Unleashed Ch. 12


"And if he doesn't return home for another hour?" Dasha holstered her gun then tightened the straps of her boots.

"No, according to the cameras, he's making his way back. If we take the interstate, we'll be sitting on his sofa ten minutes before he even arrives," Marc reported.

"Then what the hell are we waiting for?" Jessica stood to her feet, tugged lightly on her ponytail to make sure it was in place, then stalked from the house with purpose in her stride. They made it to the van, the girls slipping on their gloves, as they pulled away from the driveway. The short ride was filled with tension, but the surface of steady calm inside of the cabin remained intangible.

Jessica was the first out of the car, her feet stepping on the grass as if she owned it. "Eithne, be a good boy and stay with Marc."

"Hell no, if Grecko gets to be in on the action, so do I. Besides, Marc and I would like to make sure that she keeps her little arse in order," he said looking down at the scowling woman. He gave her a genuine smile as he followed behind a quickly advancing Jessica. "Why are we not doing this at night again? Ever heard of the element of surprise?"

"Fuck surprises. Tricks are for kids," Jessica said waiting for Marc to point out the house. When he indicated which one to go to, she barely spared a minute picking the back lock and making herself welcomed. "Let's all have a seat, shall we?" She and Dasha sat in the loveseat facing the door. Marc decided the recliner closest to the fireplace was more suitable for him with his wife neatly sitting on his lap. Eithne, on the other hand, forever unable and unwilling to listen, wandered about the house. In his line of work, he never failed to secure a perimeter. He was surprised that the others didn't share his sentiments; then again Marc wouldn't send them into a trap. He always did his research.

"Seen enough?" Jessica questioned when he returned, leaning against the stair railing as if utterly uninterested in what they were about to do.

"Yea," he said with a shrug then waited with the others. His ears prickled, the arrival of a car bringing them all to attention. Steady footsteps approached the front door, rambunctious conversation, and raucous laughter informed the group that there were at least three men ready to enter the house. The door creaked open on its hinges, exposing Jessica on the couch, but the three men were too preoccupied with their discussion to take notice of her presence.

Marc waited until the door closed before opening the blinds just a crack to let their presence be known. The talking halted as the trio, for once, paid attention to their surroundings. "You might want to take a seat," he told them as they stared at him incredulously.

"Who the fuck are you and what are you doing in my house?" Three guns cocked towards him and the sound of six more pointed at them with the addition of a ringing blade.

"We have a simple question to ask you. Your response depends upon whether you make it out that door alive." They turned in the direction of Jessica's voice, Eithne switching on the lights to illuminate the room while Marc and Dasha closed all the blinds.

"What do you want?"

"You, Philippe Rodriguez," Grecko answered, walking behind the couch to lay her head on Jessica's shoulder. She gave him a soft smile except her eyes were hard as they pierced into his own.

"In case you're thinking of running, the door is blocked," Jessica bluffed. They didn't need to know that he was an inexperienced fighter. Besides, his stance was quite intimidating. Eithne tilted his head and glared at them, daring them to make a move.

"Who are you?" Philippe asked being the one called out. His two friends seemed apprehensive, their straight arms slowly lowering by their sides, their guns pointing to the ground.

"That doesn't really matter; however, what should is the guy you were with yesterday who bumped into me. I would like to have a word with him."

Recognition entered his gaze along with an air of annoyance. "Why?" he asked. His gaze was unsteady, shifting continuously from one individual to the other.

"That's not important."

"Like hell it isn't. I'm not selling out my boy to a group of wanna be thugs. Now get the hell out of my house before I call the cops."

Dasha laughed, "You don't seem to understand that we're not the run of the mill neighborhood gang. Your friend offended a Whitaker and we came to set things straight."

Philippe's eyes bulged in disbelief. "Whitaker?"

Everyone who was anyone in the streets knew what the name Whitaker stood for. They were one of the few leading mafia families in the community. Even though they were not as numerous as some of the other four families, their power and ability to strike and destroy was unbeatable. Most people who encountered a Whitaker on bad terms was never seen or heard from again. Because they were so close knit and mysterious, not many individuals had had the opportunity to ever see one in person, then again who would want that type of experience? The Whitakers only made their presence openly known for the sole purpose of retaliation. Otherwise, they were rather quiet and quite invisible.

"So if you know what's best for you, you can either give us his information and we'll all go like one big family or you get him on the phone and over here."

"There's no way that I can do that. If he sees me with you guys...he'll fucking kill me."

"Then get him on the phone and lure him over here before we get angry," Grecko advised, righting her posture as she slowly sauntered towards him. She flicked a knife from her wrist and gently trailed it along the back of the couch, the stuffing springing out in the blade's wake. She stopped mere inches in front of him, toying with the sharp peak, "You wouldn't want to know what I can do with this little baby, do you? And let me tell you now that there's more where that came from."

Philippe was shaking as he eyed her innocent yet menacing visage. Yet despite his fear he shook his head in refusal. "I can't betray him. You don't know the type of person he is."

"Nor you I," she gritted before grabbing his friend closest to her and laying the blade against his carotid pulse. Philippe made a move for her and the guns shifted straight to his body paralyzing him in his spot. "Do you know what I like to do the most when I get my hands on an innocent, little youngling like this one here?" she taunted. The boy looked too young to be strapped, but today he would learn his lesson for trying to hang with the big boys.

Grecko slide the knife across his taut flesh. He winced in pain as her eyes drank in the slow spotting of his blood from the thin incision she had made. It wasn't fatal, but it would hurt like hell under water. "I like to pretend that I'm carving a master piece," she said softly raising her hand again. "Slowly shaping and cutting away until it's perfect. I take my time ensuring great detail, molding and forming until I'm satisfied, and blood drips all over my hands," her voice took on a dangerous edge of warning.

"Philippe, damn it just give them what they want!" he yelled, fear dripping from his voice. He had never been in the presence of the mafia before and after this horrible experience ended, he vowed that it would be his first and last. He was getting his shit together and stop skipping school and hanging around with the wrong crowd like his mother had been begging him to. In fact, as soon as they gave him the opportunity to leave, he was running like his life depended upon it and never looking back. He was too young to die. Only just having turned seventeen; he realized that he wasn't as grown as he thought he was.

His eyes bulged as Grecko's hand approached his exposed skin. The look in her eyes made him uncertain as to what she was thinking. He didn't know if she was doing this to kill him or taunt him, but his bladder released, permeating the room with the strong scent of urine and asparagus.

"Maybe I'll cut a little deeper."

"All right! All right!" Philippe conceded with his hands raised in surrender. "I'll get in touch with him just don't kill us." Grecko withdrew retaking her place behind her sister and patiently waited.

"What's his name?" Jessica asked exercising more calm than she was actually feeling.

"Stanley Shepard."

She nodded her head uncrossing her legs as she leaned forward, "Call him."

"Wait, before I do, could you let my two friends go. If anything happens to Stanley, I want to take full responsibility for it," he addressed Jessica directly, acknowledging her authority. He was nervous as she looked from him to his two friends. Her head twitched in the direction of the door and his two companions understood without further explanation that they needed to get their asses out before she changed her mind. They practically dematerialized from their presence.

Jessica wasn't worried about them saying a word. With the look she had given them before they disappeared, they both had understood that if they opened their lips even a peep, she would personally find them and teach them how to keep a secret.

Philippe picked up his phone and pushed his speed dial button, releasing a nervous laugh when Stanley answered. "Hey Stan, man, what's up?... Nah, nothing like that, look, I was wondering if you wanted to come over? You know I want to get you on to that Call of Duty." There were several seconds of silence. "Okay, see you in twenty." Philippe ended the call feeling fatigued. His effort to sound normal had him drained.

"Come, sit," Jessica said waving her hand towards a recliner as if it were her abode. She watched Philippe mechanically do as she told him then leaned back and waited.

The complete silence had Philippe more on edge than when the group addressed him. He surveyed each member, his eyes landing on the short one with the knife. She looked so innocent, her arm thrown about the black girl's neck and her body leaning over the back of the couch. It would have been cute if he hadn't seen what she could do with cutlery. The black girl he surmised to be Jessica Whitaker. Everyone knew about her after what happened to Big Man Whitaker. The other two he wasn't so sure of. The tall blonde was domineering and the way her eyes continuously sought him out made him squirm. The big Asian guy would definitely be a challenge. His bulky stature alone ensured a hard fight if Philippe even thought of getting away. Finally, his eyes landed upon the tall, lean guy at the doorway. Out of the group of five, he appeared to be the easiest to handle. His stance was that of a newbie who had absolutely no clue what they were getting themselves into. He even had the gall to look uninterested as if he had better things to do. His lack of attention made him an easy target and he would most likely be the first taken out when Stanley arrived with his men.

He almost laughed on the inside thinking about it all. Those morons thought that he would willingly get himself killed. Of course not, he had spoken in code, informing Stan that there was danger and knowing Stan, he would be more than prepared for them. All that he had to do was get out of the way when Stanley stepped through that door or he would be in the body count. Philippe almost smiled smugly to himself, but caught his reaction and kept it under wraps just in case anyone was looking at him.

Jessica stared at her watch for the sixth time wondering when Stanley would show up. She was uncertain what she would do to him when they came face to face. Maybe she would let him get a good look at her before she gauged his eyes out. There were plenty of things she wanted to do to him and she was practically drooling in anticipation.

"Marc and Dasha, you take the back door. Grecko," she looked towards the stairs and Grecko took the hint, pulling Eithne along behind her. "You, my dear friend, get a front row seat right here next to me." She patted the cushion beside her and waited expectantly for him to join her. Philippe did as he was told, completely unprepared for them to disperse throughout his house. He had to find an excuse to get away from her.

"I'm thirsty."

"Too bad," Jessica replied, standing to her feet. She had heard a commotion outside and calmed herself before her rage got the best of her. She decided to sit back down, crossing her legs. She heard the click of a trigger and flipped behind the chair as bullets wracked the door. Philippe was smart enough to get out of the way before he got hit. Jessica grabbed his retreating form by the leg and dragged him back to her, squeezing a tight hand around his throat to hold him in place. Once the shots ceased, the front door fell off of its hinges. Footsteps hesitantly stepped through the doorway.

"Philippe?" Jessica squeezed his throat tighter hindering his speech and he got the message to remain quiet. "Spread out and search everywhere." Heavy feet rushed up the stairs while others returned outside to scour the perimeter.

She could hear footsteps approaching closer and decided to go with it. She snatched Philippe up from the ground and stood to face the man that had assaulted her ten years ago. Her stomach lurched and she forced herself not to throw up. "Looking for him?" she asked as she jumped over the sofa and kicked the gun out of his hand.

Shots resounded upstairs, distracting her from her task as concern for Eithne and Grecko's safety came to mind. Stanley took the opportunity to regain his balance and attack her, throwing his seemingly 250lb frame into her and crashing with her through the coffee table. Jessica cried out in anguish as she felt some ribs snap under the blunt force of his weight, however she did not allow the pain to take her mind off of surviving. It was either fight or flight and Jessica was never one to run. This man had helped to kill her father and she would rather die right then and there in a struggle than to give up.

She grabbed the nearest piece of glass she could find and stabbed him in the hamstring before swinging a leg about against her stomach and pressing into his throat even though her knee was crying out in discomfort from the awkward position. When it seemed that he wouldn't move, Jessica grappled for another shard of glass, thrusting it into his thigh once more, finally liberated now that he had stumbled away from her.

She stood up, dodging a flying blade and stared in astonishment from whence it came and saw Grecko reaching for another to send through the air. She heard sharp gasps of pain, briefly looking behind her to watch two men collapse to the ground with knifes embedded in their jugulars.

"Next time warn me," she said, finding it painful to breathe. She tackled Stanley, coughing in agony as he slammed his clasped hands onto her back. She pressed forward until he slammed into the wall. She righted herself, blocked his swinging fists, then gave him a double combo to the face. She took a right hook to the side and doubled over, her eyes bleary from the pain. When she looked back up, Stanley was on the floor unconscious and Eithne was regarding her in concern.

"What happened?"

"Um..." He didn't know what to tell her so he decided on the truth. "I decked him in the jaw then used his pressure point to put him to sleep before he could hurt you again."

Jessica stared at him in disbelief reasoning within her head if it could be true. She thought back to earlier on the prvious day when she found Eithne and Marc pretending to exercise and surmised that what he said was farfetched. "Good one. For a moment there I almost believed you." Her respiration was somewhat jagged, yet she used his extended arm to stand to her feet, leaning against him for the briefest of seconds. Just enough time to will the pain and throbbing away.

"We come bearing gifts," Marc announced carrying four men back inside of the house while Dasha drug one in behind him.

"Where's Philippe?"

"Right here. I found him attempting to escape through the window," Grecko replied.

"Good." Marc literally dumped the bloody bodies on him and smiled menacingly. "You get the honor of cleaning all of this up. I don't know what you said to your friend to make him bring backup, but now it's your problem. And don't let me remind you what we'll come back and do to you if you even so much as release a squeak about what happened here today."

"Jessie, what's wrong with you?"

"Broken ribs," Grecko replied for her. She recognized that hunched posture anywhere having experienced it herself. Although Jessica was doing a good job of hiding her discomfort, Grecko still knew that she was in pain.

"I'll be all right," she told them before worry set in. "Grab Stanley and let's get out of here."

"Don't forget the bodies upstairs," Grecko advised him.

"And don't let us have to come back," Dasha added as they left.

They took Stanley to one of their warehouses, threw him on the floor, and waited for his awakening. When impatience took over, Eithne knelt before him and slapped him awake. Stanley jumped with a start, struggling against the restraints on his wrists and ankles. Jessica stooped before him and punched him in the jaw, regretting that decision from the stinging in her ribs, yet feeling adrenalin rush through her veins.

"That was for earlier," she said her eyes roaming all over his face. She didn't recognize this man consciously, but subconsciously there was a bout of fear ripping through her body at the mere sight of him. Fear and anger. The only way to get rid of it was to be rid of him. He would get what he deserved, but not until she got what she was looking for.

"You don't remember me, do you?" she asked quietly. His brown eyes regarded her intensely. The only thing evident in his eyes was hatred. "You want to hurt me, don't you?"

"You know I do, sweetness. Release me and I'll show you exactly what I can do. Your little friend back there ain't the only one skilled with a blade."

"I know," Jessica replied standing to her feet. Marc hoisted Stanley up to throw over his shoulder as the group took him deep into the warehouse.

"Where are you taking me?" he asked squirming against Marc's muscled body.

"You'll see," Dasha told him. They stopped in front of a door where she punched in a passcode before entering. "Welcome to the playhouse."

Marc slammed Stanley down on a shiny, steel table, smiling smugly as he walked around it, toying with the blades and cutting instruments surrounding them. There was not one inch of the wall left uncovered. He grabbed a robe and wrapped it around his body, tying his hair up to keep it out of his face, then pulled his black gloves up slowly over his hands. It was all for show. He wanted to intimidate Stanley a little, toy with his mind before really digging into him. He recalled all too well what Jessica had told him about that night and even what was reported in the papers. Remembering the knife he had so mercilessly shoved inside of her after having violated her and destroying her innocence still brought him physical pain. His blood ran cold with anger.

Eithne watched Marc close his eyes and wondered about the thoughts going through his mind. Seconds before he searched for this sense of calm, Eithne had noticed a fiery blare in Marc's stare. Even though he wanted to stay, his recently reinstated employment with the government made him think otherwise. He wasn't a man that lied. If his suspicions were proven correct about Maria Ventura, there was a possibility that he would have to give a full report of everything that he witnessed including her involvement with the Whitakers. How could he give a report on something he never observed? He excused himself.

The girls assumed that he was too squeamish to see what was about to unfold. They didn't blame him. Marc was usually a gentle guy, but when he was riled not even The Hulk could rival him. "Eithne."

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