Shackled Ch. 03byStory_Spinner©
Thank you for all your feedback. It is always welcome -- good or bad. And a special thank you to my partner in crime, Fish_Tales -- you have been a joy to write with!
Emma wasn't entirely sure why she had chosen the seat right next to the man at the bar. Perhaps because he seemed normal compared to the rest of the group in the joint and was lost in his own thoughts, or so she thought.
Somehow, her presence seemed to irritate him, but Emma had her plan in mind, eat, drink and get the hell out of dodge until she could find someone to help her plight.
Soon the big lug named Carl scooted her coffee her way. The liquid sloshed slightly over the rim, but she didn't care. She needed to warm up and perk up her senses a little. Carefully she took a sip of the hot liquid and closed her eyes a moment, relishing the hot coffee and liquor that burned a path to her belly. Nothing had ever tasted so good after the hell she'd just gone through.
"Thank you, Carl." She told the bartender sweetly and flashed him a small smile, which earned her a snort from her bar stool companion. She stiffed slightly and after another long draw on her coffee, she turned her face to his, hoping she looked braver than she felt.
"I'm sorry, have I offended you in some way? Because correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe we even know each other." Turning back to her meager meal, she threw down some more nuts. What a state she was in. She had no change of clothes, no other money, no jewelry to pawn...she'd kill for a little lip balm and some mascara. It was the simple things. Instead she was stuck next to some jackass who was coming close to being a heckler.
The black cars cruised silently into position and their electric motors were switched off. The LED sign at the front of the bar said "Carl's Place."
There were six cars. Two at the front entrance. Two at the service entrance at the rear of the building and there was also a car at either end of the street. The cars were unmarked, but it was unmistakeable as to what they were: Special Police Force.
The door of the car closest to the bar's entrance opened. A uniformed man got out of the car. He was dressed in black. He was part of their elite apprehension squad. He walked over to the other car on the opposite side of the entrance and tapped on the rear window.
The window noiselessly slid down.
The man inside the car was dressed in black. His silver hair was a sharp contrast to the black of his uniform and his small cap.
"Yes?" said the man inside the car.
"Sir," said the man standing outside. "We've had a tip-off that Emma Hopson is in the bar."
He stood there, his black helmet concealing his features. The rain continued to drizzle and the water ran in rivulets down his helmet and some down the back of his neck and under his jacket, but it didn't appear to concern him.
"Good," nodded the silver haired man. He waited. "But do I really have to be here and do we really need all this to apprehend her?" He looked at the other cars on the street. He also knew that there were two more at the rear and that the street had been secured.
"Sir, we also know that Liam Hansen is in the bar," he said.
The silver haired man raised his eyebrows.
"Yes, that's good. Better than good," he said smiling. Now he wondered if he had enough firepower. It might be better to call for more backup.
"Sir, our operative in there suggests that they may know each other. They are sitting together and conversing."
"Coincidence?" asked the silver haired man.
"Sir, there are never coincidences where Hansen is concerned," he said. "We suspect they're working together."
The silver haired man nodded and rubbed his chin with long, gnarly fingers. A general meeting with a dissident was not normally Hansen's MO. He wasn't a dissident type of guy. Hopson must have hired him to do something. They wouldn't be meeting about bettering the world. Not Hansen. They were planning something. If it involved Hansen, it would be something big and it would be something disruptive.
"Thank you," he said to the man standing outside the car. "We need to get them both. I need Hansen alive. He has contacts with all the dissident groups and he knows where they meet. We do not believe he has a great deal of loyalty to them. We have to get him. Maybe he will deal."
"Sir," said the other man. "Deal? Hansen has never dealt before."
"We can bargain with him," said the silver haired man. "Give him something he wants."
"Sir, like what?"
"Freedom, money, whatever."
The silver haired man knew what he was thinking.
"Oh, don't worry, Corporal," he said, "Liam Hansen has caused too much trouble to ever actually be released. We deal with him to find out what we can....then we kill him."
The other man's face was completely hidden by the dark plastic of his visor, but there was no doubt he was smiling under there. The night vision capability built into the helmet meant that he could also see the silver haired man smiling.
"Get me the feed on the operative inside and send it to my comms unit." He pulled a small, slim device out of his pocket with a screen and held it up. "Then sit back and wait for my order. We need Hansen alive if it's at all possible."
The Corporal nodded and started to walk away. He stopped and then turned back to the silver haired man.
"What is it?"
"Sir, what do we do with Hopson?" he asked.
"Oh, you don't have to be so gentle with her," he said.
Hansen knew he was getting under the woman's skin. It was a skill he had and he was good at it, but he was surprised when she turned to him.
"I'm sorry, have I offended you in some way? Because correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe we even know each other."
That takes balls, he thought.
Now that he'd started the game, he thought he may as well play the fish in.
"Nah, you haven't offended me. I don't get offended," he said. "I just don't like your type."
He watched her. She was trying way too hard to ignore him and focus on her nuts and coffee.
Way too hard. The fish was hooked.
She did look good though, in a strained, 'trying to look like one of you people' way.
"And I don't believe we know each other unless I cleaned your pool up in the hills," he said.
You're a mean bastard, Hansen. Why can't you just let it go? Drink your beers and stop pulling the wings off rich bitch flies.
If it hadn't been for his attitude, Emma would have found him rather attractive. But with each passing word that slipped from his mouth she was beginning to think of him as a toad. The hills?! He had to be kidding. She was sure he was doing more than cleaning pools if he was up in the hills...probably servicing rich women for extra cash. What an ass!
She let out a little snort and shook her head, slanting him an unamused look. "Do I seriously look like I'm some rich bored wife down here slumming it for the weekend? If I do, then I'm doing a better job than I thought I was! Ha!"
Actually laughing out loud, she rolled her shoulders and stretched out her arms above her head before dropping them down. Turning away, she stood and drained the rest of her coffee, ready to face the outside world again instead of shooting the breeze with some sexy...correction! Some slimy toad of a man. Lips twitching, she dug into her back pocket and fished out her cash. As the money slipped out, so did her disk, clattering the floor.
"Shit." She mumbled and quickly retrieved the valuable piece of data, continuing to ignore his stare as she stood back up and dropped a couple of bills on the counter before shoving the disk back into her pocket. Adjusting her cap, she glanced past his face and glanced outside. Even through the dingy windows, she knew something was up. An alarm went off in her head and she blew out a long drawn out breath.
"Carl?" The big man turned and fixed his small eyes on her brilliant and wide eyed gaze. "I'll pay you double for that Irish coffee if you tell me where your back door is...or better yet, some top secret escape hatch I could use."
Without a word he made a slight gesture with his right shoulder and turned his gaze that way too without a word. She nodded slowly and swallowed hard, dropping another bill down. "Thanks big guy. I owe you one."
Turning on her heels, she took the disk back out, bent forward with her back to Mr. Toad and jammed the disk between her tits, secured by her bra and reached for the small blade she'd also 'borrowed' for emergencies. Oh to have a gun! She could seriously use some fire power, but didn't know if she could even stab another human, never mind shoot one. Killing didn't quite fit into her day to day life.
Feeling clammy, she slowly walked to the back of the bar, pushing through a swinging door to what she hoped was the stock room. "Please please please don't be out there." She murmured to herself, trying to calm her racing heart.
Hansen smirked at her retort. He sighed and sat back with his beer, taking only a sip. A small sip.
He was looking in the mirror behind Carl and he could see someone pointing a comms unit at him.
Now Hansen didn't think he was an ugly guy. Far from it. The ladies had made him aware that he had something about him that was attractive, not that he really knew what that 'something' was, but it was there nonetheless. However, when a strange guy is sitting twenty feet away from you pointing his comms unit at you, then he felt that it was a fair bet they weren't recruiting him for a modeling shoot.
Something was up.
The woman seemed paranoid and she was in a rush. He looked at Carl. Carl looked towards the windows and nodded. If only all the women he'd met could be like Carl.
Muscly and hairy?
Stop joking around. There's something going on outside and the guy with the comms units isn't even being secretive anymore. Might be time to bid adieu....
The woman was getting more fidgety. She took out the money to pay Carl and a shiny disc fell out of her pants. She quickly snatched it up and hid it.
The woman wanted to go.
Hansen sat there, sipping his beer slowly. She didn't acknowledge him as she got up and slowly started to walk towards the rear of the bar.
"You want some more nuts, mister?" said Carl dropping a bowl in front of him.
Hansen looked at him and then looked down at the bowl. There was a plastic explosive the size of a small battery in there amongst the nuts.
"Don't mind if I do," he said reaching into the bowl and palming the explosive. He popped a few nuts into his mouth and chewed slowly.
The woman was nearly at the rear swinging doors. They led to the store room and then further along to the rear entrance. It wouldn't take the guy with the comms unit long to realize something was up because the lavatories were on the opposite side of the room and she obviously wasn't an employee.
Hansen didn't know if they were after him or her. He just knew this was about to get messy.
She started to push on the doors.
Hansen's mind was running through the scenario. He owed her nothing, so if she was in trouble, then what the fuck did he care?
They might be after him and she was just a paranoid rich bitch who'd seen some commotion and was afraid of the embarrassment of getting caught here.
He made up his mind. He put the glass of beer down hard, making sure to splash it.
"Be careful, mister," said Carl.
She was just about through the doors.
Hansen stood up and made as if he was unsteady. He started an ungainly walk towards the door, making sure to veer about a little.
"Aww, honey, ya know I don't mean nuffin' by that," he called, "alls I said was ya butt was a little big. S'all honey...."
He got to the doors and they were still swinging from the woman's exit. He pushed through them. He could see her five meters in front of him.
He ran up behind her and grabbed her around the waist, making sure to pin her arms. He placed his other hand over her mouth. She bucked against him.
Why did he bother? I could just knock her out and get away myself.
But they might want her.
Alright, alright, I heard you.
He hated his conscience. It always seemed to be trying to get him in trouble.
She struggled in his clasp, but he was too strong for her. He put his mouth close to her ear and whispered.
"Now, Irish, I don't know who the fuck you are and what the fuck you're running from, but you have to listen to me," he said. "I'm going to let you go, but we have to walk out that door holding hands and I want you to give me a kiss. A soft kiss so I can still look around behind you and you can look behind me. Get it? You piss me off, and you're on your own. Either they kill you or I kill you. Understand?"
Gee, Hansen, you'll do anything for a kiss, you softie.