Sound Of Silence
Author: Rose Hala

Chapter 13
Sound Of Silence by Rose Hala

CHAPTER 13

Mac wanted to leave the homestead without being seen. He had no qualms about investigating this incident with the truck. The vehicle involved was contracted by Sonic Muzic Corporation. They, along with Steven, managed and produced The Choir Boys. Steven had hired him and that brought Sonic Muzic Corporation under his responsibility. His gut was telling him that this was something other than an accident and, if that were so, then it would tie in with everything else. He would simply be doing his job by getting back into the Vegas case again. What ever argument Mac gave, he was well aware that Peter would be annoyed at his re-involvement.

If he could sneak away, he would have first crack at the scene without Peter around. Carefully he opened the front door and a tap on his shoulder almost gave him a heart attack. Without saying a word, Maggie handed him a basket packed with food and a Thermos. Then she was gone as quietly as she had come. Mac smiled to himself. She was a real treasure. No wonder everybody loved her so much. She might talk tough but would give anyone she cared about the shirt off her back, neatly washed, ironed and folded, first of course.

Mac was glad to have received the call first but he didn’t quite understand why. It didn’t make sense. Peter was in charge of the case and Mac wasn’t even working for the F.B.I. anymore. Something was up and Mac, suspicious by nature, decided to tread carefully.

He tapped lightly on the door of one of the guest cabins. It opened instantly as he knew it would. Stan was dressed and Mac was well aware of the gun behind his back. Neither man said a word. Mac turned and Stan followed, tucking the pistol in the holster against his body.

Debbie moved a curtain and watched them go. Stan had thought she’d been asleep when he’d silently crept out of their bedroom but she had piloted the Choir Boys around the world long enough to wake up alert and be ready to fly at any time.

She bit her lip when she heard him pick up the gun. She wanted to grab him, haul him back to their bed, and keep him with her.

It was that thought that scared her the most and kept her silent. It was almost as if she loved him already. It couldn’t happen that fast, could it? She sent up a prayer for his safety and, if there was a smidgeon left over, she could do with a bit of divine help herself.

 

“Ok, Mac. What’s up?” Stan waited until they were in his car before he spoke. Mac had opted for them to take Stan’s car to give the appearance of Mac still being at the homestead. They were heading out of the drive way and he had no idea what was going on or where he was driving to.

“There’s been an accident involving a large delivery truck. Turn left when you get to the highway. It should take us about an hour to get there.” Stan waited. He knew there was more to the story than that. The F.B.I. didn’t normally get involved in vehicle accidents.

“The truck is hired by Sonic Muzic Corporation, who manage The Choir Boys. I think this incident might be related to Vegas somehow. I sure as hell don’t believe it’s a coincidence, that’s for damn sure.”

“Mac? How did you hear about this first? Officially you’re off the case so why would they ring you instead of Peter?

“I don’t know why but that’s why you’re here. Back-up. This could be a damn hoax, or a hijack gone wrong, or…just an excuse to get me in the middle of nowhere on my own. That’s why we’re using your car, so that mine isn’t spotted as gone and yours isn’t as well known as mine”

It was a straight run once they hit the main highway. A lone car on a dark road was an easy target for miles in every direction.

If this was a genuine accident, they hoped people weren't hurt. There was no possibility of them using the siren or speeding. It would make it too obvious who they were.

Mac had no idea what he would find. They were dealing with people who didn’t play by the rules. Mac knew The Ring was involved in the drug smuggling. There wasn’t a thing that went on in the criminal world, this side of the U.S.A., that it wasn’t involved with. The hard part was proving it. Witnesses had a funny way of disappearing, if you could find any in the first place. Nobody had a death wish and squealing to the cops was the quickest way to buy a bullet in Vegas. Life was cheap amongst the criminal element. Mac had arrested punks when he was a street cop for killing other punks over whiskey and cigarettes.

“Oh, Jesus, it’s an accident.” Stan could see the trucks in the distance. Stan hit the gas for the last half mile and screeched to stop on the opposite side of the road. He got out of the car and kept low to the ground, no use presenting a bigger target than necessary. Mac did the same, making he sure he didn’t rise above the height of the car. It was a bright night and anything above the car would make a silhouetted target.

The man and a woman were sitting on the grassy verge. There was no sign of injury besides the sling on the woman’s arm.

Both Chris and Maria were looking at Mac and Stan like they had grown two heads and were from another planet. What the hell was going on?

“Are you ok ?” Chris and Maria nodded and looked at each other. Who the hell were these men? If they were the police or paramedics why no siren or uniform? Mac could see they were a bit confused, and rightly so. Hell, he wasn’t completely up with the play himself.

Mac pulled his badge from his pocket.

“I’m Agent Scott Mac Donald, F.B.I. This Agent Stan Wilson.”

Stan crouched down beside Maria.

“I have Marine Corpsman medical training. May I?” Maria nodded.

“Your shoulder is dislocated. It needs to go back in place. You’ll feel a lot better once this is done. Now, we can take you to a hospital and get this done or I can do this for you myself. The choice is yours, but you have to decide quickly. We’ve got to clear this site as soon as possible.”

Since Stan had everything under control, Mac walked to the road. Chris had known what he was doing to stop the truck but there had to have been a reason why the brakes failed to begin with. He called Chris over and handed him a flashlight.

“If you’re okay, crawl under there and see if you can see the break line.” Just as he suspected, Chris found a slice just big enough to start a slow leak. The more Maria pumped the brakes, the quicker she lost fluid. Chris returned the flashlight to Mac and walked back to Maria.

“Look C.M., I’ve got to haul ass, Love. Will you be all right? Don’t worry about Bill. I’ll stop there and tell him to ring you.”

Bill was Maria’s husband who worked the night shift as a security guard. His walkie-talkie was equipped with a radio phone and alarm and, since the cell phone signal interfered with it, he never took it to work.

“Thanks for everything Chris. I wouldn’t have made it with out you.”

“ Don't mention this to anyone, Chris,” Mac said as he followed him to his truck. “ We don't know who's behind this and we don't want them to know they've failed. You and Maria were unharmed and we'd like to keep it that way."

 

When Stan offered to relocate her shoulder, Maria made her decision quickly. She was in agony and the thought of going anywhere in that kind of pain, just wasn’t an option.

Stan was comfortable performing the straightforward procedure, although it took a fair amount of strength to pull the arm out far enough so it could be re-aligned and snapped back into place. And once it was started, it couldn't be stopped without risk of further misalignment.

The key to this whole thing was to get an absolute solid grip, pull steady and straight, then let the arm ‘click’ back into place.

Mac knelt behind Maria and supported her from the back. Stan sat to her side and braced his feet against Mac's leg for traction. Lining his arm up alongside hers, supporting and holding it out to the side, he gripped her upper arm from underneath with one hand and her wrist tightly with the other. Stan could see Maria was fast loosing it already, and he’d only just started. Hell, it would be better for her if she did loose consciousness. In case she didn’t, though, he wanted her to be aware of how painful this procedure was going to be.

“Maria, I’m going to count to three then start okay?” She nodded weakly and Stan continued, “Now, I’m sorry, but this is going to hurt. No way around this, it’s extremely painful. However, it only last moments and once it’s done you’ll feel a whole lot better. Now, there isn’t anyone around, so if you need to scream, just damn well do it, okay. Are you ready?”

Unable to speak anymore Maria just gave a slight nod and placed her good hand briefly over his.

“One, two, three.” Stan pulled.

“Ahhhhhhhhh!!” Maria shrieked, then passed out. The procedure went off like clockwork with no problems.

Stan applied a shot of pain killer directly into her shoulder then eased her arm into a proper sling. He got a cold compress out of his car. This was a new style of ice pack on the market, one he hadn’t actually used it in the field yet. To activate it you simply broke up the special crystals inside and the pack turned as cold as a standard ice pack. A couple of whacks against the side of the truck broke the crystals up and he placed it on Maria’s shoulder and secured in place with a bandage. Mac carried her to the back seat of the car which he would drive while Stan drove the truck.

The only thing now was to patch up the brake line so it would get him back to the homestead. Stan crawled out from under the truck and gave Mac a thumb’s up.

“I can make this work. Give me five minutes,” he said as he opened up the trunk. He wrapped the cable tightly with duct tape and topped off the fluid from a container. It wasn't perfect but he felt confident that it would hold.

“ Drive that truck directly into the hanger when you get there. Nobody needs to know anything about it.”

The stage set in the trailer was copyrighted by Sonic Muzic and security was critical.

Peter would need written permission from Sonic, The Choir Boys, and their manager to investigate it or he’d have to get a court order. Since this was still a routine motor vehicle accident, he could do it with Maria's permission as the owner or get a search warrant. Without either, he couldn't touch it and they were a long way from a Federal Judge.

Mac would explain the situation to Maria as soon as she came to before Peter got wind of it.

Mac knew what he had to do when he got back to the homestead. It was time for his “top secret’’ agent to make an appearance. Mac was one of the few people who had her current phone number. In another three months, like clockwork, it would change. Mac knew he was privileged to have her as a contact, and only called her when he really felt it was necessary. It was necessary now.

They drove down the driveway expecting to find every light on and Peter creating all manner of hell. That’s what they expected; what they found was a quiet and dark homestead with Maggie and Debbie sitting on the porch waiting for them. Mac jumped out of the car and opened the gate to the service road and waited for Stan to drive through and onto the air strip. Mac hurried to pass him and opened the hanger doors. Quietly, Stan coasted the large vehicle inside to a stop and, together, he and Mac closed and locked the doors behind it. Stan rejoined Mac in the car for the short drive back to the house.

Maria was just beginning to come round and Mac lifted her from the back of the car. Mac also retrieved the thermos and basket from the car, this was going to be the hardest part of the whole bloody night, telling Maggie he had forgotten all about the bounty she had given him. He needn’t have worried, for as soon as Maggie clapped eyes on Maria she went into mother hen mode and helped Mac ease her into the porch lounger. Maggie examined Stan’s handiwork and nodded her approval.

“I’m going get your bed ready, Maria. I'll be back in a few minutes." Maria nodded and was about to lean her head back when she spotted the Thermos in Mac's hand.

“Is that coffee? " Mac unscrewed the lid and the steam carried the rich aroma.

“Oh, my Lord, that smells like a slice of heaven." Mac laughed.

“I’m glad your feeling a little better, Maria. Here,” he said, handing her the cup before he sat down beside her. “Do you remember seeing anything suspicious or anyone hanging around your truck earlier, maybe at your last stop?”

Maria wasn’t saying a word until that cup was empty and she was holding a re-fill but she thought about the bloke who had hurt his foot kicking her wheels at that mangy café.

“I do,” she said finally, “ but I don't remember where. I had made a quick stop for coffee because I had almost another hour to The Country Inn. I was inside and just happened to look out at the truck. Someone was walking around the side of it and putting something in his pocket. For some reason he kicked the front wheel."

“I don’t suppose you remember what he looked like?” Maria slowly shook her head.

“Sorry, it was dusk, and I just wanted to leave the dive, they served shit coffee.”

“Jesus Maria; you nearly drained the Thermos. You think you’ll sleep ok after that much caffeine? If not, I think Stan has some mild sedatives in his kit.”

Maria laughed “ Mac, this little bit is nothing, I can drink twice this much and sleep through a damn hurricane. God, it’s been a hell of a way to finish a shift.”

"Come on, Maria. It's time for you to call it a day." Maggie helped Maria onto her feet and they walked slowly into the house and up the steps.”

“I've got one more thing to do, Stan, and then I'm turning in as well." When Mac pulled out his cell phone, Stan knew exactly who he was calling. He figured it would only be a matter of time once Mac found out about the cut in the brake line. They both knew there was no one better when it came to undercover work.

 

Debbie held Stan’s hand as they walked back to the cabin. She was quiet and this had him a bit worried, he had expected to play twenty questions with her, but so far she had said nothing.

“Hon, you alright?” She didn’t answer him. He stopped walking and turned to face her but her eyes were looking down. He gently raised her chin.

“Debbie, talk to me. Are you mad with me, or just upset? Have I done or not done something I should know about?”

“Oh, Stan, of course I’m not mad at you. And you haven’t upset me. I suppose I had just forgotten about this rotten business for while, and now, it’s like it’s been shoved in my face tonight. I guess I forgot how dangerous and serious the situation is, which is silly considering I flew everybody up here for safe keeping because Sam got shot by God knows who. I guess, I just don’t like this game anymore, and I wish I could just stop playing.”

“Hey,…” Stan gathered her close and they continued walking to their cabin. “Honey, this is a good thing, in a way, because now we have a heap of evidence that we can go over tomorrow. This brings us one step closer to nabbing the bad guys who blew up your plane. Besides, I have a feeling tomorrow is going to bring a us some good luck.”

Stan opened the door of the cabin and followed her in. She only took a few steps when she turned and hugged him around the waist. She just needed to touch him. She needed to hold him close to her tonight.

Stan came out of the shower to find Debbie already in bed. She had tossed back the sheet and wore nothing but a smile. He nearly tripped over his own feet and, as he reached for her, she plunged her hands in his hair and dragged his body to hers. Their kiss was the stuff of movies. Stan was sure he heard sky rockets go off in his head and, when Debbie rubbed her foot up his bare leg, he groaned into her mouth. Debbie responded to that sexy sound with a whimper that drove him wild.

They were both tired and had a load of work to do in only a few hours, but for now, their bed was not going to be used for sleep. They came together with an intense passion. It had all come about in such a very short space of time, and yet, it felt so right. They made love the rest of the night and were still holding on tightly to each other when, at last, they finally fell asleep, with only few hours to catch up on six hours sleep.

Mac could only leave a message with the hope that she was free to help. If she was, she would just show up.

“Hi Cathy, it’s Mac. I need you again, A.S.A.P.”. He crossed his fingers as he left her the address……

 

 

 

 

 

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