Sound Of Silence
Author: Rose Hala

Chapter 20
Sound Of Silence by Rose Hala

CHAPTER 20

 

No amount of antibiotics were going to take the edge off. He was too frustrated to sleep. He needed to release some of his pent up emotions. A run. That’s what he would do. He would ask Carl to keep an eye on Rachel and he would run and run hard.

Samuel couldn’t remember ever wanting to hurt someone so badly. All he really wanted to do, was put his fist in the face of the man who had assaulted Rachel. Just the thought of that man’s hands on her infuriated him.

Rachel was more upset over the man’s attempt to kiss her than the assault. She had brushed her teeth twice to “get the taste of that guy off my lips.”

So, he had tried to sleep but his mind kept churning. Finally, he had untangled himself carefully so as not to wake her and got out of bed. It was the bruise on her cheek that cut him up. That bastard was going to get his ten fold.

He would be bloody lucky to walk by the time the Choir Boys got done with him.

Carl was more than happy to keep an eye out for Rachel. Utah thought a run was a great idea and Samuel was glad to have the company. Left to his own devices, he might run himself right into the ground.

 

In the car in front of the room at the motel, Mickey turned to the hostages huddled together in the back seat.

“I don’t want to hurt you but, if you do anything to bring attention to yourselves, I’ll shoot you both and then your family’s next. Am I understood?”

They nodded. Annie and Maggie didn’t want these guys anywhere near their family.

They carried the shopping bags out of the car. Mickey didn’t bother about checking them. They were all from Denver clothing boutiques. What he didn’t know was that, in a small bag tucked inside one of the larger clothing bags, there was a brand new omelet pan.

 

Daniel was torn. He wanted to stay close for the kidnappers’ call but, at the same time, he needed to bring his sister home. He had never should have sent her away. His mother and Maggie had been forty miles from here and those guys had gotten to them. Nowhere was completely safe. And his family needed to be together and here, with Mac’s Team in residence, was were they were safest.

Daniel decided to take a horse to the Robertson’s. It was the quickest way there. What  was he going to say to his sister? She was already angry with him.

As Daniel dismounted, Jiayi came running out to meet him. She was clearly upset and flew into his open arms.

“Oh, Daniel, Dad just called. What’s going to happen to Mum and Maggie?” She started to cry and Daniel rubbed her back and hugged her tightly. At the sound of sniffling Jiayi and Daniel turned around. Daniel offered his open to Diana who was wiping away tears.

“Come here, Diana. I’m sorry that you’ve been dragged into this. You two get your horses

while I talk to the Robertson’s. We have to get back. I want to be home when they call.

 

Samuel and Utah had run for an hour. They were both winded and slowed to a walk as they approached the guest house. Carl was watching from his seat on the porch and shook his head.

“I thought my brothers were fit. An hour’s run and you come back like old men. You sure are sorry sights.”

They narrowed their eyes and exchanged a look. Carl rose to his feet as Sam disappeared down the side of the cabin and Utah jumped over the railing and blocked the front entrance.

“Ahh guys. Utah? Sam? My brothers. Umm. Hellooo, whatcha doing?”

Carl moved down the steps intending to make a quick exit, “ I think I better go now.”

Carl saw the hose in Sam’s hand out of the corner of his eye and held his hands up to ward him off. “Oh, no. No, no. Sam!”

Samuel aimed and turned the nozzle. The spray hit Carl square in the chest and followed him as he turned to make his getaway. Carl was soaked to the skin in seconds. When the spray stopped, Carl stopped and turned to look at the two idiots laughing their heads off.

“I duno, Utah. That was pretty funny. What do ya think, même encore?” Utah nodded. Carl understood enough French to know what that meant. He took off as Samuel turned on the hose again. And once again the spray caught him in the back.

“ ¡Pincha! Yo le obtendré dos!” The usually impeccably groomed Carl was a saturated wreck.

“I’m going,” Sam said as he put the hose down. “And you”, he pointed to Carl, “you need to dry off some.” They could hear him laughing as he headed towards his cabin. Utah went inside and grabbed a towel which he threw to Carl, “Here, my friend.” He laughed as he received a one fingered gesture for his trouble.

 

Rachel was sound asleep when he tiptoed into the room. She was curled up in a ball with her arm in the sling and her hair over her cheek. His heart went out to her. He wanted to hold her but he didn’t want to wake her.

While he showered, he decided to brew a pot of her favorite tea and serve it in the set of gilt-edged porcelain from Maggie. The gilt-edging was impressive, but the real beauty was in the hand painted Rocky Mountain Columbine, featured on both cup and saucer. Rachel loved it and had wanted to save it for a special occasion but there was no reason not to use it this once. Besides, Samuel wanted to spoil her a little and the set looked lovely on the tray.

Just as he was about to take the tray into the bedroom, he heard her scream.

Leaving the tray where it was, he ran to her.

“Sam. Samuel,” She whimpered.

“Rachel. It’s me. I’m right here.”

“Oh, Sam.” She reached for him and he held her close while she clung to him, soothing her with gentle rubs on her back.

“ I could see that man again trying to kiss me.” She took in the fresh scent of his body.

“ I love you so very, very much,” she said softly as she rested her cheek against his chest. He kissed the top of her head and stroked her back.

“Vous êtes l'amour de ma vie, mon chéri.” Samuel couldn’t pinpoint it exactly but the things that had happened these last few days had completely altered the dynamics of what had been between them. Their relationship had somehow been transformed. Rachel had become his soul mate. He’d loved her before, but now; it was like there could be no future for him without her.

Sam helped her with the shower she insisted on taking. They had to get up to the main house to see if anything had developed.

They were walking up the steps to the porch when Daniel rode up with the girls.

Jiayi took one look at Rachel’s face and gasped, “Oh Rachel, your face and arm. Are you okay? It looks so painful. You, you don’t think that will happen to Mum, do you?” Tears ran down her face and Rachel put her arm out to the frightened young girl.

“No, Jiayi. What happened to me was because of something different.”

“He’d better not touch my mom. I’m so worried.”

“Honey, your Mum will be ok. We have to be strong.” Rachel leaned in close and whispered in Jiayi ear, “Sometimes men aren’t as tough as they make out they are. Your brother and your dad need your strength, and Samuel needs mine. Okay?” Jiayi nodded as they headed inside.

There were people in every chair in the living room. Daniel didn’t need to sit. He felt better pacing. This was worse than waiting at the hospital for news about Sam. At least they’d known where he was.

Daniel looked at his father. He was in his lounge chair and his face showed the strain of the last few hours. When was the damn phone going to ring?

The recorders were in place and Bruce had been coached on what to say to keep the line open for the three minutes it took to trace a call.

Conversation was muted and scant and the minutes ticked by. When the phone finally rang, everyone jumped.

Mac raised his index finger. On the second ring, he replaced his finger with his thumb.

“Hello? Yes, this is her husband. What is it you want?” Bruce stood up abruptly.

“No, you can’t do this. Not my son.” Daniel pivoted towards his father. Bruce was shaking.

“I need time. I promise no police but I have to talk to my children. This isn’t just my decision to make.” Mac waved two fingers indicating the minutes left of conversation needed for the trace.

“Look, can I talk to my wife, please? I want to make sure she’s ok. No, I’m not questioning you, I just need to hear her voice. It’s the first time we’ve been apart in forty years.

“Oh, Annie, thank God.” Bruce let out a sigh of relief then glanced at Rachel.

“Yes, she’s here. She’s in good hands. Annie, did he tell you he wants Daniel in exchange? My wife for my son. God, what a choice. There has to be another way.”

“Dad, tell them I’ll do it.” Mac turned abruptly to Daniel and vehemently shook his head.

“Annie. Annie? Annie, wait. Tomorrow at 11.30 in the school parking lot? That’s hours from now. I can’t ……” Bruce never finished. There was a commotion on the other end of the line before it went dead. He pulled the receiver with the haunting dial tone away from his ear and looked at Mac.

“I’m sorry Bruce. There wasn’t enough time to get a trace.” Daniel jumped into the silence that followed.

“ It’s my decision. I’m taking Mum’s place,” he insisted. At that, Stan stepped forward. He had been listening intently from the other side of the room and hadn’t said a word until now.

“I’ve got an idea. He doesn’t know what any of you look like up close. Let the exchange go ahead and I’ll go in Daniel’s place.” Bruce looked at him.

“Do you think it will work?”

“As long as he doesn’t ask me too sing,” Stan smirked.

“Cathy, what do you think?” Cathy turned to Angie and Sue and the three heads nodded in agreement.

“It looks like we have a plan. Get some sleep everyone, it'll be an early start tomorrow.”

 

“Stan, please be careful. I know this is your job, but I don’t have to like it,” Debbie said as she unbuttoned his shirt and put her mouth on a nipple. Stan winced.

“Oh, Debs, what are you doing to me,” he gasped as she put her tongue in his belly button. Lord! In a sweep she was being carried her to the bed without missing a beat. They made frantic love that was so intense that sleep overtook them before they started again. They were consumed by a hunger that was getting its appetite from the thought that it might be their last night together. Mickey was dangerous under ordinary circumstances. Stan had no doubt that now he would be as unpredictable as a cornered rat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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