Authors: Drew Sinclair
"They do. Looks like they're headed the same place as us.
"Shit. To the Heliport?"
"Looks like it. If that's really scopolamine Clay will walk them right in there, clear it with security and take them anywhere they want to go. We didn’t see any weapons on any of them so there won’t be any security issues."
Dale grabbed his phone and dialed the Heliport. "The hell there won't. They won’t get anywhere near a chopper." The phone picked up and Dale began barking into the receiver.
"It's Dale Hargrave. My brother is on his way to you right now. He's been kidnapped and drugged. Don’t do a word he says. He's with a woman who's also drugged and at least two men who are unarmed but in possession of life-threatening drugs. Don’t challenge them, but don’t let them take off either. We'll be there soon."
There was hesitation at the other end of the line.
"This could be a terrorist situation." Dale continued. "If you let them fly it will be your responsibility."
"Okay Mr. Hargrave. It's just that Mr. Hargrave Junior, your brother, he called before you to clear his group for take-off already."
"I told you he's been drugged, God damn it. Don't let him get into the air. Do you hear me?"
"Okay, roger that, we'll do our best to keep him on the ground until you get here."
"Damn right you will." He ended the call.
"Let me handle it once we get there." Ruben said. "My people are well trained. They'll take care of this."
"They better had Ruben. This is your screw up if those guys get away with my brother and Nadia."
Ruben didn’t reply. He knew the stakes and would accept responsibility if it came to that. But he was determined it never would.
They rode the next minutes in tense silence, the short journey seeming to take forever, but at last the heliport entrance came into view.
"I don’t see their van." Dale said.
"They're already inside. So are my people. They're being stalled, don’t worry. As soon as we have a direct view we can take them down."
Dale felt like pushing his friend and associate's head through the BMW window, but that wouldn't achieve anything.
"Give me the first aid box." He said to the driver. Dale looked at him incredulously, wasting time when every second counted.
"What the hell are you doing?"
Ruben took out a swatch of cotton wool and tore off chunks for each of them.
"Block your noses. They might have more scopolamine."
Dale nodded his head. He should get used to it; Ruben was the boss when it came to situations like this.
In seconds they were flashing ID at security and then they were through. Nadia and Clayton were with a group heading towards the Hargrave Robotics chopper. The bird was already fired up, the blades picking up speed.
"Let's go people." Ruben ordered his team. "Make it a clean one. Don’t get close enough to let anyone blow in your face or make physical contact."
The group were only a few feet from boarding. The BMW drew closer to them and Ruben rolled down his window, shouting over the noise of the chopper. He could see his people, eight in total, emerging from various points in the building. The fugitive group began sprinting for the chopper. The car was within yards of them but they wouldn't make it in time; Mitch's men piled Clayton and Nadia on board, climbed in themselves and slammed the doors shut just as Ruben and Dale reached them.
Nadia's smiling face looked at them passively through the glass. She would remember nothing of this afterwards.
Ruben looked at Dale, too sorry for words as the helicopter lifted away into the sky. He was rarely this wrong and never with Dale Hargrave. They had known each other since the seventh grade, had shared experiences both good and bad since even then, but nothing quite like this.
Dale was angry, but as much with himself as with Ruben and this was not the time for words.
And they were not beaten yet.
"Come on." He said. "That's a Hargrave Robotics chopper. We fly it remotely as long as we can get the pilot to play ball. I'll get my people to track it while you get us one of these other birds to fly in."
Ruben turned to go but his way was blocked.
"I'm sorry sir." The Heliport Security guard said to him firmly. " But I can't allow you to go anywhere until the authorities arrive."
Ruben looked at him archly. "I'm Ruben Mayweather." He said. "You work for me. Call the police and tell them not to come, there's been a mistake." The guard hesitated, an airspace security breach in lower Manhattan was a big deal, but so was Ruben Mayweather. "Look, here's my ID." Ruben showed held it up for him to get a clear view. "We have this situation under control. Not a word to anyone and I mean no-one. Do you understand?"
The head of security arrived to back up his guard and take control.
"Not a word Mr. Mayweather. Don’t worry." He said. "None of this ever happened. You have my personal guarantee."
When Nadia awoke she felt fully aroused and totally confused. She lay for a minute afraid to even begin to think about where she was. She was sure when she did that the fear would set in. The room was dark and her ear was filled with the sound of heavy male breathing. Something warm, massive and living was directly underneath her but she had no recollection of how she had gotten there.
Too late. The fear was already there.
"Oh God," she heard her own voice - slurred, inebriated. "Where the hell am I? Why is this happening again?" She shook her head and felt it. Unmistakable. It had happened again - this time it was a real blackout and it was every bit as bad as any she had had four years ago.
"Thank God you're awake." She heard Clayton's deep voice, full of concern, next her ear. An unbelievable wave of relief came over her but was soon followed by more confusion. She lifted her head and looked down. She was lying on top of him.
"I was afraid to move… afraid you wouldn't…." He had been terrified for several long minutes that she might be gone, overcome with the feeling that something terrible and nameless had occurred but that he could no recollect.
"What's going on Clayton? I don’t remember a thing. This is scaring me."
"I don’t either. The last I thing in my head is sitting on that bench with you and then I wake up here with you lying on top of me. They must have drugged us somehow, but I don't remember eating or drinking anything."
Nadia tried to move only to discover she was restrained and there wasn't much give in her bonds. They had been tied up, her on top of him. She continued to writhe and pull to see if her hands could slip free.
"Nadia, you've got to stop moving." Clayton's voice vibrated through her entire body. It was good to know he was there, even if they were trapped, kidnapped, even left there to die. At least they were together.
"We have to get out of here Clay. I need to get my hands free."
"We will get out of here. Of course we will. it's just that with you so close to me. I've been lying here for I don’t know how long with you strapped down on top of me…"
She stopped moving, momentarily confused but then she felt it. The swell of his trapped erection between her legs. They had strapped them together with a kind of perversity, her legs straddling his hips, trapping her above and him below.
"I'm sorry. I didn't realize. I'll try to move a little."
She began to slide up and down to free herself some and move away from his cock.
"That's not helping." He said with a kind of anguish.
"I know what you mean." She said huskily as the sensation of his hardened member sent a surge of excitement through her. "Whoever did this is kind of sick."
Clayton looked at her with his intense eyes.
"Sick yes, but in kind a good way." He said. Nadia felt another thrill go through her and then watched as his ridiculously handsome face cracked into a smile. She began shaking with laughter as well, pushing their bodies even closer.
"Oh Jesus, whatever you do, please don’t laugh." He said. "I'll have to shout for a change of trousers from our kidnappers if you do."
The two began laughing uncontrollably.
"Jesus Christ Clay." Nadia finally said when the shuddering had stopped. "Only you could turn me on and make me laugh at the same time while tied up in a bed waiting for …."
The seriousness of the situation overtook her again. She had no idea what the plan was, for either of them. Clayton looked at her again with his unreadable eyes and then lifted his head from the bed towards hers. She began shaking her head from side to side. The realization was hitting her hard. Boyevik had taken them. He was a sick and evil man, probably watching them even now and this could be the last time they got to share a moment together, alone or not.
She pressed her lips to his, shut her eyes tightly and kissed passionately.
Every moment could be their last.
Clayton laid his head back at last and she rested her head to his chest.
"When we get out of here baby," He said quietly, "I want to make sure I spend the rest of my life with you."
The words went straight to her heart and she buried herself in his neck, biting down into the flesh to hold back the tears. He strained his head to press his lips to her head, longing to put his hand to her hair but instead intertwining his fingers into hers and gripping both her hands in his powerful but helpless grasp.
"I love you more than anything else in this world Nadia Komerov." He whispered passionately into her ear.
Her body clung to his - desperately tenaciously - every heartbeat seeming to last an eternity but one that could be stolen from them at any second.
His cock pressed hard to her again and she shook her head.
"Really?" She said incredulously. "You really can't control that thing, can you?"
He shook his head dejectedly.
"Seemingly not with you around anyway."
The two of them descended into desperate laughter again.
"Look Nadia… I'm serious." He looked at her now without any trace of laughter. "No more of this defensive stuff. I can't help what you do to me, that's not my fault." She pressed herself tightly to him in response, making him even harder. "But I mean it when I say I want you to be with me every day of my life once we get out of here."
Her heart was ready to burst but her defenses just wouldn't go down, she needed to keep it light, dirty, silly, to protect her fragile emotions. But none of that would work with Clayton Hargrave.
"I love you Nadia. I've never been surer of anything else in my life."
She squeezed hard on his cock again and bit down on his neck.
"You can play with me all you want but it won't change the way I feel and it won’t change a word of what I'm saying to you. I love you and I want you to be with me forever and I know you want the same thing… " his granite like confidence faltered momentarily. "At least I think you do."
She squeezed him hard again.
"God, will you please stop doing that and admit to me, for once, that I am completely right?"
She kept her head buried in his neck.
"I made you lose control of yourself once before you know."
"I know, God, how could I forget and I want you to make me lose control again, just not now while we're hostages of a psychotic Russian Mafia boss."
"I don’t know." She said, her words muffled in his shirt. "If I can make you lose it here, I'm pretty sure I can make you lose it anywhere." She bit into his neck and he squirmed.
"Come on Nadia. Say it. Say what you've always wanted to say to me, since we first met. You felt it just like I did. Now let go once and for all and let me take care of you…"
Crazy as it was, as stupid as it was - this man tied down and helpless underneath her - still she felt that he was the one who could turn her life around, bring her back out into the light of day, transform her world of cold secrecy into love, light and warmth.
She clung to him, squeezed him, trembled and then lifted her head to look into his eyes.
A heavy boot kicked the door in before she could say another word.
Ruben holstered his weapon and with Dale, set to untying the bewildered couple with. They began filling them in on the sequence of events since their blackout.
"You were drugged using scopolamine - a narcotic from Colombia. It doesn't knock you out but it makes you lose your will power and forget everything that's happened to you."
Nadia's stomach tightened and her mind reeled with fear. What had they done together? What had they been forced to do? What had they been forced to say? The feeling of dread was unlike anything she had ever imagined. Four years of her life devoted to covering ever track, every footprint - digital or otherwise - and now she had been reduced to a helpless shell, her mind, her past, all of her secrets an open book to her worst enemies.
A pair of strong hands took her head gently and drew her gaze down. She was still lying on top of Clayton but they were free now. His gaze was unwavering. He didn't say a word but his look spoke volumes. They would be okay. This was nothing. Everything would be made good again.
"We have everything up until you told him where all the tracking and surveillance devices were on you and Nadia." Dale said.
Clayton looked up at him, shocked, still holding Nadia's head in his hands.
"I told them all of that?"
"Of course you did." Ruben reassured him. "It's the drug, you'll say or do anything you're asked to do."
He looked back at Nadia and a scant moment of absolute understanding passed between them - they were in this together and they would overcome it together. Without each other this could be too hard to bear.
He released her and they pushed themselves up from the bed.
"What happened after that?" Nadia asked. "How did you find us?"
Ruben tapped his nose knowingly.
"You didn't tell him about all the tracking devices because you didn't know about all of them. I put an extra one on each of you just to make sure and then another on the chopper before it took off. Those idiots never had a chance of getting away with you guys."
"And it was our chopper." Dale added. "We could have taken control of it at any time but we needed to find out where Boyevik was holed up."
"How long have we been here for?" She asked.
"Don’t worry. Not long. We caught up with you inside of an hour and when Boyevik contacted us with his demands we had our own list of demands for him in return."
A whole God damn hour.
A girl could spill a whole lot of her guts in the space of sixty minutes, but would she ever know what she had said?
"What were the demands?" Clayton asked.
Ruben winked in that arch way of his. He was back in control now.
"My people have been busy Clay. We found out a whole lot about Boyevik while he's been waiting for us to cave."
"Did you find out where he is?" Nadia asked. Something was missing. Her head still wasn't clear from the drug but something huge was missing.
"Your old boss is not a popular man Nadia and yes we did find him. He was here."
Nadia's heart lurched in her chest. She had been face to face with him but had no memory of it, not even a trace of a recollection.
"He didn't expect to be located so quickly." Ruben continued. "They never do. We threatened to sic the Feds and his current enemies in the crime world on him unless he vacated the premises without you. When he saw how many choppers we had closing in on him he backed down. There was no way in hell he would have gotten out of here in one piece, even without the government behind us, and even if he did he would have the Ukrainian Mafia salivating for him and his family not far behind. We left him a corridor of escape and he took it. He said he left you two drugged up and playing cards together. " He looked over to a table with two chairs and two hands of cards laying face down on the table.
"So how did we end up like we did? Tied to each other?" Nadia asked.
"You got me." Ruben said without a trace of a smile. "Maybe you got bored playing Pinochle after a while and decided to do something more fun together."
Nadia felt a hot blush begin to rise to her face. Clayton glanced over at her but she didn’t look back.
"That's impossible." She said. "How could we have tied ourselves together like that?"
"Clay always was a good boy scout." Dale said.
"Shut up Dale." Clayton said quickly. "It doesn’t matter how we got that way, the point is we're free now and we have to track down Boyevik and bring him to justice."
"I don't think so." Ruben shook his head. "A deal's a deal Clay. Besides, we have no idea where him and his boys have gone to."
Clayton stood up from the bed and came eye to eye with Ruben.
"Fortunately Mayweather, that's where you're wrong. I took the precaution of slipping a tracer onto that slimeball Mitch when were on the bench together in Battery Park. Just in case Mayweather Services didn't do its job correctly."
Dale grinned. "Always a good boy scout. What did I tell ya?"
Even Ruben had to smile, despite the aspersions cast on his professionalism.
"Okay." He said. "We let them run for a while before we inform the authorities and the feds catch up with them. An anonymous call about a disturbance somewhere, suspected armed mobsters, foreign accents. They'll be arrested on outstanding warrants, possession of firearms and probably resisting arrest. They go away for a long time but as they are criminals they won’t be talking about us. Everybody is happy, case closed."
It sounded good but a growing swell of panic was rising through Nadia as she scanned the room. She stood up abruptly from the bed.
"Where's Louise?" She said. "Where's my mom? She's still here, right? Tell me you didn’t let her go with them?"
"It's okay Nadia." Dale said. "She's here. Our medics are examining her right now."
"What happened to her? Where is she?" She asked frantically.
"She's on a chopper back to New York City. She's being taken care of. She was drugged as well but we don’t know how much or for how long, so we have to take precautions. You two need to be checked out thoroughly as well."
"You're right." Clayton said. "Nadia, you go back with Ruben's people. I'll go with Ruben and Dale. We need to catch up with Boyevik. We can’t let that vermin go free."
"It's too late Clay." Ruben said. "He's gone. If we catch up with him now it'll just start a war."
"If we don’t catch up with him then he's still free to do whatever he wants to us or to anybody else. Nadia will never be free of him. This story ends now - today."
"Even if he lands up in jail he'll still be able to get you. Trust me Clay, this is the best thing to do."
"He's right Clay," Dale said, "as much as I agree with you about putting this vermin away forever, we have to be smart and let this one go."
Clayton turned to Nadia.
"This is your call." He said. "It's your life this asshole is playing with. What do you want to do?"
She looked back into his deep dark eyes; so powerful, so caring and so incredibly fuckable when they wanted to be.
She took a deep breath and considered her options.
Let Boyevik go and justice would not be served. Worse still, she would never stop looking over her shoulder to see if he was coming after her again.
Try and catch up with him and there would be a fight. Probably the police would get involved and she would be on the NSA radar again. Anything could happen. If Boyevik went to jail he could still get them, and would justice really be served anyway? He would bide his time in jail, running his empire remotely and continuing to hurt even more people. With involvement from the authorities she would have to disappear again
"Don't worry about the government Nadia." Clayton said as though reading her mind. "Once Boyevik is locked up they'll have no leverage on you anymore. You can forget all this secrecy and lead a normal life again."
"They'll never let me go. And if they'll never let you go either. Not if they find out how messed up in all this you are."
"Nothing is impossible Nadia." He glanced at his brother. "We've done the impossible before. We'll take care of you."
Dale nodded in response. He hated to give up on anything every bit as much as his brother. If they couldn't stand up to injustice, with all of the resources they had, then who could?
"We have strong government connections." He said. "Hargrave Robotics and Mayweather Services." He glared at Ruben, daring him to disagree. "If you're working for us you'll be working for them anyway. You and your mother won't have to worry about a thing. Everybody wins."
Nadia covered her mouth with both hands and looked at all three men. Could it really be? With these men around her, these two fearless brothers and their friend Ruben - a master in playing criminals off against each other and protecting people from threats to their safety - surely they would prevail. After all, this wasn't just about her - Boyevik had threatened her mother's safety and the Hargrave family as well.
"Every minute we wait he's getting further away." Clayton said.
Nadia took one more deep breath and then met Clayton's gaze again.
"Let's get that bastard." She said.
The three men exchanged a glance that said it all but Clayton was the one to put it into words.
"Gentleman, it looks like we have a new member in this exclusive boys club." He said. "Except she's a hot as hell gorgeous girl. Now come on people, let's move it out."
An hour later Mikhail Boyevik didn’t know it but his past was rapidly catching up with him. He and his men were headed for an airstrip for light aircraft near to Trenton New Jersey, ready to fly north to the Canadian border. They had stopped along the way to fix a blowout to a rear tire on their vehicle.
The secondary road they were on was deserted - in the last forty minutes only one car had passed them going in the opposite direction and that was shortly before the blow out. Nevertheless, Mikhail still had his men stand guard while one of them did the work to replace the tire.
"What the fuck is this?" Mitch cursed under his breath. The single car that bad passed them was backtracking to them, probably to offer help on the deserted stretch of road. Mitch got ready to send the do-gooders on their way. The car got closer and he saw the two men inside, both in their thirties and dressed in almost identical bomber jackets with dark shades. He reached his hand into his pocket to find his gun and a small pack of scopolamine. The amnesia drug might do the trick, after all, nobody had been killed yet and it was fine that way by him - less of a trail for the Feds or for anyone else to follow.
The window of the black BMW rolled down and Mitch pinched the Devil's Breath dust between his fingers.
"Need any help there?" The driver said.
"No thanks, we can handle it." Mitch growled.
"Is that so? "
Mitch heard another vehicle approaching from behind him and hissed a curse under his breath.
"Why don't you let us take a look?" The driver persisted.
"It's just a blow out. We can handle it. Now fuck off."
Now there were chopper blades. Mitch wrapped his fingers around his gun and drew it out, the two other henchmen standing guard did likewise, as did the driver of the car and his passenger.
"It's over Mitch." He said. "Be smart and put the gun down now."
The noise whirring blades got louder, but Mitch didn’t dare look up. There had to be at least three of them coming in for landings. Soon the incapacitated van would be boxed in.
Mitch hammered his fist against the vehicle.
"Mr. Boyevik, boss, we got a situation out here." He shouted.
There was no answer.
Mitch squinted as four figures from the helicopter most directly in front of him began to approach. Every one of them was holding a weapon, everyone of them was in body armor.
"It's over Mitch." Ruben shouted at him. "Tell Boyevik to step out of the van. The FBI will be here soon."
Mitch's heart raced. This deal was supposed to make him a multi-millionaire, and he had watched the transfer of funds himself. The deal was done but then Boyevik had wanted to keep the damn girl as well.
"Fuck it." He shouted and raised his weapon, but he didn't have a chance. A hail of gunfire went off around him and over his head, one bullet just grazing him on the shoulder.
"Drop it Mitch. It's over." Clayton's powerful voice rang out. "And lose the Devil's Breath, the drugs, whatever else you have.
There was still no answer from the van. He looked around him and then at his two guys. It was a miracle they were all alive.
He dropped his weapon and his two guys followed suit.
Turn and spread 'em against the van." Ruben said. "That goes for all of you."
The men exchanged a defeated look and then turned to the van.
There was only left one person unaccounted for.
Ruben approached the back of the van and standing to one side delivered a powerful blow to the door. It was surrounded on all sides by his people.