Sound Of Silence
Author: Rose Hala

Chapter 8
Sound Of Silence by Rose Hala

CHAPTER 8

Pursing her lips, she placed her hands on her hips and tried again.

“I said, what the hell have you done with my plane?” Steven stood.

“Now, Deb’s, take is easy.”

“Take it easy? You take it bloody easy! Now where is my plane?”

It was then that Debbie noticed Carl sliding down in his chair, Utah looking everywhere but at her, Samuel moving a fork around the table, and Daniel hugging his little sister with his back towards her. And then she looked at Rachel, who wasn’t good at hiding her feelings. The sympathy she saw in her green eyes forced Debbie to take a gulp of air.

“Steven, what’s going on? Where is Rhythm & Hymns? Where is my beautiful baby?”

Steven put his arm around Debbie’s shoulders and led her out of the room. The four Choir Boys watched the fight go out of her and it unsettled them more than they cared to admit.

It was all a bit much for Rachel. She started to cry and Samuel led her through the French doors to one of the swing seats dotted around the flower garden and pulled her onto his lap. After a few moments Rachel stopped crying. When she calmed down, she pulled tissues from her pocket; one for her nose and the second to wipe her face. On her return from the trash can across the lawn, Samuel met her half way.

As they came together, their lips met with a hunger that had been building up since Samuel had first stepped off the plane; a hunger that had been put on hold due to the explosion; a hunger that would be contained no longer.

“Rach?” Rachel pulled his head down and nibbled his ear.

“Oh, yes,” she whispered. They had been through so much that suddenly there was an immediate urge to be together. With their arms around each other, they walked to their guest house.

Carl had never really felt envy towards any of the guys before but, as he watched Samuel walk down to the guest house with Rachel, he felt a stab of envy toward his brother who had the woman he loved beside him.

Carl would almost sell his soul to have his beautiful wife, Jo Jo, with him now. He shook his head. He was going bonkers. Here he was, sitting at a table with eight people and he had never felt so lonely in his life.

“Lucky Bastard,” Utah sighed. “God, what I wouldn’t give to be with Antoinette right now.”

He glanced at Carl and Daniel and, as their eyes met, they all nodded. They’d had a huge ‘wake-up call’ this week. Suddenly life had become not just precious, but very fragile, making the time spent they spent with their partners very special and all too short.

“Daniel, what’s going on around here? Why was Rachel crying? And who is the man with the gun?” Daniel glanced down at Jiayi. The scared look on his baby sister’s face stabbed him in the heart. She was too young to be exposed to this: murder, Sam getting shot, drugs, and now the plane. He folded her in his arms and held her tight

“Hey, baby girl, its ok. The man with the gun is from the F.B.I. and he’s here to help us.

“Why do we need the F.B.I.’s help?”

“We are having a problem with our luggage and Mac’s sorting it out”

Jiayi rolled her eyes and gave him the

“I’m -not -a-baby” look. Daniel looked back at her with a “please-don’t-ask” look. She inclined her head towards Diana and nodded. Daniel knew Diana was the reason Jiayi gave in. His baby sister could, at times, be as stubborn as Maggie.

“Come on, Diana, lets go. I’ll introduce you to Annik, my horse. She’s just beautiful and she doesn’t keep any secrets from me!” Jiayi turned from Daniel with a flick of her straight black hair and, with a last look at Mac left the room with Diana following her.

“Phew! Is she always like that?” Daniel laughed.

“Trust me, Mac, you ain’t seen nothing yet. My baby sister is almost as bad as Maggie.”

 

Steven and Debbie returned to the room. It was obvious she had been crying but now she was hoping mad.

“So you’re a Fed, right?” She glared at Mac. He nodded.

“ Sam's been shot, some bloody nutter just blew up my plane, and what the hell are you doing about it? Having bloody breakfast, that’s what!” Mac jerked and was about to say something when Steven, who was standing behind Debbie, shook his head. He placed a hand on her shoulder.

“It’s not Mac’s fault, Debbie, he just drove from Las Vegas to explain what’s going on.

“Drove? You drove up here? I’m sorry, I didn’t know.” Debbie hung her head. When she looked up again, her eyes were bright with unshed tears.

“Look, Mac, I just want to know who de, destroyed m, my plane,” she said, the tears flowing freely now. She gave up trying to stop them. Her baby deserved them anyway.

Utah moved to the seat beside her and handed her a box of the tissues. Then he put an arm around her shoulders and gave her a much needed hug.

“Look, Debbie, I would really love to tell you something, anything, but I can’t because I don’t know why someone blew the plane up. I have a theory but, at the moment, its just speculation.”

Steven resumed his seat and leaned in. “What’s your theory, Mac? Why do you think someone destroyed the plane?”

“Well, like I said, at the moment it’s just speculation but I think whom ever is behind the smuggling operation wanted you all to stay put for a while. The device was set to go off when the plane was on the ground, not in the air so I don’t believe you guys were the target at all, just the plane. I believe this was a delaying tactic; nothing more. They are getting antsy about shifting their merchandise because The Feds are sniffing around.”

“A delaying tactic!”, Debbie stood up and pursed her lips. The time for tears was over, done, finished. The fiery redhead was back.

“So what you’re saying, Mac, is that some lowlife piece of shit placed a bomb on my plane just to keep us here?”

“Yeah, that’s about the size of it. Sorry Debbie.” Mac turned to Bruce.

“ I need to make some phone calls to get this investigation going. I must ask you all that none of you go near the plane’s debris. Every fragment is evidence that needs expert attention.” Mac stood and followed Bruce.

At that same moment Samuel and Rachel returned. Rachel poured them both a coffee, and, as she sat, she smiled at Debbie.

Samuel could also see the fire return to Debbie’s eyes. This was much healthier than the despair he had seen earlier.

Debbie was pacing. God, she would love too get her hands on that blasted bomber.

“I’ll give that guy a bloody explosion, I’ll shove a stick of dynamite up his bloody ass!”

Carl and Samuel laughed out loud, Daniel simply smiled and waggled a finger at her, and Utah, who had been taking a sip of coffee, nearly choked. Steven shook his head. He had never seen anyone as passionate about a plane before. Cars, yes. Yachts, certainly. But a plane? It’s not like Debbie owned the plane, the Sonic Muzic Corporation actually owned the plane. But try telling that to Debbie. As far as she was concerned, she piloted the plane, fixed the plane, fed the plane, cleaned the plane inside and out, and she also kissed her baby on the odd occasion when she thought no one was looking. That made it her plane.

 

Mac walked to the stables located about a quarter of a mile away. He had contacted all of his people and now there was nothing to do but wait for them to show up sometime this evening.

Jiayi and her friend Diana could be seen on their horses against the horizon and the guys were mounting to follow the trails for the occasional horse treks. The guys were familiar with them. They had ridden them many times and, besides, every one led back to the ranch.

Each trail was named for its destination. Daniel and Utah followed “Watering hole.” The idea of a cool swim in a crystal clear lake sounded like the perfect antidote to the desert heat.

Carl and Mac followed “View of the Homestead and Valley.” Carl wanted to see what was left of the plane and Mac had a camera with a powerful zoom. Pictures that could provide an idea of the scope and scale of destruction might help determine the size of the bomb and what was used to detonate it. It hadn't been Mac's idea. He wasn't the expert but his ex-marine- turned-Blast Investigation Officer friend, Stan, was. It was Stan who had suggested long-range scale photos to add to the close-ups for evidence in court. Scale photos of the scene as well as close-ups as these could be useful as evidence in court.

Samuel and Rachel followed the “Triple Waterfall and Bush” trail. Samuel would have liked to have gone with Carl and Mac to see the plane but there was no way Rachel wanted to look down on that awful scene. Besides, they both loved waterfalls and would be higher up than anyone else and very much alone. This thought caused Samuel to start singing. He absolutely loved to sing. It wasn’t a job. It was pure pleasure and he was passionate about giving his all to a song whether he was on stage or off.

Debbie and Steven had stayed behind to sort out some details. The plane and everything in it was heavily insured, but the insurance company would require a detailed list of the contents. And because they weren’t sure how this ‘accident’ would be classed, everything involving the plane twelve hours prior had to be recorded. That would include where the plane had flown, weather conditions, any mechanical alterations, which covered water, fuel, and oil, verification of the flight plan, and everything Debbie had to eat or drink. It would be checked up on so needed to be above board and accurately recorded. Debbie never touched anything alcohol, but would need to record the Mylanta tablets she had taken for a case of indigestion prior to leaving Las Vegas. Debbie loved Coke Cola but sometimes it didn’t like her; hence the indigestion.

 

Mickey was ready to kill Hammer. He’d had another bloody note from The Ring and that kind of attention he could damn well do without. Who ever wrote this note wasn’t big on words. It only contained three: TOO BLOODY CLOSE. Mickey couldn’t believe it. How stupid could the man be?

“NO HIT” means don’t even come close to killing anybody and that idiot had put a bomb in their damn plane. Not only could the timer have failed and killed them all, there would be even more Feds around now like ticks on a dog. Damn it.

 

Maggie was feeling very pleased with herself . She had finally found what she had spent half the morning looking for. She smiled, held up her prize and carried it into the kitchen.

Annie was just making a cup of tea for her self and poured one for Maguilita. When she saw Daniel’s old baseball bat in Maggie’s hand, she just raised an eyebrow and said nothing.

Maggie waved the bat in the air.

“This is in case we get some rats around here, some big rats. Ain’t gonna let no rats hurt my boys.”

 

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