Thanks to Stan, the entire team was equipped with communication devices in order to stay in constant contact with each other.
Jason gathered the team around him outside the small, private air field the had landed in. “Listen up everyone,” he said. “Once at the compound, we have to split up. There are various points onto the grounds. Pair up, stick together and keep in contact. Stan will be with Sam and me; we’ll relay what the rest of the team needs. Got it?”
Everyone nodded their understanding and finished prepping for the short trip to the Ruiz Compound.
Jason walked over to Sam. She was inserting her ear piece and tucking her gun into the back of her jeans. “You can still back out,” he said.
“No way, Jason. I told you, I’m doing this.” At the concern in his eyes, Sam sighed. “This is nothing new to me Jason. I’ve lived my life my way, on the edge for a long time. I can do this. You have to trust me.”
“It’s not that I don’t trust you Sam,” Jason said. “I just don’t want to lose you. And I don’t want Elaina to lose another mother.”
Feeling tears sting her eyes, Sam took Jason’s hands in hers. “Neither of you will lose me Jason. I can do this. We can do this. We will bring Lorenzo home . . . together.”
Jason squeezed her fingers in his and nodded. “We will,” he whispered.
“Has the money posted?” Manny demanded as he walked into the room he had assigned to Matt.
Matt looked up from his computer and nodded. “Just came in,” he said. “It’s all there, plus interest.”
“Good,” Manny said. “Now make sure they can’t get to it again.”
Matt nodded as he got to work. He couldn’t wait for the job to be over so he could get the hell out of there.
“You got your money back, now what?” Johnny asked with a shake of his head.
Manny glared at Johnny. “Has anyone ever told you that patience is a virtue?” he snapped. “That was a test in part,” he explained. “I wanted to see how well Jason Morgan could follow directions, and how badly he wants Alcazar back alive.”
“So he proved it, so what?” Johnny stated.
“So now I make my next demand.”
Johnny sighed and rolled his eyes. “And that will be?”
Manny smiled. “For Jason Morgan to hand over all of Alcazar’s assets to me.”
Stan looked down at his handheld. “The first obstacle is good,” he reported to Jason. Jason nodded to Sam who then relayed the information to the rest of the team. The were good to go to get onto the grounds.
Keeping an eye out for guards, Jason moved, Stan and Sam right behind him. They were in. And Jason was determined to come out of it with Lorenzo and the rest of his team right behind him.
“Looks good, your path is clear,” Spinelli said, keeping an eye on the security feeds he was accessing through his computer.
“How far are we from where Lorenzo is being kept?” Jason asked.
Spinelli checked the schematics of the compound. “He’s in the basement. There’s an access behind the kitchen.”
“And the kitchen is . . .?”
“I am sending the route to Stan now.”
“Got it,” Stan said, moving to take the position in front of Jason and leading the way.
Her gun in hand, her body tensed and ready, Sam followed the two men closely. Her brother was being held somewhere here, somewhere nearby, being tortured. She was going to make Manny pay for what he did.
The trio continued toward the kitchen, moving silently through the halls, ready for anything.
And anything happened along.
His heart was still beating. That’s good, at least, he thought. He was able to think somewhat clearly. Again, something good.
Opening his eyes was a challenge, but he managed it, groaning at the bright lights that caused the pounding in his head to kick up another notch. His lungs burned. Lorenzo wasn’t sure what it would feel like to be hit my lightening, but he was sure this was damn close.
Lifting his head, Lorenzo saw that he was still shackled to the ceiling. His arms were so numb now; he couldn’t really feel them anymore. That wasn’t good. If he managed to get out of his current predicament, he was going to need full use of all of his limbs. It was going to be painful, but Lorenzo did what he could to rotate his shoulders and wiggle his fingers to get some blood flowing into them.
Matt sat up, alert. Something wasn’t right. “Whoa,” he said when he found the problem. He shook his head. “Whoever did this is damn good,” he muttered. He hit a few more keys and clicked the mouse around the screen. “Incredible.”
“What’s incredible?” Manny asked, coming up behind Matt.
Matt practically jumped out of his chair. “Jeez man, make a little noise when you walk in a room.”
Manny ignored the kid and looked at the screen. “Are you done with the security on my accounts?” he asked.
“There’s no need,” Matt informed him. “The money’s not there.”
“What are you talking about?” Manny asked, looking at the screen. “I saw the account myself, how can it not be there?”
As best as he could, Matt explained what he had discovered. And as he did, he watched the rage grow in his boss. After the man stormed out of the room, Matt was glad he wasn’t going to be on the receiving end of that man’s anger and he felt back for whoever was.
“Stone Cold, come in, Stone Cold.”
Jason sighed and rolled his eyes. “What is it Spinelli?” he asked.
“The Demented One has sent his next demand.”
“What did it say?” Jason asked in a whisper as he and Stan continued down the hall.
“He wants for you to transfer control of all of Lorenzo’s holdings over to him.”
Jason wasn’t at all surprised at the demand. And it wasn’t going to happen. “How far until we reach the basement?” he asked instead of commenting on the demand.
“You should be reaching the door now,” Spinelli reported, checking the layout of the house.
“I see the door,” Stan reported. He and Jason each moved to the side of the door. That’s when Jason realized Sam was no longer with them.”Shit!”
Having gotten bored with Manny’s inflating ego, Johnny decided to take a walk. He had been expecting so much more than this and was becoming more and more disappointed. That’s when things got interested.
Sam opened her eyes, her head throbbing. Groaning, she tried to remember what happened – and then it all came rushing back to her.
She had been following Stan and Jason when she had been grabbed from behind and knocked over the head. Shifting her position, she found her hands tied behind her back. Oh boy, this isn’t good, she thought.
“Well, well, well, things are going to start really looking up around here.”
Sam looked up, realizing that there was someone else there.
“Wow, you sure are beautiful,” Johnny said, leering at her, his eyes raking over the tank she was wearing.
“You must be Johnny,” Sam said, proud of her steady voice.
“Well, I’m at a disadvantage then,” Johnny said. “You know who I am, but I do not have the pleasure of knowing you.”
“That is the lamest line I have ever heard,” Sam snorted. “I take it you don’t get around much.”
Johnny glared down at her. “Being that you’re the one tied up, I’d keep a cap on that attitude.”
Sam glared right back at him. “I’m not the one at the disadvantage,” she taunted. “I’m the one who’s going to kick your ass.”
A laugh burst from him, which was quickly cut off when Sam’s foot contacted – hard – with his groin. His legs buckled and he dropped to his knees, gasping for air.
Pulling her hands from behind her back, Sam got up quickly and kicked Johnny hard in the side, knocking the rest of his air out of his lungs. A quick chop to the back of the neck had him lying unconscious on the floor.
Not wanting him to regain consciousness and alert the guards or Manny, Sam used the rope that he had used on her and tied his hands behind his back – more securely than he had her. Then she ripped off a sleeve of his shirt and tied it like a gag around his mouth, tying it tightly at the back of his head.
That done, Sam picked up her gun – which had been been on the table by the door – checked to make sure no guards were around, and followed the path that she was sure Stan and Jason had taken.
The door banged open and Manny came into the room, and Lorenzo knew he was in a rage. Something had happened, he was sure of it.
“What’s the matter Manny? Pissed I’m still alive?” he taunted the other man.
“You won’t be for long,” Manny growled, pulling a gun from behind his back. “You’ve reached the end of the line.”
Lorenzo knew Manny’s plans had changed, something had happened to cause that change. “That’s a little desperate, isn’t it? What happened to your game? Aren’t you all about games, Manny?”
“Shut up!” Manny yelled. He pulled a remote out of his pocket and Lorenzo was released from his chains. “Get up!”
Not showing any hint of pain, Lorenzo managed to get onto his feet. His muscles ached. His fingers stung with stung as the blood rushed back into them. “Doesn’t seem like much fun Manny,” Lorenzo continued, flexing his fingers to get the blood continuing to flow into them. He was sure he was going to need his hands. “Shooting me? Where’s the fun in that?”
“Oh, I can still have fun. I can enjoy the devastation that will be caused by your body turning up on your family’s doorstep,” Manny said. “I’m sure that will do wonders for your dear Skye and unborn child.”
Anger welled inside of him. “You won’t have a chance,” he said before launching himself at Manny, praying the other man hadn’t been expecting.
He hadn’t. Lorenzo was able to knock Manny to the hard concrete floor. The gun flew out of his hand and skittered across the floor, out of reach of both men.
Getting the upper hand quickly, Lorenzo started punching Manny in the face, grateful that the circulation had returned to his hands.
“Whoa! Stone Cold, Lorenzo is on the loose and is beating the living crap out of the Demented One. Get down there now!” Spinelli reported through the ear piece.
Jason and Stan burst through the door and clattered down the stairs. They didn’t know what they would come across, but they knew they had to be ready for anything.
Jason threw his body into the door and it flew open, not having been locked when Manny went in. He and Stan skidded to a stop to see Lorenzo beating on Manny, who appeared to be unconscious.
Holding his gun down at his side in one hand, Jason walked over to the two men. “Lorenzo . . . it’s over man,” he said, putting his hand on Lorenzo’s shoulder.
Lorenzo stopped and looked down at Manny. Then he looked up at Jason. “Took you long enough,” he said, out of breath.
Jason smiled. “Yeah, it did,” he said. “Let’s get out of here.” He helped Lorenzo up and motioned for Stan to help him support Lorenzo between them. They met Sam at the top of the stairs. “Where the hell were you?” he demanded.
“Ran into a little trouble,” Sam said. “God, Lorenzo, are you okay?” she asked, going to her brother.
“I’ve been better,” Lorenzo said. “I just want to get out of here.”
“He needs a hospital,” Sam said.
Lorenzo shook his head. “No . . . just get me home.”
“Lorenzo . . .” Then Sam reached out to grab him as he passed out.
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