Smoke Filled Lies

Smoke Filled Lies

A Story by Caleb Anderson
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Love is Proven in Blood. When Jacob's fiancee is unexpectedly kidnapped, he scrambles to find mercenaries willing to kill for more than just money.

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Smoke Filled Lies

Part 1

By: Max Cooper





Idealized people and a dozen flies.

Smoke filled chambers before their eyes.

Sick in soul and tainted in mind.

Fading past the sovereign line.

Living life without care or ties,

In their smoke filled house of lies.

 

 



 

Chapter 1

Leaving on an Airplane

 

The air is soft like velvet. The gentle breeze whistles through the screen door, cooling the room. The television buzzes with the low murmur of a Sunday afternoon movie. The kind one watches only because one’s too lazy to turn the channel.  Jacob shifts his body to a cooler part of the couch. Jessica reacts slightly, but quickly returns to a comfortable slumber on his chest.

He brushes her hair out of her face and reaches for his iced drink: nothing heavy, just a soda. Jacob hadn’t had a drop of any type of booze in several years. He takes a long sip of the refreshing beverage and sets it back. Jessica shifts again pinching a bit of his skin on accident.  He flinches from the pain. She shoots up, awake and dazed.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Jessica says, not even sure what she had done.

“Don’t worry about it,” Jacob laughs. “I’m sorry I woke you.”

“I wasn’t asleep,” she states confidently as she lays back down on his chest.

“Course you weren’t,” he plays along.

“What time is it?” she asks.

“Two thirty.”

“Don’t we need to be going here soon?”

“Not till three,” Jacob assures. “You know your mom; she is always late.”

“Yeah, but so am I, so shouldn’t we be early?”

“They can wait,” Jacob states gently touching her shoulder and rubbing his thumb on her skin.

“K, I’ll tell mom you made me late.”

“K,” Jacob replies. “Does it matter too much anyway? We are just picking out flowers, right?”

“Oh God, don’t say that too loud,” Jessica laughs.

“Why not?” Jacob asks.

“My mother would kill you if she heard you say that wedding flowers weren’t important.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, she could try.”

“Oh you are horrible,” Jessica mutters rolling over and wrapping her arms around him.

“I may not look it, but I am not easy to kill, you know.”

“Don’t underestimate the strength of an angry mother,” Jessica suggests.

“Never,” Jacob assures. Jessica sits up again and rubs her eyes. With a smile she slaps Jacob on the knee and tells him to ‘come on.’ He rolls his eyes as she stands up and grabs her purse.

“Come on, dear. I don’t want to be late, or I will never hear the end of it.”

“Oh good, then you will know how I feel,” Jacob says sarcastically. 

“What?” Jessica asks with a look only a woman can give.

“I don’t like big weddings,” Jacob explains. “It is one day. We have our whole lives ahead of us. What is one day?”

“Well, let’s start the entirety of our life with a grand send off.”

“I just would rather it be small and more personal.”

“I don’t know what you are complaining about, my parents are flipping the entire bill so what difference does it make?” Jessica asks.

“It makes a difference,” Jacob states as he picks up his keys and heads out towards the door. “To be honest I don’t understand why we have to let them pay for all of it.”

“Hold the presses,” Jessica laughs. “Are you actually willing to pay for something? Are you feeling ok? Maybe we should stay here.” Jacob glares at her even as he climbs into the driver side of the car. She shakes her head and slides into the passenger seat. Jacob starts the car, turns on the radio, and they are on their way. Jessica begins to say something but decides against it.

“I just don’t like big things,” Jacob mutters.

“I know you don’t,” Jessica affirms, “But it isn’t really about you, or even me, or even us. It is about family and friends and pictures for our kids and all sorts of things.”

“Yeah, I know. And I know you like the idea of a big wedding, so I’m going to shut up about it,” Jacob tells her.

“You don’t have to shut up; I want to know what you think.”

“I think…” he begins, “we should honeymoon in Boston.”

“Boston?” Jessica repeats stunned. “What is there to do in Boston?”

“Not a thing,” Jacob says with a sly smile.  Jessica giggles and looks out the window.

The floral shop is one of those nice, over-priced places downtown with no parking. By the time Jacob and Jessica open the door, her parents were already there and looking at different arrangements. Jessica apologizes quickly and floats to a seat next to her mom and the florist. A mass of papers lay before them. Jacob could have cared less. He drifts to an interesting looking plant and begins to look it over.

“I remember doing that,” a voice says from behind him. Jacob turns his head and sees Mr. Matthews standing with his hands in his pockets.

“Hi, Mr. Matthews,” Jacob greets.

“Oh please, don’t call me that. Call me Doug.”

“Yes sir,” Jacob says turning back to his plant.

“When I was getting married, Sarah made me part of the ‘decisions,’” Doug states, “Which really meant I was supposed to agree with her on everything.”

“Yeah, well I went the other route,” Jacob explains. “I’m more her driver than anything else.”

“And you are ok with that?”

“Well, you see, I don’t want a big wedding. I’m not a fan of all the traditions and show and crap.”

“I see,” Doug nods.

“But I want to support her, so…”

“Here you are.”

“So here I am,” Jacob raises his hands in a grand gesture.

“Well, Jacob. I appreciate you. And I am glad you are going to marry my daughter. But if you really want to support her, then go with her this summer.”

“We have already talked about this,” Jacob states plainly. “I’m going to finish up my Masters this summer. Then, when she gets back, we will both be out of school.”

“I know, and that is a good plan, but I know she wants you there even though she would never go so far as to say it.”

“I would just get in the way,” Jacob assures with a level of acting in his voice, as if he had had this conversation many times before in his head and was dryly repeating his lines.

“Ok, let me rephrase,” Doug continues. “Go for me. I would feel a lot better if I knew you were down there with her. Columbia is not known for its kindnesses.” Jacob nods slowly, fully understand Doug’s point.

“I’m not worried,” he states. “She is not stupid. She is not going to be in any place dangerous and I think it is important to her to make this trip alone. No offence Doug, but Jessica has never been away from her friends and family. I think part of the reason she wants to go is to convince herself she can.” Doug smiles.

“You’re probably right,” he comments.

“Don’t worry, I’m not worried.”

“I know I shouldn’t worry, but it is a father’s nature to worry about his daughter.”

“And to annoy,” Jessica steps in. “You two talking about my summer plans, aren’t you?”

“Yes,” Jacob admits without hesitation.

“Well, at least do me the favor of talking to my face.”

“We will, from now on. I promise,” Jacob states.

“Come on, Daniel called and he needs a ride,” Jessica informs.

“And why does he have to come at all?” Jacob asks.

“Because he is your brother and because we are all going to the fellowship dinner afterwards,” Jessica explains.

“Oh yeah,” Jacob jokes.

Jacob lets Jessica drive this time. The car was kind of the first thing they ever got together, so Jacob felt it was good for them to both feel like they own it.  Having her drive seemed one of the easier ways to do that. Jacob thought a lot about that type of thing. Does she feel like she belongs? Does he give her enough attention? Has he told her she is beautiful today? His father once told him that marriage was hard work, and Jacob was determined to put in the work needed. Daniel lived across town, so it was a bit of a drive: more so because Jessica hates taking freeways and interstates.

“So when is your flight tomorrow?” Jacob asks.

“Three,” Jessica replies.

“So we need to leave at 2,” Jacob thinks aloud.

“Or there about. I’m not too worried about security here. It will be going through customs in LAX that is going to suck. We won’t be able to bring any of the medicine with us on the plane. We had to mail it two weeks ago. I just hope it doesn’t get there early.”

“Why?”

“It probably won’t last long sitting on a Columbia store house. I would like it to arrive the same day we do, but I wouldn’t complain if it arrived late.”

“Where are you meeting up with Dr. Stevens? Isn’t he in Columbia already?” Jacob asks.

“Yeah, but he is having to drive in from the villages. I doubt he will be there until after I arrive.”

“And you have your hotel reserved already?”

“Yes, you know that, and I wrote down the number to the hotel on your fridge. I’ll call you the moment I check in,” Jessica assures. Jacob laughs.

“God, I sound like your dad,” he admits with a touch of guilt.

“It’s ok. You love me and are already starting to miss me. It’s cute.”

“It’s sad,” Jacob corrects. Jessica reaches over and rubs his leg.

“I’ll miss you too, of course you have no excuse to not get straight A’s this summer.”

“Why, ‘cause you won’t be there to distract me?”

“Yep,” Jessica laughs.

“I will miss you.”

“I know,” Jessica assures. She focuses on the road for a while then sighs, “You know you could still come with me.” Jacob smiles.

“You know you don’t have to go,” he says. Jessica bites her lip.

“You know this is important,” she says.

“I know,” Jacob agrees.

“I understand that you don’t like it, but this work is important. Jacob, I know this is what God wants me to do.”

“I know, but couldn’t God pick a better time?” Jacob asks.

“God only picks the best times; we just don’t see it until afterwards.”

“I know,” Jacob mutters, even as he wasn’t sure he believes it.  They pull into Daniel’s apartment complex and honk the horn. A very average-looking man come running down a narrow stairway and waves as he jumps into the back seat.

“Hey guys,” he greets.

“Hi Daniel,” Jessica replies. “How is life treating you?”

“Not bad, not bad. I think I might have a chance with Kimberly.”

“Oh yeah? Are you going to ask her out tonight?” Jessica asks as she pulls back onto the highway.

“What do you mean?” Daniel asks blankly.

“She will probably be at the fellowship dinner tonight.”

“I don’t know. It seems kinda silly to ask a girl to dinner while you are at dinner.”

“I’ve done dumber things,” Jacob keys in.

“Like asking a girl working at coffee shop if she would like to grab a cup of coffee?” Jessica teases.

“Worked, didn’t it?” Jacob asks as he reaches over and gently squeezes her leg. She smiles in reply.

Jacob didn’t like fellowship dinners. But, he has found out that it is an opinion he had best kept to himself: more so when he is actually at them. Daniel helps Mrs. Matthews carry her three pots of beans into the fellowship hall. A long row of tables stand in the corner covered in food of all types. Jacob follows Jessica, who is doing the polite greetings and conversations before they find a couple of seats. Daniel slips in beside him and looks about.

“How is work?” Jacob asks.

“Good,” Daniel says glancing to the other side of the room quickly.

“I don’t think she is here yet,” Jacob comments.

“I know that,” Daniel exclaims. “That’s why I am watching the doors.”

“Would you calm down? Be patient.”

“This coming from you,” Daniel scoffs, standing up and leaving.

“Don’t let him get to you,” Jessica assures.

“I never do,” Jacob explains as he leaves also. The line for the food was already forming. Jacob waited patiently as the people in front of him scrap together a meal between pointless conversations. Jacob can see Jessica update her friends with every new detail on their wedding plans.

“So Jacob,” a large man with a giant smile says, before giving him a hard pat on his back. “How have you been?”

“I’m doing rather well, Pastor Mark,” Jacob replies.

“Oh good, you know I was talking to Doug. He said that you were interested in teaching that bible study. Is that true?”

“Well if no one else is willing, I wouldn’t mind doing it, I mean.”

“No, I think it would be good for you too. You know, Jessica has been praying that you would become more interested in church activities,” Mark explains.

“Well I would like to get more involved. This church is very important to Jessica.”

“So, it is important to you,” Pastor Mark finishes the thought. “Wow, I wish I had realized that when I was your age. I’m glad you get it,” he laughs leaving so he can shake some more hands. Jacob finishes filling his plate and sits down next to Jessica again. She is still deeply involved in her conversation about invitations or some such. 

Jacob smiles and nods anytime she turns to him, but he finds contentment in focusing on his meal. He cannot help but feel the weight of boredom beginning to press upon him.  Jacob used to never feel this way, and in the simple isolation and comfort of the silencing noise, he drifts back into himself. Back to times when boredom never was. Back into times when he would risk it all on a single roll of the dice.

He remembers the ocean. He loves the ocean with its gentle breeze and soft rhythm. He remembers the heat of the south, the chill of the north and the beauty of the east. Jacob remembers spending hours on the open road with not a person or building from horizon to horizon. He remembers the peace he found in chaos. The sanity he found in living crazy, but that life was over. Long past like a dream and he knew he would never have it again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 2

Somewhere a Clock Is Ticking

 

The birds were singing, but they stopped as soon as the sun went down. The wind wasn’t blowing, and the air was thickening up with sticky heat. Jacob flips the channels with little discretion. He glances back up at the clock. It had only been ten minutes since the last time he had done so. He felt his breath start to quicken. He inhales a long breath and lets it out slowly. His heart starts to beat with increasing rhythm. He picks up his cell phone and flips it open, as if the action somehow will make a call appear. He fumbles with it before setting it back down.  He leaps to his feet and starts to pace.

He goes into the kitchen and picks up a meat knife. He spins it in his palm. The slightly dangerous action calms him. He continues to take deep breaths. He knows he needs to not worry. There is nothing to be worried about. He twirls the knife elegantly between his fingers and spins the wooden handle across his palm with utter ease.

Then the sound of a buzzing phone reaches his ears. It startles him and the knife drops from his hand. It lands standing straight, blade pierced into the floor. Jacob stares at it for a second before he hears the phone buzz again. He walks over to the coffee table and scoops up the cell phone. With a smile he looks at the caller ID.

“Hi,” he greets.

“Hi,” Jessica says. “You behaving yourself?”

“Oh you know me, trouble at every turn.”

“Whatever. I just wanted to tell you that I am here, obviously,” Jessica laughs.

“Obviously. How was your trip?” Jacob asks.

“It wasn’t bad. A bit long.”

“Yeah?”

“Yep, it is pretty here, though. Hey, I’m going to have to call you later. There is a line behind me for the phone.”

“Ok, I’ll talk to you then.”

“K, I love you.”

“Love you too,” Jacob replies closing the phone with a sigh of relief. His moment is broken by a knock on the door. Jacob grabs a coke and heads to the door. Another hard knock comes before he opens it. Standing in the hall is a pack of grinning faces. Jacob shakes his head.

“God, you guys are ugly,” he comments.

“Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black?” Daniel asks as he shoves a six pack into Jacob’s arms, nearly making Jacob drop his soda. Christian walks in after him, with Ben right behind him.

“Guys, what are you doing?” Jacob exclaims.

“Look, this is the first time in a year that you and Jessica haven’t been joined at the freaking hip. Tonight is guy night,” Daniel explains.

“Ok, but no beer,” Jacob states shaking the six pack at his guests. “You know I am off the sauce.”

“Beer ain’t sauce, it’s seasoning,” Christian informs.

“Guys, I promised Jessica that I wasn’t going to drink anymore.”

“Jessica ain’t here, and she ain’t going to find out,” Daniel says.

“Still…”

“Oh god, stop being such a freaking baby,” Ben mocks.

“I’m not,” Jacob protests.

“Oh, I can’t have a beer. My woman told me not to,” Daniel playfully rubs his eyes like a baby crying. Jacob sighs.

“Alright, but I’m only having one,” Jacob asserts.

 

***

 

Jacob is awoken by the vibration of his phone on his chest. A throbbing headache reminds him of the last twelve hours.  Pizza boxes and beer cans cover the floor.  Under several layers of trash is Daniel. A pair of boxers sits firmly over his head like a hat. Jacob doesn’t remember that part. With effort Jacob picks up his phone and looks at the number on the caller ID. He doesn’t recognize it.  He flips the phone open.

“Hello,” he says.

“Mr. Yost?” an unfamiliar voice asks.

“Yes,” Jacob replies.

“Mr. Jacob Yost?”

“Yes, who is this?”

“This is Special Agent Francis, with the State Department. It is our understanding that you are engaged to a Miss Jessica Matthews, is that correct?”

“Yes, what is this about?” Jacob asks growing very nervous, and understandably so.

“Sir, if you could come down to city hall, we would like to talk to you in person. Mr. and Mrs. Matthews are already here.”

“Is Jessica in trouble?” Jacob stutters out.

“Sir, you just need to come here. We will explain in person.” Before Jacob could speak again the line went dead.  Jacob paused for an instant, pondering on the moment. Then, in a rush of movement, he shoots to his feet, grabs his keys, kicks Daniel, stuffs his wallet in his pocket and runs towards the door. 

“What the hell man?” Daniel asks as he sits up. The knife from the day before is staring firmly at him. “Wow, I don’t remember that happening.”

“Come on, Jessica is in trouble. We need to go, now!”

“What?” Daniel asks dazed.

“Come on!” Jacob barks. Daniel jumps at the intensity.

“Ok, ok,” he mutters as he stands up and follows Jacob out to the car. As soon as they are in, Jacob hits the gas and speeds out of the apartment’s parking garage. Daniel holds on and begins to wake up to the reality of the situation. 

“What is going on, man?” Daniel dares to ask.

“I don’t know,” Jacob admits. “Someone from the state department just called saying he wanted to see me.”

“Oh crap,” Daniel mutters. “You don’t think…”

“I don’t know,” Jacob nearly yells. “I honestly can’t think about it right now. I just want to get there.”

“Yeah, yeah. Ok.”

Jacob turns onto the freeway and presses hard on the gas. He pulls into the crowd of downtown and illegally parks.  He jumps out of his car and walks with a brisk, composed pace.  The front to city hall was beginning to swarm with news vans. 

The officer at the door asks him his name then points him to the room he needs to go. Jacob goes on without waiting for Daniel to finish signing in. Two men in suits are standing outside the door with coffee cups in hand.  They look like they had had a long day. Jacob opens the door. Jessica’s parents are sitting on a leather couch. Their faces are like ghosts. A balding man, with an obvious comb over and a cheesy suit, sits behind a desk with his hands folded. Jacob carefully enters and sits down in a chair across from the couch.

“Mr. Yost?” the man says calmly. “Thank you for coming so quickly. Time is an issue in these matters.”

“What matter?” Jacob asks.

“Well, as you may have guessed, I am Special Agent Francis,” the man begins when Daniel opens the door with a confused look on his face. “Can I help you?” Agent Francis asks.

“This is my brother,” Jacob explains.

“Oh, I see. Ok, please have a seat,” Francis states. “Now, as I was saying, there is no easy way to say this so I am going to just say it. At roughly seven a.m. eastern time Ms. Jessica Matthews left Bogotá, Columbia heading towards a small village. Sadly a mudslide the previous day had covered the main road to this village. Instead of waiting for the road to be cleared, Ms. Matthews and her guides tried to take a dirt road that went through the jungle.

“Unfortunately, this road is a well-known route for drug smugglers. I say this because it appears that Ms. Matthews’ caravan was stopped by said drug smugglers. They took the medicinal supplies Ms. Matthews’ had and also seemed to have taken several hostages. I am afraid one of them was Ms. Matthews. I’m sorry.” 

Francis finishes with a sigh. Jacob feels his heart stop in his chest. He wants to say something, but he doesn’t know what to say. He simply looks out to a corner of the room hoping to fade into it.

“What can we do?” Daniel, the only one apparently still level-headed, asks.

“Not much, I’m afraid,” Francis admits. “It is completely out of our jurisdiction. I have been in contact with the Columbian police.”

“Columbian police?” Jacob interrupts. “What is that?” Jacob says sarcastically. Francis ignores the comment and continues.

“They said that when the drug cartels take people, it is usually for ransom. I suggest that we wait until we receive some sort of ransom note. I have called the FBI already. If it is ransom, then they will take over and advise you on further action, but honestly we won’t know anything until the Columbian police finish their own investigation.”

“But we aren’t rich,” Doug protests, “if they wanted ransom we couldn’t give them that much. The medicines they took would be worth far more than any amount we could come up with.”

“I don’t think people like this realize that,” Francis says. “They see an American and assume they are rich. Basically if there is a note, we will know where to go from here.”

“And if we don’t get a note?” Doug asks.

“Well, let’s not consider that.”

“You are full of crap,” Jacob spits.

“Excuse me?” Francis asks.

“You are full of crap,” Jacob repeats as he gets up and walks out into the hall. Daniel follows, but before he can even close the door behind him, Jacob walks down to a vending machine and starts to punch it without mercy. The two suits with coffee do nothing to stop him. They simply watch. Daniel takes his time walking up to Jacob, letting him burn out his fury a bit. By the time Daniel reaches him, Jacob is leaning on the wall with a red face and white knuckles.

Daniel folds the collar on Jacob’s polo shirt back down and flattens the shoulders.

“You done?” he asks.

“No,” Jacob says.

“Alright, kill the world. ‘Cause that will fix it, ya know.”

“Don’t get bright with me,” Jacob whispers coldly.

“I never was very bright,” Daniel remarks. “But I do have a question.”

“What is that?”

“Don’t be so rash, I want you to think before you answer my question. Can you do that, or should I come back?”

“Ask,” Jacob orders.

“Is there any chance that this is more than some greedy drug runners kidnapping an American?” Daniel asks. Jacob stares at him.

“I don’t know,” Jacob states flatly.

“Ok,” Daniel replies after a pause. “So what are we going to do?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, I don’t think you are wanting to wait for the FBI to do something. You and I both know how incapable they can be.”

“What else can we do?” Jacob asks. Daniel shrugs his shoulders. Jacob shakes his head.

“No, we are not doing that. That is a place I am not going. There ain’t no coming back from that place, Daniel. How could you even think that?”

“It is something to consider,” Daniel states.

“No, it is not an option,” Jacob asserts.

“Ok,” Daniel mumbles as Jacob walks away. Nevertheless, Jacob couldn’t help but wonder if Daniel was right. Could those shadows be catching up with him after all this time?  Could it all be coming undone? Jacob couldn’t deal with it; the thought of it was too much for him. He didn’t want to hear it, not even in his own head. Jacob stands up. He needs to calm down. He feels the pressure on his soul.

“This is what you want, isn’t it? You b*****d,” he mutters to himself.

 

***

 

“So you don’t know anything?” Ben asks over the phone.

“Not until the Columbian’s file their report,” Jacob explained. “But Ben, no BS, what are her chances?”

“If it is ransom, then they won’t hurt her,” Ben explains. “She is only worth money if she is alive and undamaged. They probably think she is some millionaire’s daughter. She’s probably eating tacos in some mansion right now. Kidnapping in that part of the world is just economics.”

“And what if it isn’t a kidnapping?” Jacob poses.

“What could it be but a kidnapping?” Ben asks perplexed.

“Nothing, thanks Ben,” Jacob utters hanging up the phone. He sets it down and clinches the corners of the table. “Dear God, help me,” he prays.

“Jacob,” a tired voice of a tired woman whispers. Jacob turns around to face Jessica’s mother. “Yes?”

“Francis said that the Columbians will be sending their report soon.”

“Ok, I’ll be there in a moment,” Jacob affirms. Mrs. Matthews nods and saunters away. Jacob takes a deep breath and follows her.

The atmosphere in the room is intense. Jacob slides in without a sound and sits. Jessica’s parents are holding each other’s hands.  Agent Francis taps his pen on the desk.  The phone is the center of the room. The silence settles like a fog.

The phone rings. Agent Francis answers it.  He listens carefully, writing down some notes and a number. He thanks the person on the other line and hangs the phone up. Jacob holds his breath. This would be the moment of truth, and he knew it.

“The Columbians don’t know who took Jessica,” he informs.

“What do you mean, ‘don’t know?’” Doug asks.

“It may not have been the drug lords in the area,” Francis informs. “So as of now, we aren’t sure who took her.”

“Wait a moment,” Doug protests. “How do they know it wasn’t the drug cartels? What did they do? Search their homes?”

“Sir, if it were the cartels, they would have a ransom note to the U.S. embassy as soon as they found out who she was. There is no note. So it seems they do not have her.”

“Or they took her and found out she wasn’t worth anything,” Jacob corrects. The room again grows dead silent. Doug stares at Jacob with shock on his face.

“That is correct, Mr. Yost,” Francis agrees. “But let’s not consider that unless we have to.”

“Do what you must,” Jacob asserts as he stands up completely cold. “You and I both know what no note means.”

“And what’s that?” Doug presses, desperate to know.

“It doesn’t mean anything at this point,” Francis quickly interjects.

“It means,” Jacob says with a raised voice, “that A: the cartels took her, found out we couldn’t pay anything and killed her, or B: she was taken by men that aren’t looking for ransom.” Doug’s eyes sink into a dark void over the mere thought that Jessica might truly be gone. Jacob turns and abandons the room. Agent Francis kicks the side of his desk then points to Doug with a hard finger and an even harder look.

“That is not necessarily the case,” he assures.

Daniel is sitting on a bench with his arms crossed and his head slumping when Jacob walks past. The movement catches his attention.

“Jacob,” Daniel cries out. “Jacob, wait up,” he complains as he runs to follow.

“I want you to call up Ben and Jay and tell them to pack their bags,” Jacob orders.

“What? Why?” Daniel asks.

“Look,” Jacob spits, “I’m not going to sit here for one more minute waiting for those idiots to let Jessica die. We are going down there, Daniel, and we are going to bring her back.”

“Jacob?”

“No,” Jacob interrupts with a raised hand. “Make the calls.”

 

***

 

Doug and Sarah Matthews don’t say much on the ride home. It had been a horrible thirty-five hours. Neither felt like talking. They pull into their driveway. The house is dark like they left it. It felt as though it had been a week since they had been there. Doug feels exhausted as he opens the front door, yet he couldn’t accept the idea of sleeping right now. It is almost as if sleeping would mean everything was ok, and he knew it wasn’t.  Doug clicks on the light to the living room and jumps in surprise. Jacob is sitting on their couch with his arms spread across the top of it.

“Jacob,” Doug mutters. “What are you doing here? And why were you sitting in the dark?”

“I felt it was suiting,” Jacob answers. Doug pauses stunned then nods.

“Ok, would you like a drink?” he asks, mostly out of habit.

“No, I have a proposition instead.”

“A proposition? What are you talking about?” Doug asks.

“How much money do you think you could get together in a few days?” Jacob asks. Doug’s heart races.

“Did you receive a ransom note?” he nearly bursts out.

“No,” Jacob replies coldly, “but I need about fifty thousand dollars.”

“Fifty thousand? What for?” Doug asks completely confused with what his future son-in-law is talking about.

“I am going to go get Jessica,” Jacob says.

“What? What are you talking about?” Doug asks. “Jacob, I understand you are upset, but the authorities are…”

“Are incapable of dealing with this,” Jacob barks.

“Jacob, calm down,” Doug requests sitting down across from him.

“I’m sorry, I haven’t slept yet,” Jacob explains. “Mr. Matthews, there are things about me that I never told you, or your daughter. There are people I know and trust that specialize in situations that the normal authorities fail in. But these men and their services are not cheap. Sir, I aim to get Jessica back. To do that, I will need fifty thousand dollars. Now, I will be putting up the first fifteen but if you could…”

“Wait a second, you are talking about mercenaries?”

“I’m talking about specialists,” Jacob clarifies, “men of many backgrounds capable of navigating the underbelly of this world.”

“And how do you know men of this sort?” Doug has to ask.

“Like I said, there are things I have not shared with you or your family because I felt it was unnecessary. Now, it seems it has become useful.”

“And why do you think you will be able to do what the FBI and the State Department cannot?” Doug inquires. Jacob nods, understanding completely Doug’s concern. Jacob smiles and reaches across the table for a simple looking cup. He lifts it up and shows it to Doug. With a flick of his wrist he throws it into the air. Before the cup even begins to return to the ground Jacob flips out a switch blade. The cup lands solidly onto the knife, impaling itself. Doug stares in utter amazement.

“Who are you?” he mutters. Jacob spins the cup and sets it down on the table with the knife still in it.

“You get me the rest of the money, and I promise you I will bring Jessica back, one way or another.” Doug, still staring at the cup, nods his head.

“Alright,” he mumbles. “Alright, I will. I’ll get you the money.” 

 

***

 

Daniel leans comfortably on the pew.  He lets his feet lift up and draws heavily on his cigar.  The sunlight glitters through the stained glass of the church. Daniel likes church; it seems peaceful, if not a little dangerous. Jacob sits down in the pew behind him without saying a word.

“We have the finances?” Daniel asks.

“We do,” Jacob says.

“Ok then,” Daniel replies letting his feet drop along with his cigar. He stomps it out and walks to the altar. He pauses in front of it.

“One question,” Daniel pauses. “How far down the rabbit hole do you want to go?”

“As far as it takes?”

“Even if it means dealing with him again?” Daniel asks. Jacob pauses. The thought of meeting his old master had crossed his mind, but it wasn’t something he really wanted to swallow.

“I love Jessica,” Jacob replies coldly, “enough so to do the unthinkable to get her back safe.”

“Even if it costs you her?”

“Even then,” Jacob asserts.

“You sure?” Daniel asks.

“I am,” Jacob says.

“Ok,” Daniel complies pushing on the side of the large wooden table. With a creak and a pop it moves along the wooden floors. Under it sits a very dark-looking hole. Jacob takes in a large breath before he steps in.  Daniel flips a switch and several lights brighten the cavern. Guns line the walls. Boxes of bullets crowd the counter tops and two lockers sit nicely in the corner.

    “Bless me, oh Lord,” Jacob whispers, “for I am going to sin.”




End
  of Part 1




Look For Part 2 on Amazon!

© 2013 Caleb Anderson


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Added on June 25, 2013
Last Updated on June 25, 2013
Tags: Dark, Hate, Life, Sad, adventure, death, depression, fantasy, fiction, heart, love, mystery, pain, romance, story