He led them to another blank wall. This one had a retina scanner and a voice activated lock. The door swung open and they all followed him inside. This room was set up more like a conference room. There were chairs and a long table down the middle. The walls were wood paneled, the floor an elegant parquet.
Remington indicated they should take chairs. He sat at the head of the table with Jason to his right. Taylor took the seat next to Jason with Tim across from her. Alex and Greg sat across from one another. The chair to Remington’s left was empty, but another man walked in and took that seat.
“My assistant director, Hank Carter. Hank, this is Jason.”
The other man nodded. He was medium height, white, nervous looking and balding. He smiled, managing to look more like he was in pain than that he was conveying pleasure.
“Mr. Banes.” His voice was high, almost effeminate.
Three waiters came in through the door they’d entered by. They carried trays laden with fresh fruit, breads of every description, delicate pastries and several pots that Jason dearly hoped held coffee.
They served coffee to everyone and set the food in the center of the table. That accomplished, two left by the same door. One stayed behind, standing quietly in the corner with his hands folded in front of him.
“Now then. You’ve found our missing sadistic, psychopath, hm?”
“Right in front of God and everyone,” Jason said. “Sneaky bitch.”
“Good cover,” Carter said. “She can move all over the world freely and no one cares.”
“It’s brilliant,” Jason agreed. “Makes me wish I’d thought of it. Though I’m not sure I’m quite the super model type.” He flashed his disarming smile.
The men laughed at his joke. Taylor politely said nothing. She thought he was better looking than most models she’d seen, but didn’t draw attention to it.
“All that aside,” Remington said. “She’s got cheek. I find it real offensive.”
He passed one platter to Jason before serving himself from the bowl of fruit. He continued sending the dishes around as he spoke. The agents and Jason served themselves, eating quietly.
“She’s slapped us in the face and I don’t like that. I’m sittin’ here feelin’ the fool. I do not like feeling the fool.”
“I don’t think any of us do, sir,” Jason replied. “Imagine, if you will, quite how I feel. She’s embarrassed you, perhaps, by committing this crime in your city. At least you don’t have a bullet hole through your gut and the scars of your stupidity haunting you the rest of your life.” He hung his head. “I can’t tell you how dreadful I feel. Had I not helped her, those six people….”
“Would still be dead, son. If it hadn’t been you, it’d of been some other poor schlub who might not have been so damn lucky. I’d be looking for someone with no hope of finding her. You fucked up, boy, but you’re here to atone for it.”
Jason’s eyes met Remington’s. “I sure want to, sir. I’ll do what it takes to get her.”
“I don’t need a vendetta, kid. A vigilante with a chip on his shoulder is no help to me.”
“No vendetta and no chips, Mr. Remington. I’m not out for revenge. I want justice—for the people she’s killed.”
“You’re something else, kid. If some bitch had taken me for a ride like she did, I’d want her dead.”
Jason’s expression turned hard, cold. “No doubt. Her death should be long, slow and excruciating. I still have nightmares from what she did to us. It’s not something that’s ever going to go away.”
“What happened that day?” Taylor asked softly.
“The plan was flawless,” Jason said with a proud smile. “I got us in perfectly. We attained our objective and were on our way out, when she changed it up on me. Told me she wanted hostages but wouldn’t tell me why. I tried to stop her, but she shot me then laughed as she killed the others. I lay there bleeding out, knowing I was done for, and saw them all die.”
He shuddered, hanging his head. “I couldn’t do a damn thing but listen to them plead for their lives as she laughed.”
He wanted to cry, but wouldn’t let himself. He’d hardly cried since the age of ten, he wasn’t about to start now. When it was over, he’d go to their graves and allow himself to grieve. But not until it was over, after she’d been made to pay.
© Dellani Oakes
To Purchase Dellani’s Books:
Under the Western Sky http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Oakes_Dellani/under-the-western-sky.htm