Measure of a Mann

Chapter 8

Measure of a Mann

Chapter Eight

Marshall had no idea how long ago he was taken. He knew when it was day and when it was night because of the small window inside his cell, but he had been in and out of consciousness because of the beating he had received from his father's hired men. Marshall was sore and in pain, but no doctor was called to look him over. He was left alone ever since his father had come to visit him that one time since he was taken. He wasn't even sure if anyone was still here.

Marshall stood up and began to walk around. He hoped that with all of the sleep, or unconsciousness, at least the headache would disappear, but it didn't. He realized that the only thing that would was the stiffness in his arms and legs.

He knew that Mary and Stan would figure everything out soon. He had faith that they would find him, he just wasn't sure if he would be alive or not. The men who kidnapped him were dangerous. That was known when he had to shoot one man down in his home. He didn't know what his father's plans were, but Marshall wanted to believe that despite whatever caused his father to do everything that he's done, the fact the he was his son would mean something.

About twenty minutes later, Richard Mann came walking through the door and into the room where Marshall was being held in a cage. He could tell that his father was upset about something, as he began to pace back and forth, probably looking for the right words before he began to talk.

Marshall spoke first saying, "What do you plan on doing with me, huh Dad? Are you willing to kill your own son? My partner will not allow you to get away with this, I assure you."

His father answered, "I had the pleasure of meeting with your partner earlier this morning. She is a piece of work, isn't she? She's hotheaded and she doesn't seem to get along with anyone. She must be hard to work with."

"Mary is my best friend, actually," Marshall replied. "She knows me better than anyone and I know her. Why were you talking with her anyway? I thought that you were planning on staying hidden."

"The man that followed you home after the party said that you had spoken to your partner briefly after you spotted me," Richard answered. "Even if you didn't say anything to her, the guy said that you were clearly upset. I figured that she would go to the security cameras to find out why and I was right. She had a photo of me leaving the gallery. I knew that I needed to come up with a story that would explain how I am alive and put the suspicion off of me. Although, I have a feeling that your partner didn't believe a word that I said."

"Believe me, Mary knows when someone is lying," Marshall said. "I tried to tell her once that our boss ate a piece of pie that she was given by a friend, but she knew that it was me. She always knew when something was bothering me even though I denied it. She knows that you are lying too. She will solve this case and put you in prison where you belong."

Richard Mann spoke quietly saying, "Listen to me Marshall, the men that I work with are dangerous men and they want to kill you, but I convinced them that I could get you to join us. I promise to explain everything to you if you will agree to leave everything you know behind you. I don't want to see you die, but I can't stop them if you refuse. Please, Son, I am begging you to do as they say."

Marshall asked, "I won't ever betray everything that I believe in, my partner, or my country. You ought to know that, it's what you taught me. Besides, when I do get out of here, I owe it to Ryan Combs to clear his father's name."

"Marshall, I regret what I did to my partner, but I had no choice," Mann replied. "A long time ago, I made a mistake of trying to help out an old friend of mine who was in trouble with the law. The man saved my life once. I owed it to him to help him out and I ended up killing a man to help him to disappear. I tried to cover it up by taking care of the body, but someone had proof of what I had done and used it to blackmail me; some district attorney who worked for a big shot criminal. He said that he would end my career and life if I didn't do some favors for them every once in awhile. He also threatened my family. I had no choice, but to agree and I ended up getting in too deep. After a year of doing these favors for the guy, the marshal service discovered that someone was dirty in our department. I had to put the blame on someone. The guy I work for planted the bomb that killed Tony and the guy I chased into the warehouse. They saved me because they still needed me. Faking my death was the best way to get off and to keep you and your mother safe. I regret what's happened, but I can't fix it. I just want to save you now. Please, agree to join me."

Suddenly, four other men walked into the room. Three of them walked over to the cell and unlocked the door. They grabbed Marshall, dragged him over, and pushed him down to his knees, holding him tightly in the center of the room. They were the same guys who beat him in his apartment.

In the beginning, Marshall thought that his father was in charge, but the more his father spoke, the more he realized that there was someone else that seemed to be calling all the shots. The last guy to walk in was apparently that guy. Marshall studied the man and knew that things were going to get bad now that he was involved. However, he refused to be a coward like his father.

The man was the first to speak saying, "So, you are Richard Mann's son, Marshall. I must say that I am pretty shocked that fate has brought the two of you back together. You certainly have grown. My name is Keith Martel. You managed to kill my attorney at your house the other night. He was a good friend, but not much of a fighter. I guess that I should have realized that you would be trouble. However, like your father explained, I am willing to give you chance to join me. I am now short one man and I could use someone still in the marshal service to help me out. What do you say?"

Marshall answered, "You obviously didn't hear everything I said before. I won't betray my partner or my country."

Richard said, "Marshall, he isn't someone to cross. Don't be stupid!"

"It's ok, Richard," Martel responded. "Your son just doesn't know who I am. I…"

"I don't need to know who you are or what you are capable of," Marshall interrupted. "I am not a traitor and I never will be. You could be Lucifer himself, I won't back down. Even if you threaten to kill me, I don't care. Go ahead, but you will regret it. I have dealt with scum like you every day since I became a marshal. Trust me, I am not afraid."

Martel back-handed Marshall hard across the face and it didn't even seem to faze him as he continued to look up at him, which made Martel even angrier. One of the three men who walked in with him suddenly pulled out a knife and cut open Marshall's shirt so that his bare chest was showing.

Martel took the cigar he was smoking from his mouth, held it up in front of Marshall's eyes and said, "Maybe you have to learn the hard way of what I am capable of. While two of my men are here having fun with you, the rest of us will go take care of your partner and her family. Perhaps then you will reconsider my request. If not, I will kill you."

One man grabbed Marshall's head and pulled it to the side so that his neck was facing up. Martel took the cigar and touched the end to Marshall's neck, holding it there for about ten seconds as Marshall bit back the scream that wanted to erupt from his mouth.

Martel, one of his thugs, and his father walked out of the room, while Marshall looked at the two men who stood in front of him with grins on their faces. The one with the knife slowly dragged the weapon across his stomach, cutting into his skin, and watched as blood began to pool from the long gash that was left behind. They pulled off their belts and began to beat, kick, and punch him mercilessly until Marshall could no longer fight them.

He remained on the floor on his stomach, until the men kicked him and pulled him over onto his back. The thug with the knife bent down and pulled open his shirt to reveal the scar on Marshall's chest from where he was shot a few years ago. He took the knife and pushed it into the same spot, finally earning a small scream from him. Marshall was weak and bloody and in a tremendous amount of pain, but he knew that he needed to try to find a way to escape these men so that he could warn Mary that she and her family were in danger, even if that was all he was given the chance to do.

The two men stood up and began to talk between each other, ignoring Marshall as he rolled over again onto his stomach while slowly pulling out the knife that the man left buried in his chest. Without warning, Marshall stood up, plunged the knife into one of the thugs' legs and pushed the other one hard up against the bars of the cell and knocked his head against them, causing him to fall unconscious. The thug with the knife in his leg cursed as Marshall pulled out the knife and stabbed him in the stomach, killing him.

Marshall had no idea how he managed to gain the strength he had to do so, but he ran from the room, using what was left of his tattered and torn shirt to keep the blood from pouring out of the deep knife wound in his chest. Once he exited the building, he saw that he was in the middle of nowhere, like the time that he and Mary were trapped inside of an abandoned gas station with one of their witnesses, after he got shot.

There was not a car anywhere in sight and Marshall knew that he would never make it out of there. He came back into the building and searched the men's pockets for a cell phone and found one, hoping that the unconscious one wouldn't come to long enough for him to make a call to Mary. Once he did that, he didn't care if the men left alive killed him or not. He only cared about Stan and Mary making sure that his father and Martel would pay for their crimes as he dialed his partner's number.

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