Colin enters in the kitchen. Inside, the personnel being in day off, Jared is cooking. Since their return from Hawai, this latter has closed himself in silence. It started when they came back from the airport. In the car, all the way back, Jared stayed silence looking outside without really seeing anything.
If Jared has listened Colin to enter, he doesn’t show it, continuing to cut some vegetables. Colin come closer to take a bottle of water in front of Jared. All of sudden realizing the presence behind him, Jared startles and unfortunately cut himself with the knife he holds.
Seeing the blood run on the skin, Colin takes Jared’s hand and goes to lick it. Jared seeing that, pushes him violently and shouts :
Looking at Colin with fear, tightening his hand against his chest. Colin, speechless, looks at Jared. Then he says :
“I wouldn’t frighten you. Forgive me ! I forgot how much you don’t like to be touched.”
Jared avoids the gaze of Colin and says almost in a whisper :
“It’s not that. I… I don’t know… you know…”
Realizing what trying to say Jared, Colin feels a knot in his stomach. Without another word, he leaves the room. In seeing that, Jared swallows with difficulties and starts to have tears in his eyes…
To his surprise, some minutes later, Colin comes back with a box. Inside, he takes some disinfectant, gauze and dressing. And taking softly Jared’s hand, he starts to take care of the cut. Slowly a tear escapes form Jared’s eyes and falls on the arm. Seeing that, Colin asks :
“Hey ! What’s happened ?”
“During a moment, I believe that you…”
“Jared ! I had already say you, you can trust me. I will never let you down.”
Jared feels ashamed of his own thoughts. Colin concentrates on his task. Then breaking the silence :
“Have you made a test ?”
“You have to do it.”
Without answer of Jared, he looks at him.
Finally, Jared confesses.
“I… I am so afraid to go outside.”
“Jared, sooner or later you will have to cope with your fear. You can’t stay eternally closed inside. I already say you, It’s not healthy.”
“I know but…”
“But nothing ! I will take you to the hospital and you will do the test. That’ all !”
To his surprise, Jared answers :
“Ok… If you come with me.”
“I will. It’s finished.”
Then smiling to Colin.
“Are you hungry ?”
“I’ll prepare the meal.”
When they are eating, Colin observes Jared. This one seems more at ease now. When he has realized the possibility that Jared could be HIV-positive, he has felt his heart to fall apart, and in the same time, the anger growing in him. If the test will come back positive, he makes the promise to himself he will kill with his own hands this bastard of Arslan.
In the days following this episode, Colin took Jared to the hospital. It was a real ordeal for Jared. Each time, they crossed someone, Jared came closer to Colin, clinging to him, closing his eyes. Finally, Colin wrapped his arm around his waist to reassure him. Happy, in spite of his sadness to see Jared like this, that this one trusted him.
Now, they have to wait for the result.
But actually, Colin has other things in head. He had some news from Sam.
At first, when Jared’s father contracted his debt, Adrian made him work for him. Indeed, Jared’s father was accountant. Before to flee, this latter made a back-up of all the Adrian’s accounts. Some kind of assurance policy, in a way. When he was in contact with the FBI, he gave them only a part of this back-up for proof of his good faith.
Colin asked to his men in place, to find a way to have a copy of this back-up. Even, if he is ready to help the FBI, he doesn’t want this one to stole his revenge. Recently, when his men brought him the copy, he could start his check party.
He knew Adrian has start business with some drug cartel. Grace to his informers, he learnt that a deal had to take place. He had send a group of men to stole and destroy the drug. And spread the rumor that Adrian, who didn’t want to pay, had stolen the delivery.
It was his first move to demolish the reputation of Adrian inside the mafia. After that a war started between the cartel and Adrian, destabilizing his organisation.
When he was in Ho’ola, Colin had learnt by Sam, that Adrian waited for the arrival of a special cargo. This time, he gave all the informations he has collected about, to the FBI. Grace of these ones, the officers of FBI intercepted the cargo. They discovered it was human traffic for prostitution business. Saving many souls from a life of shame.
But it is not enough for Colin. Since his last mission in Africa, building the project Peter and he had dreamt about, his fortune grew up beyond all his wishes. Giving him all means legal or not to fight against Adrian. He has kept strong bonds with some mercenaries ready to all for him. The only way to counter a mafia’s organisation. And he knows he will not be satisfied as long as he has not destroy totally Adrian and Arslan.
He knows he has no other choice than to cross some lines to attain his aim. The reason why his business has two faces an official one, totally legal. And another one more underground he has created specially for this. It is a risk he is willing to take.
Among the men who work for him, he has engaged men for the field of course like his mercenaries’ commando. But also some specialists in all sectors of activities. He has handpicked them personally. Like Frank a computer engineer. This one is a little genius able to do all you want with his computer. Colin helped him long time ago in getting him out from a sordid affair. Since this time, Frank became a faithful friend, vowing him an eternal gratitude.
Henri, after he pays attention they were not followed, drives in a disused factory and parks the car inside a building. Colin and him follow some halls and Colin opens a door. The room is a real dream for geek. Computers hardware and software, screens empty the space.
“Hello Frank ! Have you done what I wanted ?”
“Hi Colin ! Henri ! How can you doubt of my skill ? Of course I did it. Adrian will have a great surprise in looking at his bank account.”
He answers laughing.
“I have divided his money between the different humanity associations you gave me.”
“And you are sure nobody can go back up to us ?”
“Yep ! I am the best in my category. Even the government will not find who did this. I have never be so proud in my life to be an hacker. This money will help so many people. And all grace of Adrian. Ha ! Ha !”
“Yes, it is a nice trick.”
“How do you think Adrian will react in discovering that ?”
“He will lost his temper for sure and I hope he’ll make some mistake. And when he will do it, I will be there. He knows the only one who has all his bank informations is Jared’s father.”
“Jared ? Your protected ?”
“Yes, this one.”
“But in doing that you put the father in danger. Is it not a problem ?”
“I put him under supervision. My men will prevent me if something arrive. Adrian will not kill Jared’s father as long as he has not his money back.”
“They will mistreat him for sure, you know that.” — Henri says disapproving.
“He merits that for what he did to his son.” — Colin answers codly.
“It is not good to be your enemy.” — notes Frank.
On the way back, the two men stay in silence in the car.
“What ? If you have something to say, say it.”
“How could you be sure your plan will work ? Adrian is not stupid. He will understand sooner or later than Jared’s father can’t be behind this.”
“I have no certitude. Of course, Adrian is smart but he is not infallible when he has his back to the wall and his choices reduced. Our sole luck is Jared’s father. Until now, this one didn’t trust enough the FBI to put his life between their hands. We have to act now before he changed his mind. When he will be under the protection of the marshals we will have our hands tied. We have to overtake the FBI and Adrian if we want to succeed.”
“Yes but I can’t help myself to think you play with fire.”
“Contact Sam as soon as possible and give him all the info about Jared’s father. It’s time to finish this game.”
“And about Jared ?”
“Let him outside of all this.”
Jared has noted since some days, Colin’s attitude has changed. More cold, more tensed and more busy. The same for Henri and all the men who work for Colin as if they were prepared something. Jared has the feeling Colin avoids him deliberately. Being alone the most of the time now, Jared had enough spare time to think about it.
First, he thought maybe it was cause of his blood result. But he dismissed this hypothesis, after he called the hospital. The nurse said him the result was not arrived. And after he saw men come and go all the time, he knew it what something else.
Since he lives with Colin, he has time to explore the huge house. Now he knows well the place, except one part, who is only authorized to few people. Each time, he passes in front of the door, his curiosity is excited. But each time, he dares to try and enter, Henri appears from nowhere and forbids him to do it.
All the day, Colin and his men were busy. More than usual. At dawn, Jared was waked up by some unusual activities outside. From his bedroom’s widow, Jared remarked an helicopter waiting in the garden. He saw Henri, Colin and some men who look like soldiers rather than business men, loading heavy and huge bags inside.
All the morning, Jared can’t help himself to think about Colin before he leaved. His expression so tough and concentrated. Before to enter in the helicopter, as if feeling the gaze of Jared, he turned his head to look at him. No smile. But an intense gaze. Jared, at this moment, felt a knot in his stomach. Something was wrong. Something will happen soon.
Jared feels nervous, unable to return in his bed. To calm himself, as often he walks trough the halls of the house. His paces bring him in front of the mysterious room. To his surprise, the door is ajar. He looks around and seeing nobody, he dares to enter. Inside, the room looks like headquarters. In the middle, a big desk with ordnance survey maps and a lot of documents and folds. Among them, two ones retains his attention. On the first his name. He opens it. Inside, his personal details form, photographies. He takes them and starts to watch. Among them, a photo of Arslan and him. In seeing the man, his hands trembles and all his fears return in force. His heart beats strongly in his chest.
He tries to block his memory from the last time he saw him, but his brain betrays him. And dirty images invades his mind. He feels nauseous. He can feel the pain and his distress again as if it was yesterday. The photos escapes from his hands, falling on the floor. He feels weak, ready to faint. He falls in the chair behind him, his head in his hands.
He doesn’t know how many time, he stays like this. When he feels better, looking on the table, he saw a second fold bearing the name of his father. Inside the same thing than for him. Seeing a portrait of his father, he can’t help himself to feel some hate. He remembers.
He was five years old, coming back from school with his mother. In classroom, the teacher asked them to do a drawing. He put all his heart in this one thinking of his father. When he arrived home his father was there. He runs to him happy to offer him his gift. His father took the drawing and without looking at it put it aside like if it was not important at all. The little boy looked at his father with sadness.
He knew this one was cold heart. Never this one hugged or kissed him even if Jared asked him. He had always the feeling his father didn’t want him. He was not spiteful with him, just cold. Putting a distance between him and his son. Looking at him as if he was a stranger. Jared had never understand why. Happily for him his mother has so much love to give. She was the sun of the home, making their lives so beautiful despite all. But when his mother died, all fell apart. The relationship of father and son reduced to nothing. Jared asked his father why he was like that, he just looked at him with hate. Jared was so shocked by his answer. Saying that he would prefer it was him who died rather than his mother. After that, they never talked again.
Looking at the rest of the documents on the desk, his worry increases in realizing what Colin projects to do. It was to late to act and prevent Colin to do it. From now, he can only wait and see.
Somewhere in another town, disused zone, ancient factory.
Colin and his commando are positioned hidden at two thousand meters of their aim. He has received a call from his men in place that the jared’s father has been kidnapped by Adrian’s men. They have following them at distance to discover where they went. On place, It seems that the kidnappers were waiting for Adrian.
On another side, Sam has warned Colin that Adrian and Arslan have leaved to join his men. As soon as Colin has called the helicopter and organized their leaving. Having on place already four men. He took with him two other ones, plus Henri and himself. He is aware he takes a risk. They have not enough time to prepare the operation. But they will not have another chance.
“Colin, the thermal pictures shows nine persons inside : four on first floor and five on second floor. And our men have seen three other Adrian’s men outside.”
“Jim, can you hear something ?”
Jim orientates his parabolic microphone, trying to capture the words inside. He hold out a headphone to listen.
“On first floor it seems it was only Adrian’s hatchet men, but on second floor… listen.”
Colin hears Adrian in rage, shouting after someone.
“I want my money back. Find a way to do it or I kill your son.”
Then totally out of context he hears a laugh. It seems it is the man who is questioned.
“My son ! What a fucking joke ! You can do whatever you want with him. You can kill him if you want. I even give you my consent. Why do you think I let him behind me ? It is just the fucking bastard of my wife, not mine. You make a mistake, I say you already, it is not me who did that. I swear you, I don’t know where is your money.”
Colin hears the sound of a push.
“You’re fucking kidding me ! You stole all the informations about my money. YOU ! Not someone else ! And you dare to say you have no responsibility in this fucking mess ! Ben shows him how I appreciate his fucking lies.”
“No, please no ! I swear you it is not me…”
Follow a shout of pain. Colin takes off the headphone.
“Henri, we go. First, neutralize the men outside. The targets are on the second floor. We have few time to intervene, so no mistake. And call Frank, if he has no news of us in half an hour, he had to prevent the FBI.”
Henri nods. After they neutralized the guards outside. They enter in the building. They have detected the position of their enemy but this ones are not static, so they have to be ready whatever arrives.
They progress with care in the hall of the building. After they pass some rooms, Colin raises a closed fist, stopping his men. He makes a sign with his hand : two men in the next room. They can hear their talk. Always by sign, he commands two men to go on each side of the door. At his signal, they enter and fired the two hatchet men inside without letting them time to repost. There weapons being equipped with silencer, nobody could suspect anything.
They continue their progression. In another room, another man, they neutralize him like the first ones. They arrive to a stairs. Colin sends two of his men search the fourth on this floor. And with the rest of his team he goes upstairs. They localise soon the room where Adrian and his men are, in hearing voices and shouts of pain.
In the room, Colin, from where he is, can’t see the totality of the room. But he sees a man sat tied on a chair. The head of the man lowered shows marks of beating and blood. Near him, Adrian and another men who hold some instruments joined to an electric device. In his field of vision he can’t see the two other men. But he can hear their words on the left.
By sign, he makes understand where are placed Adrian and his men. The two other men of Colin arrives at this moment, Colin sends them a gaze. With a nod one of them confirm the orders have been fulfilled. He gives them their orders.
All his men know, he wants to keep Adrian and the hostage alive. They have to be fast. The four man inside, too busy with their hostage, don’t have noted their presence. Colin counts on surprise’s effect to succeed. At his signal, they enter. Two men of Colin shot the men on the left of the room. While Henri shots the one who tortures Jared’s father. And neutralize Adrian before he can repost. Having the situation under control, he sends Three men to secure the zone.
“Well ! You lower your guard Adrian. You grow old, man !”
“Colin ! I though you were dead.”
“As you see, I am not.”
“I should shot a bullet in your head when I have the occasion.”
Then Adrian looking at Henri who untied the hostage, he recognizes the man who come to buy the debt of Jared’s father.
“So it was you who buy the boy. You have always this kind of weakness. Fighting for orphan and widow.”
With a smile, Colin looks at Adrian.
“I heard you have lost your money. How sad !”
Understanding what imply Colin’s words.
“Fucking bastard ! It was you ! You stole my money.”
“Yep ! I distributed all your money to charitable associations. For once in your life, you have done a good deed. Not happy ?”
“If you imagine that will stop us. You make a mistake. Our organisation is like a spiderweb. Even if you destroy it, another one will take the changing.”
“I have not this kind of pretension. My only target is you and Arslan. You killed Peter. But it was you who made a mistake in letting me alive. I will take my revenge now…”
While Colin talks with Adrian, a vehicle approaches slowly the building. Inside the car, Aslan and some of his men. In not seeing the guards outside, Arslan understands something is wrong. He orders his men to take their weapons. If things turn bad, he had to destroy the building. Buts he had to find first Adrian.
On the second floor, Colin and his men heard some shots downstairs. He commands two men to help Jared’s father while Henri pushes Adrian bluntly in front of him. They have tied his hands by security. Carefully they get down, one of his men lie wounded in the stairs. He is conscious despite of his wound.
“Can you walk ?” — asks Colin.
The man in pain nods without a word, then says :
“It’s Arslan. He has some men with him. He took us by surprise. I think they had John too.”
In showing a direction.
“OK, go and see. “
All the men start to move…
It has been hours, since Jared started to wait Colin’s return. After he left the Colin’s room, he returned to his routine. The same ritual since he came back to Colin’s house. Breakfast first : a cup of green tea, a glass of almond milk, some fruits and two toasts. Then he went to the gym room. He has started under the pressure of Henri to make some exercices. He ran on a machine for almost one hour and made some sit-up. Then he finished by some yoga exercices.
Yoga helps him a lot to rediscover his own body. In a way to take again possession of himself. After all he has passed this last months, he had the feelings his own body was a stranger. Unable to feel anything. Only dead sensation in him. Like if his soul and his body was detached from one another.
The only way he found to hold on during this last months in being with a costumer, was to disconnected his soul from his body. And now, he has to do the reverse path to be human again. To feel again and control the fear.
After the exercises : the shower. Then he made some searches on internet. Since some weeks, he had started to write stories called « fan fiction ». He had joined a community of writers. And start to speak a lot with a man called Fallmar. The man lived in Europe but they became soon friend. They shared a lot even if Jared didn’t dare to speak about what he has lived through. But he is sure one day or another he will do it. Fallmar has shared already so much with him. Despite the distance this one trusts him. And it means a lot for Jared.
Then he checked his mails, answered some of them and checked his livejournal website. He has taken the nickname of Broken_Angel. Like motto, he decided to choose :
” With each New Dawn there is always a New Hope. The hope to Live, the hope to Dream again. “
He wants to believe in this. He wants to believe he is able to dream again, that he can change his future. He doesn’t want to be a victim anymore.
When Colin saved him. He was so hopeless, so hurted. His pain inside so unbearable. He had lost faith in human being. But to meet Colin changed his mind. It was imperceptible at first. He had to learn to trust in people again. But little by little, he let himself become tame. He doesn’t want to see around him his world destroyed another time. Colin and even Henri, who he has learnt to appreciate, are in a way like a new family for him. He doesn’t want to loose them. He needs time before to be able to fly by himself.
Yesterday, he has written an article, so he took the time to put it on line. Then after that George the butler of Colin came and said that the lunch was ready and had been served in the patio. Jared thanked the man and went to eat. He is, each time, amazed how his life has changed. The staff of Colin treats him with respect. And seems to pay attention at each one of his desires. At such point, that he doesn’t dare anymore express any vow.
He remembered how George was with him when he came in Colin’s house for the first time. He treated him with some kind of disdain. The man has seen so much young men came closer to his master only for his money or some sex. But with time in looking at Jared’s behavior, seeing the pain staying always in his eyes, his inability to go outside alone, his nervousness at the slightest touching. He was aware that Jared was different from the courtisans who pass regularly in this house. Rather a wounded animal than a lover. George seems to be moving by the young man and he changed his attitude starting to show some kind of respect.
Jared sighs. He seems looking at the garden, but his thoughts are somewhere else. He is worried, he has a bad feeling. George comes to clear the table. In seeing that Jared has almost touched nothing of his meal, he sighs on his turn. At the sound, Jared looks at him.
“Have you some news of Colin, George ?”
“No Mister Jared.”
Seeing his disappointment, he adds :
“I know you are worried for him, but that will not help him if you eat nothing.”
“I am sorry George. My stomach is so tight than I can’t eat.”
“Don’t worry so much about Colin ! He will come back. He always comes back.”
With these words of hope, George brings back in the house the trail untouched.
But hope is not enough for Jared, he only will be convinced when he will see Colin in flesh and bone.
Hours seems to pass with a desperate slowness, Jared has worked on a new chapter in the beginning of the afternoon. But he has some kind of difficulties to concentrate his mind on the writing. So he puts aside his work and starts to read a book and takes some notes. But his nervousness grows at measure the time passes and the men are not here. He starts to go back and forth in the living room. Then to pass the time, he looks at the TV and finally finishes to fall asleep on the sofa, exhausted by the waiting.
When they arrives at the house, Colin and Henri have on their face the marks of a rude day. Henri helps Colin to walk and enter in the house. What he does in limping and a grimace. Their clothes are dirty, tainted with blood and smell of smoke. Their hairs and faces dusted with some kind of grey powder. George welcomes them. And with an almost caricatural english behavior, he said as if speaking of the weather :
“It seems Mister’s day has not been easy.”
“You can say that George ! Where is Jared ?”
“Mister Jared is in the little living room. He was worried all the day and almost didn’t eat anything.”
“Do I feel a touch of blame against me, George ?”
“It is exact Mister. You must reassure Mister Jared now.”
“I am wounded George.”
Colin notes. Always impassible, George observes :
“You walk, so it must be nothing.”
“Your compassion touches me so much, George.”
“Your’re welcome, Mister. I will give some order to prepare you some meal.”
Henri can’t help himself and burst out laughing.
“I can’t believe it ! “
Then seeing Colin goes.
“Where do you go ?”
“See Jared, if not, like in a book of Agatha Christie, George will be able to put some arsenic in my plate.”
He adds in laughing, Henri following him.
When they arrive in the living room, Jared is still sleeping on the sofa. Colin sits close to his head in holding his right side belly with a hand to ease the pain.
He is ready to awake Jared, when a sound attract his attention on the laptop of Jared put on the coffee table.
A window open on the screen with this words :
Fallmar to Broken_Angel :
“Hi, Baby ! I am worried for you. Does your devoted admirer come back ?”
“Your devoted adm… What the fuck is that !!??” — Says Colin.
Hearing Colin’s voice, Jared wakes up and smiles in seeing, it was not a dream.
“Colin ! I am so happy. You’re safe. I was so worried. OMG ! You are covered in dust… and blood. “
Jared, as soon as, becomes silent and serious, then he asks :
“What’s happened ? I see your maps and folds in « the » room. So don’t lie to me. Don’t say me it’s nothing. I want to know the truth. It’s about my father and Adrian, isn’t it ?”
Colin looks at Henri as if he wanted some moral support and starts to explain all the operation…