant?” Dr. Yates asked pushing back his seat beside her.
“What? Pregnant?” she sat up and looked at Brett and back to the doctor. “I wasn’t…”
“You’re suffering through a miscarriage. The tenderness in your abdomen is from the womb cavity separating from the inner lining of your stomach for discard by your body.
“Pregnant?” she sat dazed by the announcement and let the word roll around her head.
“Doc are you sure?” Brett asked stepping closer.
“Now the only way to know with any degree of certainty is through ultrasound, but I’m fairly sure. Your ribs are fine, no cracks, fractures or breaks. The center of your pain is in your lower abdomen.”

He turned to Brett realizing Yvette was not paying any attention to what he was saying. “There are different methods for handling the remnants of a miscarriage. Depending on how long she carried, we can either wait to see if she will pass it in normal excretory or we can remove it through surgery.”
She didn’t respond. She sat staring at the wall in front of her, not moving or blinking.
Brett cleared his throat, “Thank you Doctor Yates, I think we’ll discuss this and get back to you,” he said leading him to the door. He waited for him to place the blindfold back on and led him back out to the surface. “I really appreciate you coming out here, even though technically I kidnapped you so thanks again.”
“Brett, you want to take her to a hospital as soon as you can. I know you said that you aren’t safe in some places but if you bring her by my ER I’ll make sure she gets the care that she needs. It’s important we take care of the remaining tissue from the fetus; otherwise she could become violently ill and it can be fatal.”
“I don’t know if I can convince her to do that. How long do you think we have to take care of it before…?”
“Honestly? From the way her belly felt distended I’m surprised she hasn’t felt pain or illness before tonight. My best guess is that she’s been carrying that necrotic embryo around for close to two weeks. Has she mentioned any pain or discomfort?”
He shook his head. “We weren’t paying attention,” he sighed releasing a breath and slapping a hand against his head. “We’ve been out of it lately and…”
“There’s no easy way to take this kind of news Brett and I’m very sorry about what’s happened. But try and speak to her and get her to come in. It’s what’s best for both of you now.”
He waited for Dr. Yates’ red Bimmer to back away from the curb before heading back inside. He returned to Yve’s side and nudged her a little to get her line of sight to change. “Babe?”
“No. Don’t, don’t say it Yve.”
“I killed our baby, Brett.”
“I told you not to say that.” He dropped beside her and rubbed her arm. “Hey, we didn’t know. You can’t blame yourself for this.”
“How could I not know? This is my body. I’ve been so absorbed with this setup bullshit I couldn’t notice the changes to my own body? And when did I lose him or her? I can’t begin to imagine how much damage I’ve endured and no idea how long I was pregnant. The hell I must have put our child through,” she started crying and Brett wrapped his arm around her, pulling her head into his chest.
“Yve, we’ve both been distracted. You can’t take on the sole responsibility for this. The fighting, the running and the stress, none of it was good for either of us.”
“But I should have known. It was foolish to have unprotected sex with you I knew that but…”
“Yve calm down. We’ll get through this,” he said holding her as he listened to her frantic sobs. The thought of losing his first child was too much to bear but he had to remain strong for her. They couldn’t lose it now; too much was at stake and he couldn’t let her slip away as well.
“You just need to get some rest; we can talk about it in the morning.” He pulled her higher onto the bed and caressed a gentle hand along her back, comforting her to sleep.
He sighed again, trying desperately to close his eyes and rest as well but finding it harder to take his own advice. He lay quietly thinking over the “what ifs” behind actually raising a child and the daily dose of danger they seemed to always find. He looked at Yvette, wiped away a few drying tears and placed one kiss on her forehead before dropping his head back into the pillow. “I was a Daddy,” he whispered to himself.
Vic quietly entered his front door and dropped his equipment near the hall and Chase’s gift on the table where he was sure he’d see it when he woke. He made his way up the stairs being careful not to wake his kids and into his bedroom. “Simone baby?” he whispered, pulling off his shirt and kicking his boots to the closet as he neared the bed. “I’m home. I know I said I’d be back early but something came up.”
She didn’t stir and he removed his pants and headed to the bathroom to shower before sliding into the sheets with her. “Simone?” he leaned forward and realized it was her body pillow. He turned on the lights and found her side was unused and cold and the house was unusually quiet.
Thinking she fell asleep in Kiara’s room, he went to check on his babies. Both Aisha and Kiara’s rooms were empty and their beds still neatly made. He ran a panicked hand through his hair and rushed to Chase’s room finding the same desolate state. “SIMONE!?” he yelled and rushed for his phone.
Immediately thinking the worst about one of the kids and knowing Aisha hurt herself earlier he dialed her number quickly and waited for her to answer. “Pick up baby, pick up!”
It rang four times before he got her voicemail. He screamed again and hung up. Redialing the number, he began pacing around the hallway. “Simone baby pick up the damn phone.”
“Zdravstvuj?” a thick Russian accent answered the line. (Hello?)
“What? Who the hell is this? Where is my wife? Why do you have her phone?”
…“Ah you must be da cop. You vant you vife follow instructions ve sent…!”
“Instructions? What the hell are you talking about?”
…“You have 10 hours left. Better be quick.” He disconnected the line leaving a stunned Victor staring at the device in his hand as if it were a snake about to reach out and bite him. He dialed the number twice more and received no answer.
Instructionsinstructions, he kept repeating those words in his head thinking back over his day. “The courier!”
He rushed to the bedroom and threw on his clothes. Quickly sliding behind the wheel of his truck he turned on his siren and sped through the busy downtown streets to the federal building. He ran the stairs not wanting to wait on the elevator and reached for the envelope still sitting on Dustin’s desk. He ripped open the letter and read aloud.
You and your team cost me and my bosses a
major source of income not to mention the
embarrassment of arrest. You owe us, big! 

We want $5 million dollars in large,
unmarked, non-sequential bills.
Drop the package outside of the big park
downtown near the mayor’s statue. You have
24hrs to complete the task or your family dies!
He dropped to his knees as he let the message of the letter sink in. “Simone,” he whispered in quiet desperation.

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