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Chapter Nineteen

By RimPigFL - - February 21 2005

After my conversation with General Hagee, I went back to the kitchen and sat down across from Andy.

“Andy, do you know a Veronica Webster?” I asked quietly.

“Of course, she’s the Director’s secretary. She’s been with the Agency for years. Why?” Andy asked.

“Well, Webster is her married name. Her name before that was Davenport. But that was the name given to her when she was adopted at about age 4. The name she was born with was Veronica Balducci.” I said and the look of shock on Andy’s face could not have been more profound.

“Balducci?! She’s related to Big Sal Balducci?!” he asked incredulously.

“His niece. She’s the daughter of Tony Balducci and a woman who was his mistress for a time. She married finally and her new husband adopted Veronica, giving her his name. It would seem that at the time Veronica was hired, the Agency wasn’t doing that deep a search into the backgrounds of clerks and secretaries. I would bet that her personnel file has been carefully doctored since then to look as if the proper background screenings have been done.” I said.

“So she’s the mole?” Andy asked, the shock still showing on his face.

“That’s right. Diego’s got proof of her contacting both her natural father and her uncle on a quite regular basis - especially around the time of the article coming out. I’m sure it was nothing for her to learn all of the plans for our security as well as our location.” I said.

“Oh shit! The Director knows where we are!” he exclaimed.

“How?!” I asked.

“Because I told him! I couldn’t believe that the Director was the mole!” Andy said, his voice full of anguish.

“Call him immediately and tell him what we’ve learned!” I said and Andy immediately pulled out the cell phone I’d given him and began to dial.

“We’d better get the SUV and get ready to get out of here. I’ll go let Murph and Pat know. Why don’t you and Mark get the vehicle and meet Andy and me outside.” I said to Cole.

“Okay. Come on Mark.” Cole said rising and heading out the door.

I headed back to the office but Mark stopped me.

“Let me use the cell phone a moment.” Mark asked.

I handed him the phone and he rapidly dialed, then stood waiting for someone to answer.

“Hello, Sarge. Listen, I need you to deploy the team at the following coordinates as soon as possible.” Mark said and started rattling off coordinates from a small electronic device he’d pulled from his pocket. He then closed the cell phone and handed it back to me.

“What’s that - GPS locator?” I asked.

“Exactly. I hate to disagree with you BJ, but you’re making a huge mistake.” Mark said.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“You don’t want to run again. What we need to do is stay here and see what the other side’s up to. My men can be here in less than two hours. If we’ve got any chance of catching anyone that’s been sent after us, we’d have a better chance of doing it here than if we were on the run.” Mark said.

“He’s right.” Andy said. “There will be no more information going to Balducci. Mrs. Webster is being arrested even as we speak. I think she’ll be more than amenable to rolling over on her father and uncle when she learns she is about to spend the rest of her life in prison.”

“Well, that’s some good news at any rate.” I said.

“There’s more.” Andy smiled. “The Agency is also in the process of serving warrants on Schuster and Callum. Warrants for all the partners, many of the associates and for Cole’s bitch of an ex-wife as well. We’re also picking up the Balducci brothers. They’re all going down, thanks to the evidence that you turned over, BJ.”

“Well, thank God for that! I’d better let Cole know. I think he’ll get more out of this than any of us!” I grinned.

“Yes, especially the part about his ex-wife!” Andy smiled.

I went out front where Cole had brought the car.

“Take it back to the barn.” I said to Cole, standing beside the driver door.

“But I thought we were leaving?” he asked.

“No, Mark and Andy think we’re better off staying here. We don’t know if another hit team has been sent out or not. If there hasn’t been, then there won’t be because there will be no one to send them. The Balducci woman has been taken into custody and they expect her to roll over on her father and uncle who are being picked up right now. Andy’s agency is also picking up on warrants all of the partners of Schuster and Callum and your ex-wife. They’re all going to go away for a very long time.” I said.

“Are you sure? They’ve all got an awful lot of political pull!” Cole said.

“With the evidence we’ve uncovered and the continuing articles I’m going to write, I don’t think any of their political cronies are going to want to be within miles of them! Especially not with the proof we have of their connections to organized crime. Disbarment will be only the start for them. I’m sure each and every one of them will do some amount of time in the federal pen.” I said.

Cole took the SUV back and put it in the barn. I walked back to the house and went to talk to Murph and Pat. I explained to them what happened and suggested they might want to go somewhere else until we got security to the farm and got everything straightened out.

“We’re not leaving.” Pat said. “I’ve still got my military side-arm and Murph has a shot gun she’s very good with.”

“The last time, they tried blowing us up with missiles. I don’t think that guns are going to help in that situation.” I said.

“Regardless, we’re not going anywhere.” Murph said decisively.

“Okay. I can’t force you. If that’s what you feel, then you have to go with it.” I capitulated.

It was about an hour later, I wished I hadn’t.

We were all in the kitchen with a map of the farm, helping Mark to plan deployment of his men when there when all of a sudden, two men burst into the room holding what looked like Uzi machine guns in their hands. One of the men, obviously the leader of the two, spoke first.

“Okay, don’t anybody move! All of you, put your hands on the table where I can see them!” he ordered.

They both looked to be in their mid-30's. The ‘leader’ was tall, over six feet, with a long, thin hooked nose. His partner, on the other hand, was short - probably less than 5'6" tall with a face like a rat. They were both dressed in black jogging suits which I think they thought looked like ninja outfits or something intimidating. If that was their desire, they failed.

“You’re making a huge mistake.” I said to them. “The people who hired you are not going to be around to pay you. They’re all in the process of being arrested.”

“Shut up!” the little one screamed.

It was obvious that he was very nervous. I doubt if he’d ever had a sub-machine gun in his hands before. I decided that it was probably not a good idea to make him anymore nervous than he already was, so I didn’t say another word. They decided that they wanted to tie us up but hadn’t brought any rope with them so they had us all put our hands on top of our heads and they proceeded to march us down to the barn. When we got there, they handed us some coils of rope which I figured were used for the horses and had us tie each other up. They left me until last, having made me tie up Cole and Andy under their watchful eye. However, they didn’t watch carefully enough because I was able to leave both Cole and Andy’s ropes somewhat loose. Then ‘rat-face’ tied me up while the ‘leader’ held his Uzi on me.

It was while I was being tied up that we all heard the distant sound of helicopters and I looked over at Mark who smiled at me and winked. The Marines were landing and ‘rat-face’ and his buddy were going to be in for a big surprise! The two rather pathetic hit-men heard the choppers, too, but somehow it didn’t seem to register with them. So much the better! It was becoming obvious to me that these two didn’t have the faintest idea what in the fuck they were doing. Obviously, the mob was not able to put their best ‘help’ on this situation - especially after the stunning disaster at the Marine base.

We just sat there while they stood away from us, conferring with each other in quiet voices so that we couldn’t hear what was being said. They kept us in sight the whole time but seemed really confused about what they were supposed to do. Obviously, they were confused about the number of people. I think they were told to kill Cole and me, but didn’t have any idea who the other four were. In fact, I rapidly became apparent that they didn’t know who Cole and I were. Evidently they’d been given names and the location of the farm and very little beyond that.

But as time passed and they did nothing, it started to look like they were waiting for something or somebody. Perhaps there was an ‘overseer’ to this operation who was going to make sure that the mistakes of the previous attempts were not repeated. Or, as I figured more likely, these two so-called hit-men were not trusted to do the job on their own. From what I’d seen of their planning, I had to agree. I wouldn’t have trusted the two of them to properly walk a dog!

My supposition turned out to be right. Within a short time, we heard a vehicle pull up in front of the farm house and heard the car door slam. Then we heard someone come into the house and walk down the hall. He appeared behind the two ‘hit men’, who appeared quite relieved to see him. He was a tall man with dark hair and a definite look of Italian or Sicilian heritage.

“So I see you two boys did what I told you! Good.” he said to the two thugs.

Then he turned and looked directly at me.

“Now! Mr. Writer! I think it’s time we put an end to your writing career. You’ve been pissing off my family something awful and we think it’s time that you stopped. Permanently.” he growled.

“That would be a terrible mistake as your whole family is, even as we speak, in federal custody.” Andy spoke up.

“What are you talking about and who the fuck asked you!” the thug’s leader barked.

“Why don’t you try contacting somebody in your so-called ‘family’ and see if you get any response at all?” Andy countered.

“Shut up! I don’t need any advice from you, whoever the fuck you are because you ain’t going to be around long enough to make any difference at all.” the man said, his eyes cold and his face set in a grim determination. “I think it’s time we moved this party down to the bard. Everybody up! Start movin’!”

Theses last to orders were barked at us and his two thugs used their automatic weapons to emphasize this. We all got up from the table and headed out of the kitchen and down the hall. Mark was next to me and I looked over at him. He winked and grinned at me like this was a big joke which I couldn’t understand.

We walked down the steps to the house, the three thugs behind us, the two automatic weapons trained on us. We began walking to the bard and were about halfway there when a voice came from behind us that sounded very familiar.

“Y’all can stop right there and drop you weapons!” the voice cried out.

We stopped and turned in the direction of the voice. There, standing in the driveway with his service revolver pointing at the thug’s leader, was Sergeant Carter.

The three thugs pointed their weapons at the Sergeant when all of a sudden, the sound of many, many weapons being cocked sounded. The thugs began to look around them as slowly, one by one, almost fifty Marines appeared from behind bushes and around corners, all with automatic rifles pointed directly at the three.

“I heartily suggest if y’all want to live a few seconds longer you drop your weapons before I count three. One...two...” Sergeant Carter’s voice rang out.

The three thugs evidently decided that discretion was their best option because all three weapons hit the dirt before the Sergeant’s count of “two” was finished. They also raised their hands and put them on top of their heads, obviously having done this before.

The Marines took charge of the three as Sergeant Carter spoke into a walkie-talkie. Within seconds, several large, black Lincoln Town Cars were speeding down the driveway towards us and coming to a screeching stop. Out of the Town Cars poured a number of men in dark suits and sunglasses, one of which - obviously the leader for the deference paid to him by the other men - approached us with Sergeant Carter.

The man in the black suit, took off his sunglasses and approached Andy, smiling and extending his hand.

“Well, done, Andy! This rounds up them all.” the man said.

“Thank, Neil. I’m sure glad that this is finally over.” Andy said. “Guys, this is Neil Plasner, the director of the New York office that I told you about.”

Neil looked at me and extended his hand.

“Mr. Bradley! I cannot tell you what a pleasure it is to finally meet you. I have tremendously enjoyed your writing over the years and certainly am grateful for the help you’ve given us on this investigation.” he said giving me a warm, firm handshake.

“Please, call me BJ. Let me introduce you to my lover Cole and to this fine Marine officer, Mark.” I said as Neil shook hands with both of them.

“Please to meet you.” Neil said.

“I should add, Neil, that Andy and Mark are the real heros here. Without them, we wouldn’t be alive.” I said.

“I’m well aware of that, BJ.” Neil said. “In fact, I’ve brought messages with me for both of them. Andy, the Director wants me to tell you that you’ll be receiving the highest commendation that the agency can bestow.”

“Thanks, Neil. I don’t think I really deserve it though. Without Mark and BJ, this would have been a disaster.” Andy said.

“Well, luckily for you, the Director and I don’t see it that way at all.” Neil laughed and then continued, “As for you, Lieutenant. I have word from the Commandant of the Marine Corps that he has personally authorized this mission and that you also will be receiving a commendation for courage under fire.” Neil informed Mark.

Mark stood there grinning while all his surrounding Marines cheered their commander. Sergeant Carter first saluted his commander and then the two men shook hands. Cole hugged me and Murph hugged Andy. I noticed Andy and Mark looking at each other and I knew they wanted to hug but couldn’t because of everybody around them.

“We have a jet waiting to fly you back to New York.” Neil said to me.

“Thank you. When do we need to leave? I asked him.

“Any time that you’re ready.” he answered.

“Good. I want a chance to speak with Mark and Andy alone before we go. It should just take a few minutes.” I said.

Neil looked at me and smiled. “Take all the time you need.” he said.

I motioned for Cole, Andy and Mark to follow me back to the bunkhouse. When we got there, I turned and faced them.

“Okay. We don’t have a lot of time here. What I want to know is whether or not you two have come to a decision about whether you want to stay together.” I said, looking from Mark to Andy.

The two of them looked at each other and blushed and then Andy looked up at me.

“Yeah...we do want to, but there’s just no way that we can see.” he said, sadly.

“That’s not true. I have a way that you two could stay together but it would mean some major changes for both of you.” I said.

“Like what kind of changes?” Mark asked.

“Well, for one thing, it would mean you leaving the Marine Corps.” I answered. “Would keeping Mark in your life be worth that?”

“Fuck! It would be worth anything to me!” Mark exclaimed vehemently.

“What about you, Andy? Would you be willing to maybe give up your position with your agency?” I asked.

“If it meant that we could be together, I’d do anything.” Andy answered as I hoped he would.

“Okay. Mark, you’ve got to trust me here. I want you to go back with your unit for now. I promise within the next 24 hours I will contact you with an offer. Andy, we’ll talk on the plane back to New York. Okay?” I asked.

They both nodded their heads at me.

“You know I trust you completely, BJ.” Mark said.

“And me, too.” Andy said.

“Thanks guys.” I smiled at them. “Okay, then you guys should say good-bye to each other while you have the chance.”

Mark and Andy looked at each other and blushed. They just stood there for a moment and then finally moved together. As they went into each other’s arms, I grabbed Cole’s and dragged him back outside, protesting the whole way.

“Why’d you do that?” he asked, somewhat miffed.

“Because, my dear nosy lover, they need some privacy - some time alone.” I explained as if to a kindergartner.

“Did you forget that we’ve both fucked them?” Cole asked.

“That’s before they were lovers. Things are different now.” I said, brooking no protest from Cole.

“Damn!” he swore.

“You’ll have to get your voyeuristic jollies looking at the mirror over our bed while you’re fucking me.” I grinned.

Finally, after a short while, Andy and Mark emerged from the bunk-house. I wasn’t quite sure but I could swear that I saw tears in both their eyes.

“I promise both of you, the separation will not be a long one.” I said to them and they both blushed but didn’t say a word.

We walked back to where Neil, Sergeant Carter and Mark’s men were waiting.

“Okay. Let’s get this show on the road. I got a hell of a story to write!” I said.

This time, rather than a hidden airstrip, they took us to a small airport where the agency jet was waiting to take us all back to New York. During take-off, we were sitting in the back of the cabin while Mark and Neil were up front so I started talking to Cole about my plan.

“Look, you want to get the gym started as soon as possible, right?” I asked him.

“Yeah. I figured now that this mess is over with, I can put my full attention to it.” Cole said.

“You are going to need help with this, aren’t you?” I asked.

“Well, yeah. I know I will. I kind of figured you would help me out.” Cole said.

“I don’t think so, lover. I’m going to be very busy with this story and besides, I don’t know the first thing about business or designing and running gyms. I told you, I’m a ‘silent’ partner and I mean silent.” I said. “No, I’m thinking that I know someone who could really help you get this off the ground. Someone with great organizational abilities and someone who is obviously gorgeous and has an incredible body.”

Cole looked at me suspiciously.

“BJ, just exactly what are you up to?” he asked. “Who is this ‘perfect’ person?”

“Mark.” I said, coyly. “After all, he’s well trained as a Marine. That means he has organizational and planning skills, not to mention he probably knows a thing or two about fitness and training.”

“Okay....that does make sense. So you want me to hire Mark. I think it’s a great idea. I really like Mark but just exactly what makes you think that he can get out of the Marine Corps that easily?” Cole asked.

“Let’s just say that I think I can manage that quite easily.” I grinned at him.

“Okay. That get’s Mark to New York but what about Andy. How are you going to leave the agency he’s working for?” Cole asked.

“Andy’s already told me how much he’s grown to dislike all the traveling and impermanence of the job. And, now that he has Mark, he’s going to want to stay closer to home. I’m going to ‘make him an offer he can’t refuse’.” I smiled.

“What kind of offer?” Cole asked.

“I’m going to offer him a job with the BIA.” I laughed.

“But the BIA doesn’t really exist.” Cole said.

“It does now.” I answered. “That’s how I’m going to keep writing but stay at home. From now on, I’m going to do strictly investigative journalism. I’m going to be the biggest ‘muck-raker’ that there has ever been.”

“In that case, we’d better hire a really good security consultant to redo the security on the apartment.” he grinned.

“Yeah. I guess you’re right.” I admitted. “So what do you think of my idea?”

“Babe, I think that anything you want to do, you’ll be great at.” he smiled and pulled me close, kissing me gently.

“Too bad there are all these people around, we could join the ‘Mile High Club’.” I grinned at him.

“Who gives a fuck who’s around.” he grinned back.

“I don’t know, maybe there’s laws against fucking on a government jet?” I asked.

“Don’t ask me. You know I’m a terrible lawyer.” he grinned sheepishly at me.

By this point, the jet had reached cruising altitude and Andy came back to sit with us.

“So what’s up with you two? You’ve been whispering back here since we got on the plane.” Andy asked.

“Well...BJ’s come up with another one of his ‘scathingly brilliant’ ideas.” Cole said.

“Oh, God! Not another one.” Andy said, smacking is head with his hand.

“You’d better listen to this one.” Cole said laughing. “You’re a part of it.”

“Wha...?” Andy looked at me in shock.

“Okay, I was going to wait until later to discuss this with you, but here goes.” I said, rushing to fill Andy in. “I want to do more investigative journalism. I’m going to need help even though I’ve already got Debbie and Diego. How would you like to come work for me. I’ll meet your current salary and go another fifty-percent above it.”

Andy looked at me, the shock showing on his face.

“You’re joking, right?” he said finally.

“Do I look like I’m joking? You’re going to need the money. Two bedroom apartments in New York are expensive.” I said, grinning.

“Two bedroom? What for?” he said, looking at me quizzically.

“Well, a one bedroom apartment is really too small for two guys.” I smiled. “Especially big guys like you and Mark.”

Andy looked at me in shock.

“Mark and me?! But how is Mark going to be there?” he asked.

“Well...among other things, Cole is about to offer him a job with his new fitness center - actually managing it.” I said.

“But Mark’s still in the Corps. How’s he going to get out?” he asked.

“I’ve already arranged that. My little telephone call to the Commandant of the Corps included getting his okay on Mark leaving. He’ll be mustered out as soon as he gets back to base and should be arriving in New York tomorrow. Is that soon enough for you?” I grinned.

Andy just sat there shaking his head.

“I can’t believe this!” he said, obviously taken aback by the suddenness of all this.

“Believe it, kiddo! When BJ puts his mind to something, anything is possible.” Cole reached over and squeezed the young man’s shoulder affectionately.

“BJ, I don’t know how to thank you for this.” Andy started.

“There’s no need. You’ll earn your salary from me, believe it! More importantly, having finally gotten the one thing in life that I always really wanted - Cole back - I guess I’m out to try and make everyone happy that I can.” I grinned.

Cole put his arm around me, pulling me to him and gently kissing me on the cheek.

“You’re doing a great job, lover.” he murmured to me.

“I’ll bet if you talk to whoever is running communications for this plane, they could get you in touch with Mark’s cell-phone and you could tell him all about this.” I said to Andy, coyly.

“Hey! You’re probably right!” he said, jumping up and heading towards the front of the plane.

“So what now?” Cole asked.

“Well...I guess we go back to the penthouse and lock the door and don’t come out for a few days while you and I try and see if we can make biological history and get one of us pregnant!” I grinned at him.

“Hmm...sounds like an interesting experiment. Think it will work?” he grinned back.

“You never know!” I laughed.

Coles arms went around me and we were locked in a deeply passionate kiss. I don’t know if any of the government agents noticed or not, or were shocked by it. I just figured that whatever their reaction, they’d get over it eventually. After all, I wasn’t about to stop kissing Cole - not in this lifetime!

The plane finally landed at Kennedy Airport and we were directed to a special security section where the government kept it’s planes. We transferred to some more black SUV’s and were driven to our building and dropped off in the garage in front of the elevator to our penthouse. On the way there, one of the agents informed me that my parents would be arriving back from their ‘undisclosed location’ tomorrow as well.

Cole and I rode the elevator to the penthouse, stripping off each other’s clothes as the elevator car rose. By the time it reached our apartment, we were naked and in each other’s arms. When the elevator opened, we grabbed out clothes and hot-footed it to the bedroom, both of us jumping onto the bed and back into each other’s arms.

After kissing for a while, Cole rose up over me and, looking down, asked,

“Do you really think this is all going to work out okay?”

“Yeah,” I said. “I really think it will. Mark and Andy love each other. We love each other. Diego and Debbie will have to fend for themselves, though I still think Diego already has found his lover - if he’s willing to admit it to himself.”

“I was more talking about you and me.” Cole said quietly.

“Yes, lover. I do think it’s going to work between us. We just have to give it a chance. After all, how long have we been part of each other lives?” I asked.

“Seems like forever.” Cole smiled.

“Yeah, well, it has been. I know you Cole. Like no on else on earth knows you. And you know me the same way. It makes things a lot easier.” I murmured.

“Umm...I guess your right.” Cole said, nuzzling my neck with his nose and mouth. “Fuck! You smell good!”

“So do you, lover! So do you!” I smiled.

There was no conversation after that - except for grunts and groans of passion and pleasure. But, that’s what life’s all about, isn’t it?

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Copyright (c) 2005 by RimPig
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