GONE WRONG

By Sarah (winks7985)

Word Count 9857

Image Created By Maggie LeMay

Story Nominated for The Mistresses of Malarkey 2009 Best New Original Gen Author

Gone Wrong Collage created by Maggie LeMay
Gone Wrong nominated for Mistresses of Malarkey 2009 Award

Buck looked across the floor at his partner, his friend.  Ezra lay on his right side, arms bound behind him with what Buck could only assume was duct tape, like his own bonds.  The side of Ezra’s forehead touched the ground, his neck at an obvious uncomfortable angle.  His face was covered in sweat.  He almost looks glossy, Buck thought.  Ezra’s once immaculate shirt was ripped in several places, and bloody as hell.  What did they do to you buddy? thought Buck.  Oddly enough, Ezra’s face wasn’t as marred as his disheveled apparel let on.  There was the obvious bruise to the right side of his cheek and eye, but he didn’t look like he had been beaten too badly.  His nose showed a dried trail of blood that tracked away towards the right side of his head which was leaning on the floor.

 

So why wouldn’t he answer?  They were a mere four feet away from each other, so it wasn’t like the Southerner hadn’t heard Buck’s pleas for him to answer.  The only reaction that came from the suave man was an occasional opening of his eyes half way, and repeated swallowing, like he was choking back bile.

 

Buck was in no better shape.  Unlike Ezra, he did get a working-over to his face.  His left eye was swollen, but not yet to the point of being shut.  His lip was split and he knew he must be some magnificent shade of purple.  He had also sustained a couple of well-placed kicks to the abdomen, all of which were tender.  Someone had even stomped on his right thigh to deter any thoughts of trying to fight with their captors. 

 

 

 

 

 

Rated R for Language and Violence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They had been separated several hours ago, after a phone call had obviously blown their cover.  Ezra put on quite a show backpedaling, trying to feign disgust at being accused of pretending to be someone he wasn’t.  But they hadn’t been outed as agents.  Yet. 

 

That’s when Buck had first gotten hit.  Whether it was a foot or a knee or something else, he didn’t know, but it had knocked the wind out of him, well and truly.  Ezra had been trying to save their lives when Buck went down with an oomph.  He was immediately relieved of his weapons.  Ezra had made to try to go to him, but was just as swiftly stopped by one of the goons in the room who laid a meaty paw on the Southerner’s chest.  The other meaty paw groped around and found Ezra’s sidearm.  He wasn’t wearing a backup piece.  The goon shoved Ezra backwards, and Ezra had to flail his arms a little to remain on his feet. 

 

Buck and Ezra locked eyes briefly as Ezra was led off.  Yup, they were fucked.

 

*****

 

Chris looked up at the clock in his office.  Ezra and Buck were supposed to be back an hour ago.  Although not too worried, something was bothering him about the whole situation. 

 

Charlie Mendez, a small time gun runner and all around thug, had been trying to move on up the ladder in the criminal world.  Rumor had it that he was responsible for the deaths of several local drug dealers, in essence removing any competition from his territory.  But he didn’t want the drug business, he wanted the gun business.  The dealers he had supposedly killed were also supplying guns to local gangs.  By killing these dealers, he would corner the market on supplying guns.

 

It had taken a while for Mendez to land on ATF’s radar.  At first, it looked like a drug dealer working his was up.  But one of Ezra’s informants had brought to light Mendez’s true goal.  Almost immediately, one of Buck’s snitches offered corroborating evidence about Mendez.  Buck and Ezra were sent undercover shortly thereafter.  It had taken a while for the two of them to set up a meet with Mendez, and Chris wasn’t entirely sure how Ezra had pulled off getting a meeting with the elusive man, but the two were at that meeting right now posing as suppliers. 

 

As a primary meeting, Ezra insisted that backup wouldn’t be necessary, that the meeting as in a public place, and he would check in as soon as the meeting had concluded.  It should have ended an hour ago, at the latest. 

 

Chris understood that Ezra needed space to work his magic, after all he was the best, but at the same time Chris couldn’t shake this feeling of wrongness. 

 

He sauntered out of his office and took stock of the men in the bullpen.  Josiah and Nathan were in court today, so it was just JD and Vin.  JD looked engrossed in whatever it was he was doing on his computer, and Vin sat with his feet up on the corner of his desk, booted feet crossed at his ankles.

 

Vin looked at Chris and their eyes met.  Unspoken conversation ensued.

 

No word yet?

 

Nope.

 

Worried?

 

Yup.

 

Me too.

 

Vin kicked his feet off his desk and walked into Chris’s office.  JD didn’t seem to notice anything.

 

“So what do you want to do?” asked Vin after he shut the door behind him.

 

Chris sat on the corner of his desk and pinched the bridge of his nose with his right hand.  “I don’t know.  I can’t even explain it.  I just have this feeling that something’s wrong.  I can’t put my finger on it.”

 

“I know what you mean.”  Vin’s feelings were almost as good as word when he felt something was wrong.  He had felt something today, but he, too, couldn’t put his finger on it or put words to it.

 

“You too then?”  Chris looked at the Texan who had closed the gap between them.  Vin stood hipshot with his hands in his back pockets.

 

“Yeah, but it isn’t like I normally get Chris.  It’s not like I feel something bad is happening, just something feels… I don’t know, off?”

 

“Yeah, I know.  If we don’t hear anything in the next hour…” He let his statement hang, knowing that Vin understood. 

 

Vin nodded solemnly and headed out of the office towards his desk.

 

Chris sat at his own desk and blew a breath out slowly.  If they didn’t hear anything in the next hour, he didn’t know what he was going to do.  Or to whom he was going to do it.  Maybe they stopped off for a beer or something.  If so, he was going to give them an earful. He smiled wryly to himself.

 

*****

 

Ezra didn’t understand what had happened.  This was just a preliminary meeting between themselves and Charlie Mendez.  It should have been pretty straightforward.  Glad-handing, his mother would call it.  A meet and greet.

 

Well, whatever you wanted to call it, it went to shit right quick, as Buck would say.  One minute Ezra and Buck were chatting up this high-aspiring gun runner, and the next minute Buck was on the floor, arms wrapped around his midsection, gasping for air.  When Ezra had tried to move towards his friend, he was stopped by some gorilla sized man.  Where the hell do bad guys get these big goofs, he wondered.  Do they scope them out at the gym or something? He smiled to himself, then realized he must be losing it.  He lay on the floor of this warehouse, (Again, another cliché!  Find another meeting place!  If I were in charge, I would demolish all “abandoned” warehouses in Denver!  A breeding ground for miscreants, I tell you… Lord, am I rambling?) arms bound tightly behind his back with duct tape, and every time he tried to pull his hands free, the tape seemed to get tighter.  His shirt lay open in tatters, and the blood that smeared his chest had at least stopped flowing freely.  He was unsure of the condition of his back, but he felt like it was on fire.  He hoped Buck was faring better.

 

Ezra’s heart had almost broken when he locked eyes with Buck as he was being led away from him.  Ezra’s eyes were apologetic, sorry for having gotten them into this mess, sorry for whatever was about to happen, and Buck’s eyes were filled with concern.  For him, a no good sleazy con man.  When had he become so deserving of concern?  If he had just flown solo, Buck would never have been pulled into this mess.

 

And there was no backup coming.  Why hadn’t he let them come?  Why hadn’t he let them insist on his wearing a wire?  Because it was a preliminary meeting! He rationalized to himself.  Nobody could have known that this guy was paranoid.  Ezra groaned inwardly.  Why had he jeopardized Buck this way?

 

Buck! He thought through a haze-filled mind.  Where was Buck? What had they done to him?  Hopefully not what they had done to him.  What had they done to him?

 

Oh yes, I remember now…

 

The gorilla had pushed Ezra backwards through the room.  Once at the far wall, Ezra was slammed into the brickwork.  Hard.  His head had connected solidly with the unmoving wall, and the wall won.  Stars danced in front of his eyes, so he never saw when the gorilla swung and hit him in the side of the face.  In his dazed state, he remembered thinking, Oh, a lefty.  Well, that left hit him again more squarely in the face, this time connecting with his nose.  Ezra was let go and he slumped down the wall and landed on the floor on his side.  The blood ran down his throat from his nose, and the choking sensation made him come around somewhat, even if it was just to turn his face towards the floor.  He coughed several times, blood coming out and making macabre little puddles in front of him.  Hey, that one looks like a cat, he thought. 

 

Yup.  Fucked.

 

Charlie Mendez came walking over then, during the coughing fit.  “Shit Emilio, don’t kill him yet.”

 

“Sorry Mr. Mendez.” 

 

So the gorilla’s name is Emilio, Ezra thought.  Good to knowHaha, Emilio, Good to Know…  He couldn’t help but smile at his brain’s little joke.  How could he be smiling at that?  This was a serious situation!

 

Mendez saw the smile play on the man’s face.  He was immediately enraged.  No one laughed at him!

 

“Wipe that smile off his face Emilio,” he spat through clenched teeth.

 

Ezra’s smile was immediately gone.  However, a smile appeared on Emilio, Good to Know’s face.

 

“With pleasure, Mr. Mendez.”  Two meaty paws came down and collected their bounty from the floor, none too gently.  Ezra felt his shoulder strain, but it didn’t pop.  Thank god for that. Emilio, Good to Know dragged the southerner to the nearby office which had probable served as a supervisor’s den when this place was up and running. 

 

Again, I would rip these places down!  If I get out of here, I intend to write a letter!

 

As he was dragged along towards the office, Ezra chanced a look where he had last seen Buck.  He wasn’t there.  Ezra’s head sunk, fearing his friend’s fate.  He looked up as Emilio opened the heavy door to the office, and thought it was odd that the whole room seemed to list to the right.  Emilio flung him none-too-gently into the listing room, and Ezra hit the metal rusted desk with enough force that he succumbed to the darkness as he impacted the floor.

 

Buck was dragged in the opposite direction almost immediately after Ezra had been manhandled away.  His midsection still ached from being hit before, and his fear for his friend governed his first stupid move: he tried to get away from his gorilla. 

 

For the sheer size of the man, he moved like a cat.  He was quick and lethal.  Buck felt the wind knocked out of him again, and then felt a blinding pain in his thigh.  It was like the worst Charlie horse ever gotten by anyone in the history of mankind, times a thousand.  Buck lay on his side with his hands holding his abused appendage.  He unconsciously rolled from side to side, trying to wait for the pain to subside.  Once he managed to pry his eyes open, he looked at his offender.  The son of a bitch wore hard-heeled cowboy boots.  And that hard heel had just assaulted his thigh.  Thinking about it, Buck figured it would have hurt less to just have been shot.  His offender taunted him, but Buck couldn’t concentrate on what the man was saying, he was too busy trying to regain his breath and work though the pain in his leg.  He was pretty sure he heard the man say something about his mother.  Very original, he thought.

 

He lay there for a minute or two, or hell, it could have been ten, before he was rolled unceremoniously onto his stomach.  His arms were wrenched behind his back and his wrists were taped together.  He received another good kick to the midsection.  He lay there for a minute, getting his wind back, and was picked up by the bound wrists so he was almost to his knees, but then the gorilla let go and slammed him back into the concrete floor.  His lip busted right open, and his eye started to swell. 

 

*****

 

Charlie Mendez didn’t know what to do.  He knew that these guys sounded too good to be true.  Good thing he had them checked out.  Rafael Galvez wasn’t always the best of friends to Mendez, but he was very connected.  So when he called and said that something wasn’t right about these two guys, Mendez didn’t need to know anything further.  So it wasn’t concrete, but he didn’t get to where he was today by waiting for the 100% concrete truth proved three times over.  Sometimes a hunch or feeling was all you needed. 

 

He thought it genius in hindsight to have had these two “suppliers” meet him in one location, only to we whisked away to their current location.  One always had to be careful, and now it had worked to his advantage and had saved him.

 

These two men, whoever they were, wouldn’t have been able to update anyone as to the change in location because the relocation of the meeting had been so abrupt.

 

Now he wanted to find out who these guys were.  And he had all the time in the world.

 

The mustached man was pleasant enough, but again Mendez thought he could feel something about that man.  He seemed to be the muscle for the smaller, smooth talker.  Mendez glanced over to where Sean Mullins had the mustached man subdued, seeming to have fun with tormenting him, so he figured he would let Sean just keep on playing with him.  He winced when he saw Mullins pick the man up by the bound arms only to drop him on his face a second later.  Mullins was vicious, but that made him worth every penny. 

 

“Mullins,” Mendez called.  The man looked at his boss across the 15 foot space between them.  “Don’t kill him.  I may need to have a chat with him, after I chat with the other one.”  Mendez’s evil smile did not hide what he thought that chat would be like.

 

*****

 

Chris was pissed.  Pissed at Buck, pissed at Ezra, pissed in general.  It had been another hour and a half since their expected return.  Neither answered their cell phones, neither had called in.

 

But he wasn’t just pissed.  He was worried.  Ezra, he could understand not checking in.  The southerner made a habit of being a bit of a maverick and rebelling against the rules and regs.  When working solo, he would miss a check in sometimes.  But never when he was working with someone.

 

Buck on the other hand, would never leave anyone hanging, waiting on word.  Even JD hadn’t heard from him. 

 

Chris, Vin and JD all started calling around, calling anyone they could think of, to try to locate their friends.  Chris had just gotten off the phone with Travis, when JD announced that he had called the local PD to go and check the area where the meeting was supposed to have taken place.  Ezra’s car was there, but there was no trace of the two agents.

 

The three exhausted men were exhausting their leads.  Nathan and Josiah had come back from court, and having been filled in on the situation, tried to locate the two men with about as much luck as the other three had been having. 

 

This was not good.

 

*****

 

Buck lay face down on the floor.  He had heard what Mendez said.  He hoped Ezra would be all right after wards.  He hoped Chris and the others figured it out soon.  If not, they were fucked.

 

Well and truly fucked, with no hope of getting out.

 

*****

 

Ezra was only vaguely aware of what was going on.  He cracked open one eye, and regretted it immediately.  Who let the guy into his skull with a jackhammer?  He groaned, trying to right himself.  He panicked when his arms wouldn’t work.  Then it dawned on him—they were taped behind his back.  His jacket lay discarded off to the side.  Wonderful.

 

“Mr. Mendez, he’s coming around.”  Emilio.  Not-so-good-to-know.

 

“Mr. Richards,” Mendez began, walking over to Ezra and nudging him onto his back using his foot.

 

Ezra grunted when his sore skull made contact with the hard ground.  Other than that, he wasn’t volunteering anything.

 

“Let’s have a little chat, shall we?” asked Mendez.

 

Ezra just stared up at the man with contempt in his eyes.  At least, he hoped it was contempt.  The two Mendezes floating in his vision made it hard to glare effectively.

 

“Nothing to say?  Shall I start then?”

 

Again, Ezra stared at the twin floating gunrunners.

 

Mendez wound up and kicked him in the side.  Ezra oomphed and smothered a cry in his throat.  That hurt.  He rolled onto his side and pulled his legs as close to his chest as he could, reflexively.

 

“An interesting… gambit,” Ezra choked out in between breaths, his accent thick in the pain.

 

“Just making sure I had your attention.  We have much to discuss.”

 

Ezra rolled his eyes.  Or attempted to.  That earned him another kick, to his stomach this time.

 

“Use your words…” Mendez taunted, like he was speaking to an insolent child.

 

“Go to hell.”

 

“Soon enough my friend.  Who are you working for?”

 

“What makes you think I’m working for someone?”  Ezra tried to sound as put off as possible.

 

“Rafael called me.  Says you don’t check out.  You’re not who you say you are.  Who are you?”

 

Who the hell was Rafael? “Sir, I do not know what you are talking about.”

 

Mendez looked over at Emilio.  Emilio stood and reached into his pocket, bringing something out with his hand.  With a flick of the wrist, Emilio butterflied open the knife.  It looked like it was a standard butterfly knife, only one side of the blade was serrated while the other was pristinely sharp.

 

Shit.

 

Emilio came over where Ezra lay and grabbed a handful of his hair, moving him into a sitting position with his back against the rust laden metal desk.

 

“Would you like to try this again?” asked Mendez from behind Emilio.

 

The slight pause in conversation while Ezra tried to steady his nerves was taken by Emilio to be some sort of resolve to not speak.  Emilio moved with the fluid grace of a master and sliced Ezra’s chest from his collarbone to his sternum.  The cold metal burned like fire and he couldn’t help but yell.  Widened green eyes stared up at Emilio and instinctively tried to get away from the man wielding the knife. 

 

“You wanna dance, little man?” asked Emilio.  Mendez just watched. Emilio was good at what he did.  They would know what they wanted to know soon enough.

 

Emilio got a fresh handful of the Southerner’s hair and dragged him up.  Ezra’s body protested, but there wasn’t anything he could do.  He was at their mercy. 

 

Emilio sliced again.  This time, the blade went horizontally across his abdomen.  The shirt cut smoothly away while the blade sliced his flesh, attesting to the sharpness of the blade.

 

Again Ezra cried out and tried to get away.  Hands bound and hair entwined in this ogre’s grasp, his attempts yielded little results. 

 

Emilio smiled a grin Ezra could only identify as evil.  This man reeked of bloodlust.  Mendez just leaned idly against the wall and watched his gorilla work.  If Ezra didn’t know better, he would say that Mendez was looking on with a sense of pride.

 

Without warning, Ezra was thrown up against the wall of the office face first, the battered right side of his face connecting with the sheet rocked wall.  The next slice was quick and long and Ezra swore his back had been flayed open.  The warmth of his own blood soaked his shirt.  He was pulled away from the wall and thrown back onto the desk.  He landed on his side, and again his shoulder complained but hung on.  Emilio was on top of him in less than a heartbeat, straddling him on the top of the desk, the southerner flipped onto his back.

 

Ezra caught a glimpse of the wall he had just so recently departed company with, and on the old sheet rock, blood was smeared.  His view was immediately filled with the visage of Emilio.  Emilio seemed to be thinking about his next move, and the southerner reacted, pulling his leg up to assault Emilio’s delicate area.

 

Emilio anticipated this and allowed Ezra to make contact with his ass only.  Then the eyes flashed fury and the knife sliced again, connecting with his shoulder and dragging out towards the right arm.  Ezra couldn’t contain the scream.  The other three slashes had been hard to take, but this one was the straw that broke the camel’s back. 

 

Emilio leaned forward and made as if to sniff Ezra’s open wounds.  Like he was smelling his blood… 

 

“Emilio,” Mendez said coolly, and Emilio stopped dead in his tracks and sat back up, still straddling the panting man beneath him.

 

Ezra stared wide-eyed at the man on top of him.  Like an attack dog awaiting his next command.  Adrenaline pumping though his veins, Ezra shook.  He could feel the blood pool at his bound hands from the slice in his back.  His chest burned like fire with each breath he took.  He knew this man on top of him knew exactly what he was doing.  Each slice had not been intended to kill him in its brutality, nor had the slices been meant to cause him to bleed to death.  Each one was made with the explicit intention of causing as much pain as possible.

 

“Emilio here is quite good at what he does Mr. Richards.  I would suggest you start answering me, or I will let him have some fun.”

 

*****

 

Buck stirred on the floor, but couldn’t move.  A well placed cowboy boot held his abused body securely to the floor.  The other times he tried to struggle earned him a swift kick to his sides and a trouncing to his abused thigh.  He lay there unmoving, and his tormentor held his boot in place firmly in the center of his back, as though claiming a trophy.

 

He heard Ezra scream, and all he could do was close his eyes and pray.

 

*****

 

“Guys,” JD said.

 

Four weary and worried faces looked up at him.  Buck and Ezra were now 4 hours overdue. 

 

“What is it JD?” asked Vin. 

 

“I just pulled a file on Charlie Mendez off of Ezra’s computer.”  Ezra sometimes had some files that were from questionable contacts, but full of useful information.  “His file isn’t that interesting, but I was looking up listed associates, and he has this guy who… well…”

 

“Spit it out JD.”

 

“He’s bad.  This one guy, Emilio Marquez is a bad dude.  Says here he’s wanted for murdering a fed.”  JD’s eyes were wide and apologetic.

 

“Fuck,” said Chris as he got up and started for his office.  He had to let Travis know this new bit of info.

 

“That ain’t all Chris,” JD announced to the room.  “He tortured the guy first.  Uses a knife.  It looks like he’s killed others too.  Always with the knife.” 

 

Chris’s head dropped.  His heart dropped with it.

 

“Why didn’t we know this before?” asked Chris.

 

“He went under a different name then.  Enrique Martinez.  Some of the records are slower to update than others.”

 

“Find him.”  Chris walked into his office to call Travis.

 

JD put out an APB on Marquez’s car and sent PD to the guy’s house.  He also started running Martinez through the system, praying they got lucky.  Please, he thought, let us find them.

 

*****

 

Emilio sat like a gargoyle on Ezra.  Mendez asked questions, but after the third repetition of one of them, Ezra couldn’t focus anymore.  His tired mind wanted him to rest.  He closed his eyes in an attempt to regain focus.

 

Ezra felt something cold and hard resting next to his eye.  His eyes sprang open, and Emilio’s face was so close to Ezra’s that he could smell his breath.  Emilio moved the knife that was resting next to Ezra’s eye.  “If you can’t keep your eyes open and answer Mr. Mendez’s question, I will cut off your eyelid so you will keep it open.”

 

The cool, disconnected was he said this made Ezra think that yes, he would do that. 

 

“That’s all right Emilio.  If Mr. Smooth Talker is done talking, maybe we can have a chat with his friend out there.  Mullins!!” Mendez yelled.

 

Ezra’s eyes opened wide. “No!” Not Buck.

 

“So you’re ready to talk?”

 

Ezra nodded.  He would protect Buck.  He got him into this mess.

 

“So who do you work for?”

 

Without missing a beat, Ezra replied “Carlyle.”

 

Edward Carlyle was Mendez’s competition in the gun trade.  Ezra had read up on him for this assignment in order to know as much as he could about Mendez.  Carlyle’s operation was extensive enough that, Ezra hoped, his claim of being one of Carlyle’s men would be believed.  He hoped this worked… he and Buck were running out of options.

 

Mendez dropped his head to his chest, hiding his smile.  “Do you think I am stupid?” he asked without looking up.

 

Ezra said nothing while Mendez brought his gaze back to the face of the Southerner. 

 

“Rafael works for Carlyle.”  And there is was.  He was a dead man.  Bluff called.

 

“Maybe you’re a fed…” Mendez wondered aloud.  He glanced at Emilio, who smiled a half smile at his boss.  “Emilio here doesn’t like feds.  I believe the last one he had the misfortune of running into ended up… flayed wide open.”  Mendez gestured with his hands while he spoke the last part, giving the idea that whoever the poor individual might have been, had been peeled open.  Slowly.

 

Emilio’s grin grew, either in remembrance or anticipation. 

 

Ezra wanted to scream in frustration.  His mind wasn’t processing as sharply as normal, he had gotten Buck into this, and he was, for the first time in a long time, unable to come up with any words to help himself.

 

“How about I leave you two to talk some more.  Fed or not, I don’t think Emilio likes you much.  Maybe your friend will feel compelled to enlighten us as to your identities.  I am rather curious at this point.”  He smiled and started to back away towards the door to the office.

 

Ezra looked at the man, still seeing double, but the doubles were at least closer to each other.  The adrenaline had sobered his eyesight, even if only slightly.

 

“Noo…” Ezra whispered.  Buck, I’m sorry.

 

“Mr. Richards, hurting your friend would be counterproductive at this point in time.  I’m just going to use you as leverage.  Emilio, don’t kill him.  Yet.”  Mendez nodded at Emilio and walked out of the office, leaving the door open.  Emilio’s eyes filled again with bloodlust recharged.

 

Fucked.

 

*****

 

Buck heard the approaching footsteps and felt the cowboy boot come off his back.  The boot slipped under his left side and nudged him onto his back. 

 

“Well Mr… Actually, we never did get around to being formally introduced did we?  How about I just call you Smith.  Cliché, I know, but I really don’t care.  Unless you wish to tell me your name.”

 

Buck glared daggers and managed to spit out his response, laden with anger but seething quiet at the same time.  “Get fucked.”

 

“Colorful,” replied Mendez.  “Well Mr. Smith, it seems as though your smooth talking friend has clammed up.  Apparently he wants me to believe you work for Mr. Carlyle, which I know to be false.  Would you care to elaborate as to who you are?”

 

Buck silently stared back at the man.

 

“I figured as much.”  A scream erupted from the office and echoed off the walls of the warehouse.

 

Buck stared wide eyed and alarmed in the direction it came from. 

 

Mendez didn’t flinch.  Neither did Mullins.  Both smiled at the mustached man’s reaction.  They found his weak spot.

 

Buck’s mind was racing.  What was happening to Ezra?  What was that animal doing to him?

 

“Mr. Smith, I would ask that you reconsider speaking with me.  Emilio in there,” he motioned to the office, “hates feds.  Now, whether or not you’re feds makes no difference to him or to me.  But I think it makes a difference to Mr. Richards.  See, Emilio is quite good with that knife of his.  By the time he’s done with your friend, Mr. Richards will be willing to admit to me that he is Adolf Hitler.  Now, we can shorten Emilio’s playtime,” he smiled widely, “if you will tell me what I want to know.”

 

Buck locked eyes with the man.  He wanted to kill him.  Rip him limb from limb.  But how was he going to do that?  Another scream, this one weaker than the last but no less heart wrenching, filled the empty walls of the warehouse.  Not knowing what else to do, at the end of his rope, Buck closed his eyes and nodded so slightly that Mullins missed it, and he was standing directly over the tall man.

 

“Good.”

 

“Make him stop.”  There was no pleading in Buck’s voice.  No begging.  Just the demand.

 

“Well, I will, just after you tell me who you’re working for, and what you know about my operations.”  The wicked smile was unfaltering.

 

PART 2

 

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