by John Nation
One of the richest men in the world declares war on Sheriff Johnson and the Pack.
|One hour later, Stan Chitwood was at Miranda’s door. He raised his hand to knock but the door opened before he could.
“Hi, Stan,” Sara said as she held the door open. “Please come in.”
“Good afternoon, ladies,” Stan said. “I have something that cannot wait until the meeting tomorrow. You need to see this now.”
They sat down and Stan spread two dozen pictures across the table.
“I followed Montgomery to a gang area in south Houston. He met with this gang and gave them a large bundle of cash. I cannot say how much because I was a hundred yards away when I took these photos. You mentioned at our last meeting there have been a couple of deadly accidents recently. I have an idea that Montgomery is trying to arrange another one. I have two men at the end of the hall and they will stop anyone from getting close to you for the moment, but they will not be enough for a long range solution. We need to get you some bodyguards. I have a friend in the Houston police department and he will get the gang unit to put pressure on this group to keep them occupied long enough to get you out of Houston to a safer location.”
“Stan,” Miranda said. “It is so sweet of you to be concerned, but Sara and I are capable of handling this little problem ourselves. Keep up the surveillance on Lyle and get me a folder on Robinson. This gang will not bother us, I assure you.”
“Miranda, are you positive about this? This group has no qualms about killing over turf, drugs, women, money, or for no reason at all. One way potential members prove themselves is by killing someone.”
“You have given us fair warning. From this point on, this is our problem. I want you to stay on Lyle and keep me informed of all his comings and goings.”
“If that’s the way you want to play it, the best of luck to you.”
He pulled out a second folder and removed another picture. “Only moments before Montgomery left to meet the gang, this man visited him. He was only in the room five minutes. I was going to have one of my men tail him, but then Montgomery left in a hurry. Being my top priority, I used all assets to keep tabs on him.”
Sara picked up the photo. “The mechanic,” she said.
“Yes,” Miranda agreed. “It seems as if Lyle is trying to pressure us from several angles at once.”
Sara asked, “Do you need me to back you up?”
“That will not be necessary. You take care of what you need to do. I’ll take care of this other matter.”
Sara gave Miranda a hug and left the room, followed by Stan. By the time Stan retrieved his men and reached the elevator, Sara was nowhere to be seen.
Miranda changed into a flannel shirt and blue jeans. She tossed her high heels under the bed and donned tennis shoes. When she left the room ten minutes later, to all appearances she was a farm girl from the plains of Kansas visiting the big city. She moved to the lobby and waited.
She had been reading magazines for almost an hour when a scent came to her. She recognized it immediately. She first detected this particular scent three days ago in her flower shop. She glanced over the top of the magazine and saw the arsonist that set the fire. She was sad he appeared so young. She knew he could not be older than thirteen.
As sad as that made her, it did not change her mind over what she had to do. Because of the young lad in the lobby waiting for a chance to kill her, one of her workers died. She never met the woman, but that did not change the fact a faithful employee was dead. The kid would pay for that.
She saw the boy looking around and knew he did not recognize her. She would help him out. She waited until he was near the front desk before rising and walking across the lobby. She purposely made some noise as she moved to draw his attention. She stopped at the desk and said in a loud voice, “I’m Miranda Skinner from room 1508. Do you have any messages for me?”
The clerk looked in the bin for that room and pulled out six messages. Three were for her and the other three for Sara. She did not read Sara’s messages but had the clerk place them back into the bin. Her first message was from Eddie saying he missed her and wanted her to hurry home. The next was from Diane. She said basically the same thing. The last was from Tonya. Her message said: “For being only human, Rick is fantastic.” Miranda smiled as she wondered what the message taker would have made of that statement.
Miranda stuffed her messages into her jeans pocket and left the hotel. It was late afternoon when she stepped outside. The sun was not visible, hidden behind the canyon walls of the skyscrapers. Tomorrow she and Sara would have to leave the city, traveling far away to an area lush with forests and with millions of less people. They would find a place with no more than half a dozen humans. They would not return for four days. Then the three night period where they transformed into the Wolves would be over and they could complete their business in Houston.
She felt the arsonist following her, trying his best to stay hidden. To her, he was as easy to spot as a fireworks display on the Fourth of July and sounded like a never ending sonic boom. She would try to make his death fitting punishment for his crime.
Fifty minutes after leaving Miranda, Sara entered the shop where her plane was sabotaged. At once, she spotted two of the people that worked on her jet. She could take care of them now, but she would wait until the other three joined them so she could complete her business quickly and finally. She wanted it done tonight so it would not be in the back of her mind the next few days. She would have other matters to concern herself with then.
Fifteen minutes later, the head mechanic arrived followed in the next ten minutes by the last two. Even though they believed themselves to be the only people in the area, they still moved to a darker corner of the hanger. They were only thirty feet from Sara in their new location.
“He says we have to complete the job before he’ll pay us,” Chase said.
“That ain’t right,” one mechanic said. “We were paid to make the plane crash. That is what we did. It’s not our fault that somehow they escaped.”
“That’s not the way he sees it. We have to take them out or else we will never see another penny of the balance he owes us.”
“The hell with it,” a different mechanic stated. “Let it go. We can make a plane crash, but I sure as hell do not have any training or experience doing this any other way. I only shot a gun once, and that was when I was a little kid. If I tried to use a knife, I would be just as likely to stab one of you guys as one of them. We just have to be grateful the FAA isn’t screaming down our throats. Making sure none of the paperwork showing we worked on the plane was turned in was the only smart thing we did in this whole fiasco.”
“I need the cash,” Chase said. “It will be enough to pay off my mortgage. Then I can buy that speedboat I’ve always wanted.”
“I’m finished with it, count me out.”
“I’m going to count all of you out,” Sara said as she came out of the shadows and walked to them.
For three seconds, none of them moved, too surprised to do anything. Then at the same time, they came out of their stupor.
All of them leaped for her. One grabbed a heavy wrench from a workbench to use as a club.
Sara backhanded the first to reach her. His head left his body and soared to the far side of the hanger, bouncing off the wall before falling to the floor. She grabbed the throat of the next one and squeezed. His neck collapsed and he fell to the ground, drowning in his own blood. She took the wrench from the one that swung it at her and caved his head in with it.
The other two changed tactics and turned to run away. She still held the wrench and threw it at one of them. The tool entered his back and came out the front, passing through the heart in its journey.
Sara caught up to Chase in less than a second. She took hold of the back of his neck and spun him around.
“My Alpha bought me that jet for a birthday present. You destroyed a two million dollar gift. More than the cost, the fact it was from the Alpha is beyond any dollar value. It was as if a part of me died with the plane.”
“I’m sorry,” Chase cried out. “Please forgive me,” he begged.
“Forgive my ass.”
There was a jet engine held into the air by a large crane. Chase almost fainted when he saw the woman holding him helplessly in the air with one hand use the other to pull the sixteen hundred pound engine from the hook and place it gently on the floor. Then before he could move, he was slammed onto the hook. It entered his chest and came out his back.
“Hang around,” Sara said as she disappeared into the night.
“We will take out the male and the two women first,” the Colonel said to his men. “Once they are out of the way, we will capture the Sheriff, turn him over, collect the money and return home. If we stick to schedule, will be on the road home in about seventy-two hours. I do not need to remind you that you are not to be spotted. We cannot do anything that will give them cause for alarm. Try to get a feel for what they do. The better you know your target, the more likely you are to succeed. Any questions?”
“Yeah,” one of the men said. “Those are hot ladies. Do we have to take them out right away or can we play first?”
The Colonel considered it for only a short time before saying, “Sorry guys, there is a huge bonus attached to successfully completing the mission. We are not going to mess around, but we will do the job and get paid. When we get home you’ll have the money to get you a pretty lady.”
When the Colonel saw there were no more questions, he sent them to start doing what they were paid for.
It was an hour after the Colonel instructed his men when Diane left the jewelry store, proudly looking at the ruby bracelet she purchased. Even before she unlocked her car door, she spotted the car parked on the far side of the parking lot. The men in it were ducked down so a person could not see them. They were not visible, but their breathing and heartbeats gave them away. She started her car and turned from the lot onto the street. By the time she moved twenty yards, the car was leaving its parking space and coming after her. She drove slowly, not wanting them to lose her. Whenever a light turned yellow, even if she could get by it before it turned red, she stopped so the car would not lose sight of her. Throughout the day, she had seen almost a dozen men at different times keeping tab on her. She could have lost any of them within a minute if she decided she wanted to, but it was easier for her to keep track of them by letting them keep track of her.
After much cajoling, they convinced Sheriff Johnson to take a week of vacation. Eddie and Tonya had whisked him away to the mansion. They would stay with him keep him safe. Diane would keep a lookout for Whitingham or any of his agents. She figured the men following her worked for him.
She would like to get the problem taken care of quickly. Tomorrow was Premoon. For three days they would be unable to defend the Sheriff.
When she turned onto the dirt road leading to the cabin in French Town, she had to slow down for a time until they spotted the trail of dust and came towards her. Once at the cabin, she opened the trunk of her car and rummaged around in it. There was not anything there she needed, she only wanted to insure the men had an opportunity to see her before she entered the cabin so they would know for sure where she was.
They stopped when they came to the top of the hill and then backed up a distance so they would be invisible on the other side of it. Diane wondered for a short time if she would have been that bad at tracking people before she was turned. She admitted to herself she probably would have been.
Satisfied they knew she was alone and where she was, she closed the trunk went inside and waited.
“Colonel,” the team leader of Cobra One said to his commander, “We have one of them isolated. We can take her out in less than a minute if you give the word.”
“Is there any sign of the other two or the Sheriff?”
“Negative. The only one we have spotted is the blond. If you like, we can question her before removing her.”
Guyer gave the matter some serious thought for almost a minute before responding. “No, let’s not take that route just yet. Keep an eye on her tonight. There is a good chance they might join her there. Once we have all of them in one spot, we can finish the mission. If they do not show up, we will keep her in sight tomorrow. When she goes back home then, we will go with your suggestion.”
“Roger, Colonel. Setting up the watch now. Out.”
Inside the cabin, Diane fixed a small meal, took a shower, and went to bed, secure in the knowledge she would wake in an instant if any of them approached her.