Carol looked over at Shea.
“Let’s go out into the hall,” Shea said. They followed her out. Carol looked over the random assortment of people Will had chosen for the job. Each person had a fine-tuned skill in which they excelled. Carol knew James was a master at picking locks. Doug could dismantle a gun in less than thirty seconds. They were a highly skilled team, and Carol realized with a sudden light of acknowledgement that Will had chosen each person carefully. Nothing Will did was half-assed or an accident.
“Okay,” Shea said with a deep breath. Before she could say anything else, Murphy popped his head into the hallway and handed Shea a folder wordlessly. Shea had barely even grabbed the folder before Murphy disappeared back into the room. She looked at the door in surprise. Carol didn’t know Murphy could even move that fast.
“Let’s see,” Shea said, opening the folder. She read for a few seconds and looked back up at them. “They’reour instructions for the mission.” Shea read more. “It says that Greg Dodson will be entering “The Sip” bar at around one pm. Geeze, this guy starts early.”
“The Sip?” Aiden asked. Shea looked up at him.
“Yes, is there a problem?”
“No. I just suppose I’m your driver then,” Aiden said factually. Shea looked down at the sheet, and back up at Aiden.
“Actually you are. How did you know?”
“A few weeks ago, Will and I mapped out short-cuts around the city, and drove them together. I’m the chief heist driver. Used to be professional,” Aiden said this casually, as if he was ordering coffee or tea.
“Wow. Okay. Will is really on top of his shit,” Shea observed. Carol snorted and nodded in agreement. They all looked at her.
“Sorry,” Carol said with an apologetic smile on her face.
“Anyway,” Shea said, turning back to Aiden. “How fast can you get us to the docks?”
“Approximately seven minutes.”
“Push for five.”
“Okay, our instructions say that I will obtain Greg at around one thirty. There’s a back alley behind The Sip. I’ll go into the bar at one twenty, and be in back at exactly one thirty. I’m going to slip something into his drink, so he should be passed out at one thirty. Doug, you have to dismantle his weapon and leave it in the alley,” Shea read.
“But they’ll find it.”
“That’s the point,” Carol said with a smile. She was learning fast. Shea looked at Carol with a nod of approval.
“She’s right. Our superiors want them to find it. It’s a sign. After you dismantle the weapon, we all get in the car, and Aiden will take us to the docks. Oren will interrogate Greg with Will. I hear Oren is quite the information-extractor.” Shea looked up at Oren, who only replied with silent eye contact.
“But we can’t return him to the bar,” Doug said with a frown. “They’ll be waiting.”
“Be patient,” Shea said, turning her gaze to Doug. “Here is where James and Carol come into play. We are going to drop off Greg at their own headquarters by the west docks.”
It was genius. While most of the men will be dispatched to the bar to wait for Greg’s return, they would return him right under their own noses. It was a gamble. The gang headquarter locations were no secret to other gangs, considering there was so much traffic of drugs and people around the areas. But gang members never dared to enter in another gang’s headquarter area. They would be spotted within seconds. Unless there was a distraction.
It was perfect. This was sending a message that they did not desire violence, but that the O’Meara family had the power to walk into their headquarters and deliver the missing boy right under their own faces.
“Carol, you knock out the remaining members at the headquarters, while James picks the lock. We deliver the boy, and then get the hell out of there before other men return. That’s why we have a time limit. If we take too long, the men will get restless and tired of investigating the scene, and return to their headquarters.” Shea flipped the folder closed, and looked up at her group.
“You guys ready to get down and dirty?” she asked.
Carol had never been so excited in her life. This was better than Christmas morning.
Will had never met Shea. But he was impressed when she showed up exactly on time. He heard the van before he saw it. The vehicle came squealing around the corner and stopped roughly in front of the warehouse at one thirty-five. Shea jumped out of the van first, and Will let his eyes run over her tight body, clothed in all black. Will almost allowed himself to be completely distracted by her beauty. But when she threw open the door to the back and the unconscious Greg Dodson tumbled out of the van, Will sprung into action. Along with Oren, Will carried the young man into the warehouse. Greg was already starting to gain consciousness again.
Will didn’t know whether to be completely amazed by Oren, or more confused by the information he was receiving.
“…an anonymous tip source?” Will asked Greg. Greg was now fiddling with his hands, and looking around the room every five seconds. Oren had Greg backed into a corner, eating out of the palm of his hand. As a response, Greg looked at Oren. Oren looked impatient.
“Go ahead, answer him,” Oren said with an irritated nod. Greg glanced back at Will, as if Will would provide Greg with a way out. However, Will just stared expectantly back at Greg. They only had five minutes left. Oren managed to reduce the initial threats and bargaining attempts down to five minutes. They had been talking for ten. This left five minutes until Greg was to be delivered to the van again. Will needed this mission to be successful. Heneededa win.
“Well yes, via phone. The tip givers are a man and a woman, maybe multiple people even. They take turns intermittently. But no names have ever been supplied. They go collectively by the alias ‘Iconoclast’.”Greg was now fiddling with his thumbs, refusing to make eye contact with either Will or Oren. Greg knew the information he was giving would ultimately hurt his brother’s gang. But little Dodson believed his very life was on the line here. There was no withholding information. Will leaned back against the wall, to try and process this. Oren, who was sitting across the table from Greg, turned in his seat to seek further instruction from Will. Will trained his eyes on Greg, who eventually looked up from his thumbs.
“And you just believe this person- these people?” Will finally asked.
“Whoever they are, they’re very convincing. I’m afraid Trevor is getting too bold with this new information source- he isobviouslygetting too bold.”
Greg was referring to the situation he was currently in.
“Obviously.” Will agreed. “Your brother is an idiot for putting so much faith in someone. They could easily screw him over, get him caught in a trap- maybe even killed,” Will said nonchalantly. He knew exactly what he was doing. And it wasn’t fair. But Will didn’t have trouble falling asleep most nights. He wasn’t exactly considered a saint. They were all criminals after all.
Greg opened his mouth to respond, then shut it again. It was exactly the reaction Will was looking for. Oren made eye contact with Will, and Will understood that Oren knew the game. Will thought he even saw a hint of admiration in Oren’s eyes. It was a cheap, dirty trick. Will was planting concern in Greg for his brother’s life. Greg wasn’t experienced enough to catch the trick. Will was making Greg doubt both the source and his own brother. Greg now thought their source could be a set-up from the O’Meara family. Perhaps even this whole kidnapping was a set-up to make it seem like they wanted information, but Will let a tiny piece of information slide. Will could see the doubt and anxiousness in Greg’s eyes, though the poor kid tried to hide it. He had no chance. Will had set everything up beautifully in that one line. And Oren was smart enough to run with it.
So Will and Oren made eye contact nervously, which was picked up by Greg.
“Time to go,” Will said quickly, striding over to Greg and putting a bag over his head. Greg thought they had blown their cover, so it was time for them to return him. Greg made no indication that he thought it was a set up, so they had no choice but to return the kid. Greg smiled to himself. They were probably praying he hadn’t picked up on that little mistake Will had made.
Will shoved Greg into the back of the car and smiled too. It was beautiful.
But Will’s work was never done. He went back toward the bar where Greg had been originally abducted. Will had a room rented in a building across the street to give him visual access to who was in the bar. Will pulled his hood up as he walked toward the bar. He knew this was dangerous considering someone could easily recognize him. But Will had to make sure that their plan wouldn’t be completely spoiled. He had to be assured that most of the men in the headquarters closest to the bar hadn’t returned. Shea’s team could only handle so many men, and Will wasn’t ready to let his highly specialized team be slaughtered in an ambush. Once in the room, Will was pleased to see a large group of Dodson’s men were still lingering in the bar. His binoculars helped him to even identify some of them.
Will pulled his hood up again to leave. His work was still unfinished. He walked down the hallway consumed in his thoughts. A strange sensation filled the air in the hallway, and Will responded by looking up and around. He immediately identified three figures only about twenty feet away. They were Dodson’s men. He had terrible timing. The three men were on their way out of a room while Will was walking down the hall. Following pure instinct, Will sized up the men, and decided he couldn’t win against all three.
There was a period of about five seconds of complete stillness in the hallway. And then motion erupted. Will pivoted to turn around and haul ass away as the men made quick eye contact and threw themselves down the hall after Will. They caught him in the stairwell, and had to knock him unconscious in order to control his flailing limbs and flying fists.
Will was woken by water thrown in his face. Trevor Dodson was standing in front of Will, looking extremely pissed off.
Will knew what this was though. This was perfect for Trevor. This was Dodson getting everything he wanted. Will knew he was going to get a beating. But not for little Dodson’s kidnapping. This was Trevor’s way of getting the war he was so badly trying to instigate. Crafty bastard. And Will’s timing only helped Dodson. He had justification for the beating. Will knew exactly what was going to happen. Dodson would defend himself in front of other gangs in the city by claiming he thought Will still had possession of Greg. But Dodson knew better. And he knew how Kieran would respond. Will spat at Trevor as he got closer.
“Got something to say Will?” Trevor sneered.
“Yeah,” Will spat back. “F–k you.”
Will fought off his need to scream in pain for the first few minutes of the beating, but when Dodson twisted his injured wrist, Will broke down, and screamed in agony through gritted teeth. From there on, Will lost all control of his willpower and reacted as his body demanded. The gruesome sound of flesh and bone on flesh and bone made some guys in the room feel queasy. It became half noticeable to Will that he was in a fog-like state, everything being hazy and distant, considering the sickening sound of his body being pummeled seemed miles away.
Carol looked over at Shea.