Survival by Scott HudsonSurvival by Scott Hudson


byScott Hudson

Paperback | June 30, 2012

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Five childhood friends, former soldiers, are working for the Italian mafia in New York. One of them, Will, is being blackmailed. His wife and 4-year-old daughter were kidnapped, forcing him to execute his boss to set his family free. Discovering the dirty reason of the kidnapping, the game becomes irreversible. Somebody has to pay. Everybody is trying to escape from the trap.
Title:SurvivalFormat:PaperbackDimensions:278 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.58 inPublished:June 30, IncLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1621417204

ISBN - 13:9781621417200

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9. The BlackmailingIn fact, this is a blackmail of the terrorists at the expenseof the suffering of the hostages.Alberto FujimoriWill arrived home. Before getting out of the car he looked atthe house for a moment, thinking that Kelly wouldn’t be happyhearing that he’d not quit until Friday. He got out of the car,walked to the door, and opened it. The house seemed quiet. Hewondered for a second and then, smiling, mumbled to himselfthe obvious solution.“They must be shopping...women!”He walked down to the basement, into his office, which wasclosed at all times because of Carrie. He opened his gun boxand took out two pistols. He broke them down and cleaned themwell for Friday. Then he routinely put them back together. Helocked his office door again and walked back up to the kitchen.There, he started cooking for Kelly and Carrie thinking theywould arrive tired from shopping. His phone rang. The ringtoneof a female voice called out a warning, “Attention! Unknownnumber! Attention! Unknown number! Attention!”His phone’s ringtone let him know that he did not know thenumber that was calling. Will had assigned different ringtonesto everyone he knew, based on the kind of relation he had withthe person, or upon their character. Will didn’t like the ringtone.This ringtone was never supposed to be heard. He carefullychecked the screen, which read, “Harry Rodriguez 1-246-291-8982.” Will had never heard the name. His phone number wasprivate, but somehow somebody had got it. Will waited for afew seconds. He had no voicemail on purpose. Will had anScott Hudson64agreement with Kelly. If Kelly called him from an unknownnumber, she’d hang up after the sixteenth second of ringing, soWill would know he had to call that number back. The sixteenthsecond passed and the phone kept ringing. It must be atelemarketer scam, he thought. Then, he decided to answer.“Hello? I’m not buying anything!”Martin covered the phone’s microphone with a napkin andspoke in a well-practiced Russian accent.“Missterr Hant?”Will had a strange feeling, and didn’t like it. He could hearthat a man with a Russian accent was calling him, but he knowthat no Russians knew his number! He also realized that thename did not match the Russian accent. He wondered how itcould be possible that the Russian guy knew his name? Willtried to trace back where he may have made any mistake withthe phone, breaking the calling rules. Maybe he’d calledsomeone for more than twenty seconds. That much time wouldbe enough to locate him and figure the number was his. Heended up realizing that he’d never broken his self-imposedrules. Neil often checked the guys’ phones, including his, forwire tapping a couple of times every week, randomly. Neil hadnever found wire tapping or a bug. Will wanted to know howthe caller had found his number.“Yes! And you’re...?”Martin continued in the Russian accent and didn’t noticeWill’s suspicion. This was their first time to hear each other.“Ez a rezalt ov lest nait’z shuting, wi want retribushion! Wihev yor femili kepchurd...”The neutral expression on Will’s face changed to one of amad killer. The hand holding the frying pan started shaking.Will never thought this could happen to him. As an experiencedmafia member, he professionally handled all situations, even ifhe wanted to kill the caller.“Prove it!” he said, his voice shaking.Martin tried to keep the Russian accent as authentic aspossible while projecting the mannerisms of a mafia leader.“Du nat bi apset, Mr. Hant! Yu’re nat de onli taf guyy in dissiti! It’z taim tu pey for yor diidz! Yu went pruf? Yu’ll ged it,jast lissten!”Martin played Kelly’s voice.“Don’t bullshit me! What do you want from us? Can youguarantee our safety?”Will started talking to Kelly. This was her first time being indanger and Will wanted her to stay calm for her own safety.“Kelly, Kelly! Stay...!”Will realized it was a recording, so he couldn’t give adviceor promise things. The kidnappers had edited it, it was aplayback. They had time to edit! They may have kidnappedthem, when he was at Moretti’s. They had to be waiting outside,waiting for him to leave. It was a planned action...well planned.Will wanted to have one feature in his phone badly—to be ableto shoot the caller through the phone.Martin kept on talking, Will’s silence made him feel he waswinning.“Wi want yu tu du as a litle fevor...”Will knew that money usually solves many things. He knewhe had some and could still borrow from Moretti, even if he hadto delay his quitting repaying the money.“I can give you money! How much do you want?”Martin smiled at Will’s offer. It told him that Hunt wantedhis family badly.“It iz nat abot mani! Lissen karfuli! Yu hev tu kil Morreti inde neksht srii deyz. Yu hev yor frendz tu help yu! If wi don’theer bifor Fraidey nait abot Morreti’z deasth, yur famili’z gonabi ded!”Martin hung the phone up, leaving Will with manyquestions.Will lifted the frying pan and hit the stove so hard that thepan’s handle broke off. Only the handle stayed in his shakinghand, the pan and food fell onto the floor. Then he tried to quellhis anger. Anger, he knew from long experience, was never agood advisor. Will looked forward with an empty stare. Heknew he had to reboot his mind to shake off the shock of it all.His self-control began to kick in. His hand slowly stoppedshaking. He realized from what Kelly had said that it was notthreatening for her...yet. But he wondered what he could donow.Tom looked at Martin, curious.“So...? Is he in?”Martin had a winner’s grin on his face. It should have beenobvious to Tom.“Of course, he has no choice!”“Did he say yes?”“He didn’t. But he has no choice!”“Three days then.”“That’s right! Three days! Hunt is going to hunt for us.”16. The RenegotiationIf you come to a negotiation table saying you’ve thefinal truth, that you know nothing but the truth andthat’s final, you will get nothing.Harri HolkeriWill had had enough of the fights and screaming. He wantedhis own case closed and sealed forever. Will was sure that Kellywould behave alright as a hostage but then he thought of Carrie,that kidnap is not for kids, that a person who kidnaps a child is abeast. Will looked at his hands. They were shaking again.“Hey! I’ll make a phone call that explains your situation!”he said.Will dialed Harry Rodriguez’s phone and put on theloudspeaker. Between each ring the gap felt like a whole day.Just before it would’ve ended up being redirected to the voicemail, Martin answered the phone. Martin had been left alone inthe cottage. Tom had gone out for junk food, to feed the Huntson the taxpayers’ bill. Martin covered the microphone andspoke with a Russian accent. His voice was filled with awinner’s confidence.“Da... yes, Mr. Hant? Wy are yu kaling? Du yu hev gud nusfor mi? ”The voice silenced the cellar completely. The Clark ladieslooked at each other with a questioning surprise on their faces,not wanting to believe what they were hearing. They didn’treally pay attention to what was said, but they knew that theRussian accent was unmistakably from their perfect husbandand dad. It was unbelievable! Meanwhile Megan waited for thetime when she would understand how Tom was related to allthis. Ann whispered “Dad?” to herself Mrs. Clark whispered“Martin?”—not wanting to believe what they had just heard.Will looked at the Clark ladies with a cruel smile. He knewthat in a few seconds he was going to get even.“Certainly,” he replied.Martin smiled. He felt it was a lot easier than he everthought it would be. After years of planning, he’d triggered themafia war in just a couple of hours. He thought himself amastermind. He knew he just had to wait for the news from theTV and police to confirm the death of Moretti. Then he knewHunt’s family would be ready to be set free. He realized that hewas stressed out, but now thought it had been worth it. Heshook his fist and silently said to himself, “Yes!”But then Hunt finished the sentence, “Mr. Clark!”Hearing his name, Martin’s heart pounded. He couldn’tanswer for a few seconds. He couldn’t understand how hiscover had been blown. He traced the plan in his mind, searchingfor where the failure must have happened. But the human mindaccepts self-delusion in order to maintain the ego. So he nowthought that there had been no failure point. He reasoned thatHunt had killed the phone owner, who was working for theRussians, that Hunt couldn’t find his family there, so he turnedagainst the Russian mafia wanting to save his family, and thatblasted off the anger of the Russians, which meant war. Butthen he thought there must have been a very tiny thing he mighthave forgotten about. He knew he had to figure out what it was.He knew he had to keep the story up. He reasoned that even ifby some accident Hunt knew he was behind the family kidnap,still Moretti had to die first to set his family free. He felt Huntmust be bluffing! He regained a little confidence with thatthought. Nevertheless, he felt very uncomfortable hearing hisname, so he forgot the Russian accent when he continued withWill.“Very well then, let me hear it! Did you kill Moretti?”The Clark women were surprised and shocked to hear theperfect cop, husband, and father speaking like that. Suddenlythey had to accept the possibility that Martin had been thereason for their kidnapping.Will had finally arrived to where he’d wanted to be in themorning, continuously looking at the Clark ladies for any signof betrayal or knowledge of Clark’s plan. He was convincedthat they knew nothing of Carrie and Kelly’s kidnapping.“I want to renegotiate the deal you pushed me into!”Martin was surprised by this mix of a desire and an order,but he remained calm and cold, replying, “Hunt, don’t give meany attitude! Do it! Kill Moretti and you get back your family!”But Will continued, tensely, “Listen up, Clark! I’ve got thegoods to renegotiate the deal, and you’re...”Martin, cocksure of his position, interrupted, “I’m sorry,that deal can’t be renegotiated! Get smart! I have your family!”Will became even tenser. He saw that Clark was a hardheaded,stubborn cop.“Sure it can! I have both of your families kidnapped! I wantan exchange, or I’ll hunt you down! Both of you! You can callanyone you like—police, swats, even the army! I’ll be right atyour throat, and you won’t like answering my questions! You’llbe wishing you’d have had chosen another target! And yourpartner will wish he’d stayed in L.A. with his folks!”Megan now understood why she’d been taken: the first dayof Tom’s promotion and he’d gone dirty! Megan wasdisappointed and scared. She thought of how the internet wasreally full of unreliable, mentally and psychically unstable people, of how she had fallen for a cop who preferred taking on the mafia instead of having a safe family life, of how shewouldn’t be in this situation if she’d reconsidered deeply thepossible outcome of being a cop’s girlfriend and wife. She toldherself she should have been more careful.Martin’s smile disappeared in the blink of an eye hearingWill Hunt stating that he had their families. Both captured, andin such a short time. He almost couldn’t believe that Huntsomehow could track him down and kidnap his family. Martintried to sound confident. He thought he had more valuablehostages. It passed through his mind that it must be a bluff, thatHunt couldn’t track and find his family. Maybe the police or thearmy could. But Hunt had not been in the army for almost adecade. It sounded impossible.“Stop bluffing, Will Hunt! You will hunt Moretti down!Call me only if you’ve killed him, or your family will beexecuted by Friday! Finish your assignment first, and then wecan talk about your family!”“I’ll let you talk with...,” said Will—but Martin had hungup.Will was surprised by how Clark had responded, grewfurious. He stared at the phone in disbelief, as if his biggestenemy were standing between him and his family. Will startedshouting, which scared the ladies a lot more.“Fuck! Don’t you dare hang up on me!”Chris felt bad for Will. Clark’s unexpected behavior wasgoing to force them into becoming more brutal to get backWill’s family. Chris expressed his sympathy.“Oh, man!”Neil also felt surprised by Clark’s behavior. They had beenso close to getting even, and now they had lost time and had to start over. Neil felt they had killed and kidnapped three peoplefor nothing, wasting time and bullets.“Shit!”Will grabbed a chair from the corner and threw it right overthe Clarks, against the wall. The chair broke into pieces. TheClark ladies expected the chair to hit them. They didn’t knowWill couldn’t harm them, because they would lose their value.Trembling with fear, they expected to be executed any second.Now they knew who Martin was going to have to deal with.Megan started to speak in a soft, tender, imploring voice,begging Will, “Excuse me! Will we survive?”Will pointed at Mrs. Clark, who expected her death sentenceafter being pointed at. Will’s voice and hand were shaking withuncontrollable anger.“Depends on her fucking husband! Let’s go!”Will waved to Neil and Chris to leave the cellar. He had tofind his family before he was being sentenced to death byMoretti. He had to find another way to get back his family safe.This was what he wanted to discuss with his friends.Megan felt she had some advantage over the Clarks becauseTom hadn’t pissed off Hunt as much as Clark had. She politelyasked Will, “Excuse me, Sir!”Megan annoyed Will. He was not there for babysitting.“What?”Megan continued softly and tenderly addressing Will,knowing that sometimes the best policy is being kind andunderstanding with an angry person, that it may calm himdown.“Can I get something to eat, Sir? Please?” she smiledhumbly and softly, “I’m hungry!”Will just couldn’t believe he’d heard that question. Hedidn’t know why this hostage was thinking he’d take them toserve them food, that he was fast food restaurant.“No!” he barked at Megan with a look hinting not to dare toask for anything.Will, Neil, and Chris were left the cellar. Then Neil lockedthe door, leaving the ladies inside. The Clark ladies looked atMegan, who started crying. Then they looked at each other.Their situation didn’t look bright at all. Any hope they have had, even the smallest ray of light of hope, had just beenobliterated with Martin drawing the curtain down, leaving themin utter darkness! Martin hadn’t believed that Hunt hadkidnapped his family, and this had made them even morefrightened. They could not believe that a loving dad andhusband did not care about his family. It was the mostunexpected move that Martin had made over the years. Theysaw how obsessed Martin was and that had caused him todangerously underestimate his enemy—insisting that Will killsMoretti, even after he was called by his name! The Clark ladies began crying along with Megan. Their trust in the father and husband had been annihilated.20. Fully CapturedFighting hard to protect yourself and your relativesis good for your genes, but when captured and escape isnot possible, giving up sort of dying and making the bestyou can of the new situation is also good for your genes.Keith HensonMartin couldn’t see anything because the house was darkand the trees covered the moonlight. Martin made one morephone call to his wife. He heard the phone ring through hisphone’s speaker and few seconds later, in the quiet, heard hiswife’s phone ringing in the house. Martin was satisfied withhimself.Mrs. Clark was happy hearing her phone ring upstairs. Itcouldn’t be accidental. Her husband was calling her, she knew.She knew Martin was looking for her and his family and thatthey may have just made the last confirmation on their location.Mrs. Clark acted like she was the mother of Megan as well.“Don’t worry girls, in less than an hour we’ll be free.”Megan couldn’t hold herself back.“Your husband dragged Tom into this!”Ann couldn’t let her mom to be blamed.“Your boyfriend was weak, he let himself do it!”After having suffered through so much together, Mrs. Clarkdidn’t want them fighting. They had to be strong to be able tomake it through.“Easy girls! Martin may have had made a mistake, but he’sgoing to fix that! Wait and see!”Neil calmly noticed that Clarks’ phone was ringing again.He kept on waiting quietly. It was a game of patience. He hadbeen trained as a sniper in the army, and patience had alwaysbeen one of the biggest challenges, whenever he was on amission.Martin hung the phone up. He figured Hunt had left thephones on by accident, making it easy for him to find the place.Suddenly a thought ran through his mind: what if Hunt hadn’tturned off the phones on purpose? After all, he had studied Huntfor long enough and knew he was not the average gangster.Martin couldn’t risk any more failure. He squatted near a treeand waited in the shadows attempting to detect movements ornoises from the house. He waited there for half an hour andnothing happened. It was a confidence boost for him. He wassure the house was empty, except for the hostages, his family.He was whispering to himself, “Hunt, you’re no match for me!”Martin stood up and sneaked to the entrance door. He drewhis pistol and got ready to enter. He hadn’t done this kind ofraid thing for ages. He remembered he cannot peek in, becauseif anyone inside was waiting for him they could see himthrough the window. Martin grabbed the door handle, andslowly opened it. Luckily the door didn’t make any noise, andhe could slide in quietly. Neil noticed the breeze. Martin closedthe door and waited there for his eyes get used to the darknessinside. He waited to hear some noise, but there wasn’t any.Martin slowly turned right and went into the kitchen to check it,holding the pistol in front of him, ready to shoot anything thatmoved. He was a little nervous. He considered himself too oldfor this kind of stuff. Nobody was in the kitchen, so he returnedto the entrance door. He wanted to pass by the chair Neil wassitting in, to the living room, but he had to stop. After he hadjust passed the armchair, Neil pushed his pistol into Martin’sback. Martin knew he had failed...again. Martin felt humiliated,that he had been overly confident and fallen into a simple trap.He thought he could have failed half an hour ago as well, thatJoe had been right, that he shouldn’t have come alone.In a calm tone, Neil ordered Martin, “Stop, cop! Raise yourhands!”Martin had no choice but to bluff for time. He knew Joewell enough to know that he wouldn’t wait two hours for him.He felt Joe was definitely tracking his phone as well and thatprobably in a couple of minutes he would get the reinforcementhe needed. He felt confident enough to say, “Fifty swats are onthe way here Hunt! You’ve lost! They’re gonna tear this placeapart, including you! Do you wanna do it in the hard or the easyway?”Neil smiled at Martin, took Martin’s pistol, and slipped itinto his own belt while he kept on sitting.“You’re bluffing! It would take quite a long time to call inthat many swats! You didn’t have enough...!”Neil turned the lights on. Martin was surprised seeing Neil.“Neil Parker! Where’s Hunt?”“Sit down, cop!”Martin sat opposite Neil, face to face. Neil followed Martinwith his pistol. Martin couldn’t stand not asking again, “So?Where’s Hunt?”Neil smiled playfully and said, “Hunting for his family.”Martin smiled at the joke while deep inside wanting to killNeil and the rest of them. After all, they had killed Marc, andnow he had to save the rest of his family.“He won’t find them for sure!”Neil kept on smiling. So did Martin. What Martin didn’tunderstand was that Parker had stayed behind to keep an eye onhis family, nothing else. Neil answered nonchalantly.“76 Darwin Crescent.”Martin’s confidence and smile vanished well before Neilhad finished the sentence. He knew he had failed completely.He had been defeated in less than fourteen hours. He recalledwhat Tom had asked in the morning, “Do you have a plan B?”He and Chung underestimated Hunt; that Hunt was reallyMoretti’s right-hand man! Neil continued, teasing Martin, whowas seeking for his failure point.“We hadn’t known were your paparazzi!”Martin hesitated between trying to figure out some way toescape or just wait long enough for the swats. Until theyarrived, he was a guy against a man with two pistols, unless hecould pull a surprise attack, just as Tom had done in the store.He knew he had to wait for the right moment!“You’re dreaming! So...Parker! How many people did youkill? Confess before I lock your ass up!”Neil smiled coldly at the threat. With Jill’s death he’d lostthe only thing he cared about and wasn’t afraid anymore ofanything. Neil wanted to understand Martin.“How many bad guys did you kill, cop?”“Six.”“I did thirty-seven...”Martin was surprised by the number, and anyone could readthat from his face. But the real shock was just coming.“ just your town.”Martin was starting to feel really uncomfortable. It didn’tlook like Parker had any problem killing people. Parker talkedlike killing was just like mowing the lawn for him, and hewouldn’t hesitate killing him, if it came to it.“Add up, Parker!”“And seventy-eight...”Neil got a message, checked his phone. It was from Will,“Coming!” Martin suddenly jumped up to grab Neil’s pistolwhile his attention shifted to his phone, but Neil shot Martin’sleft foot. Martin fell to the floor groaning, “Fuck you, Parker!”“ service.”At that moment Chris opened the door and pushed Tom intothe living room. His captive grunted after landing next toMartin. Tom let the pain go a little, and then turned to Martinwith hatred.“Martin, your plan sucks!”Martin ignored Tom. For him it was now all about hisfamily, the rest didn’t matter. He looked at Will Hunt, whoentered the cottage right behind Chris. Martin wanted knowsomething directly.“Hunt, where’s your family?”“Safe,” said Will confidently, but Martin could tell that Willwas stressed and tired.To everyone’s surprise, Tom started laughing painfully.Will, Neil, and Chris looked at each other. They thought thestress had gone to Tom’s mind. It felt sad for Martin, that Tomhad gone nuts. Martin was impressed with Hunt, who was ableto find his family sooner than Tom could have had them killed!Wait! Tom always opposed killing the innocent Hunts. When hecalled Tom to kill them, he must have had to talk to Hunt bythen! He knew now that he should have had the Hunt familymoved somewhere else, instead of looking for his own family.He felt some hope that he had made some late moves that mightstill help him out. Even he had been bribed, working for Chung,and wanted to catch Hunt; now he understood why he had neversucceeded. Hunt, like a chess master, had always thought ahead,not just one move, but many steps ahead of his opponents, inevery direction.Will thought Tom had broken mentally, which didn’t botherhim at all.Will’s phone started ringing with the tune, “Why’s the skyblue? Because of me! Why’s the fire hot? Because of me!Why’s the sun in the sky? Because of me! In this world,everything is because of me, for me!”It was Kelly. Will answered immediately, smiling, andrelaxed, he felt Kelly had made it to her mom’s and was nowready to go to a safe place.“Yes? Are you safe...?Kelly was weeping over the phone. She had been misled,and wanted to die in her pain! She should not have had trustedin the person who kidnapped them!“Will..! Carrie... Carrie never arrived at mom’s...that copdidn’t bring her...I beg you find her!”A wave of cold fear washed through Will’s body. It was notover yet!“What?!! Call you back!”Will’s smile turned suddenly hostile and was directed atTom. Neil, Martin, and Chris looked at Will curiously. Theydidn’t understand the change in him, but noticed that Tom’slaughter had vanished with Will’s look. Tom suddenly didn’tfeel comfortable being alive, but couldn’t escape. He had a dirtylittle secret he had to pay for, and Will’s eyes promised hewould. Will didn’t hesitate making Tom feel he was going toregret he was born. Will went to Tom, squatted next to him, andbrutally punched his face. When Tom hit the floor he almostblacked out. Will grabbed his throat and started choking him.Then, trembling, Will asked Tom, “Where’s Carrie?”Tom tried to look confident when he answered, but helooked horrified as he said, ”She’s safe!”Will changed his stance from squatting to kneeling. Hekneeled onto Tom’s lungs. Tom ran out of air quickly andbegan coughing. Martin realized that Tom’s move, whatever itwas, was winning them some time. He didn’t know what Tomhad done, but that it would do good to keep it secret as long asTom was able to resist Hunt’s brutality.“Tom, shut up, don’t tell them, we can still pull it a draw!”Will looked at Chris, because he was closer to Martin. Chrisunderstood, and kicked Martin’s shot leg. Martin shouting inpain and Will stood up and ordered Chris and Neil, “Take themto the cellar!”Chris and Neil dragged the cops by their feet down to thecellar while Will went out to the car for the toolbox.The ladies—expecting the cops—were happy hearing theheavy steps. Mrs. Clark was the happiest.“I told you girls! They are here!”Their expectations turned out very different. Theirkidnappers have entered with their beloved ones captured.They’d been shot, bleeding and were beaten. Neil and Chris leftthe cops in the middle of the cellar, where the ladies could seethem. They knew it might be useful if they saw well what wasabout to come. Tom was shocked seeing Megan in handcuffs,and crying. He knew Megan could not take it. He had even hadto lie about his job few times, to comfort Megan, when sheworried about him. Martin, also, was shocked as well seeing hisfamily there weeping; and he could only think that they had tobe saved.Mrs. Clark looked at Martin with worries in her eyes andsaid, “They said they killed Marc...!”Martin realized his wife had known it sooner than him, buthis shock had been greater, finding Marc like that! Martincouldn’t control his feelings and started crying, nodding hishead.”Yes, Marc is really gone!”Mrs. Clark understood everything and started crying too.Ann looked unfocused, staring in front of herself at the floor.She could not believe that her big brother had been killed bythese guys! She felt a void in her heart that her brother, whohad always protected her, was no more. It took a couple ofseconds for Ann to be touched emotionally, to be able to cry.Mrs. Clark shouted at Martin, blaming him, “He died because ofthis! Because of you! Why? Why did you anger these men?”Martin couldn’t answer. The truth didn’t matter anymore,and there was no time to lie.Chris looked at Neil with pain in his face.“I can’t believe they’re weeping like this! Makes menervous!”“What did you expect? They’re women—the cops too!!”Megan was even more scared seeing her man, Tom,captured and beaten to a pulp. She knew now that Tom had liedto her about his training, trying to protect her. She was willingto forgive him, if they would be set free. Megan whispered,“Why?”Will returned and put the toolbox down by the door.Tom looked at Megan apologetically, but had no time toanswer because Will grabbed him by his hair and punched hisface, much to the horror of Megan.“You took my daughter! Where is she?”Tom licked his lips to check for blood. He knew he couldtake this kind of abuse for a while. He looked at Megan’s eyes,and then angrily looked back to Will. He was determined tokeep his secret until Megan was out of danger!“Fuck you, Hunt!”Will smashed Tom’s face again. The ladies screamed. Willwas troubled, and that didn’t promise any good for nobody.Will advised Tom.“You’re wrong if you think it’s time to play the man!Where’s Carrie?”But Tom remained stubborn, and he realized Mrs. Clark’sfeet were OK, so Martin had lied him. He reasoned that musthave been the time when Hunt had called Martin, telling himabout contra kidnaps. Tom felt anger towards Martin, butMegan’s safety was first.“Safe!”Will nodded to Neil, who walked up to Megan and held agun against her head. Seeing that, Tom suddenly knew theymeant business. He could hear his heartbeat and felt weak. Hedidn’t want to lose Megan like that, shot in the head. He hadpromised her a happy future together. He was more than eagerto save her. He shouted at Neil, “Don’t dare shoot her!”Will was growing increasingly impatient. He thought ofhow this cop had put Carrie in danger and that nobody knewwhere was. He knew this cop valued his girlfriend’s safety overthat of a four years child.“Carrie?”Tom suddenly saw Will clearly for the first time. He sawthat Will didn’t look stupid. He realized that if were evermediocre, he and Megan would not be in this situation. Tomhad to admit he’d underestimated him even though he’d alwaysknown to never underestimate the enemy. Tom thought perhapshe could negotiate with Hunt. They both wanted somethingbadly.“I don’t care about Martin. Just set Megan free and then I’lltell you, promise!”The Clarks felt Tom had betrayed them. Megan, however,was grateful for him putting her into the offer. While sobbing,she whispered to Tom, “I love you!”That statement inspired Tom even more to think aboutworking out a deal with Hunt. Tom was even consideringletting Hunt flee if he just set Megan free. But he didn’t know ifHunt would believe that he’d really let him flee. The onlyobstacle was how to get around Martin.Martin, however, knew he had to win time for the swats toarrive. He said, “Hunt! I thought you’d adhere to at least onemafia law—no women!”Will countered, “You broke that law first, setting my handsfree!”Megan looked at Neil, trying to understand the man’smotivations. He looked handsome enough, she thought, andmaybe if they’d have met somewhere she could have fallen fora gangster instead of an aberrant cop. But she knew this guywas going to kill her in a second or so. Even if she was scared,she didn’t want to die in a cowardly way. Her tears, however,didn’t reinforce her confidence.“Shoot me—if you dare!”Megan slowly closed her eyes, ready to take the lethal shot.It didn’t happen, so she opened her eyes again. Neil let escape asoft smile in the corner of his mouth, which made Megan feelhumiliated. Her attention returned to Tom, and Hunt. Meganknew that Hunt had a good point that she had to agree with.“You kidnap my family, and you call yourself a cop?”Will smashed Tom’s face again, which made his mouthbleed worse. Megan screamed again, also she’d never likedthrillers at the movies, and now she was stuck in the first row ofa live performance. Will nodded to Neil again. Before Megancould look at Neil, he fired a shot into Megan’s arm causing asimple scratch injury. Megan screamed with pain and kept oncrying. She couldn’t check her arm. Megan was sure about onething, if she ever survived today, she will get some bloodinfections. Tom was shouting at Neil, “Fuck you, asshole! I’llkill you! ”Neil snickered confidently. After all, it didn’t look like Tomwould ever be able to kill him.“Nah, you won’t! Just for your information, the next onegoes deeper, in her leg!”Megan realized, Tom’s offer is being ignored. There wasonly one solution available here, Hunt’s way. The Clarks knew,Tom couldn’t offer any acceptable deal for the mafia. He wasnaive. Hunt didn’t show any sign of being satisfied with theexchange. Martin knew, Tom had blown the exchange by notbelieving Hunt was serious. Will smashed Tom in the faceagain.“Carrie?”Tom looked at Megan, saw her pain, and felt really sorry forher, the woman, he never wanted to see sad. Megan looked atTom with desperation, knowing that there was no way out ofthis situation and that he’d better tell Will where his daughterwas. But Tom didn’t agree with that look. He wanted toconvince Megan it was going to work out.Will had reached the end of his patience. He had only onequestion and wanted only one answer. Anything else was awaste of his time. He had no choice but the find out.“Tommy boy, you don’t love that bitch over there! She wasshot, but you keep silent huh...?” Will then turned to Chris.“Bring the tools, would you?”Megan believed Hunt. Tom should have talked well beforeshe was shot. She was sad that a gangster had to point it out.She knew now she would call off the wedding when she got outof there. All the captives expected the worst, but only Martinand Tom knew that it would get a whole lot worse.Will smiled cruelly and said, “If you don’t care about yourbitch, will you care about your own life?”Tom felt he was winning. He thought that even if Huntignored his offer, at least he wouldn’t hurt Megan, but him. Butthen Tom remembered what had happened in the morning inMartin’s office when he had been shown photos of a couple ofcrime scenes. Tom swallowed seeing Chris bringing thetoolbox. Tom looked at Martin and asked him, not wanting tobelieve, “This is it?”Martin nodded sadly, “Yes.”Chris put the toolbox next to Will and opened it up. It wasfully loaded with pliers, hammers, crimpers, wrecking bar, tubebender, hooks, picks, nails, wires, ropes, zip ties, grease, oil,rivet gun, plus quite a few more implements that Tom couldn’teven name. A cold shiver ran down his spine, and his bodystarted trembling all over. Yet, he felt he couldn’t retreat at thismoment. Megan had to be set free first to make him talk. In thenext moment Will grabbed Tom’s right hand, held onto hisindex finger and broke it. Tom screamed. Will grabbed Tom’sindex finger, held it tight to lessen the pain while also grabbingTom’s cheek, forcing him to look at him.“You wanted to play the men’s game! Let’s see how far youcan go! Where’s my daughter?”Tom tried to overcome the shock and waves of pain, butWill had no time for comforting him. He twisted Tom’s indexfinger. Tom screamed and laid completely to the floor to lessenthe pain. Martin hoped Tom could win enough time, but at thesame time he wanted to make a mental record of everythingthey were doing. When the arrests came, he would needeverything seen as a witness to lock them up for life. The ladieswere screaming, especially Megan. It was a torture for her aswell. She couldn’t take violence at all. Her heart was close to acardiac arrest, but nobody cared. Will tried to be cooperative,though.“Did you know women can take more pain than men? Trynot to play the woman this time, because you’re the man here!Talk, or you’re going to die from pain, not from blood loss!”Chris had to give Will credit for talking to Tom with a smileon his face, hinting to Tom, “You asked for it, now you’regoing to get it all!”“I would believe what he just said! Think fast!”