Taylor was still the insultingly gorgeous young woman with her standoffish attitude and distant countenance. Heather was still her beautiful energetic self with her wonderful athletic body and long mane of auburn hair, but now Jan knew that both of them were gifted. Only a short time ago, Jan's long lean muscles had been pumped with steel ripping power. She'd torn the roof from a car, crushed a gun into a useless hunk of metal, and almost killed a man with a punch hard enough to kill a whale. Jan had been trying to punch him as hard as she could, and Taylor had stopped her. It hadn't been easy. Jan had watched up close as Taylor's own muscles had flexed, her super human fibers flexing hard enough to absorb the power of Jan's punch especially her quads and calves. Taylor muscles had been more than razor sharp and more than pumped. Even with Taylor's great strength, the force of Jan's slowing punch had forced Taylor's bare feet several inches into the soil. Seconds after stopping Jan's punch, Taylor had helped Jan lift a Buick and put it on the back of a flatbed tow truck. The two ton vehicle had barely been a load for them. Jan knew that Taylor's strength was at least equal to her own or maybe even greater. Jan had also seen Heather pull a flattened 9mm slug from her chest and she didn't seem like those bullets had caused her any ill effects. There had been several bullet holes in her chest a little while ago, but she must have gotten them out on the way. Her skin was now completely healed. Jan had so many questions about their powers, about their lives, about this night, that her head was spinning.
Alisha, Sara, and Brian were standing in a clump on the other side of the room giving Jan and her cousins room and talking amongst themselves. "You know Sara", Brian began. "You could have just read their minds and saved us all this trouble."
"What trouble?", Sara asked honestly in her aristocratic drawl. "I think this is a wonderful thing." Alisha agreed, but Jan wasn't so sure. Taylor must have been thinking the same as Jan because she look a little overwhelmed too. Heather wasn't overwhelmed at all.
"Wow, this is great isn't it? I am soooo excited! We're all gifted. Why won't you guys smile?!?"
Jan wanted to smile, but it was so much coming at her, that she couldn't. "You're probably really mad huh?", Heather asked, an exaggerated frown replacing her smile.
"No", Jan answered slowly after some thought. "Showing me the truth was probably a better idea than trying to explain it to me. I mean who would believe that you could get shot in the chest at close range and shrug it off? Besides how I can I be mad. It's not like I ever got up the nerve to tell you guys the truth about me. I was just as scared as you. With good reason", she added at the end.
"Yeah", Heather agreed with a quick chuckle and smile. "It's not like explaining that I can fold my eyelids backwards. This is a little more serious than that."
"I'll say. I was about to send some guy to his Maker", Jan said while shaking her head.
"That would be me", a male voice said from the other side of the room. Jan turned quickly and saw the man who had shot Heather in the chest. Gone were the menacing swagger and gangster garb, replaced with a sleeveless Under Armour shirt with jogging pants and sandals. He was an inch or so taller than Jan with a body built like top level athlete without any spare fat. He could have just stepped off an NFL practice field or an Olympic track and not looked out of place. He stood with a bag in one hand and his other hanging at his side. He was certainly a no nonsense man, maybe even a brooding man, but he wasn't what he appeared.
His complexion was a shade darker than true caramel. He wore his hair in natural dreadlocks that reached to his shoulders, and his features were chiseled, just like his body and his mannerisms. His eyes were intense, and they locked on Jan's as soon as he'd spoken. They were serious and even threatening dark eyes, set back in their sockets on his handsome face. His lips were curled in from lingering tension as he stared at Jan without blinking or shrinking away. She was looking at a dangerous man despite the fact that he'd gotten a taste of her power. Jan wasn't sure of the next move, but before she could even begin to form a though, Heather raced from her side and practically jumped into the man's arms.
"Oh Montez, baby, are you alright?", she begged and ran her hands over his face, broad shoulders, and through his thick dreads.
He quickly abandoned his stare at Jan and instantly locked his eyes on Heather. He dropped his bag and took a step back to keep his balance. It was always nice to have his arms around Heather's wonderful body, but she wasn't exactly lightweight. It was strange looking at Heather draped across the man who'd shot her full of holes less than thirty minutes earlier, and she was asking him if he was alright.
"I'm fine", he told her in a smooth baritone that fit his physique, and sounded nothing like the gangster character he was playing for this deep cover assignment. "Luckily for me I landed on some grass instead of the pavement. That might have hurt a little bit."
"Jan wouldn't have hurt you if she'd known. Here let me introduce you." Heather took Montez by the hand and led him to Jan. He was wary, but didn't resist. "Jan, this is Montez Jefferson, and Montez, this is my cousin Jan."
"Yeah, nice tight grouping on your shots." Jan extended her hand and got a close up of Montez's big smile.
"You aren't going to crush my hand like you did my pistol are you?"
This time Jan smiled. "No", she replied and they shook hands.
"Heather told me that she wanted the shots high and on her chest. She said that she didn't want any in the belly or the face, and of course Heather gets what Heather wants."
"You know, Montez used to be in the 75th Rangers, and in Delta Force before he joined Special Programs, so you know he can shoot."
"My Dad used to be in Delta Force", Jan said.
"I know", Montez began. His voice was smooth, confident, and very settling to any woman who heard it. "All Delta guys know stories about your father, the Bear. He's a legend. I was trying to get Heather to let me meet her uncle, but we never got around to it."
"Well that can be arraigned", Jan said still shaking Montez's hand before realizing it and letting go. "So umm, are you Heather's boyfriend?"
"No no", they both replied at the same time. "We broke up months ago", Heather continued. "Now we just hook up from time to time when we feel the urge."
Montez coughed and blood rushed to his face. "What?", Heather asked taking her face close to his. "Am I lying?"
Jan blushed too and quickly changed the subject. "So where's the other guy, the driver? He's not hurt is he?"
"Kevin? He's still in the shower. You didn't hurt him, but he required some extra cleaning if you get my drift." Montez got a small bit of satisfaction when he watched Jan's face turn colors from embarrassment, but when he saw the tight smile fall from her face he spoke up. "Hey, don't feel bad about what you almost did. If I'd seen my cousin shot like that, and I could chase down a speeding car, I'd have done the same thing as you. Even if I couldn't chase down a car, I'd have hunted the son of a bitch until I put a bullet in his brain. I understand, believe me. Well I better go catch up with Martha. Now that me and Kev have killed the beautiful socialite, we have to get back into character. We have to meet with Slater Hastings in a few hours to get paid for assassinating you."
Heather shot Montez a dirty look before taking him by the shoulders and turning his body to face hers before planning a big kiss on his lips. Jan was amused as she watched them working their tongues. She could see the muscles of their jaws moving. When they finally pulled away, there was a lingering looking to each other's eyes before Montez walked away. When Montez had gone, Heather swooned. "Is he not the very definition of a hunk?", she asked and fanned herself.
"Looks like you're getting an urge right now", Jan told her with a smirk.
Heather seemed to gather herself. "Yeah, well this is one of the reasons we broke up in the first place. When I need Montez, and not just for sex, I mean need him around me, he's always gone for work. It's not his fault, but I can't live like that", she said seriously and walked with Jan towards Taylor, who was very quietly sitting on a chair looking distracted. Taylor usually paid attention to everything, but when she looked up at Jan it was plain to see that Taylor was lost in her own thoughts. "You okay?", Heather asked her sister.
"I was just thinking about some things. You guys ready to go?"
Martin DeBraya as scared as he was, couldn't keep his eyes off the woman standing next to Morgen Stern. Normally he would have thought that she wouldn't be his type, but truthfully hot and sexy was his type, and this young woman was that and more. She wore a white windbreaker that highlighted her dark chocolate hued skin and was tight enough to show the swell of her breasts, taper of her young tight waist and hard flat stomach, but that was nothing compared to the royal blue tights she was wearing. They showed off two of the most beautifully shaped legs and powerfully built sexy hips that Martin had ever seen. It wasn't hard to see that her body wasn't just for looking good in tights or a dress, or in absolutely nothing. This young woman's body was explosive. Even through the fabric, Martin could see her muscles contracting like they wanted to be used. Even her doll like face showed how sharply focused she was. Her long braided hair was tied up into a very short wrap and pony tail, mostly so it would be out of her way if she had to move quickly. Martin had no idea what skills this young woman had, but Morgen Stern had brought her here for some reason.
"Martin, I didn't save you from Heather Matthews just so you could ogle my associate. As a matter of fact, I think your ogling of Miss Matthews is what got you into this position in the first place. Oh and tossing her cousin from a helicopter at 3000 feet."
The young woman frowned instantly. "You threw Jan from a helicopter?", she asked and stepped forward. Morgen stopped her with an arm across her chest.
"Easy Shaunie. I wouldn't have saved him if I was just going to let you kill him either."
Shaunie looked up at Morgen. "I wouldn't kill him Morgen, just beat him for a while." Morgen smiled, but DeBraya's remaining bodyguards didn't. The ones who hadn't been arrested or sent to the ICU were standing next very near their boss.
"I don't like the way you're talking to Mr. DeBraya."
Shaunie rolled her head towards him and cocked it to one side. "As if I care what you like."
The bodyguard took a step forward, and rumbled in his deep voice, "You might want to learn some manners."
"And you might want to learn that hired gorillas like you don't speak unless spoken to." Morgen used his arm to push Shaunie back a little. He could tell that she was actually getting upset. She was angry at Martin for dropping her friend from a helicopter, but she already knew that Morgen wasn't going to let her take that anger out on DeBraya, but she'd sure as hell take it on this bodyguard if he let her. Morgen shot DeBraya a 'call off your dogs' look, but Martin didn't even make a move.
The bodyguard stepped to within three or four feet of Shaunie and Morgen. "Move back", Morgen urged him, but didn't force him.
"This don't concern you", the bodyguard shot back. "This is between me and this little bitch. You need to apologize for what you said. Now!"
Shaunie looked up at Morgen who shook his head ever so slightly. She took a step back and glared. The bodyguard laughed. "Who's a dog now? Bitch! And I was in that helicopter when your friend was pushed out. She screamed and begged and cried. Morgen made her sound so tough, she's just like any other ho I've seen."
The bodyguard didn't see Morgen's face turning red, but Martin did. By the time he was about to call his bodyguard off, it was too late. Morgen dropped his arm and instantly a punch flew up from Shaunie's side. Her knuckles hit the guard directly in the nose. The tights showed off Shaunie's sprinter's legs, but the windbreaker hid her impressive arms, chest, shoulders, and core. Her punch was lightning fast and hard. The guard's head snapped back, and before his eyes could even focus to find her again, another punch. This one a hook exploded against the side of his face. He backed away from the danger and pushed forward eliminating the space between them. He reached out to get his hands on her. He grabbed one sleeve of her jacket, and that's all she needed. She reached across her body with her right arm and took the guard by the wrist pinning his arm to hers. She stepped away from him, allowing his arm to take all the torque from that movement, holding his arm painfully bent before she gave a slight twist. His body flipped over, landing on his butt. Shaunie didn't waste any time.
Her movements were fast and precise. She stepped behind him putting her legs on either side of his head while still holding his right arm in her right hand. The tension on his shoulder was intense, but not nearly as intense as Shaunie's thighs when she crossed her ankles and clamped down on the guard's head and neck. Her quads bulged upward and outward with man crushing thickness and size. Every contour and cut was visible through those tights. The bodyguard's face turned three shades of purple and his eyes threatened to be literally popped from his head. Shaunie's grin was slightly sinister as she squeezed him harder. Her blue tights were having to grow with the thickening and bulging of her thighs. The bodyguard's skull was being forced smaller. He could he pops and creaks as the bones of his face and jaw were being bent and twisted between her legs. His free hand roamed Shaunie's lower body trying to find something he could grip, but when he tried to grab anywhere, her flesh was rock hard. There was no give on her strong young body. The powerful vice like muscles of her inner thighs had actually forced the man's mouth open, which made the pain worse. It felt like the top of his head was a grenade about to explode, but to his horror, this young woman wasn't even squeezing as hard as she could. She tightened her legs again. There were more pops heard in the silence of the room. The men couldn't believe what they were seeing. The heads of her quads grew more with each second, pouring more and more pressure to the man's skull. The lines and contours of Shaunie's legs were like a living sculpture that had taken her lifetime to create. They could watch in detail as the muscles worked and solidified. It was like watching something go from chaos to order. Her legs were a masterwork, but Shaunie knew that her real power for running fast or for crushing this asshole's head came from her glutes. They were pressed together powerful clenched and hard. The usual sexy curve of Shaunie's ass was replaced by the stone hardness, striated separation, and deep welled globes of muscular man crushing meat.
In desperation the bodyguard put his free hand on the bottom of her left ass cheek, not taking time to notice its insane hardness. He just used this as leverage to get his balance and lift up. Shaunie actually grinned when she felt her feet start to leave the floor. This guy had no idea what he'd just done. Now that she no longer had to support his weight and hers on her own two feet, she could really straighten her legs. Her eyelids fluttered in anticipation, and as soon as her feet were about six inches off the ground, Shaunie threw her head back and straightened her entire body like an arrow. Her back arched slightly and her legs went nearly straight with his head between her knees. Her thighs were completely unleashed as deep deep muscle cuts burst to the surface from the sustained force and mind blowing pump. The tights might as well have been a second skin. They were so tight that it was only a matter of time before they too succumbed to Shaunie's powerful young body.
The bodyguard's body spasmed. The instant pain caused him to lose all control of his own muscles and his legs turned to jelly and collapsed. Shaunie landed on her feet with him still between her knees. The top of his head looked like a grenade about to explode and shower his boss with all sorts of grey matter, but Morgen had seen enough.
"Come on, Shaunie, let him go before you pop his head off his shoulders", he urged calmly and didn't add that her little display had already had the desired effect on Martin DeBraya. He was ghostly white, wondering where all these young women came from who could defeat his trained guards so easily. Morgen wouldn't tell him that Shaunie had been training since she was 10 years old, and could hold her own against almost anybody. In this case though, she'd just been having fun.
She slowly unwrapped her ankles and let him fall to the floor because she couldn't have relaxed her muscles any further. They were pumped and would be for a little while longer. The bodyguard's color went from dark purple to red as he finally got some air into his lungs, but two big bruises on either side of his face weren't going to go away anytime soon. Shaunie stood next to Morgen as he turned back towards Martin.
"You really need to get a better handle on your people if I'm going to help you. The Feds are looking for you, but all isn't lost. I can convince them that they're looking in the wrong direction. That they're investigating the wrong person, but in the mean time, you better prepare for a lengthy vacation."
Martin nodded. "Yeah, I called the guy who handles the money and he's supposed to be getting it all arranged."
"Good, make sure it gets done correctly even if you have to go over there. You only get one shot at this, Martin. Do it wrong, and you end up in prison or dead. Do you understand me?"
Martin nodded again but slowly, the reality of the situation sinking in deeply.
"Good. I'll be back to check on you later, but right now I have some other business to attend to." Morgen and his assistant turned and walked away. Despite the danger of that assistant, or perhaps because of it, Martin couldn't keep his eyes off of her once again. She had a twist in her walk, and her hips swayed with such confidence and youthful energy that he wanted to rush up behind her, but he knew better than that.
On the way out of the large building, an older man came from a side room and blocked their path. Shaunie moved in front of Morgen out of training and instinct. He half grinned and patted her on the shoulder reassuring her that it was ok. "Your Honor", Morgen began. "I didn't know you were here."
Former Judge Alphonse DeBraya's eyes went from Morgen down to Shaunie then back up. "I didn't want my son to know that I'm here. Can we talk inside for a moment?" Both Morgen and Shaunie started moving, but the retired judge stopped. "In private", he added. Morgen turned and gave Shaunie a look. She simply stood there while the two men went into the room. She got a quick look at the storage room before the door shut. That's all she needed. She moved to the other side of the hall, and squatted. Anyone who'd seen her would have wondered what she was doing, but she wasn't even there for two heartbeats. She disappeared and instantly reappeared inside the room with Martin and Judge DeBraya. She'd squatted down because she'd teleported herself behind a four foot high shelf. Her power didn't make any sound, and there was no way for the judge to know that she was even in the room. He spoke freely.
"Want something to drink?", Judge DeBraya asked Morgen who waved him off.
"No, sir. I have to drive and you know how the police get about that around New Years"
"You could get that pretty little bodyguard of yours to drive."
A smile spread across Morgen's handsome face. "She's not my bodyguard per se, more my travel agent. I don't need protection to travel, but I might need to get back here in a hurry and Shaunie needs to know where it is", Morgen told the judge the truth knowing full well that he wouldn't understand what it really meant.
Judge DeBraya did pour himself a drink before taking a seat in an old office chair that had seen much better days. He was an elegant man usually, with a personal style that even an ultra stylish man like Morgen respected. His regally graying hair was always styled to perfection and despite his age, he always looked strong and in control, but now as he sat in the chair with liquor in his hand, Judge DeBraya looked his age and more.
"I can't believe what an idiot my son is", he began. "And I was fool enough to believe that just because he'd gone to the best schools and showed great business sense that he could really run the company. He has a weakness and its going to cost us everything. If you put a huge stack of dollars to his right and a naked woman to his left, Martin would turn left every time, even if that stack of money could buy pussy by the pound for decades to come. What we do, what this company and this family does is about the long haul, not short term gratification. I've said it to him, but he doesn't get it. Just like sending Spencer after Dr. Moira Kelly was short sighted. There are always better options, but Martin doesn't want to work hard enough to think of them even if he's plenty smart enough."
The judge took the first sip of his drink. "Now he's here hiding like a scared child, hoping that you can help him or maybe I can help him, but I can't let him drag this down. I can't let him destroy what generations of this family built up all because of his vices! I need you to fix this Morgen. Make it where it doesn't come back on me or on the company. A trial or even an arrest would ruin us. Do you understand?"
Morgen nodded gravely. "Yes, sir. I do." Morgen went to the door knowing that there was nothing more to say. He turned the knob slowly allowing it to make two distinct clicks before he opened it all the way alerting Shaunie in case she wasn't paying attention, but she was. She'd only heard the first click because by the time he'd turned the knob all the way she was already in the hallway.
"Did you hear all of that?", Morgen asked once they were outside.
She nodded. "I can't believe a father would turn on a son like that."
Morgen stopped and looked at Shaunie for a long moment. She saw his normally bemused expression soften for an instant before he went back to normal. He didn't say anything else until they got back in his car. He pulled off before he asked, "So are you going back home?"
"Yeah. It's late and my grandmother's coming over in the morning."
Morgen smiled again, but not the smile he showed most of the world. "I won't call you unless I need you. Okay?"
"Okay", she agreed. He leaned over and kissed her on the forehead before she disappeared from his passenger seat. He looked at the empty seat knowing that she was already back in her bedroom in Atlanta, safe and surrounded by a loving family. Morgen shook his head. "Damn", he said out loud. "Caeda was right about her." Who knew that an assassin could be a good judge of character?
Slater Hastings couldn't stop looking at the picture that he'd been sent by the hitmen. He'd put the phone down twice, but each time he'd picked it up again. He could see her auburn hair splayed out on the pavement and her even redder blood running down her skin from the jagged tears of flesh where the bullets had entered her chest. Her stunning ultra blue eyes were staring wide open, but not seeing anything. She was dead, and all because he had wanted her dead. The power of it was a strange high that he'd never felt before, but the thought of consequences was stronger than the high. He was shaking in his car as he sat parked in the driveway of his family's home in Palm Beach. Florida did have a death penalty and they weren't afraid to use it. Of course Slater knew that this didn't really apply to him. If this ever got traced back to him it wouldn't matter. He would be long gone by then. He just had to get the money to pay those hitmen, or might be dead before he ever got a chance to leave the country in the first place.
He opened the door and went to the door smiling. Thoughts of consequences were replaced by the images of the anguish and pain that Taylor must be going through after watching helplessly as her sister was gunned down. The more Slater thought about it, the bigger the smile on his face became.
Taylor sat on the airplane looking out the window at the lights on the ground getting smaller and smaller as the plane gained altitude. This trip was more a hop than a real flight, so there wouldn't be much time to enjoy anything, not that she was paying much attention anyway. Heather was in the seat next to Taylor sleeping soundly with her head resting on her big sister's shoulder. Taylor looked over and marveled at how Heather could always sleep peacefully no matter what might have happened that day. The fact that she'd gotten shot wasn't all that out of the ordinary. She'd been shot lots of times, and while Taylor would never really get used to seeing her sister shot, she knew that give Heather a few seconds and she'd be fine. She hadn't expected the same to be true about Jan. Even as they'd grown up, Taylor had always tried to protect Jan. They were alike in so many ways, but Taylor always knew that she could face things and stand up to situations that Jan couldn't. That's why she'd beaten up Slater Hastings in the first place. She'd been protecting Jan from his predatory ambitions. She knew that Jan probably could have beaten him up, but what if he'd had a knife or worse yet a gun. Those thoughts had been going through her mind as she had pummeled him.
Now though, she knew different. She knew that Jan could have taken a bullet or two or two dozen. She didn't know the details of Jan's powers though, because there was quite a bit of difference between Taylor's own power and her sister's, so there would be some difference between Jan's power as well. One thing she was sure of though, was that Jan was really strong. Stronger than Heather for sure, and maybe stronger than herself or maybe not. She had been able to stop Jan's punch after all, but it hadn't been easy. Those were things that they'd figure out later. Taylor was still getting over the shock of realizing that all of the angst and hand wringing that she'd been doing had been unnecessary.
Taylor looked from the window at Jan, who was sitting across from Heather, with Sara to her left also sleeping comfortable, and Alisha in the window seat to her right sleepy but texting on her phone. Brian was across the aisle laying across the three seats. He'd had a full day.
"Is Brian gifted too?", Taylor asked as the question popped into her head.
"No", Jan replied. "He got that confirmation from a friend of mine named Cassie."
"Is she a doctor or something?"
Jan smiled and shook her head. "No she's gifted and part of her power is being able to feel other gifted people no matter how tiny their gift might be, and Brian is uniquely ungifted."
"I heard that", Brian muttered through his arms which were crossed over his face.
Jan chuckled. "Oh speaking of Cassie, I wish she was here. Have you and Heather ever been linked?" Taylor's brow drew closer and she shook her head. "You have to do it. It's better than sex."
Taylor raised an eyebrow. "Probably depends on who you're having sex with."
"Ha ha, and no it doesn't." Taylor smiled and decided to concede the point. Alisha had been texting a friend in California about a guy situation, but after a while the texting wasn't enough. Her phone rang and Alisha reluctantly got up and walked to the back to keep from disturbing people.
"Tell her he's probably not worth it", Jan said with a smirk as Alisha walked by.
"Yeah I know right?", she complained and disappeared behind them.
"What's her power again?", Taylor asked.
"Oh, she's does illusions… well that doesn't even tell the half of it. I guess the best way to put it is that for a certain distance around her, Alisha controls everything's perception of reality. Like everything."
"So she could make the pilot think that we were taxiing on the ground?"
"She could make the airplane think we was taxiing on the ground, or make us disappear from radar. She's pretty damn powerful."
"Yeah, I'll say. If we'd known about her then could have used her instead of having to set up the operation at that club and Heather wouldn't have really had to get shot. Not that she really minds."
"So how was that op supposed to work?", Jan asked.
Taylor smiled thinking about all the hours that had gone into planning that mission only to have it blown up in their faces because of Jan's ability.
"The doorman and the bouncer are our guys. When we came out of the club, they separated you, Sara, Alisha, and Brian to make sure you didn't get hurt. That part worked. I was supposed to keep an eye on you after the shooting. We wanted to make sure that some of the patrons from the club saw the shooting after the fact. But we didn't want them to get details. We just wanted them to see that a woman had been shot. The ambulance coming was one of ours too. Heather was supposed to play dead, and I was going to urge you to ride with me to the hospital in the back of the ambulance with her. That's when she was supposed to wake up and you know…"
"Sort of dramatic, but not a bad plan. My reaction was sort of the wrench in the machine I guess."
"I should have known something was up from the way Mrs. Worthington and Angie were acting during the planning stages. Angie's usually really vocal, but she didn't say a word during planning. The only thing she was emphatic about was that I watch you, and that neither the bouncer nor the doorman get near you before or after the shooting."
Jan grinned. "Probably good advice considering we've been on missions together before."
"What's between you and Angie? I was going to ask her, but I'll get your side first", Taylor said in her slightly stuck-up way which made Jan smile because Taylor rarely talked to Jan the way she talked to the rest of humanity.
"Angie's been in the program longer than me, but I got to lead my own team just as quickly as she did. That rubbed her the wrong way. She figured that it was just because of my powers or whatever. I think she finally realized that I was actually pretty good at this stuff powers or no powers, but we never really buried the hatchet. At least I've never thought of burying the hatchet in the middle of Angie's skull", Jan added at the end.
Taylor chuckled. "You mean through her skull and her body and down through the sidewalk, and through some buried roots and then maybe into the ground. That punch you were about to hit Montez with was pretty epic. I wasn't even sure if I could stop it before you hit him." She was about to continue when something else jumped into her head. "Are you always stronger than normal?", she asked.
"Oh no. My strength used to be completely random. When I was younger I couldn't even count on it when I needed it. Then about a year or so ago I got real control of it. I learned how to let out as much power as I needed. Was it the same way with you?"
"Yeah, pretty much", Taylor answered softly. "So that means that you have that… that feeling inside of you too?"
"I call it my monster, but yeah, it's in there. I can feel it trying to burst through right now even though I'm perfectly calm."
Taylor smiled weakly this time. "Yeah mine too. It's like that when it gets used like tonight. I had to pretty much take the brakes off to catch you because you were moving so fast. I didn't even realize you were gone until you about a half mile away. And the power was really flowing when I had to stop that punch of yours, but I can put it back to bed and I guess you can too."
"Now I can, but when I was younger my monster just about drove me crazy. The least little thing could set me off and I'd have to try and control it so I wouldn't hurt anybody, and it was doubly worse because I knew that no body could really hurt me back."
Tears welled in Taylor's eyes and she reached across the space and took Jan's hand. "I'm so sorry", she quietly sobbed. "You had to deal with that by yourself, and I could have helped you. I always had Heather. She doesn't have the rage like you or like me, but she has enough to know how hard it is to deal with and she was always there to cool me down when I was about to explode. She'd always give me some way to vent when I seemed like I couldn't control that power inside of me, but you… you had to do that all by yourself. No wonder… no wonder they took you out of school and sent you that place in Colorado." Taylor put her other hand over her mouth as she threatened to break down.
It was all true though. Jan had struggled for most of her life to deal with her power that was governed by an all consuming rage. That had been the reason that she'd been sent to the Livingston School in Colorado and it was the reason that she'd stopped playing competitive sports, and the reason she was afraid to have a boyfriend back in those days, but Jan wasn't going to complain and she wasn't going to let Taylor agonize about this.
"Hey, if I hadn't gone to Livingston, I wouldn't have met Sara, Alisha, or Cassie. I would never have joined Special Programs. I never would have even heard of Special Programs. I wouldn't have met Avi either. I think it's worked out fine."
"I don't know how you did it. Without Heather, I probably would have murdered somebody a long time ago. People tend to get on my nerves."
Jan laughed. "And you tend to get on theirs. That's why I was sort of surprised that Slater Hastings wanted Heather shot and killed. You, I can sort of understand, but everybody likes Heather."
Taylor shot her cousin a sharp yet amused look. "You know Heather actually got shot again before we went back to the safehouse. We had to take a picture so they could send it to Slater to keep the ruse going. He's probably got that picture by now. I wonder if revenge felt like he thought it would?"
Slater came into the house feeling like a conquering hero. The staff slinked away from him, but he didn't care what they thought about him. Very soon he'd never have to see those scurrying little bastards ever again. He went to his father's office and opened the door without even bothering to knock. The little smirk of satisfaction left his face when he came in and saw his father frantically typing on a keyboard while at the same time glancing at a stack of papers next to his desk. He could see piles of shredded documents and another pile waiting for their fate. His father's white shirt was soaked with sweat. The sleeves were rolled up and the collar unbuttoned. Hugh Hastings hadn't shaved that day, and he didn't even look up from his work until he heard Slater's voice. "What's going on here?"
"I've got to get some things ready. They have to be finished tonight. It was bad enough with the shit you've got going on. I'd just gotten a handle on that, but now one of my clients has to get the fucking Feds on his ass. Martin DeBraya has to get out of the country and he wants to take as much money with him as I can. I don't blame him, but I'm having to cash out every fucking thing to get him enough fucking money to live on, and throw on top of that what I'm doing for you."
Slater smiled. "Well Dad, I think I've got something to cheer you up." He reached into his pocket and pulled out the phone. He showed his father the picture of Heather on the cold ground and Hugh's face went ashen.
"You didn't!" He grabbed his son by the shoulders and shook him violently. "Tell me you had nothing to do with that girl getting shot!"
"Something to do with it? Dad, I'm the one who ordered the fucking hit."
Hugh looked beside himself. "You killed that poor girl for what! For what, Slater!!! My God you killed Ted's daughter. I've known that man for twenty-five years. Yeah we're rivals, but my God you killed his child."
"I think you forget, Dad that one of his children tried to kill me", Slater said with all the justification he needed in his own mind.
"You little shit that girl could have killed you, but she stopped. She wanted to see you in prison, but if she'd wanted you dead she didn't have to stop beating you! My God I can't believe this."
"Well believe it Dad", Slater snickered and walked to the other side of the desk. "I hired a couple of gangbangers to do the dirty work for 20 large. It's kind of strange to realize that a person's life is barely worth the price of a Honda."
Hugh stood in stunned silence. "This isn't going to work", he muttered and shook his head. "I… I was trying to protect you, but I can't do that now. You're own your own son."
Slater came back towards him. "What do you mean? I thought you were just tying up loose ends and then we were leaving the country!"
"No son, you were leaving the country. I was preparing a place for you to hide out so I could attempt to settle with the girls you hurt. I wasn't leaving. I was turning myself in tomorrow morning. That's why I'm in such a hurry. I might get a 90 day jail sentence and perhaps six more months of probation, but I won't lose my licenses. But now, you can't be helped. You killed that girl, and I can no longer protect you." Hugh wasn't a sentimental man, but he loved Slater despite his son's faults. He imagined that a man like Ted loved his children even more because Ted wasn't as hard hearted.
"What am I supposed to do now?!?", Slater demanded like the spoiled child that he was.
Hugh went to the wall and pulled open a secret panel. He spun the dial on the safe hidden in the wall and pulled out neatly wrapped stacks of cash. "Here take this. It's about $100,000. Pay off the hitmen, and I'll keep your accounts open for as long as I can before court orders freeze them. You better transfer the money before its too late." He handed his son a notepad from the safe. "These are the numbers for the off shore accounts. I'll try and add some funds to them tonight."
Slater dropped the money on the desk and threw up his hands. "That's it? That's all you can do for me?"
Hugh came around the desk and stood in front of his son. "That's all I'm going to do for you son. You have put yourself in this situation. You killed that girl, and you're going to have to run and hope you can get away."
Slater's anger erupted. "Since when have you grown a conscious?!? You didn't try to stop me when I was going around having my fun with those whores and leaving them in the gutter. YOU DIDN'T STOP ME THEN!!!"
"Well maybe I should have", Hugh admitted. "I won't say this is all my fault, but a lot of it is. I'm going to be paying for your mistakes for the rest of my life, but that doesn't mean I have to condone them… not anymore. I'll expect you to leave within the next half hour. I assume Taylor Matthews will tell them that you and she have had some disagreements recently. You'll not want to be here when the police arrive."
"Wha.. what about you? What are you going to do?", Slater asked as the rest of the air escaped from his balloon.
"I am going to transfer the money like I told you. I am going to finish with Mr. DeBraya's account, but before all of that, I am going to call Mr. Matthews and tell him how sorry I am for what you've done to his daughter." Hugh turned to walk around his desk.
A sound like a bursting fuse went off in Slater's head when he saw his father turn his back on him emotionally and in reality. He screamed like a banshee. "YOU'RE FUCKING SELLING ME OUT NOW!!! YOU FUCKING BASTARD!!!", Slater yelled and threw himself on his father's back pushing him off his feet. Hugh put his hands out in front of himself to try and break his fall, but he just pulled down half the contents of his desk down to the floor. Slater kicked his father as hard as he could over and over like a madman. His father blocked his face and neck with his arms and rolled over to his stomach to protect himself more, but the kicks kept coming. Slater searched his waistband for the 9mm that he'd gotten from the hitman earlier in the day, but he'd left it in his BMW. He scanned the room and found something very quickly. He pulled his leg back and kicked his father again.
"You know Dad, you've always been too fucking soft. I should have done this a fucking long long time ago!" Slater snatched the letter opener from the desk and plunged the gilded blade into his father's back right between the shoulder blades. His father's body tensed and he yelped in acute pain, but Slater wasn't finished. He pulled the letter opener out and again plunged it into his father's back. This time Hugh barely moved, and he let out a long sigh.
Slater stood over his father watching the white shirt turn crimson. Spit hung from Slater's lips and his wild eyes could barely focus as he tried to slow his breathing and racing heart. He snatched up the money and put in his father's attaché case along with the notepad with the accounts. He grabbed his father's cell phone from desk and looked to find Martin DeBraya's phone number. Since DeBraya was leaving the country, maybe he'd like a little company.
to be continued...
|Power and Fury: The Early Days pt.1||The Femme Soldiers Attack||The Terror Gallery pt.2||Power
and Fury: Full Circle pt.2
Double Cousins 2
||Power and Fury: Family Traditions 2
|Power and Fury: The Early Days pt. 2||The Strength Serum||The Femme Soldier: Strength Conquers All||Power
and Fury: Killer
on the Road
Double Cousins 3
|Power and Fury: Just Warming Up||Power and Fury: Power Problems||The Femme Rampage||Power
and Fury: Down on the Farm
||The Femme Soldiers: New Recruits|
|Power and Fury: Itching for a Fight||The Femme Revolution||Power and Fury: Pushed to the Edge||Power
and Fury: Steel Embrace
|Power and Fury: The Heist||The Femme Revolution Pt. 2||Power
and Fury: Sara's Bad Day
and Fury: Steel Embrace 2
and Fury Backwater Justice 2
|The Femme Soldiers||The Terror Gallery pt. 1||Power
and Fury: Full Circle
and Fury: Double Cousins
and Fury: Family Traditions
There are plenty of others where this story came
from. Please check out the bookshelf for all the past chapters of
Power and Fury and my other series.
comments and critisisms welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org