Castle Roland

Who Is He

by Eric Aune


Chapter 21

Published: 8 Apr 14

The slap of a baseball against a leather glove brought a cheer from the boy who caught the fly ball. Sam ran back in with the ball in his glove. He was congratulated by his team as he ran the ball in.

"Game over, we win," Bryce said with a grin.

"You were lucky Bryce," Sam told him.

"Lucky my ass, you guys just suck. You wanta try us again? We got the winning team," Bryce said.

"Naw bud, it's too damn hot. What is it, like 120 degrees out here," Travis said as he took his hat off and wiped his forehead off.

"Yeah, we gotta go too, Travis. We'll see ya," Sam said.

"Bye Sam, guys."

The two groups of boys who had made up the teams for the pickup baseball game went their separate ways. Bryce, Chris and Travis shouldered their equipment bags and went to where their bikes were leaning against the fence.

"You guys coming over to swim?" Bryce asked his friends.

"Yeah, otherwise I think we're going to melt. We'll go home and get our stuff and meet back at your house," Travis said.

"Cool, let's go."

They rode home as quick as they could in the heat. Near Bryce's they split up. Travis and Chris hurried home and grabbed their swim trunks and towels. Chris told his parents that he and Travis were going over to Bryce's to swim. Travis met him in front of the house and they rode their bikes back over to Bryce's. Once they got to Bryce's they took their bikes into the backyard and went inside to go change into their swim trunks. They were fairly sweaty by the time they arrived. In Bryce's room, they quickly stripped off their clothes and put on their swim trunks. Soon they were in the pool cooling off. Bryce's sister Robin joined them as well. They played around in the pool or lay out in the sun for most of the rest of the afternoon.

Back at the warehouse, Barrett had been up for quite awhile and had gone out to grab something to eat while they slept. He was dressed in shorts and a muscle shirt and was sitting on his cot, watching TV when Leo and Randy started to stir in the afternoon.

"Bout time you two got up," he sneered.

Randy flipped him off, "We are kind of night owls, you know."

Barrett shrugged noncommittally, took another sip of his coke and turned his attention to the TV. Leo left the office and went to the small door near the large door to go outside. He quickly came back in the building and slammed the door behind him.

"Damn, it's bright out there today," he complained.

"We'll have to keep an eye on the brats from inside the van then. At least you and I will have to. Barrett, if any of us need to get out of the van to check anything outside, you'll need to do it at least until later today when the sun starts going down and it cools off. It's a bit too hot for us." Randy said.

"No problem."

Randy stood up, "We should get going. I want to get this done today if at all possible."

The three of them got into the van, and left the bikes behind in the warehouse. They closed the door behind them as they drove off. They got to the neighborhood where the boys lived and parked at the end of Chris and Travis' street. Barrett got out and started jogging down the street like he was out for a late morning jog. As he neared their houses, he slowed down like he was taking a breather from his jog and looked around. Michael came out of the house to go out to his SUV and Barrett smiled and waved to him in greeting, getting a smile and a wave in return. He didn't see either of the two boys so he continued his jog and eventually made his way back to the van. Inside he told the others that he had not seen them anywhere around the houses.

They decided to check out the nearby Town Center Mall. Randy knew that the boys went there to the arcade and the movies from time to time. Barrett once again took a little walk around where the boys might be and again came up with nothing. Randy directed them to the park near the neighborhood. Once there, Barrett again began his jogging, this time going through the park. As he neared the baseball diamonds, he spotted a bunch of boys playing baseball and turned in their direction. When he got to the centerfield fence he leaned on it and watched the game. He smiled when he spied the target of his search. He turned and jogged back to the van.

"I found them," he reported as he pointed over his shoulder. "They're playing baseball with a bunch of others over there. There's a parking lot near the ball field. There are a few cars over there, so it's not like we'll be the only one. We can park and keep a closer eye from there."

Randy nodded, "Yeah, good idea, that way we'll be together when they leave, instead of you out there and us in here without any idea of what's going on. You didn't happen to see any of those Furginson assholes around did you?"

Barrett shook his head, "Naw. Several cars were parked in the lot, but I didn't see anyone there or hanging around the field."

Randy smiled, "Good lets go then."

Barrett started the van and drove to the other parking lot. He parked under the shaded canopy of several trees, in a corner of the lot where they could easily see the field. Once they were stopped, the three of them got out under the shade of the trees for a few moments so that Barrett could point out Chris to them. Randy nodded in agreement and they returned the van. Barrett sat up front in the driver seat while Randy watched from over his shoulder on the seat behind him. They watched while the boys played the game.

Jay was sitting in a small car with heavily tinted windows. He thought he saw something out of the corner of his eye, but when he turned he saw nothing. He was just turning his attention back to the game, when he saw the movement again. When he looked over he saw the well built young guy open the van door and get back in, but it was what he saw behind the driver seat that caught his attention. Randy Marks had leaned forward to say something to the young guy getting into the van before he leaned back out of sight. Jay pulled his cell out and dialed a number.

"Patrick, did I wake you….oh good, I want you to meet me…….Yeah I think it is, I just saw Randy Marks. He's here at the park in a van and there's another well built young guy that I've never seen with him. They seem to be watching the boys……Something smells wrong, you know…..yeah, call me when you get near. Oh, and bring some friends…..yeah Allison and the twins should be enough…..I don't know, I just don't like it…..I don't know who else besides the young guy and Randy, but probably at least his shadow, that dirt bag Leo….yeah, we're at the park right now, the boy's are playing some baseball with a bunch of friends. They haven't been playing long, so they'll probably be here for awhile yet.…..okay, remember to call and I'll tell you where to meet me….yeah see you when you get here."

Jay closed the cell and hunched down a little in his seat to give him a better chance to stay unnoticed. Forty five minutes later Jay's cell vibrated and he answered it quickly.

"Hey Pat….yeah, we're all still here. Did you find Allison and the twins….good….I've seen Randy in the window a couple of times, so don't park here, you pulling in and no one getting out might arouse their suspicions. Find a place over near the tennis courts and I'll try to get over there and meet you. I don't know how I'm going to easily do that. If I just pull out and drive off, they might notice that no one came to the car and the tinted windows might give me away…..Yeah, oh wait, I've got an idea. Send the twins over, have them stop and watch the game for a few moments before coming over to the car. I'll slip in back and leave the door unlocked. They can get in the car as if they were leaving the park after spending some time here and they can drive over to the other lot. The Marks people won't be alerted that way…..Okay, I'll be waiting…yeah bye."

Jay made sure the doors were unlocked and the key was in the ignition, before he looked carefully over to the other van. He saw the young guy turn and look over his left shoulder like he was talking to someone in the back of the van. Once the guy had turned, he quickly crawled into the back of the car and settled in to wait for the twins. Ten minutes later he spotted them sauntering across the grass behind the baseball field. They had their shirts off and thrown over a shoulder. He saw one of them playfully pour water on the other, which resulted in a short chase where the other did the same to the first one. They paused near the left field line and watched the game as they took sips of water from the bottles they were carrying before turning and heading toward the parking lot. One of them tapped the other on the shoulder and pointed toward the car. They walked over and split up, one going to the driver side and one toward the passenger side.

Barrett glanced at the two teenagers as they neared the parking lot. They both looked to be about seventeen or eighteen, with long blond hair that reached their shoulders, both good looking and nicely built. Randy looked over at what had caught Barrett's attention and whistled.

"I wouldn't mind taking those two to bed. They're hot," he said.

"Who?" Leo asked.

Randy looked to his right as Leo moved up so he could see. Leo smiled, "Yeah, one for you and one for me, then we could switch and see how identical they are."

In spite of himself, Randy let out a short laugh, "Yeah maybe. After all this is done, we'll have to come back here and keep a lookout for those two."

Leo nodded, "Yeah."

Barrett shook his head with a little disgust on his face as he watched the two teenagers open the doors of a car with tinted windows that was parked nearby and get in. Soon the car backed out and drove off. Leo resumed his place in the back and the other two continued watching the game.

"Hey guys. How's it going?" Jay asked from the backseat.

"Not bad Jay. So you know what's going on?" One of the twins, Jamie, answered him with a smile.

"Not sure yet Jamie, just a feeling, but with the Marks involved, it can't be good. Especially if it involves those boys," Jay sighed.

"What's it about them? Which boys are you talking about and why is Marks interested in them?" Nicky asked.

"I'll tell you guys later. I just want to make sure they aren't trying to pull something and hurt those boys. They've tried to before and we were able to warn them off, but something feels different this time, that's why I called for you guys to come help out."

Nicky smiled, "As long as we get to trash some Marks ass, that's good enough for us."

A short time later they pulled into the parking lot and Nicky pulled up next to their parked van. It was parked in area under some trees away from the tennis courts. The van's side door opened as they got out of the car and they got inside pulling the door shut behind them. Inside were Patrick and Allison lounging in the back of the van.

The inside of the van had been redone so that there was an open space in the middle instead of seats; a comfortable couch like seat in the back and another similar seat across from the side door. The floor was padded and had thick carpeting installed to make it comfortable to sit on the floor as well. Jay turned to the twins.

"D'you think you guys could head back over to the ball field and keep an eye on the boys and the van?" he said to the twins.

"Sure," they replied to him.

"Make sure you stay out of sight," he admonished them. "Find a place where you can see both, but not be seen. When the boys leave, I expect that the van will leave too, so head back and let us know when it leaves."

Jamie nodded, "Got it. See you in a bit."

The twins went out the van door and were quickly out of sight, shutting it behind them. Jay turned to the other two once the boys had left the van.

"So, Jay, what's going on?" Patrick asked.

Jay shook his head with a puzzled look, "I'm not sure, but something feels wrong. I don't know this younger guy who's with them, but they look like they're up to something. Maybe they think we won't see them if they use the van to watch the boys from, instead of riding their bikes, like they normally do, but I think it's something more."

Allison sat forward, "Okay, so what's the plan?"

Jay shrugged. "Watch to see what they do. If they're planning something, then we can be there to stop it. If it's nothing, then I guess we wait. I just don't want those boys hurt and Marks would have no problem doing that. With this other guy, maybe they've decided it's time for action."

"Okay. Do you know how many guys are in the van?" Patrick asked.

"I've only seen the young guy and Randy, but Leo is probably in there as well, so at least three; could be more though."

Patrick nodded as he digested the information. "Okay, then it's just a waiting game now."

Patrick handed a Nalgene bottle to Jay, who gratefully took it and quenched his thirst. Twenty minutes later, the twins returned.

"The game is over. The boys you're worried about got on their bikes and rode off that way." Jamie pointed in the direction of the boy's neighborhood.

"The van pulled out a short time after the boys, and headed in the same general direction."

Jay nodded, "I think I'm right about this. It looks like the boys are headed back to their neighborhood and the van is following. They're going to pull something. Jamie, take the car, Nicky drive the van. I'll give you the directions when we get closer, but head out the way they were going. Jamie you stay behind us. I'll call and tell you where to park the car while we find a place for the van once we get there. Keep an eye out for the van and the boys."

The twins nodded. Jamie closed the door behind Nicky once he was in the van. Nicky climbed into the driver seat and started the van. The boys and the other van had a head start on them and they did not see it as they made their way to the neighborhood that the boys lived in. They pulled into the neighborhood and started looking around. They didn't see either the van or the boys when they got there. Jay directed Nicky to drive toward Chris' house. As they neared it, Nicky's cell went off.

"Yeah bro….Okay, I'll tell 'em."

He looked in the rear view mirror. "Jamie said he thinks he just saw the van. It's parked in an alley a couple of streets back."

Jay nodded, "Okay, now I'm really sure they're going to try something tonight. Tell Jamie to find a place near Bryce's house to park and call us back when he does. We're going to park around here and wait to see if the boys are around here," Jay told him.

Nicky put the phone back up to his ear. "Kay, Jamie, Jay said to park near the other kid's house and call us when you do…Kay, talk to you later."

He hung up, turned the van around and parked it a couple of hundred yards away. Jay had directed him to park so that they were facing back in the direction to where Bryce's house was located. They were there just few minutes before they saw Chris and Travis come around the corner heading back toward Bryce's house with their towels hanging around their necks. Jay took his cell out.

"Yeah Jamie, its Jay….sit tight, I think the boys are heading back your way. It looks like they're going swimming over there….yeah just wait. I'll probably send Nicky your way in a few….all right, bye."

He hung up and watched the boys ride up the street toward Bryce's. He told Nicky where Jamie was parked. He clapped Nicky on the shoulder, Nicky looked back expectantly.

"Nicky, go meet Jamie, you two keep an eye on the house where the boys are. Don't go near the Marks van, I don't want them to see you. Take a roundabout way to his location. Watch the house but stay hidden."

Nicky nodded and jogged off down the street, away from where the Marks van was parked. The remaining three watched through the windshield. Jay knelt between and behind the front seats to have a better view. A few minutes later Patrick and Allison saw him stiffen a little and move forward to get a better look. They moved forward a little to try and see what Jay was looking at. The three of them saw a young guy walking out of the alley and turning in the direction of Bryce's house.

Jay looked at Patrick, "Yeah, they're up to something."

Patrick nodded, "Agreed."

Jay pulled his cell out again and punched in the numbers.

"Jamie, Jay again….Yeah something's going on….I just saw the guy that was with Randy leave the alley and head your way…..Is Nicky there yet?....okay once he's there, I want you two to get in position to watch this guy and the boy's house….let us know what he's doing and stay out of sight. We don't want to spook them….alright, call me with any updates…bye."

He looked at the others, "Now we wait."

Patrick and Allison settled into the back seat, while Jay kept watch up front. Jamie was parked around the corner from Bryce's house and was looking back in that direction. In the side view mirror he watched for the guy that Jay had told him about. He saw the guy as he crossed the street behind him and continued toward Bryce's. He was startled as the passenger door was opened and slammed close. He looked over at his grinning reflection.

"Jeez Nicky, you scared the shit out of me," he scowled at his twin.

"Well if you weren't daydreaming, you'da seen me," Nicky smiled at Jamie.

Jamie continued to scowl at him, "I wasn't daydreaming, I was watching for that guy."

Nicky nodded, "Yeah, I saw him cross. I waited until he was out of sight before I came to the car. So how do you want to do this?" he asked.

"Let's come in from the other direction. He might see us coming from this direction. We might be able to get around behind him from that direction."

Nicky nodded, "Kay, let's go."

The two brothers went off down the street at a quick walk, in the direction away from Bryce's house. At the end of the block they turned left and went to the street past the street Bryce's house was on and turned left again until they were at the end of the block. They slowly made their way toward Bryce's street. The house at the end of the block had a fence covered with ivy that was overgrown. Jay had told them that Bryce's house was the second house down the block opposite from where they were standing. They carefully looked around in that direction to see if they could see the Marks guy, he wasn't in sight. Nicky started to move forward a little more, but Jamie grabbed his shoulder and pulled him back a few steps so that they were out of sight of the street. Jamie looked around and then up into the tree above them.

"I think I saw him Nicky, c'mon."

He pointed to the tree nearby and quickly scrambled up into its foliage. They climbed up until they could just barely see around the corner house and down the street. Jamie tapped Nicky and pointed at a large cottonwood tree that was across from Bryce's house. Nicky looked and a slight movement drew his gaze to the middle of the tree; he saw the guy sitting with his back to the trunk on large branch, looking toward the house, it looked like he was talking on a cell.

They settled themselves for the duration. From where they sat, they could actually see just a little bit between Bryce's house and the house next door, into the pool area. They could see the boys having fun. They saw Bryce's parents come home. As the sun started to go down, they saw the parents come out and it looked like they were having a barbecue. The kids all went inside and came out a little while later, dressed in their regular clothes. The two teenagers in the tree could smell the barbecued meat from where they were. They silently watched over them.

When Bryce's parents got home from work they went outside to say hello to the boys. They invited Travis and Chris to stay for barbecue. The boys called their parents to let them know about dinner when they went inside to dry off and change back into their regular clothes. They hung out in Bryce's room for a little while playing on his Xbox until his mom called them to help.

They helped with the final preparations and sat down to burgers and chips. After eating, they helped clean up and went back to Bryce's room to get their stuff. Bryce decided he wanted to go back to Chris' house to play the new game he had gotten for his PS3. He told his parents where he was going and they went out to the backyard where the bikes were parked. They started wheeling the bikes out front. They got on them and started to ride to Chris', but were stopped by Bryce.

"Shit!" he said looking down at his front tire.

"What's wrong?" Travis asked.

"My tires flat," Bryce said as he pointed to the front tire.

The other two laid their bikes down and walked back to Bryce's bike. They checked the tire and found a large roofing nail in the tire. Bryce pushed the bike back into the yard and came back out front.

"You still want to come over Bryce?" Chris asked.

"Sure, but my tire's flat," Bryce nodded.

"We'll walk our bikes, it's not that far. You don't mind walking back later do you?" Chris offered.

"Naw I don't mind, that's cool. Let's go play."

The sun was low on the horizon at the time as they started walking home. Three pairs of eyes watched them turn at the end of the block and head toward Chris' house. The twins waited until the boys were down the street a little bit before they started to move, this time it was Nicky who stopped Jamie. He silently pointed toward the cottonwood. They watched as the Marks guy dropped from the tree. He then started jogging, looking as if he was someone from the neighborhood out for a summer evening jog. He soon overtook and passed the boys as he made his way to the van. Once Barrett had jogged past the boys, he pulled his cell phone out and called Randy.

"Randy….get ready….I'm on my way back, there's three of them, it looks like their friend is coming with them. Two are walking their bikes; the other is walking with them. Their friend had a flat on his bike, that's why they're walking. I'll be right there."

He closed the cell and kept jogging until he reached the alley and turned in.

Up in the tree, Jamie got his cell phone out and called Jay.

"Jay, the boys and the Marks guy are coming your way. You should see the guy in a few. He's jogging, he just passed the boys. The three boys are walking toward you. It looks like one of them had a bike problem and the other two are walking their bikes instead of riding, since he doesn't have his. They'll be a minute or two behind the Marks guy…..okay, once their far enough away we'll start toward you, get the car and drive in from this direction…..Sure Jay….we'll be right behind them….bye."

He closed his cell and motioned to Nicky for them to get down. They dropped down and waited for a moment before casually walking toward the street where the car was parked. When they got to the next street, they turned and went down to the car. Jamie got the car turned around and headed back to the frontage road. They were held up by a couple of cars that were turning down the street they were at before they could turn and follow.

At the other end, Jay and the other two watched as the young guy reached the alley and ducked in. They couldn't see anything more than the back of the van that was parked just inside the alley. In the near distance they saw the three boys walking up the street toward them. A couple of blocks behind them they saw the car with the twins in it driving toward them. Jay caught a quick furtive movement near the corner of the alley near the van. He saw the red of the taillights come on and the van start up, just as the boys neared the alley. He dove for the side door of the van to yank it open as soon as he saw movement near the rear of the van.

The three boys were walking along not paying attention to anything around them. They heard the noise of an engine starting up just to their left and looked up just in time to see three guys rush them and pull them away from the bikes. They started struggling after the shock of the attack.

Down the street, Jay had flung the van door open and was already running with Patrick and Allison right behind him. Down the street, everything had happened so fast that Jamie didn't realize it right away until Nicky got his attention. He hit the gas to get closer. The Marks attackers did not notice Jay or any of the others for the first few moments of the attack, as the boys were trying to break free and the bikes hampered the kidnappers and slowed them down a bit. Randy looked up when he heard the sound of running feet.

"Shit! We gotta go!"

Barrett, who was struggling with Bryce, saw Jay and the others getting nearer and he got a good hold on Bryce and lifted him up above his head and flung the boy hard at Jay who was getting close. Jay hesitated just a moment as he tried to decide whether to dodge the flying boy or intercept him. He was in between both decisions when he decided to try and catch Bryce. He was off balance when Bryce hit him in the chest; which knocked him to the side. There was a hard crack as Bryce rebounded off him and hit the street head first.

Jay recovered his balance and continued forward. He ran into the alley just as the side door of the van was slammed shut and the van started moving. He slammed his hand against the van door and continued to run with it for a bit. Something was wrong and he realized he couldn't feel Chris, so he drew his knife from its hidden sheath and slashed his arm, flinging the blood that welled up at the back of the van as it sped away. He watched it for a moment before turning and running back to the end of the alley.

He met Jamie and Nicky running toward him and he shook his head. They got back to the alley entrance and Allison had knelt down next to Bryce. Jay could see a cut and a large bump on the left side of the boy's forehead. Allison looked up as he neared them.

"I don't think anything's broken, but he took a hard knock to his head," she said as she looked up.

"Allison, can you take care of Bryce?" Jay asked.

"What do you want me to do with him? Take him to his home?"

"No…shit…those sons of bitches, we gotta move. Allison, take Bryce and you go with Jamie in the car and follow us. Patrick you drive, Nicky get in the back of the van. We'll lead, we gotta move quick or I won't be able to track 'em."

Allison picked Bryce up easily and ran over to the car and got in the back seat with Bryce. Jamie jumped in the driver seat. The others got in the van and sped down the alley in the direction the Marks van had gone. At the other end of the alley, Jay told Patrick which way to go and the hunt was on.

Barrett turned the corner into the alley and banged on the side door. Randy opened it and nodded to Barrett. He and Leo got out.

"Leo, peek around the corner and keep an eye out for the boys. Barrett, get ready to start the van. Once you start it, come back out and help us take 'em."

Leo moved cautiously until he could just see around the corner. He watched the boys walking down the street until they were close enough that they could hear the boys talking. Leo scooted back and gave Barrett the okay. Barrett started the van and then got out through the side door to join the other two. They heard the boys get near and as soon as they were in sight they rushed them. Leo grabbed Travis, Randy grabbed Chris and Barrett grabbed Bryce. The boys were shocked for only a second and then their survival instincts came into play and they started struggling as the three men pulled them toward the van. Randy heard running feet and looked up.

"Shit! We gotta go!"

Barrett turned when he saw the people running toward them, he growled as he got a good grip on Bryce and easily lifted him high above his head like he weighed next to nothing and threw him directly at the nearest person. As soon as he let go, he turned and helped get the other two boys into the van and jumped into the drivers seat, put it into gear and peeled out. In the back, Randy was getting Chris under control and Leo slugged Travis hard enough to daze him so he could close the door. They heard someone slam the closed door with his arm as they drove off. Randy got a good grip on Chris and leaned close to his ear.

"Cool it cutie or I'll have my friend kill your boyfriend there."

Chris immediately stopped fighting as he saw the feral grin on Leo's face as he grabbed Travis. His concern for Travis was evident as he watched him shake his head to clear the cobwebs from the effects of the hit from Leo. Leo, by this time, had a strong hold on him as well. Randy called up to Barrett.

"Get to the warehouse as quick as you can, but don't do anything to get us pulled over. We need to make sure we are out of sight as quick as we can, because you know those Furginson guys are going to be after us."

Barrett nodded absently as he paid attention to where he was going. "Got it, no problem. What I did to the other kid might slow them down a bit."

Randy nodded, "Good move, let's hope so."

Barrett was careful to drive above the speed limit only where he was certain that they wouldn't be seen by the police. The only time he was worried was when he had to wait at a red light. Finally twenty minutes later he saw the industrial park and slowed down as he triggered the door opener. He drove in as soon as it was high enough for him to go under and triggered it to close as soon as the back of the van was inside. He stopped the van and helped Randy and Leo get the two boys out of the van. They pushed them down into a couple of the chairs that were at a nearby table.

"Now, you two sit still or I'll have Leo kill your boyfriend before your eyes. He's not as important to us, we really wanted just you, but since you two are almost never apart, we'll use him to control you. But don't think that means we'll keep him alive if he becomes a nuisance, because we won't hesitate to kill him, if it suits us. Either way works for us. So sit there quietly and don't do anything stupid."

Chris looked at Randy with hatred.

"What did you do to Bryce?" he asked Barrett.

"I just threw him at your supposed rescuers. I think he cracked his head on the ground, since I heard a delicious crack when he landed. Although it was a waste of such a tasty looking snack," Barrett smirked at him.

Tears came to Chris and Travis' eyes as they looked fearfully at each other.

"Watch these two, I'm going to call Zebulon and let him know we have them," Randy ordered.

Barrett and Leo nodded as they grabbed a couple of the other chairs and sat down, grinning evilly all the while at the two frightened boys. Randy went into the office and picked up the phone to dial Zebulon's number.

"Hello Victor, is Mr. Marks available?...Oh, could you let him know that we have the two kids…No, no problems…No, one knows we're here, so we're secure….Yeah sure…bye."

Randy went back into the main room where the others waited, "Zebulon was busy with other matters, but Victor said he would let him know I called. Now what to do with you two," he said as he walked up to the two boys.

Randy walked over to Chris and reached out to caress his cheek. Chris jerked his head away.

"Leave him alone," Travis yelled.

Randy turned and backhanded Travis hard enough to throw him out of his chair. Travis looked up from the floor, blood trickling from the corner of his mouth. Leo picked him up and threw him back into the chair.

Randy pointed at Travis, "Sit there and shut up. Remember what I said, Leo would be more than happy to kill you if I asked, and he'll love making it hurt, so don't tempt me."

He turned back to Chris and grinned, "As for you cute stuff. Hm, hm, but you are sweet. I hope Zebulon let's me taste you. I bet you are as sweet as you look."

Randy moved closer to Chris and caressed his face once again. He ran his hand into Chris' hair until it was at the back, at which point he grabbed and yanked Chris' head back, exposing his neck. Randy nuzzled Chris and let the tip of his tongue gently touch his neck. Chris closed his eyes, fearing what Randy would do to him. Then Randy pushed him away.

"You do taste sweet Chris. I can't wait. This is going to be awesome. Has your boyfriend taken your cherry, or is it mine to pluck?"

Chris blushed and tears came to his eyes.

"Oh, even better. It's going to be mine. Hahahahaha….."

Randy's laughter was cut off as the small door near the large main door flew across the floor. He turned around and saw Jay and Patrick enter the building.

"Leave them alone asshole, or you're dead….permanently."

Patrick made the turn at the end of the alley with Jay giving him directions. As they drove along, Jay would lean out the window with his nose up as he tried to stay on the scent. Allison sat in the back seat of the car with Bryce's head in her lap. He was still out cold as she dabbed at the cut on his head with a towel that was in the back seat. She had her cell out and was making a call while she worked.

"Robert, it's Allison…..Randy and Leo Marks made their move against Jay's boys…..We're on the trail now…..They don't look like their heading toward Zeb's estate. We're going in the opposite direction…..Jay's tracking them….I hope so too….the reason I'm calling is to ask if you can send someone over to the boy's neighborhood….When Marks attacked, the boys had their bikes and some clothes with them. We left them right where they fell, but unless we want the cops involved, we better hide them…..No, I think we'll be just fine. One of the boy's was hurt, but I'm taking care of him right now…..There was only three of them, so I don't think we need help….we'll take care of them and I doubt that they'll be a problem much longer. Jay's really pissed…..sure, we'll call if we need assistance….thanks Robert….bye."

The hunt continued. Jay was able to keep on the trail, even though they were several minutes behind. Jay directed them into an industrial park and told Patrick to park. They got out of the vehicles and met by the side of the van. Jay gathered them around him, "They're somewhere in this area, over in that direction."

He pointed to the area of the industrial park that was farthest from them.

"We'll put Bryce in the van and get him comfortable. How is he doing Allison?" Jay asked.

"He took a hard hit. I'm not sure how bad it is, but he's stable." Jay looked at Bryce.

"Do you think he'll wake up anytime soon?" he asked her.

She shook her head, "I'm not sure. He might, but it's hard to tell with head injuries. We probably need to get him to a doctor to check him out."

Jay nodded, "Okay, we'll have to take the chance that he'll still be out while we do this."

Allison and Jay got Bryce out of the car and lay him down on the floor of the van. Nicky grabbed a blanket that was in the back storage area and covered him up, using Jay's jacket as a pillow for him. They put him on his side in case he got nauseous and threw up, they didn't want him drowning in his own vomit. Once he was settled they locked the van doors and Jay led them through the industrial park. He stopped them when they neared one set of buildings. He motioned for them to stay back while he crept forward. He pressed his ear to the entry door of one of the buildings and listened for a few moments, before quietly hurrying back to the group.

"This is the place. I could hear Randy in there with them. I don't know what their plans are for the boys, but they cannot be allowed to leave with them. The way these buildings are built I think there is a door on the other side; I want to take them from two sides. Allison, Nicky and Jamie, you take the other side. Allison, do you have your tools?"

Allison pulled a small pouch from her jacket and held it up.

"Never leave home without 'em," she said with a smile.

"Good, then you three go around to the other side of the building and find the door. When you get there, take your time and pick the lock as quietly as possible. I don't want them hearing you. Once the door is unlocked, call me on my cell, then wait until you hear Patrick and I enter, you won't miss it. When that happens, sneak in and come in from that side. I don't know what the inside looks like; hopefully it will only be the three of them that we know of. I didn't hear a lot of people moving around, but be ready for anything. Allison after you've got the door unlocked, come back and watch over Bryce. Okay?" he said as he laid out his plan.

"Aw, man. You're leaving me out of the fun," she complained.

Jay shrugged, "I know and I'm sorry, but we need to protect him and get him somewhere safe if we fail. I've warned Randy and Leo enough times, so tonight we end this, agreed."

The others nodded. Jay waved the other three off. Allison led the way as they hurried to the other side, their feet making no sound on the ground as they ran. Making their way around the end of the row of buildings, they came around the back and found the door. Allison took out her tool pouch and selected a couple of them. She inserted them into the lock and started manipulating the tumblers, she took the two in her hands and grabbed another tool. Working the three tools, she was soon rewarded with a soft click as the lock was defeated. Jamie took out his cell, while Allison returned the tools to her pouch and put it back into her jacket.

"Jay, we're ready to go in. Just give us the signal….okay."

Jamie nodded to the other two. Allison patted the twins on the back as she headed back to the van. Jamie put his hand on the doorknob and turned it slowly until the latch disengaged, holding the door there ready to pull it open.

On the other side of the building Jay and Patrick snuck up to the small door. Jay nodded to Patrick and then ran at the door full speed, hitting it with his shoulder. The door was wrenched off its hinges and slammed into one of the motorcycles causing it to fall over. When he and Patrick entered the building they saw the two boys sitting down in the chairs and the other three standing near them.

"Leave them alone asshole, or you're dead….permanently."

The next moments were a blur as Leo grabbed Chris and Barrett grabbed Travis. Randy turned to the two intruders.

"There are only two of you and three of us, and of course we've got them. Give it up as a lost cause Furginson and leave, or you'll join them," Randy sneered.

"You're done Randy, tonight this ends," Jay snarled.

"Bring it on. Try anything and those two are dead."

Jay saw Barrett's hand change until it was a claw with sharp nails. Barrett held his claw right over Travis' belly. Leo held Chris in front of him as he let his fangs drop and opened his mouth so that they could see them. The two boys were trembling with fear. Behind them Jamie and Nicky crept around until they were behind Barrett. Randy let his fangs drop as well and smiled at Jay.

"What now hero? You think you're fast enough?"

Jay caught Jamie's eye and gave a very slight nod and the twins jumped and transformed at the same time. The two identical wolves clamped onto the back of Barrett with their teeth; one on his leg and the other going for the back of his neck. Jay charged at Randy, followed closely by Patrick.

"KILL 'EM!" Randy yelled.

Barrett heard Randy's yell, he jabbed his claws into Travis and started to rip, just as the twins hit him. Travis was knocked away and screamed as he felt the claws rip his stomach open. Leo bit down at the junction of Chris' neck and shoulder and started to drink. Chris screamed.

As Randy tried to grab Jay. Jay launched himself high in the air over Randy, and Patrick, who was just a step behind Jay, slammed into Randy, sending him against the side of the van. Jay landed, rolled and came up with his fist cocked; Leo looked up from his feeding just as Jay's fist caught him in the face. The blow ripped Leo's fangs from Chris' neck, leaving a large gash behind. Jay pushed Chris out of the way as he advanced on Leo. Chris clamped a hand at his neck and tried to get away from the fighting. He stumbled toward Travis and fell down; both of them crying in fright as they watched the battle taking place throughout the room.

They saw Barrett change into his wolf form and he and the twins were snarling and rolling around in one corner of the building. Jay was on top of Leo and they were both punching and wrestling with each other. Randy had thrown Patrick against the table and chairs and he was trying to untangle himself as Randy ran at him. Randy hit him several times and threw him through a window of the office and leapt in after him. The two boys were looking wide eyed around them as they saw myths come to life, vampires and werewolves.

Chris watched the struggle between Jay and Leo as they fought each other. Then a whimper from Travis caught his attention and he turned toward him. Travis had his hands over his stomach with blood leaking through. He looked at Chris with tears of pain in his eyes. Chris moved closer and put his free arm around Travis and hugged him close, while keeping his other hand over the wound in his neck. Both of them scared and crying.

There was a yelp of pain from the fighting werewolves, Barrett had just clamped his teeth on the leg of one of the twins and twisted until it cracked and hung at an unnatural angle. The injured wolf whirled around and tried to lunge at Barrett's throat.

In the office, Patrick kicked out and Randy flew through the door and landed on his back. Randy flipped up and saw the two boys holding each other and grinned. He turned back toward Patrick just as Patrick slammed into him, causing him to fly fifteen feet across the room, and Patrick landing on top of him.

Leo had kicked Jay back off him and launched himself at Jay. Jay got his feet in the way and threw him over his head. Jay flipped himself up and turned as Leo gained his feet. The two of them circled each other looking for an opening, and then Leo launched himself at Jay's waist. Jay slipped to the side and struck down with his fist at the back of Leo's neck, driving him to the ground. He followed him down and brought his arm around the front of Leo's neck and wrenched upward with all his strength until there was a loud crack and Leo's body went limp beneath him. He turned and saw the struggle between the wolves and saw the wolf with the broken leg get through the defenses of the larger wolf and clamp onto its neck as his brother ripped the larger wolf's stomach out, it collapsed as blood gushed out of its stomach and around the muzzle of the wolf at its throat. Jay got up and walked over to the tangle of tables and chairs and ripped a piece of wood from it. He walked back over to where Leo's body lay and looked down on it. He could see that Leo's neck was slowly starting to straighten out. He jabbed down with all his strength through Leo's back and into his heart. There was a quick flash of fire and sparks; all that was left was ash inside Leo's clothes.

The larger wolf's eyes were starting to dim and its breathing became labored as one wolf kept the pressure on his neck and the other continued to rip his belly open. Jay walked around the van and saw that Patrick had Randy's arms pinned behind him facing Jay as he slowly walked toward him with hatred in his gleaming blue eyes. Randy's eyes saw his doom approaching and he fought to break free of Patrick's grip, but the older vampire was much stronger and he could not get away, he could only scream.


Jay thrust the improvised stake into Randy's chest and glared into his eyes as the flame of his true death took him. Patrick stepped back and brushed the ash that had been Randy Marks off himself with distaste. Jay dropped the stake and ran back to the boys. The boys looked up and saw two naked teenagers covered in blood, one of them supported a broken arm with the bone sticking out of the skin. Next to them lay the young guy who had been with Randy and Leo, his neck and stomach torn out. The two boys looked up at the sound of running feet and saw another teenager and someone who looked to be in his twenties behind him. The two of them were showing long fangs and glowing eyes. One set of light brown and one of bright blue.

Chris looked at the teenager and his eyes widened for a few moments before they rolled back into his head and he went limp. Jay ran to the boys, both were unconscious. He picked up Chris and motioned for Patrick to pick up Travis. Jay clamped his hand to the wound on Chris' neck and put pressure on it to stem the flow of blood. He looked over to the twins.

"Nicky, you going to be alright?" he asked.

Nicky grimaced a little, as he nodded, "Yeah just give me a few hours, and I'll be fine."

Jay motioned towards Barrett, "Jamie, finish him, we don't want to leave any of them behind."

Jamie nodded and got behind Barrett's head, he grabbed his head, braced both of his feet against Barrett's shoulders and pulled until there was a crack and he ripped Barrett's head free of his body and tossed it to the side.

"Okay, let's get out of here. We don't know if Marks is sending anyone else here," Jay said.

They left through the broken door, behind them the phone in the office started ringing. They ran to the two vehicles. Allison opened the side door and they jumped in the back. Patrick laid Travis down on the floor and got into the driver seat. Allison saw Jamie and Nicky standing there and pulled some clothes from the storage area and threw them at them. They started pulling them on.

Patrick started the van. "Where to, Robert's?" he asked.

Jay looked down at the two badly injured boys and shook his head. "No, take us to Chris' house. We'll never make it to Robert's. We can give them the blood there, but in case it doesn't work, they should be with their families. You two follow as soon as you can, you know where to go."

Jamie nodded, "Right behind you."

Patrick backed the van out of the space and left the park with smoke coming from the tires. It was a hectic ride. In the back Bryce seemed to be sleeping comfortably. Allison was helping keep pressure on Travis' wounded belly. Jay held Chris in his arms and rocked him as he kept the pressure on his neck, tears running down his face as he looked down at the unconscious boy. Patrick broke several traffic violations, running stop signs and red lights as he made his way to the boy's neighborhood. Luckily no police were in sight. As he drove he called Robert.

"Robert, we got the kids, but they're badly hurt….no they won't make it to the estate….Jason wants to give them our blood….He wants us to take them home. You know in case it doesn't work… wouldn't hurt….okay."

Patrick pulled into the driveway of the house and turned off the van. He went into the back of the van and opened the side door. Jay led the way to the front door, with Allison carrying Bryce and Patrick carrying Travis. They went up to the door and Jay kicked it a couple of times. They heard footsteps on the other side and the door was opened. Standing before them was Michael; he looked in shock at the blood covered people standing on his front porch. His mouth dropped as he saw that the one in front was holding Chris who had blood seeping from around the hand that was against Chris' neck.

"What the fuck is going on?" Michael asked in a shocked voice.

"May we come in?" Jay asked.

Michael was shocked for a few seconds as he took the scene in. The guy before him brought his attention back.

"I said may we come in?" Jay repeated.

Michael nodded quickly, "Oh, yes, yes of course come in."

The three came in as Michael looked toward the living room where the rest of the family was watching TV. "Heather, take Ty and Jessie to their rooms and have them stay there."

Heather looked up and quickly grabbed the two younger Hale children and ushered them out of the room. Jay and the other people carried their burdens inside and laid them on the floor and couches in the living room. As Jay laid Chris down on the couch, Heather returned to the room.

"They're in their rooms….what happen…." Heather stopped as Jay looked up at Chris' parents.

"Jason?" She asked with widened eyes. Michael whirled around and his eyes widened in shock as he looked down at the teenager kneeling next to Chris.

"Jason….Jace? What the fuck is going on?" Michael asked.

Jason Huntington looked up at his former girlfriend and best friend. Tears were on his face as he tried to smile at them and his chin quivered, "Hi Heather, Mikey… Yeah, it's me."

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