Sound Of Silence
Author: Rose Hala

Chapter 16
Sound Of Silence by Rose Hala

CHAPTER 16

“Hello. My God, you’re so beautiful. I’m Carl,” he said as he raised her hand for a kiss.

Mac watched to see what Cathy would do. She had flipped guys for taking less liberty than this on more than one occasion.

“Thank you, Carl. Thank you very much.”

Mac and Stan watched in awe. Who the hell could figure out woman? Mac had been married more than twenty-five years and women were still a mystery.

The other agents smiled. Not even Cathy B., “Super Agent,” could resist that Spanish charmer when he was in top form.

“Bonjour, vous paraissez fantastique.” Samuel also kissed the back of her hand and, with a half bow, stepped back.

“This is my partner, Rachel.” Rachel smiled and shook Cathy’s extended hand.

“You are a lucky lady,” Cathy said, smiling.

“Yes, I’m very lucky,” Rachel replied, taking Samuel’s hand in hers. Samuel squeezed Rachel’s hand and gazed down at her. Cathy knew love when she saw it. And, in a way, she envied these two. Love was rare in her profession. The only relationship she knew that had gone the distance was Mac’s.

“ I’m Utah, nice to meet you.”

“And I’m Daniel. Welcome to my home.”

“ I’m Steven.”

“Mac, are you recruiting your agents from Studs For Rent?” Once the laughter subsided Mac explained The Choir Boys.

Then Cathy said hello to one person who wasn’t amused, a stone faced, Peter Sands.

“ Who are you and how do you know me? And how are you connected with this?”

Cathy ticked the fingers of her hand off as she answered the questions in order;

“ I’m Cathy B. Everyone has heard of you. And Mac asked for my help.”
“Cathy B? What does the “B” stand for?”

Mac sucked in a breath. Stan swore under his breath. Cathy did top secret undercover work for the C.I.A., sometimes working directly for the White House. And nobody really knew if the “B” stood for anything at all. What did it matter anyway? She’d helped them out before and they acceptd her as Cathy B.

Cathy held Peter locked in her steely gaze.

“It stands for Bitch. And if you ever talk to me like that again, Mister, you’ll know just how accurate that is.”

“ I apologize, Dear. What’s your last name?”

Cathy curled her bottom lip in disgust. This prick was a smarmy bastard. He needed to learn a bit of respect.

“That’s my business. If you don’t want trouble, you’ll leave it at that.”

Peter was obnoxious, not an idiot. He recognized a veiled threat when he heard one. He had a feeling this woman wielded more clout than even his boss. Knowing when he was beaten, Peter backed down but not without some parting words.

“I’ll be back tomorrow with a warrant. You had better stay out of my way then, Mac, or I will arrest you, all of you, for obstructing justice.” He left as fast as he had arrived.

Mac introduced Cathy to Maria who was incredibly impressed. She shook her hand and smiled in awe,

“ You’re amazing. I could never have stood up to the horrible man. Thank you. I was getting ready to cave.

“You were pretty brave for a laymen. You should be proud of yourself.” Cathy turned to Mac. “I need to be brought up to date and I need a change of clothes. A cup of coffee wouldn’t go amiss, either.”

“Amen to that.” Maria was always ready for a coffee. And Maggie’s coffee was excellent. She had a varied collection of beans which she ground together to create her own unique brew.

 

Mac’s Team went to the meet as pre- arranged and took Steven with them which left the Choir Boys with an afternoon to themselves. Steven would update the guys later.

Rachel was in the kitchen teaching Maria how to make Damper, an Australian type of bread. Rachel had made it earlier and Maria had really enjoyed it. Maggie wanted to learn, too. She loved trying out new recipes. That left Samuel to find something to do with his time.

“Lets go to the lake,” Daniel said. “It’ll be nice with just the four of us. A cool swim will feel great.”

“Daniel’s right. It’s funny but I’ve missed just the four of us being together, too.”

“Well, I haven’t missed you guys,” Samuel laughed as Carl thumped him on the arm.

“It’s all right for you, ya randy old Frenchman.”

“Hey, watch who you’re calling old. You’ve got a year on me, Old Man.”

Daniel laughed. He had missed this. It was going to great having his “brothers” to himself this afternoon.

“Hey, race you to the stables.” Daniel took off. The rest jostled for first position and they all arrived at the stables together. Within minutes the four riders were on their way.

“Oh, hell, we didn’t bring any gear with us, not even a towel among us,” Carl said as he dismounted.

“Who cares. We’re on our own. We’ll skinny dip. We can just use our tee-shirts if we need towels. They’ll dry.” Samuel started to undress. He was as comfortable here as was on the nude beaches in France.

“Sounds alright to me.” Carl had also spent some time on nude beaches. They were fairly common throughout the Mediterranean.

Utah thought, “what the hell,” and undressed.

Daniel shrugged. He wasn’t used to this, but wasn’t about to chicken out.

The water felt great. Even though they were in the middle of nowhere, there was still something slightly exotic and sensual about swimming it the buff. Carl laughed out loud.

“How great does this feel? I haven’t done this for years. what about you, Sam? You must have done this in France

“I used to do this all the time. There are lots of beaches in France where everybody swims like this.”

In the meantime, Stan and Debbie were back at the truck with Steven, and Mac and Cathy were in their own meeting at the homestead. Mac had arranged for Maggie to unlock the door of the study after Peter left to get the warrant. Mac and Cathy were at the homestead. She needed to be brought up to speed with the evidence.

Since Mac was no longer in the FBI, Cathy would be able to let him in on certain developments he wasn’t aware of. He was her consultant in the field. The information could pass from him to his team, but no one else. The information she had was highly classified, and damning…She would have to arrange a private meet away from here.

 

Rachel had told them that the guys had gone swimming. But where were they? The horses were there but everything was quiet. It had been Janey’s idea to go for a ride and, though they hadn’t intended to swim, Rachel’s news had given them a destination.

The girls dismounted and hitched the horses beside the others. As they followed the path through the grove of the trees, they could hear conversation. Angie had been walking with her head down so she didn’t know that Janey had stopped dead in her tracks and walked right into her.

“Wha..?”

“Shhhhh.” Janey put a finger up to her lips and pointed. Four naked men were lounging on the soft grass.

“Holy shit,” Angie mouthed, then turned to Sue and put her finger to her lips.

Samuel and Daniel lay on their stomachs. It was obvious that Samuel had an even allover tan and that Daniel didn’t.

Carl was on his side talking to Samuel who unknowingly turned his head in their direction to respond. The girls quickly ducked into the thick bushes. Carl, too, had a glorious allover tan that didn’t come from any bottle.

Utah was sitting up drying himself off with what looked like his tee shirt. When he laid down on his back he almost caused the three girls to have collective heart failure.

Three sets of saucer-like eyes were mesmerized. The man had the figure of Adonis.

It was like Play Girl magazine come to life. They were looking at their own living, breathing, Centerfolds ….gorgeous techno-color, all glossy living, breathing pages. And these guys could sing, too…

Who said life wasn’t fair?

They were feeling a bit guilty behaving like three perverts. If the situation was reversed they would be a bit annoyed. They made a quiet retreat back to the horses then made their presence known.

“Hello?”

“Is anybody here?”

Muffled swearing made it’s way through the trees and it was all the girls could do to stop themselves roaring with laughter.

Within minutes the four men emerged from where the girls had been only moments ago.

Jesus, that had been close. Carl’s heart was going a mile a minute. He had visions of Jo Jo killing him.

Samuel waved. Ever the showman, he really didn’t give a damn. Rachel, though, might have been a bit upset.

Utah’s adrenaline spiked his body temperature. He felt hotter now than before he went in the lake. It had been a hell of a close call.

Daniel had never felt so scared in all his life. He’d done rock climbing, hand gliding and performed on stage in front of thousands, but this! God, this was scary. Talk about nearly being caught with your pants down, his had been completely off!

There wasn’t much conversation during the ride back to the homestead. The guys were thinking of how they had almost gotten caught with their pants off and the girls were engrossed in what they had seen.

 

“Mac, we need to go someplace else to talk, someplace that’s completely private. There are things you need to know about.” Cathy sounded serious.

“I’ll ask Maggie to pack a picnic basket. Meet at my car and we’ll go for a drive.”

Mac pulled off in a rest area and he and Cathy both got out of the car. There was no possibility of being over heard but Mac wasn’t so sure his car hadn’t been bugged.

He carried the basket to one of the picnic tables on the grassy edge and began to unpack it as Cathy sat opposite him.

“Ok, Cathy, what’s up?”

“First of all, I want to bring in another player. This is a bigger than you think.” Cathy took a sip of her coffee.

“You mean The Ring? I already figured they were involved.”

“No. Well, yes. Of course, they’re involved. Nothing big happens without their say so. No, what I’m talking about is dirt in the local FBI agency and the Department of Justice.

“Are you serious?” Mac asked the question, but really he already knew the answer. “Of course you’re serious. How deep does this go?”

“At the moment we don’t know. I have several agents on it.”

“Are you telling me your I.A?” Cathy nodded. “Shit, this investigation must have been going on for months. How long have Internal Affairs been investigating?”

“Six months. Sorry, Mac. You know I trust you but there was no way to let you know until now.

“God, six months! What put I.A. on to them in the first place?”

“You remember that girl that was found murdered in the desert a few miles out of town? She was naked and her purse was untouched beside her.”

“She was a hooker, wasn’t she? It was strange that there was no semen on her and nearly a thousand dollars in the wallet. She had a fake I.D. as well so we just put her down as another Jane Doe. The body wasn’t claimed so the state stepped in.”

“We were already in place when they found the body. We moved in when she disappeared but, by then, we were already in too deep to claim her.”

“Are you telling me that she was one of yours? An agent?”

“She was the first I sent in. Somebody shut her up within two weeks so the leak had to come from one of the departments, same as when the narcotics agent got done at that concert. I spoke to one of our operatives and he said that the meet had only been arranged the day before. Like I said, Mac, there is dirt everywhere. I’m still working I.A. but, as it happens, I need to lay low for a while so here will do as good as any place. Besides I have a feeling our cases are closely linked. This other player I want to bring in? I think you’re going to need her.”

“I respect your judgment, Cathy. I also know how you operate. When does she arrive?”

“You know me too well, Mac. She’s arriving from Las Vegas tomorrow at 10AM. Her name is Shontih. She’s half American Indian and French. It’ll be helpful when she goes with Maria to Canada.”

“ What? Explain.”

“Shontih is one of my best agents, and she can drive an eighteen wheeler better than any man I know, with the exception of Stan. If Maria wears her sling for a while longer, another driver won’t look suspicious. Shontih’s fluent French will enable her to blend right in over the border.”

“ I don’t want to step on your toes, Mac. You’re in charge of this team but I’m offering a strong suggestion.”

Mac put his hand on Cathy’s.

“I’ve known you a long time and you know I have nothing but respect for you. If you think this is a sound move, then lets do it. Besides, if this doesn’t work, I’ll tell Liz to stop making her chocolate fudge brownies for you.”

“That’s just down right dirty, Mc Donald.”

 

 

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