Sound Of Silence
Author: Rose Hala

Chapter 10
Sound Of Silence by Rose Hala

CHAPTER 10

“Thanks, Pete. Thanks for the warning and good luck with the baby. And give my regards to Mary.” Mac frowned as he put the phone down. Tomorrow the shit would really hit the fan. The FBI Director of Operations was coming and he was not a happy chappy. Luckily Mac had some very loyal agents on his side and Pete was one of them. His first baby was due any day now so he had been unable to join Mac but, as it happened, it gave Mac a pair of experienced eyes back at headquarters.

Rejoining everyone in the dinning room, Mac poured himself another coffee. Dawn was just breaking and there was a lot to do today.

“ My boss is coming here tomorrow and I’m sure he’s going to be pretty angry at me. In fact, I might be unemployed the day after, if you get my drift, so we’ve got to get moving. We only have today to get all this evidence signed, sealed, dotted, crossed, and delivered so enjoy your breakfast because it might be your last meal for quite some time.”

“I’d like to get started now,” Stan said looking out at the sunrise. “ I’m going fill my Thermos up with coffee and ask Maggie if she can pack a lunch so we can dive into the cataloging and stay with it until it’s done.” As Stan headed out of the room to fetch his Thermos, Debbie said “You sort the coffee out, I’ll see Maggie about lunch and I’ll meet you out front.”

“Hey, Debs. Don’t forget to take a blanket, ahem, you know, to sit on.” There was general laugher when, as Debbie passed Daniel, she lightly smacked him on the head.

 

“Good morning everyone.”

“Good morning, Janey.” The guys were still a bit taken aback by her. How the hell could someone look like that at 6AM? Not even her hair was out of place.

Samuel looked at Rachel beside him. As she smiled up at him, his heart skipped a beat. He liked her hair a bit mussed, which was just as well, as he was the reason it was mussed in the first place. Rachel had piled her hair on top of her head in loose bundle which looked like it would fall apart if so much as one clip was removed. This had been too much for Samuel. He had pulled out one clip and, when her hair stubbornly refused to fall another clip went until they were all removed. While his hands were in her beautiful curls he just had to kiss her. Of course, one kiss was never going to be enough, it was another 40minutes before they left their room to go up to the house for breakfast.

Janey drank her coffee standing up. She wanted to get started and would eat later on.

“I’d like to start with the individual interviews of each of you as soon as you’re ready. They can be used in court so you are entitled to legal representation,” Janey said.

“That won’t be necessary, but I’ll need copies of the tapes and also any written transcripts. They’re celebrities and this is important in case something leaks to the press. I will also need any thing I receive to be signed and notarized in case we have to use it in a different kind of court case later.” Steven turned to Mac. “ The band’s whole itinerary was on that plane: venues, hotels, restaurants, live and TV promotional appearances, everything connected to the Canadian tour. I’m worried that it’s going to fall into the wrong hands”

“That’s the reason Stan needs Debbie to go through the remains of the plane with him. We know there is sensitive material and she can confirm what’s relevant to the tour so it’s securely stored. The last thing we need is for this to escalate and carry on the other side of the border. We also have to gather personal effects: pictures of family, addresses, credit card receipts that can be traced. It’s a very slow, methodical process.”

 

Janey said Utah’s name and he swallowed hard. He didn’t know why he was nervous. In the last three years he had given hundreds of interviews, some with the group and some on his own, but this time it was different. This time it wasn’t about him being a member of the band. It was about him as a member The Choir Boys not being a part of a smuggling operation. It still annoyed him that somebody could use them like that. For him, that was the thing that really sucked. They had been used by someone they trusted and they didn’t even know who it was.

Janey thought about the research she had done in her room that night. It had been more like legalized perversion ( perving, really). They were gorgeous in the formal suits they wore when they performed and their music was simply beautiful. She had been so impressed that she had ordered all their CDs and DVDs online. Their second #1 record Rhythm & Hymns had been recorded in London’s St Paul’s Cathedral and, with backing by the church organ, it was one of the most beautiful, soul touching records, Janey had ever heard. Her purchases would be waiting for her when she got home.

Janey had set up the desk the same way Mac had when he interviewed them back in Vegas. Utah wished he had his Choir Boy brothers with him. He didn’t like going solo with the F.B.I. He sat down and took a deep breath. This was worse than the audition with Steven Casey.

Janey smiled at him. Although he loved Antoinette deeply, Utah couldn’t help but admire the beauty sitting in front of him.

“Please don’t be nervous.”

“Yeah, that’s for easy for her to say,” Utah thought.

“Any time you feel uncomfortable or you change your mind about having a lawyer present, please let me know and we will stop.” When Utah agreed she reached for the “record” button.

“Interview commencing at 7.30AM. State your name for the record please?”

“Utah Toni Borche.”

“State, for the record, your country of origin and date of birth.”

“I was born in Switzerland on July 19th 1971.”

“How long have you been associated with the Choir Boys?”

“Since the beginning, and that was four years ago.”

“What had you been doing prior to touring in The United States Of America?”

“We toured Europe and Asia and, had a another record to promote, so in between gigs we were going to another country, ah,” Utah shrugged his shoulders, “Nearly every other day. Most of the places we went to we never stayed at. We’d do interviews, sing a cut, and then it was back on the plane to go to somewhere else. Sometimes we kept a list and would cross off the cities as we arrived.

Oftentimes we didn’t even know where we were. You know, when you travel like that the airports all start to look the same, the studios are the same, even some of the fabulous churches we performed in were very similar. The schedule is exhausting and the only thing that differs is the audience, the fans. We love them all. It’s our fans that give us the strength to carry on.”

“Bloody hell,” Janey thought. Even the President didn’t have that kind of a schedule.

“And what about your luggage and all your gear?”

“We never have much more than an over night bag. Samuel and I bring our guitars and our manager takes care of all our gear. We don’t see any of it until rehearsals and Wardrobe takes care of our performance clothes.”

“What about the band, the crew, and the orchestra? Who arranges their travel? ”

“Steve has this fantastic team of people who just take care of everything.”

“Do the four of you know the people who work for Steve?”

“ Most of them but some have come and gone. There are too many to remember. Steve has records of everyone who is connected to us. We trust him completely.”

“Have you ever noticed anything suspicious or anyone acting different in the last two years?”

Utah shrugged and slowly shook his head. “No, I just can’t think of anything.” He smiled at her. “Sorry, I’m not helping you much.”

The gorgeous dimple that cut into his cheek when he smiled made Janey force herself to concentrate.

“When you arrive at your destination, how do you get around from the hotels to your concert venues and restaurants?”

“Limousines when we don’t eat in the restaurant of our hotel. And when there’s down time, I don leathers, rent a motorbike and go for a ride to a quiet beach or the country."

“These are all arranged months in advance?”

Janey was having a hard time now.

The thought of that butt in a pair of leather bike pants. Phew!

“ They’re actually arranged a year ahead of time.”

“Do you do anything else when you get some time off?”

“I go to the gyms in the hotels and Samuel and I run two or three times a week.

Janey shut her eyes at the vision of him in high-cut running shorts.

The interview was over. There was only so much a girl could take.

“Thank you, Utah. Interview terminated at 8.20AM."

By early afternoon, Janey knew she was right. This was going to be one of those cases. There was nothing in any of the four interviews that told her the guys knew anything about the daily operation. They only knew the musical and recording end. It looked as if they would have to interview anybody and everybody connected with this band to find who was responsible for shifting the contraband.

Samuel and Rachel had gone back to the guest house. Sam’s antibiotics were making him drowsy. He wanted to stop taking them but Maggie had assumed responsibility of the bottle and dispensed a pill morning and night without fail. He tried to “accidently” forget last night, but Maggie had threatened to, " give him the pill in a jam sandwich if he tried it again."

Rachel was having a problems with jetlag and felt sleepy at mid day and awake late at night.

 

Stan had to admit that he was really quite impressed with Debbie. She was a top notch pilot but she had no problem getting her hands dirty. She had worked right alongside him and, as a result, they had done very well in five hours. More than half of the debris had been cataloged as either plane pieces or personal effects or fragments from the bomb. Stan removed his latex gloves.

“Oh My God!” he heard to the side of him. On the ground was the broken end of a metal cylinder.

“It’s a piece of the housing.” Stan picked up the piece of metal with his handkerchief. “See these marks?” He pointed out some gouges in the metal. Debbie nodded. “They’re made by a vice-grip that keeps it steady while it’s being filled. Then the vice is tightened and the other end is held with blunt end pliers. See that tiny scratch? That’s where the pliers slipped. We can match tool marks to individual tools. They’re as important as fingerprints. Well done. That deserves a drink.” Stan held the thermos like a bottle of wine and poured them a coffee.

Debbie smiled at his antics. He was so clever and so much fun to be around. The fact that he was tall and tanned with sun-kissed blond hair, didn’t hurt either.

He had been incredibly patient with her amateur efforts when every speck of dirt looked like a bit of evidence. He taught her what to look for, explaining what was important and why. She had taken over identifying the personal items which freed him to focus on everything else.

They opened the picnic basket underneath a nearby tree. Maggie had packed enough food for about six people and it all looked delicious. Debbie was filling some rolls for them both when Stan held a grape to her lips. The tips of his fingers grazed her mouth, causing them both to jerk back as electricity passed between them. The grape fell to the ground and in the cool shade of the tree, they both felt the temperature rise.

 

Rachel woke, and turned to watch Samuel sleeping. She loved him so much. Her heart still went cold when she thought about how close she came to losing him.

Rachel looked at the bandage still covering his forehead and closed her eyes in silent prayer with her hand around the small gold cross on her neck. She had worn it ever since Samuel had given it to her last Christmas. As she mouthed the word “Amen” she put two fingers to her lips then placed the gentle kiss on Sam's bandage. When she opened her eyes, Samuel was looking at her and he gathered her hand to his lips and brushed his tongue across her thumb. He smiled at the way her eyes got wider and darker. She reached into the open neck of his shirt and slowly wound her fingers through the hairs on his gorgeous chest. As her fingernail lightly scraped across his nipple, Samuel met her sweet mouth, his groan of pleasure lost in the deep kiss. They were both wide awake now.

 

Mickey was getting fed up with the bloody attention The Ring was giving him. There were times he would dearly love to tell them where they could shove their sodding orders. As for the twerp who actually wrote the notes. Mickey would like to stick his bloody hand down the garbage disposal. Of course thinking these things was fine; doing them was suicidal.

The note, as always, was short and too the point.

“BUY MORE TIME!”

Mickey balled up the note and tossed it in the bin. He gave it a rotated one fingered gesture as he picked up the phone.

“Hammer? Hammer? Hammer!!

“Wha, who the ‘el is this?”

Mickey rolled his eyes. Hammer had only received payment for the last job last night and he’d already spent most of it at the bar in Mickey’s strip joint.

“Hammer! Snap out of it! I need another job done. And if you go anywhere near those la la pretty boys, I’m gonna shoot your sorry ass. You got that?”

“Ahh sure Mickey, you are the main mouse, Man. Hic…

“Be here first thing in the morning. The singers can’t be touched, but nobody said anything about their gear. We’ve been going after the wrong target. This time we hit a delivery truck.

“ Ahh, hic, whatever you say, man. Hic…

Mickey shook his head. He was going to sort this guy out the way he sorted out all his liabilities.

“Listen, you idiot, you’d better be sober when you get here.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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