Sound Of Silence
Author: Rose Hala

Chapter 19
Sound Of Silence by Rose Hala

CHAPTER 19

Rachel stretched as she opened her eyes and thought about the few hours she’d spend shopping this afternoon. It was going to be so nice to wear something different. Her scant wardrobe had started to make her feel a bit like Orphan Annie. The man by her side lay on his stomach with his head turned away. She would love to run her hands through his thick hair but resisted. Her usual ray of sunshine was still taking antibiotics and he was sleepy from them most of the time.

Rachel could never get enough of watching him. Sometimes being with him seemed like a dream. He was drop dead gorgeous, adored by millions all over the world, and here he was with her, a pretty ordinary Australian. He had this way of making her feel special, and he was an astounding lover. At that thought, Rachel smiled to herself. They were pretty hot together.

Samuel turned towards her, and that’s when Rachel saw the marks on his shoulder.

“Oh, my God!” She touched him lightly. She must have done it last night. Their love making had been intense but, to have bitten him?

Samuel woke to a pair of beautiful sea green eyes looking at him.

“Bonjour, Mon chéri. Hmm, you look beautiful.” Rachel knew it was an outrageous lie. Her hair was a mess. She looked at him and looked away. She felt terrible about biting him. The last thing she wanted to do was hurt him.

“Rach? Honey?” He raised her chin so she would look at him. “What’s wrong?” She looked so sad.

“Oh Sam, I’m sorry. I must have…last night…I didn’t know.” She bit her bottom lip. “Oh, baby, I’m really sorry.”

Samuel looked at her quizzically. What had she done? When she saw the question on his face, she leant over and very gently kissed the mark she had made.

“Does it hurt?” Did what hurt? He didn’t know what she was talking about.

“Bon Dieu,” he said as he followed her eyes to the mark. Well, well. She gave him something to be proud of. It said plenty about his prowess as a lover if she responded like that without realizing it. He smiled smugly.

“I guess I turned you on last night,” he said with a raised one eyebrow in a classic Carl expression.

“Men,” Rachel thought, laughing at him.

“ Maybe.”

“Just maybe?” Samuel lowered his gaze. When she had raised herself to kiss his shoulder, the sheet slipped. That she was turned on was now clearly visible.

Rachel had no desire to shield herself from his gaze. She loved the way his eyes smoldered when he looked at her. It was such a turn-on.

“Je vous vex.” Samuel’s eyes widened and he smiled. She had been learning French!

“I definitely want you but you already know that.” He took her hand and guided it down to where his need was the most obvious. As she wrapped her fingers around him, he closed his eyes and groaned. In an instant, Rachel decided it was time for another first. This would certainly make up for the bite last night.

Pushing back the covers, she inched down the bed. Samuel felt her move and then his eyes flew open and his head went back as her lips replaced her hand. She was surprised at just how enjoyable it was for her. Sam’s reaction was just what she was looking for.

“Ohh, that’s fantastic. Rach. Hon. Sweetheart, you have to stop. Honey, I can’t….I can’t hold back. RachellAhhh!!!!

Rachel smiled as the aftershocks coursed through his body. Samuel couldn’t believe how she had made him feel. It wasn’t new to him, but Rachel had been the special component.

She was always thinking of ways to please him, like buying that guitar. He was still amazed at how she had managed to pull off the guitar. She had a generous heart and he was lucky that she had chosen to give it to him.

As much as they would have liked to stay right where they were, they had a busy day ahead and it was time for breakfast at the main house. Daniel’s piano was in the music room and the four men were planning a jam session. They’d work around the pool table and the bar that had been added since he'd left. And Rachel needed to get ready to go with Maggie and Annie.

On her way to the coffee shop, Rachel felt a sense of accomplishment. She had collected her prescription and found some fantastic clothes. Her favorite was a beautiful, off the shoulder peacock green top with silver threads through the fabric. Sam was going to love it.

Annie had suggested that they meet up the café at 1:00 after the noon rush for lunch and apple pie “ almost as good as our Maggie‘s.” It was high praise for the pastry chef since Maggie’s was known around the district as the best. Rachel was the first to arrive and found a table by the window. Rachel was looking forward to a leisurely lunch. In Europe, she met with Samuel’s mother at least once a week. She missed her own family in Australia and it was nice having mother figures to talk with.

 

Rachel felt someone watching her and looked up to see the man’s leer. She looked away in disgust. She felt uncomfortable, almost dirty as if she needed a shower to wash his stare off her skin.

“Are you trying to get us kicked out of here? Stop staring at that skirt and eat. You was whining about being hungry all the way here. Now, just eat your damn breakfast!”

“She’s not just a skirt, Boss. She’s goddamn beautiful.” Mickey shook his head in disgust and returned to the map in front of him.

Rachel felt self-conscious sitting alone with that idiot-jerk leering at her so she directed her attention to the window. It was only a few minutes before Annie and Maggie arrived.

“Good day, Ladies,” the owner said as they walked through the door. “ I’ll bet you’re glad to have Daniel back, Annie. And I’ll bet Maggie is spoiling them rotten. Have you got them singing opera for their supper?”

“Yes, Max, it’s great to have him home. In fact we’ve got a house full of people.”

Maggie waggled a finger at him.

“Don’t you be giving me any of your cheek Max Gamby. I’m not that old that I can’t give you a walloping.”

“Ahh, Maggie, me darlin’, you know you love me.” Max replied, with a cheery smile, as he pointed out the table where Rachel sat.

At the word “opera” Mickey’s ears pricked up. He had been reading up on those La La Boys and sure enough, one of them was called Daniel and one of these ladies were his mother. Hell, this could work out even better than he had hoped. He had learned that the guys he intended to kidnap weren’t a load of toffee-nosed poofters as he had thought. They were men, were fit and healthy, and fifteen years his junior. What chance did he really stand against them. Maybe he had been a bit ambitious with the kidnap plan but he hadn’t got where he had today without learning to improvise. He’d grab Daniel’s old lady instead. He’d agree to anything to ensure his mother’s safety even an exchange of hostages.

But these people knew her. How could he keep them at bay long enough to lure her outside?

“Stop looking at that girl and pay attention. We’re going to nab the old lady so just follow my lead.”

“Which one?” Shit. Mickey had forgotten which one of the two was Daniel’s mother.

“ Umm. Oh, hell. We’ll take them both.”

They were juggling shopping bags when a man approached them. When Annie turned to him she noticed a second man heading towards her from a second direction.

“Ladies, please come with us. Don’t make a fuss. Just turn around and head out the door.”

“What? Who are you? I’m not going anywhere with you.”

“What’s this all about?”

Mickey opened his jacket just enough for them to see the gun.

“Oh my...” Annie’s face drained of color and Mickey damn near had kittens thinking she was going to faint, but it didn’t stop Maggie.

“You should be ashamed of yourself, young man.” This one was bit feisty and could be a problem, so he kept his voice low and repeated himself.

“After you, Ladies.” They knew they had no choice since he had a gun. They turned towards the door.

Who were those men talking to Annie and Maggie? Rachel had seen Annie’s face loose all it’s color; something wasn’t right. She got up from the table and approached the group.

“What’s going on? Annie? Maggie? Do you know these men?

“Hey, Mickey can we take the doll?” Mickey rolled his eyes. Why did everything turn into a three-ring circus with this idiot?

“No, we can’t,” but Mickey grabbed Rachel’s arm to get her attention. “Now listen, Sweetheart. You know these ladies, right?” Rachel nodded. “Then take a message back to their family. They're coming with us and I’ll contact them later about an exchange of hostages.”

“Oh, God! What do you mean? You can’t just take them.”

“That’s the message. Just make sure you deliver it.”

The idiot who had been staring at her couldn’t restrain himself. He grabbed her and tried to kiss her. Rachel was able to free an elbow and dug it into his stomach. He swore as he doubled over and let her go.

“Bitch! You stuck up bitch.” He back-handed her across her check and she reeled backwards, cracking her arm against the edge of the counter. The snap was loud, and Rachel screamed as pain coursed through her arm.

Pandemonium followed as people realized what was happening. But before anybody could do anything, the two men grabbed the women and rushed them to their waiting car.

 They sped away and Mickey turned to the women in the back seat.

“Look, I’m sorry about that.” Mickey had a strange code of ethics. It was alright to kill a woman, but knocking one around was a definite no-no. His partner would pay for that later. “That wasn’t supposed to happen. You don’t need to worry. It won’t happen to you. I promise.”

As much as Annie and Maggie were panic stricken that they were being forced into a car by two strange men, they were more worried about Rachel. The sound of her arm breaking was grotesque. Annie had reared three children and somewhere along the lines they had all broken bones but the sound of Rachel’s arm breaking sickened her. It sounded just like splintering wood.

Oddly enough, Maggie trusted the kidnapper’s promise not to hurt them. She couldn’t say the same for his partner, though. She just hoped her boys wouldn’t go off half cocked. The only thing in their favor was that Mac’s team was there.

 

“No, I can’t stay here! I’ve got to let Annie’s family know what has happened. Look, you’ve plastered my arm and my face is fine except for a few bruises. I can’t stay here!” Rachel was only getting more agitated so the nurse went for help to calm her.

Max had made sure he had her name and the phone number of the homestead before the ambulance took her. He would call Bruce and Daniel right away.

Rachel had asked him to play down her assault.

Samuel was going to have a fit. He could be quite jealous, and while she it made her feel special, she didn’t want him doing something stupid. She didn’t them any of them doing something stupid. She would bet her apartment, that Carl and Utah would see this as an assault on their extended family.

Ok, enough. Left alone she saw her chance. She’d make her own way back. Suddenly she heard a commotion in the corridor. Above it all was Sam’s voice. Remembering the bruise on her cheek, she pulled her long hair forward and draped it over her cheek. She didn’t want him to see her like this.

Where was she? He was desperate to find her. Was this what she had gone through when he had been shot? His heart was racing and, for the first time in his life, he felt real fear that he could actually taste. All he’d heard was that Annie and Maggie had been kidnapped and Rachel had been slightly injured during the scuffle and taken to hospital.

Oh, Mon Dieu. Where the hell was she?

Samuel stopped a nurse in the corridor.

“I’m looking for a woman named Rachel who came through emergency. Please, where is she? I need to see her.”

“You must be Samuel. She’s very anxious to get out of here. Follow me.”

“Merci.”

A quick glance in the mirror told Rachel her hair wasn’t hiding the mess that was her cheek. Samuel wasn’t blind. What might work was a distraction, at least for the time being. She didn’t want him getting upset here. She was feeling a bit light headed anyway from the painkiller. Woozy would definitely be a distraction.

Samuel brushed past the nurse and through the open door. What he saw stopped him in his tracks. Dear God, she looked as if she’d been in a car accident! This was “slightly injured?” Bullshit!

“ Sam!” Rachel swayed as she tried to stand, Samuel rushed to put a supporting arm around her.

“Honey, are you sure you’re ok to leave? If the Doctor wants you to stay here overnight, maybe you should.”

“No. I want to go home. I have to tell Daniel what happened. Please Samuel. Don’t make me stay here. It’s just the medication. Please, Baby.” Rachel leant into him and picked up her purse from the bedside table. It was time to go.

 

“Jesus!”

“My God, Rachel. Are you sure you should be here?” Carl looked at Sam, who just shook his head in response. She looked terrible. He eased her down onto the sofa and took a seat beside her. Samuel was worried about her. She felt so small against him, so fragile.

“Daniel, I’m sorry. I tried to stop them, but when that man tried to kiss me……”

“What??” Samuel was on full alert now. Rachel patted his arm to calm him and she took his hand for what was to come.

Mac gestured towards the coffee table where he had the tape recorder going.

“Go ahead, Rachel. I’m going to record this if you don’t mind. It could help us later on.” Mac wasn’t about to let the testimony of a star eyewitness go unrecorded.

“When the man tried to kiss me, I pushed him off.” She felt Sam’s soft kiss on her forehead, and squeezed his hand. “That’s when he hit me.”

“Le fils D'une Chienne, un Bâtard !” Samuel was furious, and he wasn’t alone.

“ Oui, oui ! ” Utah spoke enough French to understand what he had said and was thinking along those lines himself.

“ Bastardo,¡Cobarde!” As far as Carl was concerned, the only men who hit women were cowards.

“Rotten Bastard!”

“Someone’s going to pay for this.” Samuel said clenching his fists. They others knew what he was talking about. The four men looked at each other. They knew what he was talking about, alright. Rachel could have just as easily been any of their girls. Because it was Rachel, Samuel would be afforded the first hit, then his bothers would stand by his side. And those bastards were going to pay for Annie and Maggie who were still out there somewhere with them.

“Do you remember anything else?”

“The guy who hit me was younger and kept calling the other guy ‘Mike’ and ‘Boss.’ The older guy gave me a message.

“Mickey? Could that have been it?”

“Yes! That’s it. He said he would contact Daniel’s family later to discuss an exchange of hostages.”

“‘Exchange?’. Is that the word Mickey used?” Rachel nodded. Mac pursed his lips.

“Damn it.”

“Mac, you know that can’t go down.”

“Yeah, Cathy, that’s for certain.”

“Hang on. Mac, what do you mean this can’t go down? My wife is out there with those lunatics.”

“I know this is difficult, Bruce, but I think Mickey’s looking for some kind of collateral to use against The Ring. Look, we’ve had evidence against him for years: tip-offs and blood stained money conveniently left in his office. It smells “scapegoat” here. I don’t think Mickey’s playing his part the way he’s supposed to and now he needs extra cover.”

Cathy stepped forward. She’d take it from here.

“I suspect he’s looking to get his hands on one of you guys and this is the means to do it. It’s a real possibility he didn’t know Annie was going to be there which means he couldn’t have planned it. He just took advantage of the opportunity. Somehow he found out who she was and it went from there.”

“Wait. I remember the owner talking to Annie about having Daniel home and then joking to Maggie about making you guys sing opera for your supper.”

“So what do we do now? We can’t just sit here?

“I’m afraid that’s all we can do until they ring us with their demands.”

“Look, if its money they want…” Mac shook his head.

“Sorry, Steven, it’s not that easy. Mickey’s probably got access to more money than all of us put together. He’s got bigger problems. He’s a dead man walking and he knows it.”

“Hey, Sam.” Carl whispered, nodding in Rachel’s direction. She had fallen asleep in Samuel’s arms. He felt so badly for her. She had done nothing to deserve this. He would be making some serious demands for justice on her behalf. He placed a clenched fist on his heart and closed his eyes. That was his promise to her. When he opened his eyes, his brothers were copying his gesture. It was a promise they would all honor.

“ She has had enough. I’m taking her home. Rach? Sweetheart?” He smiled at her as her eyes fluttered open.

“I’m sorry. The medication is making me so sleepy.” Samuel gave her a soft kiss on her lips. “ I’ve been there myself. Come on, my love. I’m going to take you home.” Rachel turned and looked at Daniel with a silent prayer of hope in her eyes.

Sam fastened a plastic bag around Rachel’s arm to protect it from the water. She stepped into the shower and he was right behind her. She was going to need some help. He resisted the desire that was building as he washed her. He was ridiculous to even consider it. She had just been released from the ER, for Gods sake.

 

 

 

 

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