11: The Good Samaritan
is nothing you can do for him now." Declan O'Connor's voice
was barely a whisper.
I have to help him." Michela Forsythe tried to pull away
and lunge toward the balcony, but a series of shots tattooed
above their head.
moved by instinct. Both were on the floor before a second
rain of bullets made impact with the back wall.
have to get out of here," Declan said, without emotion.
"If we stay, we'll be dead as well."
hesitated. She didn't want to leave. She had to make Julian
understand why she had pretended to be dead for so long.
it!" Declan said as if reading her mind. "Whatever you're
thinking, forget it!"
can't. It's my fault."
Declan took in a deep breath of air. Why did they always
think everything was their fault? Michela didn't make the
sniper choose to kill Julian.
you're having an out-of-body experience, that sniper is
not you. You do not control him or his actions." Declan
guided her to a position away from the window. She was obviously
in shock from Julian's death. "Before I arrived on scene,
I overheard a couple of Black Council operatives talking
about a hit on Julian Black. When Jeffrey told me where
your thermal signature was headed – I had to stop you. Warn
couldn't think enough to thank him. The courtesy she usually
showed people had temporarily fled from her body. But she
did know one thing for sure, no one, not even Ethan had
ever put themselves in physical danger before. Her mind
stalled. No, that wasn't true. Kevin had. He had put himself
in danger to save her in Bulgaria.
canister of tear gas sailed through the open balcony door.
Declan rushed toward it and punted it back out into the
dark night. That one act centered her thoughts on the action
at hand. She couldn't lose her mind over this. She had to
be strong. If not for Julian, then for herself.
is our cue to exit."
didn't wait for an answer. He merely grabbed Michela and
hefted her over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. Gun
shots echoed again and spattered the back wall with black
holes. Two slugs hit Declan but he didn't flinch as the
bullets impacted the flesh of his shoulder.
his ear he could hear Jeffrey Sogard's insistent order,
"Extract yourself, now!" The young controller's voice was
strangely silent, yet urgent. "Intel shows they are prepping
the building to blow. So now would definitely be a good
time to get the hell out of there!"
Jackson could not believe her luck. The worst blizzard in
ages and she was trapped in London far away from her son,
Toby. She silently wished she had never helped Ethan Fairchild.
At least, that is what she thought his name was. It was
the name on the registration papers of the vehicle Old Hank
had pulled out of the snow drift up at Jackson Pass.
had taken a better part of an hour to get the red and white
truck out of the snow drift, and back onto solid ground.
But it wasn't the vehicle she was concerned about. Bree
was worried for the man trapped inside.
still out of it. Out like a light," old Hank said as he
dusted snowflakes from his muddy-colored winter jumpsuit.
that's what is worrying me," Bree could always be counted
on to take the distressed point of view.
he has a head injury," Sully MacDonald suggested forking
a large hand through his dark hair.
that's true, we need to forget this talking and get this
feller off the mountain. You know we have trouble enough
getting an ambulance up here in good weather. It'll be near
impossible now what with all this nasty snow."
right," Bree said turning to Sully. She looked up to the
tall, handsome man who had become her friend in the past
be happy to drive him to the hospital down in London. It
won't be much out of my way." Sully smiled at Bree. "Anyway,
we need to exchange insurance information. My dispatcher
isn't going to be happy that I've ruined another truck and
this one is an expensive Kenworth."
old Hank put a hand on Sully's shoulder. "That truck of
yours doesn't look damaged to me. That old truck of Fairchild's
took most of the damage. Heck, I don't think the two of
you even hit each other."
that is true, then Fairchild must be a pretty slick driver.
I had no control of my own vehicle after the turn near Dead
okay. Stop all this talking and you two get this feller
down and off the mountain."
and Sully looked at old Hank with shock registered on their
perfectly capable of getting Fairchild to..." Sully was
interrupted by old Hank almost immediately.
know you're capable, son. But Bree here she's more reliable.
She hasn't just been in a car accident. I'm sure that blood
of yours is pumping enough." Old Hank winked at Sully who
gave a small smile and turned away from Bree.
right," Sully said, giving into the older man.
eyes grew large. "Hank, while that's a nice thought. I can't
leave Toby up here alone in the middle of the night. And
why did I suddenly get good Samaritan duty? Sully says he's
Hank rose a hand and stopped her. "You both need to do it...
an hour later, Bree was seething.
had done it again. He had conned her – conned her into taking
Fairchild to the hospital.
anyway, the poor schmuck didn't look that injured to her.
Just a cut above his eye, but he was still unconscious.
That was a problem, and it was making Sully, the one who
had run Fairchild off the road, nervous. Sully had agreed
to drive all three of them down the mountain and into London,
reluctantly, of course. Hank was always trying to set them
up. Finding perfect ways for her and Sully to be alone.
It wasn't going to work this time.
way through the drive Fairchild had awakened, a little discombobulated
but at least alive and thinking clearly. At least as clearly
as possible after being run off the road by a hulking Kenworth
he doing?" Sully asked curiously.
fine," came the gruff answer from the sleeping cabin behind
them. "What happened?"
were in a car accident," Bree said simply. No need to get
into the whole notion that his truck was stuck up in Jackson
Pass. And Sully was looking close to as guilty as she had
ever seen him.
any body hurt?" Ian winced as he examined his own head.
You got a pretty nice gash on your head though. I've never
seen any one take the turn at Dead Man's Drop that fast
before. Guess you're not from around here?" Sully nodded
to the man who was lying in his sleeping compartment. "I'm
Sully MacDonald and this is Bree Jackson."
the rescue committee. We didn't know how injured you were
so we were taking you to the hospital."
fine. No hospital."
were the last words she heard Fairchild utter. Bree shrugged
toward Sully and gazed out into the dark night beyond the
rig's passenger side window. For a second she thought she
was seeing things. Then the sound of gunfire became sharp
in her ears.
my God!" Bree couldn't believe what she was seeing. "Sully,
stop the truck!! Stop the truck! I think I just saw a man
fall off that balcony."
Falconer smiled. Mission accomplished.
Black was as good as dead. If the rifle wound didn't kill
him, the fall would.
normal rookie assassin would leave it at that, but Simon
wasn't a rookie. He was pure professional and he had a reputation
to protect. Julian Black had to die, and Simon had to make
sure he was truly dead to the world.
many understood the code of Falconer. The more far reaching
their organization, the larger their family became. And
Stavros Falconer did think of all his employees as family.
He would give them all anything he could, within reason.
But they must return his trust with loyalty and a job well
didn't think that was too much to ask considering how well
his father provided for his "extended family."
always had a yearning to make his father proud. That was
why he had targeted Julian Black. Who else but those in
the Falconer family were in a position to take over the
Black Council once Black was out of the picture? Cameron
Cash didn't have a chance of holding onto such immense power.
And folding the Council into the Falconer Crime Family would
make them more powerful than God himself.
custom made rifle gleamed in the moonlight. Simon regarded
it with loving kindness. It was a firearm that had served
him well over the years. Its gray steel winked at him as
it reflected the moon's rays before he stashed it into his
unassuming blue workout bag between his shoes and gym shorts.
perfectly executed hit. He would check Black's remains on
the way out, just to make certain the man was gone.
exited the building which mirrored everything around it.
He could see himself in the wall's reflection. He didn't
look much like an assassin. For some reason he hadn't inherited
his father's Greek blood and instead looked strangely American
with his light brown hair and blue eyes. The stone washed
jeans and plaid flannel shirt only enhanced the look. He
projected pure American southern charm down to the wink
in his eye and his beat up old truck.
he slowly walked around the building, he gazed upward. Pretty
far fall for someone so hulking in appearance. Simon chuckled
to himself. His laughter stopped cold when he noticed a
figure looming over Julian's body.
He hadn't expected that.
plastered on a shit eating grin and walked toward the woman.
glanced back to Fairchild who appeared to be asleep. He
sighed with relief. One more accident averted. Thank God
he was okay, but he was still going to take the man to the
hospital. It seemed only right. He glanced at Bree from
afar. He had been a goner from the first time he laid eyes
on her. But she only saw him as a friend. A good ole boy
from Jackson Pass. More and more often he had dreams of
settling down and having a family. Him and Toby and Bree
and any other children who just happened to come along.
sighed again and pulled open the door to the Kenworth. He
wasn't going to let Bree handle this alone. Fairchild was
fine where he was for now.
jogged over to where Bree was standing.
God," he said as he approached. "It is a man."
afraid to touch him. I mean, what if he's dead."
pulled Bree away and into the comfort of his arms. "Want
me to do it?"
nodded into his chest.
put his two fingers to the man's throat. There was a pulse
but it was weak.
let out the breath she didn't know she was holding.
still have that cell phone in your truck?" Bree turned toward
the massive black big rig.
and hurry. I don't think he has much time.
the shadows Simon Falconer cursed. This was not the way
it was supposed to happen. He could hear the woman screaming
at a cell phone whose battery apparently had gone dead.
not working," she shouted at Sully.
don't want to move him. Who knows what sort of injuries
he has." Sully shrugged off his coat and put it over the
came toward them swinging his gym bag in plain sight. "Something
I can help you two with?"
rushed toward the man. "Please tell me you have a cell phone."
new fangled one too." Simon easily slid into the practiced
southern twang he had learned from one of the organization's
lesser known thugs. He unzipped the gym bag, unconcerned
that Bree could merely glance down and see the disassembled
rifle. He reached past it and grabbed onto the phone.
God. Could you call an ambulance? My hands are shaking so
badly I don't think I'll be able to manage it." Bree walked
toward Sully who was still with the fallen man's body. "How
alive so far."
leaned down this time looking at the man's face. All breath
left her body as she stared into the man's handsome face.
my God. Julian!"
we have a problem. A tractor trailer just stopped near the
area where Julian fell. If this building does explode, then
we are going to have a major problem. They've called an
ambulance but I have rerouted the call to one of our teams."
Jeffrey spoke matter of factly.
not leaving Michela."
you rather risk innocent lives in an explosion of this magnitude?"
Why did Jeffrey always have to be the innocent voice of
of course not."
started toward the group near Julian's body but Jeffrey's
voice stopped him.
reroute didn't work. The ambulance isn't ours."
in the hell did they get here so fast?"
like Julian has some big time mob enemies. Call went through
to someone at Falconer Enterprises."
Bree watched the ambulance team work on Julian, she glanced
to a shadowy figure not far from the edge of the building.
The man was too far into the shadows to recognize but the
woman. She was perfectly lit from a street light above her.
It couldn't be. Janette was dead, wasn't she?
thoughts were interrupted when Sully came running toward
her. "We have all sorts of problems tonight. Remember Fairchild?"
Sully thumbed a gesture back to his rig. "He's gone."
the ambulance pulled away, Bree stared at where the two
unassuming shadowy figures had been. They were gone. Maybe
it had been her over active imagination working over time.
had barely pulled the Kenworth from the side of the road
before the building behind them exploded