In Extremis

Chapter 6

As Wes continued driving toward the meeting place where they were to meet up with the attorney, after Travis had him pull over to get an early lunch, Travis quickly explained to Wes what he had missed while he went off to make the calls, information about the unknown subject in the picture, Lee Kato, now being a hit man for the Wah Ching.

Once he finished, Wes spoke up asking, "Do you have any idea why Jason would be connected to Kato? I mean, anything more than to hire him for a job?"

Travis thought for a moment as he shook his head, then responded, "If you're asking if my brother hired Kato to kill someone for him, I want to say no, but… truthfully I'm not really sure anymore. I never thought Jason could be capable of murder either, but clearly I was wrong about that. I suppose it's possible. Even if I wanted to know for sure, there's no way Jason would ever tell me now."

"In your gut, do you truly feel that he's involved in whatever's going on here?" Wes asked again.

"As I said, I'm not really sure anymore," Travis answered sadly. "I hope for his sake, and mine, that he's not. So, how did you find out the name of the attorney that delivered the fortune to Kyle? Did you call Alex?"

Wes shook his head and replied, "Alex and I aren't really talking much these days. She's met someone and…"

Travis quickly interrupted mockingly, "She's met someone and you didn't tell me? Who is he and how did they meet? Shame on you for not bringing this up in therapy."

"We're not talking about Alex right now, Travis," Wes responded in frustration. "If you must know, I called an old associate; Trent Conway. He and I didn't get along real well back when we worked against each other, as he didn't care who he trampled on in order to earn the big paychecks for winning his cases. Conway's one of the best defense attorneys I've ever known and a real bastard. He frees criminals that deserve to rot in prison the rest of their lives. He also knows pretty much everyone within the law world, especially those he thinks would be beneficial to moving up in his career. I thought that if anyone might know how to find the attorney we're looking for, then he would."

"So, he knows the attorney we're on our way to meet then?" Travis asked as he yawned sardonically upon hearing his partner's drawn out explanation.

Ignoring his jest, Wes nodded and answered, "Of course he knows. It turns out that it's him. Although, I'm not sure if I should think we've hit a stroke of luck, or not. He hates me, mainly because I beat him on more than one occasion. The feeling is mutual."

Travis was confused as he stated, "I can tell. Hold on a second, I thought that this guy is a defense attorney. Why would he be the executive of Kyle Moore's trust fund for his aunt?"

"I don't know, but I intend to ask when we see him," Wes replied. "We'll be there in a few minutes."

"I'm surprised he's agreed to see you," Travis stated as he looked over at his partner, who only continued staring at the road ahead of them. "You don't owe him money, do you?"

The blonde detective only ignored him, creating a silence that lasted the rest of the drive, then he broke it when they finally arrived outside of the large, expensive apartment building as he spoke up again saying, "I never thought I would have to see him again. We didn't necessarily part on good terms."

Travis saw the sad look on his face as he responded, "I can see that. Might I ask why without getting my head chewed off for butting in?"

"Because, he's the lawyer that defended the last man I ever prosecuted," Wes answered despondently. "The one client of his that I wish Conway worked harder to defend, but didn't because the man was one of the few clients he ever defended pro bono and he didn't care if he won those cases or not. Trent Conway rubbed the fact that I sent an innocent man to prison and in so doing to his death in my face every chance he got until I couldn't take the guilt any longer and quit."

"That's right, I did," the man they came to see said as he came out of his house and started walking toward them. "I have to say, I never really figured you for a quitter, but then again, you always did tend to take things too personally. Hello again, Mitchell. How long has it been?"

Wes glared at his former colleague as he replied, "Not long enough."

Conway laughed and then responded, "Well then, I guess we ought to get down to business, so you can get out of here as soon as possible. This isn't exactly a pleasure for me either."

"The look on your face says otherwise," Travis quickly cut in to try to keep the man from insulting his partner. "We came to ask you who your client is, who set up a large trust fund in Kyle Moore's name."

"As Wes had stated earlier on the phone," the defense lawyer answered. "To which I said that I couldn't tell him as to lawyer client confidentiality. I warned him you'd be making a trip down here for nothing."

Wes spoke again saying, "Yes, but you're a defense lawyer. Why would you be the executive of a hefty trust fund, unless this client is more of a friend?"

Trent replied, "Why does that matter? Friend or not, this person is still my client and I don't have to tell you anything."

"Somebody killed Kyle Moore and we believe that they did so for the money given to him," Wes responded angrily. "My partner and I are trying to figure out everyone in his life in hope of finding out whom that is. If you know anything that can help us, please…. Please tell us."

"You must really be desperate," the man said arrogantly, knowing that he was touching a nerve in his former colleague, turned detective. "I've never heard you beg before."

Travis stepped between his partner and Conway and quickly shoved him hard up against the side of the building as he shouted, "Listen, you smug son of a bitch. You don't want to tell us anything, that's fine. But your resistance in helping us and you taunting my partner doesn't just make me hate you, but it also makes me suspect you of killing our victim. Maybe you did, maybe you didn't, but you can bet that we'll find out and we'll hunt you down."

Wes smiled as saw the haughtiness disappear and become replaced by anger and a slight hint of fear, then he added, "My partner's right. You're now a suspect, so thanks. Even though you weren't trying to be helpful, you actually were."

"If you really want the people who killed Kyle, then look to that gang that lives in the boy's neighborhood," Trent finally answered in frustration. "I warned Kyle to be careful with that kind of money, but if he flaunted it, then those thugs would have had a perfect reason for killing him."

"That's something we've already considered," Travis replied as he and Wes turned to walk back toward their car. "We'll be back if we have any more questions. I wouldn't try to disappear. You'll only make yourself look even more suspicious."

Conway shouted out, "I have nothing to hide! If you need to talk to me again, I'll be right here!"

The detectives simply ignored the man as they started driving back toward the city and then Travis spoke up again saying, "Man that guy's a jerk. You weren't kidding."

"I told you," Wes answered somberly. "I should have known that he never would have given up his client's name. I could have saved us a lot of time and aggravation."

"Don't sweat it," his partner replied as he quickly patted his shoulder. "You gave it a shot. How are you holding up?"

Wes quickly looked over at Travis, then turned to keep his eyes on the road as he drove, and responded, "I'm fine. Conway always did know how to rattle me. I don't know why I let him get to me."

Travis answered, "It happens to all of us. There are certain people that get under my skin too."

"Like Jason?" Wes asked.

"That's right, like Jason," Travis replied as he looked into the rearview mirror and noticed a dark, unmarked van was following them as they made their way back downtown. "I think we're being followed. They're three cars back. I suggest you lose them, whoever they are, or better yet, find a way to get the upper hand so that we can catch them and ask why they're looking for us."

Wes simply nodded as he began to swerve in and out of the lanes, forcing the van to follow suit, then Wes quickly turned off of the main roads and started driving along the side streets in order to try to avoid as much traffic as possible. Most of the other cars around them managed to get out of the way, though the people driving the van weren't as careful to avoid hitting them. The detectives knew that the chase needed to end quickly, so Wes suddenly swerved into a near vacant parking lot behind a pizza parlor and spun around as he came to a full stop, facing their opponents head on.

Upon doing so, the detectives swiftly got out of their vehicle with their guns raised as Wes shouted, "Stay where you are and raise your hands high in the air so we can see them. Who the hell are you and what do you want with us?"

As the now masked men slowly exited their vehicle as well, appearing to do as the blonde detective ordered, one of them spoke up as he said coldly, "We didn't come here for the both of you, Detective Mitchell; just you."

Before either of the detectives could react, another one of the men suddenly tossed some kind of canister at their feet as it began to smoke heavily, causing Wes and Travis to cough as the haze surrounded them and began to make them feel drowsy. They fired as many shots as they could toward their assailants, one of the bullets managing to hit one of them in the chest, but it wasn't long before they were both unconscious on the ground. Once most of the smoke cleared, two of the attackers moved to stand above the detectives, then carefully began to drag Wes toward their van and threw him inside and finally sped off, leaving Travis and the kidnappers' now dead accomplice behind.

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