I am looking down my phone and shake my head. No, this is certainly a bad idea.
“Don’t even think about it,” Stig says. “It is a bad idea.”
I chuckle. He didn’t even turn to look at me to do that. He is still buried in his computer and checking every last detail.
“We need muscle,” I sigh.
“Same thing Tor said when I reported in,” Stig growls. “Way too old school, man. And are you sure you want to let the kid’s father know? He will mobilize his crew alright. We will have all the muscle we need. And he will go in, kill everyone. Brutally. So, going in, guns blazing? Will most likely get us all, including the kid, killed. But Tyr is watching over us.” His smile is filled with malice.
“What do you have?”
“Brains and a fucking magic wand.”
I lean closer to him to breathe into his ear.
“I do not know about that first thing but hell... you sure got a magic wand.”
Then and only then does he take his eyes off the screen to look at me. It is the tension, I know. The adrenaline pumping that makes us both crazy with want, looking for a way to release the pressure. Three kids, four if you count Antony - and I do count Antony - are hanging from this. One, we cannot help. But the others? It comes down to us to get them out of this safely.
“Fuck, Nat,” Stig growls. “I cannot fucking concentrate when you are around. And concentration is my middle name.”
“You seem pretty concentrated to me,” I smile.
“Oh, are you nagging me, old man? Feeling left out?”
I sigh. This is a serious fucked-up game we are playing. What do we do? We can’t let go, we can’t hold on.
“OK, tell you what.” Stig takes the reins. “After all this is done and everyone is safely where they are supposed to be, we will go back to your friend’s house.”
I go hard.
“For one,” Stig whispers as he pulls me down, “last,” he growls, “long round.”
“OK,” is all I am able to say right now.
Stig laughs and his whole body shakes beautifully. Mind you, still no tee on. I will never get bored with this sight.
“Now, can I, please, finish this so we can go take our places?”
“First, you are going to tell me what have you planned?”
“Operation Karma Bitch.”
There is no way to check upon Anthony but through the same feed, he is claiming to be in charge of. In a way he is. All the security guards are seeing is an empty terminal. What I am seeing in the actual feed is a lot more concerning.
“I told you we needed more muscle.” I breathe down Stig’s neck.
Can you blame me? There are at least ten heavily armed men there. And two kids. Anthony is looking quite nervous but thankfully everyone is too busy looking at the private jet that is docked. Stig has forged the entrance log for this landing as well to help Anthony.
As for the other kid? I can tell that he has been spared - of course he was, he is a precious cargo - and that those hardened cartel genes paid off. He seems worried but so far he hasn’t broken down in tears. I am just hoping it is not because he is absolutely terrified.
“What’s the plan?”
“Same as before, old man.”
I sigh and I ready my gun. Stig gets up without getting his eyes off the screen and checks his gun too.
“I was so fucking angry when Tor and Vince insisted I took some gun lessons,” Stig says. “It was Tor that convinced me that it would be like a live first-person shooter game. And he needed to say no more. Now I am almost as good as Wood. OK, perhaps not Wood but as Daniel.”
“You said we are not going to need these.” I frown.
“Well, better safe than sorry, right?”
I watch the screen as the door to the jet opens and the retracting stairs unfold. At the top, there is a huge guy. Probably the muscle brought from the other side of the ocean for this. He climbs down the stairs with two more, equally mountainous men.
“It would be so fucking great to have Ironhand around right about now,” Stig mutters. “And Bjorn. Wouldn’t hurt to have Bjorn too. Or Rage. Yeah, Rage will do just fine.”
The men walk around and check everything. Then and only then a man appears at the top of the stairs. He is exactly like his photos. Except his look is even harder, more predatory. A man that thinks he owns the world.
I shake my head. I have dealt with a few “white collar” assholes. If the cartel boss thinks he is tough, he is nothing. Men like him, men that do not blink twice to see people die just to make a few more bucks are the real ruthless ones. I would prefer dealing with the cartel, to be honest.
“OK, pretty boy,” Nathan says, “Let’s do this.”
We cross the little hallway that separates us from the terminal and we are both silent. Stig is right next to me and suddenly I feel a terrible dread coming over me. I have walked into fire before again and again, alone, with no backup. and I have never felt so scared shitless before.
I glance sideways at the man walking shoulder to shoulder with me and I shiver. What if something happens to him? What if he is hurt? What if I won’t be able to protect him? For the first time in my life, I feel fear come over me. The fear of losing someone. Someone...
Fuck! Someone that means so much more to me than a fuck. So much fucking more, damn it!
I stop and wrap my fingers around his wrist.
“What-?” Stig starts but I shut him up. With my lips.
I push him against the wall and I take his head in my hands. I am desperate as I dive into this kiss. I coax his lips with my tongue and Stig responds in a tantalizingly slow way that has me going rock hard. His one hand goes behind my neck and he leans his head just right to deepen the kiss. I grind my whole body against his, letting my skin memorize his, allowing myself to mold into his, feel the curves and edges of his muscles.
It doesn’t last long. We are both aware that we got shit to do. We break the kiss and stand there looking into each other’s eyes. His baby blues are swimming with something deep that threatens to drown me and I take a breath before I unglue myself from him.
“Going in with an actual hard-on.” Stig chuckles.
We both laugh and push the door to step into the unknown.
The moment we do, all heads turn to us and all gun barrels as well. Anthony doesn’t move but his whole body tenses.
“Well, well,” Stig takes the lead. “If it isn’t an illegal human transplant deal.”
He opens his arms dramatically.
“Who the fuck are you?” One of the men brought in by the kidnappers yells.
All guns are still on us but Stig is cool as a cucumber. It surely pays off to be a Swede in situations like these.
“Let me lay down the facts for you. This boy,” Stig points at the kid, “is going nowhere. Secondly, this feed, the actual feed is being recorded. Thirdly, you,” Stig turns to the man that paid for all this mess, “you will get in that plane and you will go back to Spain.”
Everyone pauses. The mere fact that Stig knows all these things has taken them aback.
“I know that guy!” Suddenly someone screams and points at me. “He is the one that raided us last time. I say this time we kill his meddling ass.”
Guns cock and load.
“Murder on top of kidnapping on tape. Cool.” Stig reminds.
“You are bluffing,” the man that started all this says and he approaches.
Stig smiles widely.
“Oh, man, you so wish I did.”
“What is stopping me from ordering my men to kill you both right now, bury you deep and forget you ever existed?”
“Mm, let’s see,” Stig’s eyes narrow with malice. “Cause then you are fucked.”
While the two of them face off, I sense movement at our flanks. A man has moved closer, gun in hand.
“I wouldn’t do that,” I point a gun at him. “In fact, I suggest we all stay put. We are outnumbered, we can all see that but I am a good shot and I reckon I can take down at least...” I pause for effect and glance at each one of the men, “four of you. Now, who is feeling lucky today?”
Nobody does. OK step one done. Step one was not getting killed the moment we entered the terminal.
“Now, let’s talk,” Stig smiles wider still and goes to set his laptop on a table.