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Gabriele Salvatierra

The Hunt Begins.....

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The backs of calloused fingers passed feather light over the wrinkled forehead, wisping ginger away from the skin, wishing he could make the anguished look fade. Even in sleep the Czech was tormented. This was one of the rare times they touched, and it was when the scientist worked himself for days to finally succumb to exhaustion and didn’t know the Spaniard was even there.

 

Strangers under the same roof. That was his anguish. It had been strained after Scotland… it was supposed to have been a happy occasion, the meeting of his sister, a wedding…well…. there was supposed to have been a private one.....It never happened.

 

They had returned and the long spans of silence had only grown, the Czech keeping him forever at a distance that the Sheut respected implicitly. Then there had been the incident in upstate California a little over a year ago. He had released the monster during a slaughter at one of those experimentation labs and nearly gotten himself killed. But that hadnt been the worst of it. While out doing his "job", Bodhan had run off and the Sheut sent Jacob to watch over him. It had been the first time since they had been together that the Spaniard had left the Czech's protection to someone else.

 

That had been a mistake. The explosion.. the sun….  months of recovery for them both.

 

There had been a moment in the sanctuary of Chels' clinic that Bodhan had seemed to move closer to him… spoke again of "them"… of rings….but the moment had evaporated. A memory no more than a dream now leaving them once again strangers under the same roof.

 

Weight shifted gently off the bed, not that in his exhausted state there was a chance that Bodhan would wake anyway. The note on the side table was a familiar one. He always left them for the ginger letting him know he was handling Sheut business. It always said where he was going and how long he would be gone, he refused to keep secrets from the Czech, the younger man knew his position in the Nation, knew he was the "clean up crew".

 

"Need to be in Canada.. back in two days"… "Need to be in Florida, back in three days"… "Need to be in Scotland, back in seven days"…. And they all ended the same, with a reminder where the cash was if he needed anything and clear list of the food he had prepared for the younger man and left in the fridge and how to reheat it.. even though he knew half of it would still be there when he returned.

 

Deep chocolate glanced at the note.

 

"Need to be in Virginia, back in three days. Cash is in the right desk drawer in the study if you need anything. The mac and cheese you can just reheat in the microwave for about two minutes, there is a cooked chicken breast as well. Put some water in it before heating in the microwave or it will dry out- you can also just pan heat it on the stove. The blue bowl is fruit that is all washed and cut up, don’t wait too long to eat it or the berries will get soggy.

todo mi corazón,

Gabriele"

 

Felt like a lie. It wasn’t a lie….not exactly. The plane was landing in Virginia. Final destination though was New York but he didn’t want Bodhan to be concerned something was wrong with his sister. Phone vibrated in his pocket, the metal pulled out to review the message. Pilot was wondering where he was. Large fingers rapidly texted he was on his way before sliding the phone away again, dark eyes once more tracing the Czech's sleeping features.

 

He had been lingering far longer than usual. He was worried. These orders felt…… different.

 

Silently he slipped from the room, turned the thermostat up a bit more to keep the place toasty against the winter chill and double checked he had left the new jar of peanut butter with a spoon on the kitchen counter in the hopes that if the ginger never even opened the fridge, he at LEAST ate that.

 

Weaponized leather trench was slid from the back of the bar stool as he made his way out of their loft, hand pressing to the pad once outside the door to ensure all the security was once more reset. A soft goodbye said before trotting down the stairs to the lower garage to get his ass moving to the private air strip.

 

Flight was a silent tomb as he went over the conversation again.

 

You are to execute the East America Viceroy for treason against the Nation. The Viceroy is behind the experiment labs you have been hunting down around the world….. What? Adrian… that doesn’t seem like Er… Are you questioning the order Shezmu?

 

Invoking the formal title meant it was authorized by Ausar. The Spaniard paused, swallow thick as the head shook, a moment passing before realizing the action could not be "seen" over the phone.

 

Of course not Minister. When? Immediately. Judgment has already been passed.

 

And with that the Minister had hung up.

 

Sitting in the leather seat of the private jet he stared at the black shade drawn window knowing daylight was now bursting out around the clouds behind it. The glass of whiskey dangled from his fingertips as the wrist hung limp over the end of the arm rest.

 

These orders felt different…. it was haunting him.

 

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Leather fluttered despite the weight of weapons hidden inside its dark folds as a large circle of movement flipped it over his shoulder and up his arms, bottom billowing down to hit the back of his thick calves as he hit the last metal step leading off the plane.

 

The small hanger of the long forgotten weed infested Chase City strip streamed with speckled light through the rusted roof. Sun still too high to withstand directly without a nasty sunburn he would have to explain to Bo, the small private plane had ducked into the hanger to allow its passenger safe departure. Though the moment his boot hit the dirty floor, the stairs were being hauled up and the craft was already slowly pulling back out. It would be in the air and out of Virginia airspace in less than 20 minutes.

 

It was always like this on sanctioned executions. It was a job he did alone. No witnesses.

 

Phone had been turned off mid-flight, the last connection to the world terminated to ensure nothing could be tracked. Though the chances of anyone doing so was slim, Jacob switched out the Shezmu's phone on a very regular basis, trusting of the big Spaniard more than the nation that held his leash. Truth was if anyone could track him it would be that damn bouncer. Thought lifted the corner of his lips slightly as he walked to the far side of the hanger to watch the sun recede. Jacob would be pissed again that he hadn't known the Spaniard was leaving, left to run the club on his own again.

 

The Honda Blackbird was sitting under a dusty cover in a barn some fifteen miles from his current location. One of eleven bikes he kept stashed around the east coast for just such occasions. Having hidden them alone, they were not in danger of being "watched" locations, even the pilot who had to be coaxed to land here in the middle of overgrown nowhere didn’t know he had transportation waiting.

 

Standing just outside the rays of the setting sun streaming through the open hanger doors, the dark eyes narrowed watching its slow sink into the horizon. Fifteen minutes to get to the bike…. two and a half hours to cover the 490 miles to New York if he laid the Blackbird full out the whole way. 200 mph wipe out was a good way to become hamburger on the rough roads in these unpopulated areas but it wasn’t the first time… or last, he would turn a bike wide open.

 

Another two minutes and he would only get a nice Spanish tan.

 

Time ticked with infinitesimal progress as the dark eyes ached staring at the last edge of the orange orb before the dark figure blurred out of the rusted building. By the time boots skidded to a halt in front of the old barn, it was well into dusk.

 

Tarp snapped up and to his right, two years of dust migrating into the air as he looked the bike over. It had been carefully stored, the fluids entirely drained and fresh put in the day he had locked it up. Tank full of gas with stabilizer in it to ensure it didn’t go bad.  And a weighted thermal blanket under the tarp to try and protect it all from the Virginia freezes. He hoped the ice age they had gone through a year ago hadn't irrevocably damaged her.

 

There were faster bikes, but for the climate it was to be stored in, he trusted the Honda over the fancy brands. Straddling the dark gray seat he kicked up her stand and rolled her out of the hay that he had packed around her for storage. Eyes narrowed, weathered age crinkling the corners as she stuttered on the first try. Second wasn’t more successful. But on the third, she showed why she was chosen for the harsh climate she had been abandoned to. Life thundered under him before he slid on a pair of barely tinted shades to protect his eyes from the coming winds. The barn was a distant shadow in seconds as he wasted no time opening her up.

 

Two and a half hours was a long time to think. And these orders….. still bothered him........

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