Sound Of Silence
Author: Rose Hala

Chapter 5
Sound Of Silence by Rose Hala

CHAPTER 5

Steven felt instant respect for the man who looked him straight in the eye when he shook his hand.

“Hello, I’m Mac.” With the introductions over,

Steven looked at Samuel.

“Couldn’t you have just asked for the night off?”

“I’ll remember that next time,” Samuel laughed, relieved that Steven was here.

Mac waited until everyone had eaten before he opened the folder in his lap.

“ Samuel, did you see anything of the person who shot you? Carl seems to think you were upset.”

“ I saw someone leaving the concert through the side door. I saw his face in the exit light. Something about the man sent a cold shiver down my spine. That’s what I was thinking about when I sat next to Carl on the step.”

Samuel shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know if it was the same man who shot me. I don’t even remember getting shot. I just remember waking up here. Do you have any idea who he is?”

Mac nodded.

“ We’re pretty sure the guy who shot you was Tony Menza, a small time criminal who did odd jobs for who ever paid the most”. Steven, his mind always as sharp as a steel trap, looked at Mac with a raised eyebrow

“ Was?”

“Yeah.” Mac looked at Samuel.

“ While you were sleeping with the help of some strong pain meds, Tony came into the I.C.U. intending to kill you.”

“ Madre Dios!”

“What!!”

“You can’t be serious.

“Bloody Hell!” Steven swore, while Samuel just sat in stunned silence.

“Well, it’s obvious the guy didn’t succeed , so have you got him in custody yet? And what is being done to secure my client?” Steven carried on before Mac could speak. “In fact , I want security arrangements looked at for all these guys.” Mac held up a hand for a bit of calm.

“Someone was hired for clean-up and followed Tony and took him out.” Samuel was unfamiliar with American slang.

“ So where is he now, this Tony?” At the question Daniel recalled the phone call at the police station.

“ Ahh, now it makes sense. He’s the victim in the morgue that the guy on the phone mentioned.”

“Then who took him out and how did I end up in here in this room?” Sam knew what they were talking about now, and he also knew what Intensive Care Unit’s looked like from his hospital charity work and it wasn’t like the room he was in now. “And why did the guy stop at Tony? Why not take me out as well?”

“It had to be a professional hit. They get paid for each one and they don’t do freebies. Besides, the hospital already had security stationed in the ICU. It says in these notes that someone named Grant Wakefield arranged for the guard.”

Steven explained who Grant was, while Daniel, Carl and Utah looked at each other grinned. Carl laughed, “That bottle of Scotch is turning into a case.” At Samuel’s puzzled expression Utah explained.

“And just ‘cause you’ve been shot and are in the hospital doesn’t mean you get out of your share of the bill, either.” Carl continued. “ And when you get out of here, my friend, we’ll all be having a shot on you.” Samuel grinned at Carl then had a sudden thought, he looked sharply at Mac;

“ If there was a security guard by the ICU door, how did those other men get near my room?”

“Yeah,” said Daniel. “We were all wondering about that. When we came to see Sam the first time, the doctor escorted us past a guard on the door. Where was he when those guys made their way to Sam’s room.” Mac grimaced

“ The guard went to the men’s room. That’s where we think the guy who killed Tony was waiting because the guard was knocked out cold right before Tony was found murdered.”

“ Oh my God! How is he? I want to send him something. Flowers?” Sam looked across at Steven who nodded. He’d see to it that flowers would be sent that day.

“ He’s doing ok and so is the nurse who got smacked around. They’ve been admitted for observation and they’re under guard as well. We might need them as witnesses.”

Utah frowned.

“ We need to do something for Shirley, she was the one who was hurt, right?” Mac nodded.

“Yes, we do.” Carl agreed. “ She was really nice to us, bringing us food from the bakery where her mother works.”

“She lent me her cell phone so I could call you,” Daniel added. “ We have to do something. Maybe you can arrange for Shirley and her mother to come to the next concert as our special guests.”

Steven thought for a minute.

“ Well, the next concert is in Canada next month if all is going well with Sam. Sure. If they want to go I’ll make the arrangements. What about you, Mac? Would you like to attend a Choir Boys concert?” Mac nearly dropped the folder.

“Me? Go to an opera concert?” He looked like he’d received an invitation to wash dishes. “Noooo, thank you. No offence intended.”

Laughter filled the room.

“ Well, they don’t actually sing opera as such, I’ll give you a couple of CD’s. If you change your mind, let me know.” Steven offered.

Utah jumped up from his chair. “ Mac, what about the guy at the concert who got stabbed?”

“What guy?” Samuel and Steven spoke at the same time.

“He’s the reason the Feds became involved so quickly,” Mac explained leafing through the file. “The victim was working undercover with the Drug Squad. He had set up a meet at your concert. We are hoping the meet took place before the guy got killed because he was wearing a wire.” Daniel looked puzzled.

“ Why would they set up a meeting at a concert? I mean, while we aren’t exactly heavy metal, we aren’t quiet either.”

“Concerts are the best spots for informants, especially for those meeting under-cover agents. There’s people around which offers some measure of protection and the informants assume, like you do, that the person they are meeting won’t be wired because the noise from the band would make the wire useless; which is not the case. With sophisticated equipment we can break the sounds down, much like you guys do in the recording studio, then break them apart some more to identify all the components. After we remove all the noises we don’t want, what’s left is what we use to build our case. It takes a highly trained team a long time but the convictions speak for themselves.” Mac turned to Samuel.

“ Now what to do with you? The doctor said he may release you this afternoon but I don’t want any of you going back to your hotel. I’m not taking any chances.”

“ It’s all been arranged. Thanks Mac.” Steven extended his hand which Mac gripped firmly.

“ Stay in touch. Your boys are potential witnesses.” Mac said as he removed a business card from his wallet. “This has the phone number to my private line. Call me.”

 

Samuel had never been happier walking around in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt in his whole life. After a hot shower and shave, he felt more like a member of the human race again. The doctor had given him the all clear and he was waiting for the guys to collect him. Steven was the only one who knew where they were going, but Daniel, Carl ,Utah, and Samuel trusted Steven implicitly and had done so from the birth of the Choir Boys.

Exiting the hospital via the ambulance entrance, Samuel stared at the mob in front of him. There were fans everywhere; apparently word had gotten around. He grabbed the cap from Daniel’s head and put it on his own.

“ I don’t want them to see this,” he said, pointing to the gauze bandage round his head. “There are more here now than when we arrived here this afternoon.” Daniel exclaimed.

Samuel smiled. He really loved these people. They were truly dedicated to spend hours standing in the hot sun to wish him well. He wanted to embrace them all.

“I need to talk to them,” he said, turning to Steven. Steven shook his head but it was futile. No one stood between these boys and their fans.

“Stay here a minute.” Steven disappeared returning a few moments later with four microphones. “These belong to some of the reporters out front. I’ve promised an exclusive interview if they’ve leave us alone for the moment.” With that, he stepped onto the top of a grassy area.

“Hello, Ladies and Gentlemen.” The fans screamed at the sound of his voice. Fans ran to join the greater mob. “I’d like you to put your hands together for the Choir Boys.”

Daniel ,Carl, Utah and Samuel moved as one as they walked onto the grassy knoll. Samuel, taking Steven’s microphone, addressed the crowd.

“Hi, everyone.” He waited for the cheering to subside then continued. “I can’t thank you enough for your kindness in coming here to wish me well. You must have been making very powerful wishes, because here I am.” The crowd applauded. “I know that you have brought all these wonderful gifts for me and I am very grateful. Merci beaucoup. But I must ask that you do me a huge favor. As you can see I’m feeling much better and don’t need to stay in the hospital any longer.” More cheering and clapping from the crowd.

“ But, there are really sick people in there,” he continued, pointing to the hospital, “some of whom are children. They aren’t as fortunate as I am, I would really appreciate it if some of you lovely people would give these beautiful things to the patients. We need to spread more kindness around our world. Merci beaucoup. Thank you very much.”

Some of the fans were wiping their eyes. They knew of Samuel’s generosity and that he was heavily involved in charity work. One by one, quietly they laid their gifts on the grass in front of The Choir Boys, until there was a pile that stretched from Daniel, past Carl and Sam, and extended another foot past Utah and stood three feet high. There was a strange, almost reverent hush that fell over the crowd.

It was then that Samuel started singing “Ave Maria.” The Choir Boys joined in and as they sang orderlies came with gurneys to collect all the gifts lying on the ground.

The fans stood, arms around the person beside them. Family, friend, or total stranger, they were all united by their love of these singers and their music. Fans who were caught up in the moment silently wept and clung to each other, even after The Choir Boys had left.

 

“ When are you going to tell us where we are going ?” Daniel asked in the taxi. Steven cocked his head toward the taxi driver.

“I’ll tell you on the plane.”

Steven grinned as four pairs of eyes just stared at him in surprise. He laughed as Carl mouthed the word, “Plane?” He didn’t say another word about it until they were safely on board.

“ Actually, you’re going home.” Steven said to Daniel. At his quizzical look he explained.

“When I called your parents to inform them what had happened, they suggested that we stay at the ranch until you leave for Canada or, at the least, until Samuel fully recovers. And there’s a surprise waiting for you, Samuel, when we get there. Now, if you’ll excuse me,” he said, pulling a pillow from the hold, “ it’s been a hell of a long day and I’m beat. See you four in Colorado.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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