I made the dreaded call to my ex-father in law. “Look Harold I need to use ‘Take The Fifth’. I will pay for any damages, but it’s really important. Now when this is over we can discuss what a bitch I am, but at the moment this is urgent. So like it or not I am going to use it.” You just got to love voice mail. I locked my copy of the voice mail recording and filed the small memory cart with the one of Harold blackmailing me for sex. I thought they made for a nice set though not quite a balance yet.
I made more calls, then I walked from my office into the reception area. “Sam you probably need to take a few days, and go visit one of your out of town friends,” I said.
“What I need to do is stay home and work from there. I had things set up so the phone will ring at my home, if need be and it seems that it needs to be. Nobody is going to bother me hon,” he said. “From what I hear, this is going to be over really quickly.”
“Yes, how it ends is anyone’s guess,” I said.
“You are a lot smarter than a bunch of cops, so it will end the way you want. I would bet on you any day.” he said.
“Jane we aren’t going back to the house for our things. We are just going to put it in the wind,” with those words I turned to look out the door. I was keeping an eye out for the salesman a the car dealer where I rented cars. He should be driving up in an econo box at any second.
“What can I do to help,” Sam asked.
“Tell anyone who isn’t a client who calls that I am out of the office hunting big horn sheep in Florida,” I said.
Sam burst into laughter. “Are you serious?” he asked.
“Absolutely, if they answer with, but there are no big horn sheep in Florida, just say really and hang up. Got to go, our ride is here.” Since I didn’t have time to buy any weapons I removed the shotgun from Sam’s desk. I pulled Jane out the door. The little Toyota was more than adequate for my needs.
I dropped the salesman off at his office, then drove to the donut shop. Hell, if we were going to have a party with a bunch of cops as guest, then I had to have donuts. I bought two dozen in various flavors. I also stopped at an ATM outside my bank. I withdrew five grand. I knew that what I was about to do was very dangerous and that I would likely need cash for mad money.
One of those calls I made before I left the office was to the Tryon Daily News, and then the local Fox TV affiliate. I put them both on alert that I was going to be turning a dangerous felon into the police, and I was worried that there might be an incident.
I had called the state attorney general after the press, which shows what I think of him. He was making the arrangement for the handover of Ansel. I was waiting to hear back before I could give the press a time and place. When we got to the driveway for Take The Fifth, there was a black SUV parked there. The SUV had the drive blocked preventing me and the econo box from entering.
It was at that moment that I realized that even though I could trust Jane exactly zero, I had put her life in grave danger bringing her along. I could have left her with Sam, but that would put him in danger. When this ended, if the bad guys won, they would be cleaning up no matter what the danger, so there were no good options.
I stopped in the convenience store parking lot to think of some ruse to get into the drive without a shoot out. I saw the black Ford pull up beside me and moved the .20 gauge closer. It didn’t seem like much of a tactic to have a shoot out in front of a convenience store, but it depended on how desperate the bad guys were.
“Ms. Ayers,” the slightly Latino young man in the Ford said. I simply nodded, I didn’t trust myself to speak. “If you drive up and keep their attention focused on you, we can slip through the woods and surprise them.”
“You realize they may be cops?” I asked.
“There are worse things than killing bad cops,” he said smiling.
“Fair enough, Jane and I will go back and have a talk with them,” I agreed.
“Give me and Raul ten minutes then do it,” he suggested.
That is how fifteen minutes later I came to be standing in front of the SUV. “Gentlemen, I need to get down to my boat. The Alarm company called to tell me someone had broken in.” It was a plausible story even if we all knew it was bullshit.
“How do you know that we aren’t the ones?” the chubby one asked.
“You could be, but I somehow don’t think you would break into my boat then come block my drive. I have no idea what is going on, but I need to get down there. Should I call the police?” I asked holding my cell phone.
“We are the police. We have a couple of dangerous men trapped on the boat,” he explained. I saw the two Latino men suddenly appear with what could easily have been Mac 10 pistols in their hands.
“You might want to rethink that,” I said waving to the men.
“Who the fuck are they?” the chubby one asked.
“I have no idea, but they are here now, so get out of the car.”
The one not called Raul said to me, “You know, we should kill them. It would be easier logistically, ”
“Yeah but it’s too nice a day to die,” I said it as I opened the door to the suv. I drove it into the woods over some small bushes. It wasn’t hidden but I didn’t care I just wanted it out of the way. Their job had been to block my guys in till help arrived.
“Royce get in the cruiser and get your ass up to the road. Be careful there might be a sniper down there.” I didn’t think there would be. These guys were not tactical cops. They were more like desk riders, I thought.
“Where are we going?” he asked.
“I have no idea, but we will all be together,” I said thinking how romantic that might sound at another time and place. When Royce and Ansel arrived at the end of the drive I had Royce hand cuff the two cops together and put them in the cruiser. I had never replaced the rear seat just for such a use. Okay, it was more to carry shit to the Goodwill, but still it worked just as well for carrying cops to the drop.
Royce and the Latino gentlemen nodded to each other then the two Latinos disappeared back into the woods. “I thought we were going to be on the boat for days?” Royce asked.
“Well it wasn’t exactly my boat, and you are who you are. It seemed like a good idea to get this deal done right the fuck now,” I said. “Besides I didn’t break your cover so one of you leaked it. If I hadn’t showed up when I did, there would have been a shoot out,”
“When you put it like that, it does sound like a better plan. So what is the plan?” he asked.
“I’m working on that right this minute,” I explained.
“By the way do you know who those two Gang Bangers were?” he asked.
“Not a clue,” I replied.
“The translation is Devil’s Brood or something like that. They are the gang worlds equivalent of the French Foreign Legion. They will go anywhere and do any job for a price. I would say your daddy is still looking out for you.”
“He is looking out for himself. He wants the cops gone and he knows with some help we can do it,” I said. “I expect he doesn’t like the competition.”
“I am not working for your dad, except to keep you alive,” Royce said.
“You said that before, and i’m all in favor of it. So let’s keep that as priority one. Now drive the cruiser to the boat ramp about two miles up river. Sit in the parking lot with those two and wait for me to call.” Since I was standing by the car and the two cops could easily hear what I said. “It they give you any shit, you can either take their clothes and cuff them holding hands around a tree, or you can cuff them together and throw them into the river. It might be interesting to see if they can cooperate enough to swim like that. If you do that make me a video.” I wanted them to think they were dealing with someone as ruthless as they were. Hell maybe they were.
While they headed off to the boat ramp, I made another call to the Attorney general. By that time for sure the cops had my cell phone gps, but I had no idea how many of them would be willing to hit an attorney in contact with the state AG and the press.
“I figure job one is to keep everyone alive, then we can negotiate,” I said to the State’s Assistant Attorney General.
“That sounds like a great plan to me,” she said. I want you to send some highway patrol cars to seal off the location and a couple of SBI cars to take these guys into custody. Right now I have four people in various stages of cooperation. Two I am sure will go along willingly two are cops who threatened my life.” That last might not play out so well, but it might get them a little worried. Especially when they saw what was about to happen to them. “We will be coming into the exchange site in two cars. I am also alerting the press just in case there is a shoot out. I want a record of who does what. Oh and you should know that I recorded this call.”
“You really don’t trust anyone do you?” she asked.
“Let’s see the cops are trying to kill my clients and don’t mind sending me to hell along with them. I think I probably am justified,” I said.
“Yeah maybe so,” she said. “So how about one hour for the exchange.”
“You got it,” I agreed.
“Royce listen up you have one hour to keep everyone alive, then we hand them off. During that one hour the bad guys might send a team for us, but they don’t have the manpower to seal us off. If they are any good they probably know we are in touch with the AG. They should be on the run, but who knows for sure.”
“So what do we do?” he asked.
“We get on the move and keep on the move until we meet the SBI at the park. I am about half a mile away and moving to you now.”
Five minutes later when I pulled into the boat landing parking lot, there was a second car parked beside the cruiser. There were two of them in plain clothes. One stood in front and one in the rear with their pistols drawn. I knew Royce had one pistol with limited ammunition, so I did the only think I could do. “Get down,” I said to Jane. Then I drove toward the one in the back at a high rate of speed and with my horn blasting. We were on a collision course but even better I was one huge distraction. I figured if Royce didn’t get the one in front, I would give him a try with the .20 gauge.
I got the one at the rear. I would have to plead guilty to assault with a Toyota. Well I would, if I survived because I saw the world go totally black. I never felt any pain, but my face did feel sticky just before the Toyota with a dirty cop on the hood went airborne and into the water.