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Introduction:

I posted this before all the problems with the site so I'm posting again--hopefully!
THURSDAY AFTERNOON

I had just returned to my office from a busy and hectic morning in court. My coat was thrown over a chair and my briefcase dumped on the desk when I turned to my bookcase in search of an obscure ruling. I felt a soft pair of arms circle my chest then one moved down my body until the soft long-fingered hand encircled my cock. “You’d better be careful, my wife might catch us.”

“Oh, Dan you are so exasperating. You’re supposed to say something romantic or sexy.”

I turned and faced my beautiful wife, leaning down for a kiss. “Hi, darling; how’s your morning--busy?”

“Busy doesn’t even begin to describe it. Dave has been cracking the whip all morning. We had to skip our break and work through lunch, too. Make sure you save some energy for me tonight. I’m going to need some of your special loving.” She gave me a quick peck on the lips and returned to work. I enjoyed watching her walk away. She had some fantastically long legs and a sweet firm ass I’d never tire of.

THURSDAY EVENING

“Oh, Danny boy, my pipes, my pipes are calling….”

I looked up from the newspaper to see a long shapely leg sticking out from the corner of the hallway. I laughed as I replied, “I think it’s ‘the pipes’ not ‘my pipes.’”
“Well, maybe, but it’s my pipes that are calling out for your pipe—the one that’s hanging down between your legs. Please, baby I need you.”

Feigning reluctance I sighed loudly rose and walked to her. I grabbed her leg, pulling her to me for a long searing kiss, her plump moist lips pressing against mine, her tongue insistent. “Now about those pipes,” I whispered as I picked her up and carried her to the bedroom. I placed her at the edge of the bed and knelt between her long slender legs. Kissing her soft silken thighs I moved closer and closer to her core, the font of her womanhood.

Jennifer was clean shaven, not that it mattered to me in the least. The one benefit I saw was that her labia seemed to protrude more markedly from her body. Tonight they were engorged with blood, a bright pink between her legs when I reached in to lick. Jen had a model’s body—long and thin, with good-sized breasts and a flat muscular abdomen. Her hips and ass were incredible. I’d never been inspired to lick anyone’s ass, but if I had to it would be hers I’d choose.
I started my initial attack on her love tunnel by licking gently, but Jen’s squirming told me she wanted it a whole lot harder. I rammed my tongue into her tight hole. She responded by wrapping her thighs around my head and squeezing, trapping me in position to give her exquisitely delicious pleasure, not that I had any intention of moving. My tongue fucked her, scooping out what seemed like gallons of her musky nectar. Jen squeezed my head even harder.

I had plans tonight and they included several mind-blowing orgasms for my beautiful wife; I shifted into high gear—sucking her swollen clit between my teeth and gnawing. Jen’s thighs opened as she lost control; her orgasm blew through her body like Sherman through Georgia. She shook like a leaf for almost thirty seconds before falling back to the bed exhausted.

“About those pipes…”

“Oh, God, Dan…incredible; are we done now?”

“Not a chance!”

“Oh, goodie….” I laughed at her. She was so transparent. She never wanted to cum just once. Three or four were more her style. My head leaned against her thigh as my tongue tickled her cunt, licking up the remaining droplets from her orgasm. I knew I should continue when her breathing began to become ragged and shallow. I fingered her hot canal and returned my mouth to her clit. I just tickled it with the very tip, running it over her with the lightest imaginable touch. I knew it would drive her crazy. She moaned and groaned non-stop for almost five minutes. She stopped breathing; her breaths came only in short quick pants now. It was merely seconds that she experienced an even stronger orgasm, one that caused spasm after spasm throughout her body. She was covered in sweat when she finally came down. I shed my clothes and joined her on the bed. I held her closely until she laughed and whispered, “Not too shabby for an old guy.”

Jennifer kidded me a lot about being older. I’m 45, she’s 27. No, she’s not a trophy wife; she’s my first and only. I never dated much in high school or after when I enlisted in the U.S. Army. My dad had expired when I was just a kid—a heart attack at work—leaving my mom with three kids and no job. I was a very good student, but there was no money for college so I joined the Army. I flourished there, qualifying for Special Forces before I was twenty. I stayed in for seven years, retiring at 24 as a First Sergeant. I used the GI Bill to attend college and then law school where I graduated in the top third of my class. My first job was with the District Attorney’s office in Suffolk County, Long Island where we now lived. I stayed there for five years, building a strong reputation. I was 36 when I took a position as a criminal defense lawyer at Pike, Stewart and Johnson where I’m now a partner.

I still remember the day we met. I was seated in the conference room with the rest of the firm’s attorneys when she entered—newly hired Jennifer Farley, paralegal. She sat almost opposite me at the huge table and we looked into each other’s eyes. Our gazes never left each other. It was as though we were the only people in the room. After the meeting she followed me to my office. “Dinner tonight,” I asked.

“Seven?” she replied. I nodded and she wrote her address and phone number on the back of my business card.

“I’m Dan.”

“I know.” She turned and walked out the door. We never did make it to dinner. I picked her up at seven. We had our first kiss at 7:02. It lasted until 7:12 when she suggested we return to my place. She moved in three weeks later and a month after that we were married. It was fate—kismet. We were terribly and totally in love with each other. We told each other every day and we showed it physically at least five times a week.

She kidded me often about being so much older than her, but I could keep up with her in almost everything, including fucking—especially fucking. We loved to fuck. Some of our friends told us we lived to fuck and they were right. Even after almost nine years of marriage we were inseparable.

Now as we lay together on the bed Jen turned to me and kissed me tenderly. “I love when you do that to me. I’m so lucky to have you…old man.”

“Go ahead…insult me; I can take it.”

“I have a better idea…take me. Let me see…oh, yeah, you’re as hard as a rock. C’mon, sweetie put it in me. In fact, lie back and let me take good care of you.” She pushed me onto my back and climbed over me to straddle my hips. She gripped my cock and lowered herself down my shaft. Jen rested her hands on my shoulders, her firm heavy breasts hanging just over my mouth as she rocked slowly with me. This was how we always did it—slow and easy at first as though getting to know each other—and frantic toward the end. Eight minutes later we were at it in earnest, mating like a pair of dogs, sweat dripping from Jen’s nipples onto my chest. I drove into her without mercy, lifting her body more than a foot into the air with every thrust until…eruption. I came so hard my cock actually hurt as I flooded her pussy in baby cream. Jen shuddered in mid-eruption before convulsing several times in the throes of her orgasm.
She spoke first, several minutes after we had collapsed into each other, “That was incredible, Dan; you’re incredible.”

“Funny, I had the same thought about you.” We kissed for several minutes before she pulled me up into the shower. We slept well that night.

FRIDAY EVENING

‘Hi, Jen…I’m home.” I walked in around seven, more than an hour after I expected her to be home, and hung up my topcoat in the hall closet. “Jen? Jen?” I looked in the living room and kitchen before checking out the bedrooms. She wasn’t there. That’s when I noticed the blinking light on the answering machine. I pressed the button and listened, “Dan, by the time you hear this you’ll understand that I have left you. Who could blame me after that pathetic attempt at sex last night…talk about lame, you couldn’t even get it up. Who could blame me? Don’t bother to look for me. I have left with my lover and I won’t be coming back.”

I played it back several times and one thing was clear—Jennifer had left, but not on her own. She’d been taken, kidnapped, but by whom and why? I checked her closets and her dresser drawers—they were empty. All her cosmetics were gone, too. There was no trace that she’d ever been living here. That was inconsistent, too. We had just discussed getting rid of almost half of her old outfits—things she still had from her parents that she mostly hated, donating them to charity. Even if she had left me she would never have taken all that junk. Frankly, I doubted she could even do it in the hour or so that she was home. She had kissed me good-bye when she left at five, reminding me that she had no intention of cooking on a Friday night—her way every week of telling me we were going out for dinner.

I wandered about the house and for some reason went out the front door. That’s when I saw the car down the street. I didn’t look directly at it, but I could easily see that it was about 250 feet away and a man was seated in it, looking my way. If he was watching me he’d made a huge mistake, parking with the sun behind him. I was able to see his profile clearly. I reached into my pockets as though looking for my keys and turned back into the house. There was one way to find out for sure. I closed the house and jumped into my car, backing down the drive and into the street.

I drove away from him at a moderate speed, not wanting to make things too difficult. Not surprisingly he followed me as I went out to get a pizza. I returned and parked again in the driveway, but opened the garage door as an afterthought. Ha! Jennifer’s car was there. I was dealing with a bunch of idiots. They might be idiots,, but they’d learn soon enough who they were dealing with. I took the pizza to my home office and turned on the computer. I logged onto Yahoo and sent an email, “Need help—J taken. The cabin. ASAP!!!” I sent the message and returned to the kitchen. I took bites of my pie between errands. The first was to my sock drawer for an elastic support sock, the kind people wear on airlines to prevent their legs and feet from swelling; it was long—over the calf style--and strong. A few bites later I went to the garage for my fishing tackle box. Back in the kitchen I dropped about three pounds of sinkers into the sock. I tied it off and swung it—perfect. Now all I had to do was wait.

Around ten I broke out my fatigues—the ones I had worn back when I was in the service. I was still the same weight—210 pounds—as I was then, compliments of having to keep up with my young wife and many hours in the gym. I covered my face and hands with camo face paint. This, too, was a hold-over from the service. I’d used it many times while hunting. My next step was to get my rifle, a few cartridges, and the silencer/flash suppressor. As an attorney I knew it was illegal to own and use one, but it was a remnant from my Special Forces days and I hadn’t used it in more than ten years. Besides, there were a few laws that I mostly ignored as being either stupid or unreasonable, or both. I screwed it onto the barrel, walked upstairs and out the window of one of the rear bedrooms, stepping onto the garage roof.

I would never have made it as a sniper, but this shot was less than 100 yards. I lay on the crest of the roof and aimed for the streetlight behind my keeper. A slow exhale, a slower squeeze and the light was extinguished. The man opened his door and looked then returned to his seat and lit a cigarette. Tsk, tsk—smoking would prove very dangerous to his health. His window was open to disperse the smoke. That would only make my work easier.

My neighborhood closes down by sunset. Once it’s dark there’s total quiet. I snuck out the back, lights off, except for the one in my bedroom. Down the back yards I crept. Fortunately, none of my neighbors had dogs outside at night and there were no major fences to scale. I circled around behind him and snuck out, my sneakers silent on the lawns and sidewalks and as I crossed the street. Soon I was about a hundred feet behind him and on the same side of the street. I hefted the weighted sock in my hand, wrapping the sock’s end around my hand. Slowly I crept up, keeping my silhouette low. I knew from experience that he’d have a harder time seeing me if I kept to the passenger side of the car. I stepped behind the trunk just as he leaned over to light another cigarette. He cupped his hand over the butt and lighter, leaning away from the door to keep it out of sight. That was my cue to step quickly and silently along the driver’s side. When he sat back up I swung the sock, the three pound weight colliding forcefully into his temple. He was out in a second.

I moved quickly, opening the door and wrapping his hands behind his back with duct tape, using more than enough to ensure he wouldn’t get free. A set of rolls went around his ankles and knees. Finally, I pushed a handkerchief into his mouth, taping it into place. A quick search of his clothes gave me his ID, his cell phone, and his 9 mm automatic. I recognized his name as belonging to a low-level career criminal from the local area. Once I had him safely in the trunk I walked back to the house and returned with my duffle bag. I dumped it into the back seat and drove away. I had already phoned the office and asked for time off—a week to settle some urgent family business out of town. As a partner I was sure it would be approved. I had an idea who had Jennifer; now I had to find out why and where. I’d have help by tomorrow. Someone was in for a big and extremely unpleasant surprise. I drove first to a deserted wooded area where I stopped, removing a syringe from my bag. I found a vein in his hand and plunged the needle in, injecting a strong sedative. He’d be out for at least eight hours.

SATURDAY MORNING

I drove all night, en route to the cabin. My grandfather had bequeathed it and the surrounding 500,000 acres to some wacko conservation group that would go bankrupt within five years rather than to his only child, my mother, leaving her to struggle her entire short life. I hated my grandfather for just that reason. However, he had taken me to his cabin several times when I was growing up. Later, while I was in Special Forces I had used it to help train my fellow non-com’s. It was way out in the country, more than thirty miles from the nearest civilization. I’d used it before and I planned to use it now. By the time I left I’d know a lot more about my beloved wife and her captors.

I knew from experience that the trip would take almost eight hours down the east coast into the mountains of western Virginia, the last ten over rough unpaved paths that would surely destroy the car I was driving. I didn’t care. There was no way this bum was ever going to drive it again. I’d dump it somewhere in the woods, wipe it clean and leave it to rust. It could be years before it was found. Some of these woods hadn’t seen a human being in more than a hundred years.
I carried Sleeping Beauty from the car, dropping him into a heavy wooden arm chair, hand-made by my grandfather years ago. Cutting the tape around his ankles I secured his feet to the rear legs of the chair using plastic cable ties, several for each leg. Knowing that his legs were unable to move, I cut the tape around his wrists and used ties to secure his elbows and wrists to each of the arms. I removed the tape from his face and pulled the hanky free. I lay on the old wooden furniture and fell asleep, knowing that my captive could yell his head off if he wanted to. There was nobody to hear him for miles and miles.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON

I slept until I heard a car door slam outside. A booming voice called out, “You in there, honky?’

“What the fuck you think, you big fuckin’ spade.” He laughed and I followed his example. I walked to the door and opened it. A coal-black mountain of a man stood just outside.

“You know, Sarge…you the only white man could get away with that.”

“Glad to hear it because we have company. C’mon in, Virgil.” We hugged like brothers, not having seen each other for the past two years, not since those assholes had gang raped his niece. Our guest was just coming out of his enforced sleep. Virgil cuffed him in the back of his head with one of the biggest hands I’d ever seen.

“Where’d you pick up this asshole?”

“He was supposed to be watching and tailing me. I’m sure he’s tied in with the idiots who took Jennifer.” I reviewed everything with Virgil, knowing that he’d realize that my captive was never leaving these mountains alive. Of course, there were many ways to die…many ways, some of them terribly painful.
Two hours later the third member of our little team arrived, driving a rented SUV. The four of us were assembled by three in the afternoon—me, Virgil, Chuck, and Paul. I told them all about the phone message from Jennifer, her empty closets, the whole thing. Once I was done they turned to my captive.

“Well, gentlemen…meet Louis Di Napoli, a really small-time hood from my area. Louis, this is the ‘Execution Squad.’ It’s a name we picked up in the Special Forces when we were in Afghanistan helping the Fedayeen fight the Soviets. We were all non-com’s then. I can’t begin to tell you how many Russkies we killed, but it was a hell of a lot. But, want to guess what we learned from the Afghan’s? We learned how to torture. Those people are really experts—put the CIA to shame. Now, Louis I want to explain…you’re not leaving these woods alive, but there are many ways to die. You can save yourself a world of agony by just telling me what I want to know—who are you working for and where’s my wife?”

“Fuck you. You’re a punk lawyer. You’re not going to torture me. You don’t have the guts.”

“That wasn’t too smart, Louis even though you’re probably right. I’m not going to torture you, but now I have to show you what can happen. Virgil, Chuck…left hand, pinky.” Virgil leaned his muscular 280 pounds on Louis’s hand while Chuck pulled a small sledge hammer from the corner. He swung it without warning, crushing Louis’s pinky to pulp in a second. Louis’s scream was other worldly. It got no reaction from any of us; we’d seen much worse during the war.

I held a bottle of water to Louis’ lips; he drank thirstily. “Louis, truthfully, I don’t want to hurt you, but you give me no choice. What just happened is minor compared to what we can do to you. So…who are you working for? Where’s my wife?

“I…I can’t.”

“Okay, Louis, if you insist; Virgil, Chuck…ring finger, left hand.” Again Virgil immobilized his hand and again Chuck targeted the appropriate finger and again Louis screamed at the top of his lungs. It went on and on for several minutes. When he stopped he was a broken man. “Two simple questions, Louis; answer them and all your problems come to an end.”

“Mc Kissock…Big Mike McKissock. I’m not sure, but I think she’ll be at his house. You’ll never get in. It’s a fortress…lots of guards…all armed.”

“Now, see Louis…that wasn’t so hard was it. Any idea why?”

“I’m not sure, but…I think it’s…something…something…to do with…representing him. Word …is…he’s…being charged with a bunch…of crimes. Please…I told you. Please…don’t hurt me…any…more.” I nodded to Virgil and Paul. They cut him out of the chair, walked him outside, and shot him—a single shot to the head. His body was dumped over a cliff about a half mile away. It fell into a swiftly moving stream, almost a small river, and was carried miles away in minutes. Several other bodies had been dumped there over the years and none had ever been found. I thought they would be caught up in some rocks and eaten by the animals or just decayed to nothing.

We met for a strategy meeting once they had returned and I shared what I knew about Big Mike McKissock. “There are mostly rumors that he’s involved in just about every crooked scheme in the county. If he’s not directly involved, he probably has knowledge of it. I’ve heard…drugs, prostitution, loan sharking, hijacking among other things, even contract murder. I’ve also heard he has a long list of politicians and judges in his pocket, and I understand that his house is a real fortress, just as Louis said.”

“Then I guess we’ll need some weapons,” Chuck replied. He walked to a rough hewn board in the center of the room. He pried a knot up and pulled on a small loop concealed underneath. The entire board lifted up allowing several others to be removed, as well. Concealed beneath was a small cellar maybe ten by twelve and eight feet deep. It was filled with arms and ammunition of all kinds. We had “borrowed” most of them years ago from an Army shipment that had never arrived at its destination base. Authorities feared that the underworld had taken them or some black market arms dealer had redirected them to a third world dictatorship. In fact, we had stolen them in a foolproof plan I had developed. We used them for reasons like getting Jennifer back or revenge of the rape of Virgil’s niece which was conducted by a local gang. We had wiped them out in a single night—forty three thugs, involved in some of the most disgusting activities I’d ever been exposed to. We were vigilantes, acting in special cases when the police seemed to be stymied. Crimes against any of our relatives were met with swift and total retribution.

“M-16’s?”

“No, I think AK-47’s, that way we can leave a few magazines behind and the cops will think it was a rival gang. There’s been a lot of talk about some Columbians moving in over recent months. Don’t forget the suppressors. Let’s take some smoke grenades and some frag’s, just in case. I think five hundred rounds will do and handguns for each of us. Let’s all glove up first; a long rifle, Paul?”

Of all of us Paul was probably the deadliest. The smallest of us four, Paul was a sniper in the war. He could pick your teeth at a thousand yards. He selected a M39 EMR, one of this nation’s most advanced and accurate rifles, and fifty rounds of 7.62 mm ammo. I knew he’d brought his scope. “I can make the suppressor easily enough and if I need more ammo than that I’m going blind.” I grabbed a couple of tasers, four com units, and a big pile of cash and closed up the cellar. We had confiscated more than eight million—drug money—when we wiped out the Chicago gang in addition to a load of their weapons, AK’s and some fancy nickel-plated 9 mm automatics. We loaded everything into Chuck’s rental and closed up the cabin. As a precautionary measure we cleaned the chair surfaces to remove Louis’s DNA and swept the grounds around the cabin with branches to remove any traces of our vehicles. I tied them to the back of Louis’s car and erased any tire tracks from the cabin’s entrance road. Once I was sure everything was clean I drove about ten miles back toward town before turning right onto an old logging road that probably hadn’t been used in more than fifty years. It was rough going with the Dodge bottoming out several times. I managed to get up the road about a mile before turning off into some brush, driving in almost a hundred yards. I wiped the car down with alcohol to remove my prints and any residual oil from my skin. I left the windows open which would encourage the raccoons and other animals to enter, chew up the upholstery and otherwise destroy the interior. Likewise, I opened the hood and trunk, leaving them open then breaking the bulb that illuminated the trunk’s interior. I walked slowly back to the road where Virgil was waiting for me. We drove for a few more hours in convoy before stopping for the night. We stayed at a small mom and pop motel entering at different times, staying in different rooms, using fake ID’s, disguises, and paying cash. My disguise featured a long scraggily gray wig, drooping gray mustache, a flannel shirt and some dirty overalls with some well-worn work boots. I had a southwestern twang to my voice as though I had just arrived from a ranch or farm. We met briefly in my room late at night after loosening several bulbs, making the exterior dark as pitch.

I described the area where I knew McKissock lived; it was an area of large widely-spaced homes. I recalled his from a party Jen and I had attended nearby. It had a high wall with an iron gate in front and a long winding driveway. I thought I recalled a high and thick hedge around the sides and back.

“We’ll need a base of operations, and, obviously, we can’t use my house. In fact, I plan on staying away. I expect it to be under surveillance, especially now that Louis has disappeared. I think we can find what we need in an old industrial park on the north side of town. It’s antiquated and there are a lot of empty buildings there. Paul, pick up some sleeping bags and camping gear at Wal-Mart. Get two for Virgil.” He grinned in approval. Chuck, you’re in charge of food. Need any electronics gear?”

“No, I brought everything we’ll need. Once I know where he lives I’ll set up a phone tap and look to get a few directional mikes aimed at the house. We should be able to hear at least half of what’s said in there. Maybe we’ll even get lucky and hear Jennifer. Oh yeah, here’re some cheap pre-paid cell phones. They’re virtually untraceable and we can dump them after the job. I suggest we smash them.”

I thanked Chuck for his forethought and distributed about a thousand dollars I had taken from our cache in the cabin cellar. The remainder of the money, approximately $500,000 would be sent to Louis’s widow and family along with his unloaded gun and wallet so they would know he was gone. I had seen a photo of an attractive woman and three young children in his wallet; it wasn’t her fault he was such a loser. The cash was all part of the gang’s drug money. Jennifer and I had taken almost a month to count and wrap it even using an electric counter like they have in banks. The drugs we found were burned, with the exception of some high grade heroin which I had brought along, thinking it might come in handy. “While you’re running your errands I’ll scout out the industrial park. Chuck, you can drop me at the “park and ride” and I can grab the bus to the airport. I’ll get a rental and scout out the IP. Questions?” I knew there would be none; these men were professionals.

SUNDAY MORNING

We rose early to continue our journey. As planned, Chuck drove me to the parking area near the airport where I caught the bus to the terminal. My outfit caught a lot of attention, a hick in an urbane suburban environment. I thought I played my role to the hilt. I had no problem renting a panel van even though I paid with cash. The company required a substantial deposit which I gladly gave them, effectively laundering several thousand dollars. I drove away in a lovely white Ford E-150. The back was big enough to hold all our equipment and money. I’d send it to Louis’s wife once our mission was completed.

I drove around for only a few minutes before spotting what I thought would be ideal. It was a building that was scheduled for demolition, but not for another couple of weeks. I had read about it in the newspaper. The demo crew would begin loading the explosives and wiring the building on the first of the month in expectation of demolishing it on the 30th. That would give us more than a week. The building was surrounded by a six foot high chain link fence, but the gate was broken. I drove in and around to the back, an area surrounded by an empty freight yard and woods on the opposite side. I found a garage door, the old kind that opened out rather than lifted. That was good, too. If we cut the lock we’d have no trouble getting in. After living in Afghanistan this old wreck would be like living in luxury.

I phoned Virgil, asking him to join me. I never sent Virgil to buy stuff. There was no way to disguise his huge frame and I’d never want anyone to be able to recognize or describe him. He found his way to me in about thirty minutes. He joined me in the van. Once again, we never used personal vehicles on a job. We had several hard and fast rules—leave no clues, no fingerprints or DNA (we’d wear gloves throughout), dispose of all clothes and shoes after, burning everything if possible, and, most important of all—no witnesses. We would kill every single living soul in McKissock’s compound. I only hoped he didn’t have any dogs. I liked dogs, even more than some people and I hated to kill any, even when it was necessary.

We drove through the town in silence until I chuckled. “What,” Virgil asked.

“I was just thinking about when Jen and I were married…the rehearsal dinner the night before.”

“Well, she certainly proved she loves you. She ever talk to her father again?”

“No, although her mother has visited several times.”

Everything was great with her parents despite the age difference until Virgil walked into the restaurant. I hugged him as we always do when we meet. I had saved his life three times and he had returned the favor once. Virgil was to be my best man, and he was—the best man I’d ever met, closer to me than any brother could be. I learned then what a bigot Jen’s father was. “What’s that nigger doing here?” I was appalled, but Jen’s reaction was worse. She was red-faced as she explained Virgil’s role. Virgil, who could have strangled the man with just one of his huge hands, stood by quietly watching. “Jennifer,” her father continued, “If he’s in the wedding, I’m out!”

“Too bad, Daddy we’ll miss you,” Jennifer had replied, her arms across her chest as her father stomped out. I apologized to Virgil, but he would hear nothing of it. “You didn’t do anything, Dan. You have nothing to apologize for.” We had Chuck and Paul walk Jennifer up the aisle while Virgil and I waited by the altar with the minister. When we had the wedding pictures taken Jen made a point of kissing Virgil’s cheek in one—the one she sent her parents. She hadn’t spoken to her father since, not even when he was hospitalized for a heart attack.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON

We drove past McKissock’s home. It was much as I had recalled. There were two guards at the gate, one outside and one inside. The sides and back, roughly an acre by my estimations, were enclosed by a high hedge. There were similarly large homes on either side, but one across the street forty-five degrees from McKissock’s was for sale and appeared vacant. I’d send Paul to investigate in his disguise as a Mormon missionary. As a Mormon it was a role he was most comfortable with. Virgil phoned him; he was on the block minutes later, canvassing, preaching, and gathering intel. An hour later he had what we needed. The chatty woman next door had told Paul everything. Her neighbor had been transferred and the company was trying to sell it, but for much too much money. “It will never sell at that price,” she told Paul.

“Oh, I hope they have an alarm system,“ Paul responded. “It would be so easy for some vandals to destroy the house.”

“Oh, no,” she replied, “Those people were too trusting. They’d never believe that they could be robbed.”

“Terrible!” Paul agreed and took his leave, joining us minutes later. Now we had two jobs—Chuck and Paul would steal a truck from the phone company lot. We’d need one tomorrow morning to tap the phone, something best done in daylight and out in the open where nobody would believe anything illegal was underway, and Virgil and I would have to find our way into the rear of the house. Despite his huge hands Virgil was a practicing and successful locksmith. It would be child’s play for him to pick the lock. Had there been an alarm, Chuck would have done it. He was self-employed as an electronics consultant. He knew more about telephones and surveillance than anyone I’d ever known.

Stealing a truck from the phone company lot was a joke. Chuck and Paul cut the top rail of the chain link fence in two places about thirty feet apart. Then they cut each of the vertical pipes about six inches from the ground. The fence could now lie flat on the ground. Chuck was able to bypass the starter and back the truck right out into a lot that led to a nearby street. The pipes usually used for these fences were an inch and a quarter in diameter. A number of inch and a half diameter sleeves were used to cover the cuts in the vertical and horizontal pipes. It would take a close look to tell that the security had been breached. By then the operation would be over. Maybe we’d even return the truck, but more than likely we’d just drop it in some public parking lot.

SUNDAY NIGHT

We returned to the factory building and unrolled four towels where we field stripped the weapons, cleaned and oiled the parts and reassembled them. The problem with using gang weapons was that they were almost certainly filthy and in poor repair. The last thing we’d need was a misfire or jam when we needed the weapon most. With the suppressors in place we took several practice shots until we were satisfied that everything was perfect. Most important was Paul’s ability to sight in his sniper rifle. We’d be shooting at close range, but he’d have to shoot at several hundred feet, normally a breeze for someone of his ability, but only with an accurate rifle. By midnight we were all set.

I turned on my cell phone for the first time now. Not surprisingly, there was an unanswered call from Jennifer’s phone. Chuck had some gizmo that could identify the cell tower closest to it. I was hoping I’d be able to get Jen on the phone. I pressed the redial and waited while it rang.

“Ah, counselor I was beginning to think you didn’t love your wife.”

Playing dumb I replied, “Who is this? Where’s my wife?”

“She’s safe, don’t you worry. I’m taking the very best care of her and I will be until I’ve gotten what I want from you.”

“How do I know you’re telling the truth? If she’s there with you put her on the phone. I want to speak with her.”

“That’s the spirit. Joe, bring Mrs. Allenby down.” There was silence for over a minute until I heard Jennifer.

“Dan? Are you there?”

“Are you okay, Jen? Your cousin Virgil called. I was able to put him off for a few days, but what will I tell him? He wanted to bring his kids Chuck and Paul for a visit.”

“Well, I guess you’ll have to tell him another time. I have to go now. Don’t worry…I’m safe and they’re taking good care of me.” She returned the phone to the man.

“Okay, you have my wife. What do you want from me?”

“Simple, counselor…I need representation in Federal court. I’m about to be indicted and I always get the best. This time that’s you.”

“Why steal my wife? Why not just phone me like other clients do?”

“Because I’m pretty sure you’d say no, that’s why. I’ll be in touch as soon as you’re needed then you’ll find out who I am. Don’t worry, I’ll even pay you. Bye!”
I turned to Chuck. He smiled, giving me a high sign. “Right behind McKissock’s house. Why don’t we go tonight? Give him what he’s asking for. How much planning do we need for a jerk like this guy?”

“Believe me—I want Jennifer back, but I think we need more info. If we can get it tonight, fine…we’ll go. Otherwise, it’ll be tomorrow.” Everyone agreed. We loaded everything into the van and I drove to McKissock’s neighborhood. I parked in a dark street a few blocks away while Chuck and Virgil walked to the vacant house. Using Virgil was chancy—a big black man in this neighborhood could be a problem--but at this hour it was worth the risk. Going to the back door, they were inside in seconds. They phoned and I drove slowly around the block. It was late…almost 2:00 a.m. when I pulled quietly into the open garage. Virgil closed the door behind me. Paul carried his rifle and night scope upstairs; Virgil and I carried the sleeping bags we’d use as a pad for the roof while Chuck carried the ladder.

We were able to open a window facing the garage roof. The ladder was snaked out and up to the highest point of the roof above. The sleeping bags followed and were set over the roof’s crest. Paul followed with his rifle and set up the M39, the bipod under the barrel just over the crest. He could see and take the guard outside the gate, but not the one inside. He could also see one man on each of the two sides of the house facing us; we had to assume there were guards of each of the others. Using the high-powered scope he was able to see that there were no security cameras, and even better, no dogs. That made our job considerably easier.

First, we’d need a plan to dispose of the inside gate guard. We talked it over and Chuck won out. I couldn’t do it; they might recognize me. Virgil was definitely out. Paul was obviously needed on the roof.

Chuck found a half empty bottle of gin in the kitchen. He rinsed his mouth and spit the remaining gin as he walked out onto the street, sneaking down a block from McKissock’s house. He crossed the street and returned, weaving like a drunk. He greeted the outside guard loudly, offering him a drink from his bottle. He staggered into the gate, dropping the bottle inside and yelling in an attempt to get it back. The guard left his booth and when he did Chuck plugged him twice in the chest. Paul fired at the exact same instant, killing the outside guard with a neat head shot. Virgil and I hustled across the street. A quick boost and I was over the gate. Paul had removed the two house guards he could see plus the one from the rear of the house when he poked his head around the corner.

I opened the gate from the guard’s booth and we stuffed both bodies inside. We advanced on the house cautiously, keeping to the shadows. We pulled the three dead guards away from the house into the darkness by the hedges. I could barely hear Virgil’s AK burp as the one remaining guard was taken out. I called the guys together using the com unit. “There was a schedule in the shack calling for a guard change at three. That’s only fifteen minutes from now. If we cover the doors I think we’ll have a huge advantage. Virgil and Chuck agreed. They took the back door; Paul and I would cover the front. The M39 is a semi-automatic, meaning that Paul could fire as soon as he could acquire a target, and, believe me, Paul is an ace at that. Using the com’s we agreed to let them come to us and open fire once they were about twenty feet from the door.

I lay on the ground in the darkness behind a tree for cover when the door opened around 2:55. Four came out the front; I set my AK for full automatic. Paul would take the one on the right; I’d start on the left and we’d move toward the center. We went on my count…one…two…three. All hell broke out. All four in the front and the two in the back were killed in seconds. There was barely a sound other than their bodies falling to the ground. We pulled the bodies into the shadows—better safe than sorry—then met at the front porch and walked stealthily in the front door, Chuck hanging back to cover Virgil and me.

Using strategies we had honed to perfection in the Army, we cleared the first floor finding and dispatching two additional guards as they watched a late movie. I doubted there would be many more, but we were nonetheless vigilant as we moved from room to room. Finally, we came to the stairs. Going up a flight of stairs is always a challenge. Again, Chuck moved back to improve his firing angle while Virgil and I climbed one cautious step at a time. The long curved staircase took us almost three minutes to climb. I waved to Chuck and he hustled to join us.

I could see five closed doors, one of which I hoped would hold my beloved wife. Another, I was sure would hold a sleeping Big Mike. I turned off the lights and we donned our night vision goggles for the first time. The first door we tried was a bathroom. “Clear,” I whispered into the com unit. The second was an empty bedroom. We left these doors open. I crept into the third, recognizing immediately the curves of my sleeping wife. I put my hand over her mouth as I woke her. “Hi, darling,” I whispered.

“Oh, Dan…thank God you’re here…and safe. What happened to the guards?”

“All dead…no other choice. Stay here and be quiet. Get dressed. We still have to find your host and deal with him.” I kissed her, transferring some of my camo paint to her cheek. I gave Virgil and Chuck a big smile as we moved to the next door. I was pretty sure this was the master bedroom from the double doors. I pushed it open carefully, keeping behind the wall, just in case. Dropping to the floor I crawled in, Virgil right behind me. There’s nothing quite like a 6-foot, 4-inch, 280 pound man crawling, but Virgil was even quieter and stealthier than I was. We met no resistance—nothing but a gentle snoring coming from the bed. We checked the attached bathroom and the closets before backing out to explore the remaining room. As we did I thought I saw a shadow entering Jennifer’s room. I dispatched Chuck to look into it and returned to Big Mike with Virgil. I waited until he opened his mouth. I filled it with the barrel of my AK. He awoke with a start.

“Well, what do we have here? It looks like a big mouth bass. What do you think, Virgil?”

“Look like a big ass to me.” He laughed as he shrugged his backpack to the floor. Seconds later he had Big Mike’s ankles secured together in zip ties. Mike was flipped over easily in spite of his more than 300 pounds. “You can yell if you want,” Virgil continued, “All your asshole buddies are dead—every last one of ‘em. You made a huge mistake taking Jennifer. We all love her just like we love Dan.” Virgil secured Mike’s wrists together and pulled them tight to his ankles, effectively hog tying the fat man. I rammed a soft leather ball gag into his mouth just as Chuck com’d us about a minor problem in Jen’s room. I left Virgil with the fat man as I sprinted down the hall.

What I saw was nothing I could have expected. Jen was dressed and seated on her bed her arm protectively around an attractive light-skinned black woman I guessed was about her age, maybe a bit younger. Chuck sat idly in a chair to the side of the room, a big grin on his face. “What,” I asked him.

“I think you’d better ask Jennifer. She won’t let anything happen to her friend.”

“Dan, you have to let Nakeisha come with us. She’s a prisoner here just like me, except she’s been here a lot longer and Mike lets the men have their way with her. She’s a slave in every sense of the word. She’s also been extremely kind to me. I won’t let you kill her. She won’t say anything. She hates Big Mike even more than we do.”

I looked at her. “That true?”

“Yes, sir. His men kidnapped me almost ten years ago when I was walking home from high school—a basketball game. It was dark when this van drove by. When I saw it again it slowed and two big arms reached out and grabbed me. I was pulled in and gagged as it drove away. I haven’t heard from my family since. They used me to cook and clean, and,” hanging her head, “that’s not all.”

“You don’t have to say any more. If Jen says you’re okay, that’s good enough for me. Now, both of you stay here while I deal with Mike. Chuck will stay here in case you need any protection. I’ll be back with Virgil soon.” I turned and seconds later I was back with Virgil. He gave me an inquiring look, but I shook my head.

“Later, after Mike’s had his medicine.” I removed my pack taking out the heroin, a tin of Sterno, and a large metal measuring spoon. I lit the Sterno, placed the spoon over the top and poured some of the heroin in to melt. “You’ll enjoy this, Mike. It’s almost 100 percent pure shit and I’m giving you a really big dose. Even if it doesn’t kill you your brain will be fried like an egg. A perfect ending, I think, for a shithead like you.” I sucked a huge amount of the melted heroin into the oversized syringe, not caring in the least that there were several good-sized air bubbles which, by themselves, could prove fatal. Virgil held his arm still while I found the vein in his elbow, jabbed the needle in and pressed the plunger. Virgil and I cut the ties, allowing Big Mike to fall free onto the bed. He took his last breath a few minutes later. We would have enjoyed watching the event had Paul not com’d us, “Incoming…an SUV, I think…can’t tell how many inside, but they know about the guards. They’ll be there in a few seconds.”

We ran to Jennifer’s room, getting there just as Chuck was leading them out. Virgil took one look at Nakeisha and stopped in his tracks. “Nakeisha, stay with Virgil. Do exactly what he tells you and you’ll be safe. Chuck, take that corner; Virgil, the other; Jen, behind me lying on the floor. Goggles off; I’m pretty sure they’ll turn on the lights. When they do hit them with everything we have. Let’s change magazines.” I swapped my mostly used one for another, laying that and my other new one by my side if needed.

“Looks like there are only two...they’re looking around outside. I can take them both. Hold on.” Ten seconds later, “Okay, safe to exit now.”

We stood and I turned to hug my wife. “Where are your things? I don’t want to leave anything behind.” We returned to her room for a few clothes and her cosmetics. We threw everything into some plastic bags we’d brought along.

“The rest of my stuff is in some SUV, I think.”

“Yes, Jennifer,” Nakeisha replied, “It’s behind the house, but I don’t know where the keys are.” We all laughed. Nakeisha showed us the way. Chuck had it started in no time and drove it out the driveway. We left a few surprises throughout the house, dropped all the 9 mm’s and AK’s in a pile and walked out—Jen and I, Virgil and Nakeisha. Paul picked us up in the van less than a minute later.

“How’d you get everything down?”

“Gravity for the sleeping bags and ladder, the stairs for the rifle and me. It’s all in the back. Sorry I can’t offer you anything better.” I climbed in, pulling Jennifer onto my lap. Virgil copied me with Nakeisha. We drove off to the factory. We were almost a mile away when we heard a series of explosions. The incendiaries Virgil and I had scattered throughout the house had exploded spreading white hot phosphorous over the carpets, drapes, and furniture. The fire would eradicate any traces of Jen’s DNA and destroy the weapons we’d left behind, the intense heat bending and fusing the metals into a series of barely recognizable blobs punctuated only by the exploding cartridges. A suitable ending to a successful venture, I thought. We still had the matter of surveillance on my house to deal with, however, that could wait.

MONDAY MORNING

We drove to the decrepit factory where we unloaded Big Mike’s SUV, moving Jennifer’s clothing to Chuck’s and Paul’s vehicles. Virgil drove the SUV to an unsavory section of town with Chuck following in my rental van. He left it there with the doors open and the keys in the ignition. Several young guys were in it before he and Chuck were even three blocks away. They returned to our hideout less than an hour later. We removed all the camping equipment and ladder from my rental van and drove it toward my house. It was now 4:30 in the morning. I couldn’t believe how fast this operation was proceeding. Chuck drove with Paul and me in the rear, Paul with his rifle. Sure enough, there was a car with two keepers in almost the exact same spot where I had found Louis. Wouldn’t these guys ever learn?

Chuck drove past the car, pulling to the curb about a hundred yards ahead in a dark area of the street. Acting as though he had to unload the van, Chuck walked around and opened the back doors. It was dark within the van so seeing Paul aiming his rifle was virtually impossible. It took him less than a minute to identify his first target as he lay on the van’s floor and only seconds later to dispatch both. Chuck closed the doors and drove away.

Once back at the factory we cleaned out the back of the van, washing the interior with a bleach solution first then rinsing with clear bottled water bought earlier with the camping equipment. I donned my disguise, much to the amusement of my wife and her new friend Nakeisha. I drove the van back to the airport and returned it, claiming my hefty deposit. I joined Virgil, Nakeisha, and Jennifer in his car. It was now 6:00 a.m. We drove to our house where we joined Paul and Chuck. They had already emptied their cars of Jennifer’s stuff, placing the clothes in her closet and dresser and her cosmetics in the bathroom. Jen and Nakeisha went to work immediately to straighten everything out to Jen’s satisfaction. That took another hour. It was now 7:30.

Everyone took a shower to remove any camo paint and gunshot residue from our faces, necks, and arms. The gloves we had worn had protected our hands. The clothes we had used were placed into several garbage bags and Paul drove them to a dumpster out in the industrial area about a half hour away. He arrived just ahead of the pick-up. Any evidence would either be burned or claimed by some of the workers and spread out where it could never be used against us. He returned to the hideout for the camping equipment, abandoning the ladder. It was just after 8:30 when he returned, walking in carrying several boxes of Dunkin Donuts and six containers of coffee. We could hear sirens in the distance. Apparently, the bodies down the block had been discovered. We reviewed our story, deciding that a partial truth would be best. I was sure we’d be canvassed and we were. I knew the police officer who came to interview us.

I answered the door. “Oh, hello Officer Hampton, what can I do for you? What’s with all the excitement down the street?”

“Good Morning, Mr. Allenby. I need to ask you if you heard any shooting last night. Several men were killed less than a block away.”

“That’s terrible…come on in. I introduced him to Jen and our friends. “We just got home about an hour or so ago. We were out in my grandfather’s cabin. I guess it’s not actually his any longer, but we like to go there anyway.” I explained how we used it during our days in the Army and how we had enjoyed it over recent years despite the lack of electricity, running water, and toilets.

“Can you tell me where it is?”

“Probably not, but I can give you directions. Hold on a few minutes.” I pulled a sheet of paper from the printer in my office and returned to the dining room where I took about ten minutes to write them down.

Officer Hampton took a look at the paper then looked up confused and asked, “How far away is this?”

“It usually takes me about eight hours to get there; the cabin is out in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western Virginia.” His radio went crazy just before I had finished. “Sorry to have bothered you, but I have to run. There’s been a mass murder over in the hills; looks like a gang job and then they set the house on fire…incredible. Everything’s crazy this morning.” I saw him to the door, watching him run to his patrol car. I returned to my guests. We all breathed easier.

We sat, drank the coffee and ate the doughnuts. We were mostly silent until I spoke to Nakeisha, “You probably think we’re a bunch of savages with all the killing.”

Nakeisha’s smile flashed as she replied, “Actually, Dan I don’t. Jennifer told me Friday evening that Big Mike would be sorry he ever took her. I thought she was crazy when she said that, but she explained everything, including leaving no witnesses. I was really scared then until she promised nothing would happen to me. I understand why you did what you did. You had to kill all those men to protect Jennifer and yourselves…and me. I need to thank you all.” She turned into Virgil’s shoulder and broke down. She cried and cried while Virgil tried to comfort her.

I rose and stretched. “I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m beat. I’m going to bed.”

“I’m glad you didn’t say you were going to sleep, Dan. I need to thank you, too.” Everyone laughed as my face turned a bright shade of red. I don’t know why, but Jen’s actions still surprised me even after all these years as her husband. I kissed her cheek, took her hand, and led her up the stairs.

“Feel free to use any and all of the bedrooms, the living room, or the den. There’s even a couch in my office. I think there are some blankets and pillows in the hall closets. “Good night; or should I say, good morning?” Jen turned and pulled me up the stairs. We disappeared into our bedroom and closed the door.
Jen stripped almost immediately before turning to me and helping me out of my clothes. “Poor Dan, you must be exhausted, darling. All of you are just amazing. I’m glad Nakeisha is getting along with Virgil. They both deserve something good in their lives.” Jen was referring to the tragedies Virgil had experienced. He had been happily married at one time, at least he thought so. His wife took up with a trucker while he was serving his country and risking his life in Afghanistan. When he returned home some strange woman was in his home taking care of his two children. His wife hadn’t even left a simple note of explanation. He didn’t know what to do so he did nothing. He moved into the guest bedroom while he became reacquainted with his two children. After reestablishing his business he thought things were coming along well. He was earning a good living and his kids had learned once again to love his gentle nature. Then it all fell apart. He was in his store when the police came. The kids were dead. His wife had returned and, in an act that defied rationality, had killed them rather than allow them to live with him before taking her own life. He broke down and had contemplated suicide until Jen and I had taken him under our wings. I had no family—my father and mother long gone, my sisters gone to California where I rarely, if ever, saw them. Virgil was more a part of my family than anyone except Jennifer. I loved the man the way I’d love my own brother. In a sense he was even closer than that. I had saved his life three times in Afghanistan and he’d saved mine in return. That had created a bond like no other. I was close to Chuck and Paul, but Virgil--he was family.

I asked Jen about Nakeisha. “Well, like she said, she’s been stuck in that house of Big Mike’s for the past ten years. She was seventeen when she was abducted so that makes her twenty-seven now. You know that I never take notice of other women, but I noticed right away that she has the most beautiful skin. Being stuck in the same room for so many hours I did see her naked several times. She has an incredible body, too. I couldn’t believe her breasts; they’re big—D-cups—but so high and firm.”

“Maybe,” I replied as I lay back on the bed, “but I’ll bet your ass is better than hers.”

Jen laughed, “No bet; I know how much you love my ass. Now…do I get to thank you or are you going to fall asleep on me?” I never had the chance to reply. I was already half asleep. I could feel Jen kiss me as she pulled the blanket over my body. She snuggled against me and I was gone.
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