Sarah was still bound hand and foot to the bed. The door opened with a squeak, and a moment later her captor pressed a large hunting knife to her throat. She laid very still, not saying a word, and tried her best to force the tears away.
A husky voice whispered. “I told you I would come back, Sarah. Stay very still and say nothing and you won’t be killed.”
Sarah knew in her heart what was about to happen and she closed her eyes in an attempt to find a safe place in her mind. A place where hopefully she wouldn’t feel anything that was about to happen to her.
After her captor finished, he leaned down, his hot breath close to her ear, and seductively said, “You were wonderful, my dear, and you will learn to love me. Sarah, you are with me now. No one will come for you.”
He climbed off of her, pulled his clothes back on, unbound her, and left.
Once the door closed behind him, all the tears she had been holding back made their way down Sarah’s face. She removed the blindfold, then lifted a hand to wipe at her eyes. When she did, she noticed that there were some clean clothes at the end of the bed. She took off the rest of her own tattered clothes and slid into the fresh ones. As she changed, she took stock of the room that was her prison.
Her gaze settled on a small black box in the corner of the room. The red blinking light signaled the camera was recording. She moved across the room, and the camera followed. Chills skittered down her spine.
Sarah jumped as the door opened again. A man walked in the room with some food and water, set it down by the bed, turned around, and walked out, not saying a word.
Sarah eyed the food suspiciously and as her stomach growled. She wondered how long it had been since she had eaten last.
She picked up the plate of food and smelled it. She wasn’t sure if it was the fact that she was so hungry, or if it really did smell as wonderful as she thought it did. She poked the food with her finger, and found herself wishing that someone had poisoned it.
Jaxon and Jacob returned to the hotel room, where Megan was waiting for them.
“So Detectives, how did the hunt go?”
“We have a lot to discuss and make sense of. What did you find out, Jax?”
“Something didn’t feel right about what they were telling me. I’m sure they were lying. I got them to let us go down to the dock and look around. I get the feeling someone doesn’t want us snooping around, though. What did you find out, Jake?”
“Well, I got the captain to request them to give us the coroner’s report and anything else they had on the accident. They are going to get it sent to me. What about you, Meg? Did you find anything?”
“I didn’t find too much, but I did call some of the people the detectives interviewed in the case, and they didn’t have anything new to add. So I decided to take a look at the city census and see if Michael Person ever lived in Black County. Struck out on that. So I did a state search and found out that there’s a Michael Person who lived in Tacoma. I wrote down the phone number and address for you. We should go talk to the families of the slain detectives as well. Oh, I did find out what this Michael Person did for a living. He worked as a stock trader of all things, so the money he had was all legal.”
“Good job, everyone. I guess the next thing we need to do is go to the dock and see the accident. We will stop off and get lunch on our way.”
After Jaxon left the BCPD, Detective Lopez picked up the phone and called a number.
Soon, someone answered, their voice distorted, “What?”
“One of those nosey detectives from Avalon came here asking questions about the Michael Person case.”
“Well, what did you tell her? And I better like the answer you give me.”
“I didn’t tell her anything. I just fed her a bunch of bull.”
“You better not have told her anything. If you did, that will be the last mistake you’ll ever make.”
“Umm…” the detective swallowed hard.
“What? Did you think the rules didn’t apply to you, just because you are a cop?”
“No, sir. Of course not, sir.”
“Why am I surrounded by idiots? Who are supposed to be the best detectives in Black County?”
“Umm, sir, there is one more thing.”
“Great. This day just keeps getting better. Well, start talking. I don’t have all day.”
“The detectives are going to look around at the docks. So if your assassin cleaned up after himself, there shouldn’t be anything to link you to the crime.”
“Well, this is most unfortunate. Keep me appraised of the situation as it progresses, and for both your sakes I hope this situation progresses like I want it to. You can handle that, can’t you?”
“Yes sir, we will, and thank you, sir.”
The phone line went dead as the detective blathered on. He realized there wasn’t anyone on the line anymore, and he placed it back on the hook.
“The boss sounded extremely pissed that those detectives are even here in town.”
The two detectives looked at each other. “So what are we supposed to do about them?”
“Just watch them and keep the boss apprised of the situation. There’s nothing more we can do.”
“That’s all? Just watch them? That sucks. I wanted something more… exciting.”
“Heck, we’re lucky to still be alive after that last screw up. And to think we recommended him. Let’s grab a beer and put this day behind us.”
“I hear that.”
They both headed out to the parking lot, got in their cars, and headed to the nearest bar.
Jake, Jax, and Megan headed to the dock where the yacht exploded. They walked in to find the dock supervisor in hopes of learning what he saw on that day.
Jake sent Megan and Jaxon out to the site of the explosion to see what they could find out.
“I think I have a better idea, Jake.” A smile spread across Jaxon’s face.
“I’m open to other ideas. Do tell.”
“There are probably a lot of lonely men who have been out to sea for a long time in there. And I bet they haven’t seen a woman in a long time either, so I had the thought that I should go in and talk to the dock supervisor myself.”
Jake nodded. “I like that idea. Go ahead, but be careful.”
“I will, Jake, and if I’m not back in thirty minutes, you can send in backup.”
She concealed her firearm, then walked into the building and found a room full of sailors and dock hands. “Excuse me gentlemen, I’m looking for the dock supervisor. Does anyone know where he or she is?”
No one looked up from what they were doing, so Jax decided to take a different approach.
She put a little seductive tone to her voice. “Can any of you kind gentlemen direct me to a gentleman named Michael Person?”
“Who’s looking for him?” A man in the middle of the room asked.
Jaxon had to make a quick decision. “I’m a lady friend of his, and I haven’t heard from him in a while, so I came looking for him. My name is Bambi.”
“He was in his office last time I saw him. You can go on back, little lady.”
She breathed a sigh of relief and headed back to the office. As soon as she got out of eyesight of the sailors, she unsnapped her holster and proceeded to check the door of the office.
She entered the office, just in time to see someone dressed in black grab a stack of papers and headed for the back door. Jaxon yelled at them to “Freeze!”
The person turned and pulled a gun. Jaxon saw the gun and fired first, hitting the dark figure in the shoulder, and effectively disarming them. The suspect grunted and rushed Jaxon.
She smiled, braced herself, and waited for the right moment. She leveled him with a well-placed kick to the face.
“If you don’t want this to be the dumbest thing you ever do, I suggest you don’t move another muscle.”
Jaxon handcuffed the man, read him his rights, and then called Jake on her cell.
“Jake, I have a suspect in custody. He pulled a gun on me so I had to disarm him. What’s your ETA?”
“Give me ten minutes and we will be there to pick you and your prisoner up.”
“All right. We will be around the back. I’m going to search the office really quick.”
“Good work, Jax.”
Jaxon walked back over where she left the handcuffed man, “You have a lot of explaining to do my friend, and you had best not lie to me either.”
When Jake got to where Megan stood on the dock, he saw her surrounded by five drunken dock workers.
Jake walked up to them. “Is there a problem here?”
“This is none of your business, so get out of here.”
Jake placed his arm on the shoulder of the man who did the talking.
“Oh, but that is where you are wrong my friend. See, this beautiful young woman is my wife. I suggest all you of leave before someone gets hurt.”
“You and whose army is going to make us?”
“I don’t need an army to take care of any of you.”
All four of the dock hands smiled, and the other three started to advance toward Jake. Two had baseball bats and one was carrying a knife. Jake put the man who had been speaking in a head lock. He then took out his side-arm and the other three men paused.
The first one came at Jake, baseball bat aimed at his head. Jake ducked the swing then kicked the man just above the knee with his shin. The man fell away clutching his broken knee.
The next man swung, but Jake side-stepped the attack and the bat hit the ground instead. Jake swept his legs and he landed flat on his back; hitting the back of his head on dock. The bat rolled away, and Megan bent down and picked it up.
The final combatant came at Jake with a knife, stabbing and slashing at him. He waited till the combatant over extended, trying to stab him, and then simply blocked it by placing his forearm at the wrist of the person wielding the knife. Jake didn’t see that the man had two knives. He slashed at Jake’s midsection. He barely saw the slash out of the corner of his eyes in time to jump back. He wasn’t quite fast enough, as the blade came in contact, cutting him open.
Jake growled and placed his hand on his stomach. He looked at the person who just sliced him, grabbed his hands and twisted them till he dropped the knives, He then kept a hold of one of the person’s wrist, and arm then threw him to the ground.
Jake looked over just in time to see Megan take out the leader with the baseball bat. Jake laughed and walked over to his wife. “Are you all right?”
“Yes.” She looked at Jake. “You’re bleeding!”
Jake looked down at his stomach. “It’s just a scratch.”
“Are you sure?”
Yes, I’m sure.
“Thank you for coming to my rescue.” She said. She turned and smirked at the four dock hands lying on the dock moaning, then looked at her husband. “Couldn’t you have just showed them your badge?”
Jake laughed. “Of course I could have, but where’s the fun in that? Plus, they were trying to hurt you, and I can’t have that now, can I?”
Megan smirked. “I suppose not, my love. I do appreciate it very much.” They made their way back to their car hand in hand. When they got there, Jaxon already had the prisoner locked up in the back seat.
“What took you two so long to get up here?”
They looked at each other. “We just ran into some old friends and got to talking. You know how we like to talk.”
“I’m sure you two did. I’ve seen the way you talk, Jake.”
Megan glanced in the back seat. “Who’s our guest?”
“Oh, him? That’s just the one and only Mr. Michael Person.”
“He’s the one that got killed while giving Jake and I a tour of Stonehenge, right? Hmm. He doesn’t look dead to me.”
“I agree. That’s one of the things we are going to ask him about. Let’s get back to the hotel before someone starts asking why three of their dock hands were taken out.”
Jaxon shook her head. “I know better than to ask questions.”
They got back to the hotel and snuck their prisoner into the room. They handcuffed him to one of the only chairs in the room while they packed and got ready to transport him to the Avalon PD so they could interrogate him.
Jaxon got on the phone and made arrangements to get their suspect to Avalon. “All right, the Chief said to drive him there ourselves. He gave permission to rent a car and to put the charge on the force’s tab.”
When they got to Avalon they had an officer take Michael into one of the interrogation rooms.
Jake and Jaxon entered the room where Michael was. “So, your name is Michael Person, yes?”
The man didn’t answer, so Jake repeated the question. Still no answer. “This says that your name is Michael A Person and that you reside in 122 Black County Way, Blackridge, WA.” Jake held up the man’s driver’s license. “So, let’s start again. Your name is Michael Person correct?”
The man nodded his head.
“See, now that wasn’t so hard now was it?”
“That was the easy part. Now for the hard part. Who was the man in England using your identity?” Jaxon waited for an answer and when she didn’t receive one, she got right up in his face. “Don’t make me repeat myself again, boy.”
“Or what huh? What are you going to do if I don’t? You’re just a woman. You don’t have the strength to do anything to me. You’re bound by the law anyway, so you can’t touch me.”
“Oh, but that’s where you are wrong. See we’re both detectives and if we witness a crime being committed then we have every right to arrest you no matter where you are. You were seen by us taking documents from the dock office and you, my friend, don’t work there. We checked. So we have every right, in fact. We have to arrest you. Now, if you help us find out what’s going on here and you truthfully answer our questions, we may just forget what we saw… Maybe. Think it over while I get something to drink.”
Jacob left the room to get some sodas, while Jaxon continued the questioning. “So let’s start again. And this time, let’s not waist time shall we? What’s your real name?”
“No. About a month ago, this guy that came by the neighborhood and started recruiting some of us for some project he was doing. He said it paid really well and all we had to do was follow the instructions we’d been given.. He also told us that we couldn’t use our real names and that we would be given new ones that we would need to go by. He told us that all of our names would be Michael Person. I later found out that the names he had us use are so he knows what area we are working. So basically depending on what name we were assigned, would tell us what area we would be working in.”
“When I got the envelope in the mail, there was a new driver’s license, social security card, the whole nine yards, and this new name on everything. In my package, it just said that I was supposed to go out and get a gun, then go to the dock and get papers on a certain shipment that came in by cargo boat. He also said that after we completed the job that we weren’t supposed to use the name again until we got another job. Every time we got a package and finished a job, we were to mail the evidence of our success, and then a package would come with our payment.”
“So what is your real name? And how many did the guy recruit from your neighborhood?”
“Zander…Zander Radisson, and they hired about ten of us, I think. At least the day they picked me. I don’t know how long they were there recruiting people before or after me.”
“Okay Zander, do you know how many areas have a group like yours?”
“I’m not sure. I heard that there are many groups. I only know three of them other than the one I use. There are Christian Smith, Anthony Armstrong, and Juan Vieira.”
“What was that last name you said? Juan Vieira?”
“Yeah, Juan Vieira. I’m sure you can guess where that one got used at.”
“Yeah, I can. Little Mexico. Hmm… Looks like we are headed to Little Mexico after we finish here.”
Jax left the room and went to talk to Jake.
“Jake, we have a problem. If Juan Vieira is involved with this it may go deeper than we had first thought. We need to find out how deep this does go so we know what we’re up against.”
Jake thought about this for a moment. “That does indeed present a problem, Jax. We will have to tell the Captain about this. Why don’t you go back in there and see what else he has to tell us? I’ll join you there shortly. I’m just finishing up in here.”
“All right, Jake.” Jax made her way back into the room where Zander was being held. “So, Mr. Radisson, what do you know about the two detectives who were killed at the docks a few years ago?”
“Only what I heard on the news and read in the paper. However, if I had to venture a guess as to what happened, I would say that they were getting too close to this area and they wanted them out of the way. I’m sure it was an accident like they said it was.” His voice dripped with sarcasm.
“So you don’t believe it wasn’t an accident?”
“Of course not, but everyone is lead to believe that because that is how the Leaders work. If they need anyone out of the way, it always looks like an accident or something. It’s their MO, as you cops would say.
“All right. What do you know about the four missing teenage girls?”
“Ah, now there is something I do know about. The Leaders took those missing teenage girls and sold them on the black market. I had a job at one time to transport them to the pick-up point. When I got to the pick-up point, I recognized one of the men. It was Detective Lopez. The only reason I knew it was him is because he dated my sister a while back.”
“What can you tell me about him?”
He shrugged his shoulders. “Apparently he can be bought. He has a temper. That is for sure. I was late with a delivery once and he threatened to shoot me. He told me if I was ever late again, I would have a bullet in my temple.” He put two fingers to the side of his forehead. “He isn’t afraid of the law and thinks he can do anything and get away scot-free. He is someone I wouldn’t want to mess with. And the most important thing I know about him is that he isn’t a real detective. The Leaders pulled some strings to get him the documentations and job.”
Jaxon checked her notes. “Do you know anything about his partner, Detective Brown?”
“I don’t. I didn’t even know he had one. You can assume that he isn’t a real detective either. He probably also got put in by The Leaders.”
“Why are you helping us, Zander? Why give us all this information?”
“Oh, I have my reasons. They killed someone I care about. And I want them to pay for the pain they caused me. This seemed like the best form of revenge. All I want is for them to go down, and I don’t even care if I go to prison in the process.”
“Why didn’t you go to the police with this information?”
“I couldn’t be sure who I could trust, and since you three are not from Black County, I figured I would take a chance and tell you the info I had. I did need to make sure you weren’t with my bosses.”
Jake came back into the room and placed a photo in front of Zander. “Do you know this person? His name is also Michael Person.”
Zander picked up the photo and studied it for a few minutes, then put it down. “Yeah, I know him. He’s my brother, Zane. We’re twin brothers to be exact. He was never supposed to be involved. I made him promise me that he wouldn’t, but he always had to do what I did. What happened to him, Detective?”
“He was our tour guide at Stonehenge. He was killed by a sniper that was trying to kill us. I’m sorry for your loss.”
Zander looked up at the two detectives. “There is a way you can get close to The Leaders. I just got a package in the mail for my next assignment. I’m supposed to meet someone in the slums district of Avalon and bring him two more girls. The exchange is to be made at midnight tomorrow night. I wasn’t going to do it anymore. I planned on disappearing and never coming back to Avalon, but this way you can get closer to The Leaders, and just maybe bring an end to all of this. This is dangerous, but since you took care of those dock hands, I think you and your partner can handle this. However, there is one other thing you can do for me. My girlfriend got taken before I started in this, for lack of a better word, profession. Please find her and bring and her back to me.”
“We’ll try and find this woman of yours. What is her name?”
“Her name is Sydney. Thank you. There is one more thing I can offer. I have a friend at the place where the girls are taken. Tell him Zander sent you, and he will help you. My house isn’t far from here. Meet me there when you have her or news of where she is. Here are the directions to the pick-up point. Take care Detectives, and I look forward to seeing you again.”
Jake was texted that the DA was there to see him. “This is just take a moment. Jake walked out of the room where the DA was waiting for him.
“I’ve been listening to everything and because of the information he has given us, we have decided that we’re not going to press charges, as long as he testifies”
“Great, I will let him know.” Jake walked back in and over to where Zander was and helped him stand, he then took off the handcuffs. “The DA has decided not to press charges, as long as you testify. You are free to go, Zander.”