Disclaimers: See Chapter
One of Storm Surge for all the legal yada, yada.
I'll only ask you one more time. Who are you? Alex held the Sig level with the woman's head. Her voice dark and dangerous, leaving no room for Alicia to misunderstand her.
The woman slowly turned, meeting Alex's dark, menacing eyes with her own tear laden ones. My name is Alicia Vergara, and I am the Hospitality Coordinator for the Hyatt, or after tonight I guess I can say former coordinator.
Alex motioned with her head for the woman to sit as she slowly backed towards the adjoining door. Flipping the lock, she pulled open the door to find Donald asleep. What did you give him?
Alicia spoke so quietly Alex was having a hard time understanding. It was only a moderate strength sedative. It will wear off in a couple of hours.
Alex called out to Donald and saw him begin to stir, then turned back to Alicia and growled, Why? Who are you working for?
Letting herself fall back in the chair Alicia groaned, Agent Montgomery, I'm not working for anyone. I was forced to do what I did tonight in order to keep my brother safe.
The confusion was evident on Alex's face as she watched the woman. After calling out to Donald once again, she walked to the closet and pulled a set of handcuffs out of her duffle bag. She tossed them to the woman and ordered her to cuff herself to the headboard.
Alicia stood from the chair and obediently slid onto the bed and cuffed herself. Turning back to Alex, she looked at her with sad eyes. I'm sorry if I have caused you any trouble.
Alex relaxed her grip on the Sig as she walked back to the door separating her room from Donald's. She saw him sitting on the bed, obviously very groggy, rubbing his face. In a demanding voice, trying to break Donald from his drug induced stupor, Alex yelled into the room, Donald, go to the bathroom and drink some water, wake yourself up, then get in here. We have a little unexpected company, and more on the way.
Donald shook his head trying to clear his thoughts as he stood and walked across the room on wobbly legs. What's going on Alex? Entering the room, he saw a woman cuffed to the headboard and looked back at Alex with questioning eyes.
It seems Ms. Vergara here, spiked the wine she sent up earlier. Good thing I passed on it or we'd both be sitting ducks for whoever is on their way to see us.
Donald's eyes focused on the woman and his mind cleared as the adrenaline surged through his body. Stabbing the woman with a piercing look, he stalked closer. Ms Vergara, do you mind telling me what the fuck is going on here, or do I call the police right now?
The woman shook her head and glanced at Alex, I'm afraid the police can't or won't help you with this Agent Fairfax. You're still here in Mexico because some important paperwork was misplaced, am I correct?
Donald and Alex both felt a chill run up their spines as the woman spoke. Alex was the first to recover, and the anger in her voice mirrored the anger surging through her body. Are you telling me the police helped set us up?
Alicia shook her head. No, no. Please sit and stop pointing that thing at me and I'll tell you everything I know.
Donald and Alex listened as the story unraveled, small pieces fitting into place bit by bit until the puzzle was complete. They heard a light tapping on the door as Alicia finished her story. Alex held her finger up in front of her mouth, and Donald slipped into his own room. She quietly un-cuffed Alicia and pushed her towards the door. Leaning in close to Alicia's ear, Alex whispered, You open the door, get him inside, then get the hell out of my way. Do you understand?
Nodding her head, Alicia walked to the door, opened it and peered out. Alex could hear voices but couldn't make out what they were saying. Praying that Alicia wasn't double crossing them, she waited in the darkened bathroom. Her muscles tensed as she saw the slash of light cutting the darkness of the room grow wider, and then disappear as the door closed.
Taking a deep breath, she readied herself, hoping Donald was holding up his end, and flipped on the light while at the same time leveling the gun at the man's head. Aren't you a bit out of your neighborhood, Papa? The slums are further down the street.
His head whipped around to see Alex's gun leveled at his face. Smiling, he pierced her with a cold stare. Agent Montgomery. Why don't you put your little toy away, my bodyguard is just outside the door and I don't thing he will appreciate your inhospitality.
Just as the words left his mouth, Donald pushed a beefy looking man through the door. Is this the guy you're talking about? I'm afraid he's going to be a little tied up for a while. Looks like you're on your own, Mr. Sarantos. Donald ordered the man to the floor and cuffed his hands behind his back.
Alex waited for Donald to finish, then motioned for Sarantos to sit in the chair next to the window. Donald took the other set of cuffs from Alex and secured Sarantos' hand behind his back. After both men were safely situated, Donald sat on the bed and faced Papa Paul. Your daughter has been filling us in on your plans, Sarantos. And I'm not really liking what I'm hearing.
Sarantos glared at his daughter, wishing he were not cuffed. I should have been harder on you Alicia. My daughter is a weakling and can't be trusted by either of us, I'm afraid. Glaring at his daughter with disdain he continued: Alicia has her mother's disposition. Much too tenderhearted.
Donald, I'm going to call Robert, I'll be back if a few minutes. Alex walked to the bed and un-cuffed Alicia's hand. Come with me.
Alicia stood and followed Alex into the other room, rubbing her wrists as she went. As they entered Donald's room, Alex motioned towards the chair. Alicia sat quietly and was surprised when she wasn't re-cuffed. Alex picked up the phone and asked the operator to connect her to the American Embassy in Mexico City.
Alex spoke to the operator at the Embassy and was quickly connected to the FBI liaison stationed there. After providing a brief summary of their situation, Alex was assured that someone would be at their location within the hour. She then placed the next call to AD Robert Albertson. After Alex repeated their predicament to him, Albertson stated that he would be on the next flight out. Replacing the receiver, Alex sat and watched Alicia for a few moments, organizing her thoughts.
The situation was complicated to begin with, but the fact that they were in another country, and possessed no jurisdiction, only made matters worse. AD Albertson and the FBI liaison could figure out all the details, what Alex wanted right now was to get some more answers.
Looking at the woman sitting across from her, Alex knew if she could only get Alicia to testify against her family, many of their problems would be solved. You said earlier that you were forced to participate here tonight. Is that correct?
Alicia smirked, Yes, of course it is. Letting out a long breath she continued, I know you don't believe me, but I never wanted to see you harmed. You have to understand once Papa sets his mind to something, nothing changes it. After you humiliated him last year, you're all he has talked about. Looking at Alex, she knew she was taking a chance by divulging information, information they could use against her as well. Revenge for Papa is always sweet and more often than not, deadly.
Alex sat quietly and listened as the woman spoke, then decided to take the one chance she had. I can't make you any promises. However, if you agree to work with us, give us information that we can use to put an end to your father's empire, I'll do everything I can to see that you're protected.
Alicia's eyes brightened and for the first time in years, she saw a way out of this horrific life. I'll do anything I can to help. Her gaze fell to the floor as she felt tears well in her eyes. I know I have no bargaining power here, but can you see what you can do to help my brother?
Alex shrugged. I can't promise you anything, Alicia. I don't know who your brother is or what role he has played in all of this. I'll do what I can for you, that's all I can promise right now.
Shaking her head, Alicia accepted Alex's terms. I'll help you. All I ask is that you try. Hector is a good man, Agent Montgomery.
Alex ended their conversation, not wanting to make promises she couldn't keep nor wanting to threaten the investigation by talking to Alicia without her attorney present. A few minutes later, a knock on the door announced the arrival of the FBL Liaison from Mexico City. By the time AD Albertson arrived mid-morning, Donald and Alex had everything under control.
Alex, Donald, and Robert sat in the hotel restaurant discussing the case as they ate brunch. Alex, you think this woman Alicia will really turn states evidence against her father? Donald was still a little concerned by the quick change of teams and was still concerned over the woman's motives.
Alex remembered the quiet sobs she heard as Alicia stood at the window the night before. I think she wants to be free from her father. How much she is ultimately willing to give us, I don't know, but she seems sincere.
They continued to eat and discuss the case. Robert and Phillip, the FBI Liaison, had contacted the authorities in Mexico City and suddenly the missing paperwork had mysteriously reappeared. They were officially taking Seth Thomas into custody later in the day and flying back to Jacksonville.
Paul (Papa) Sarantos would remain in the custody of the Mexican authorities until the extradition papers were complete, then he too would be transferred to FBI custody. Alicia Vergara would be accompanying them back to Florida. They had decided not to press any charges against her at the time, knowing that if they did she could not leave Mexico with them today. Although the Mexican authorities initially resisted their efforts to take Alicia with them, they finally realized that not doing so would only worsen the situation. It had taken many years of hard work and compromises from both sides to build a comfortable relationship, and no one wanted to jeopardize it now.
Alex smiled as she recalled their conversation with Captain Cortez and his inability to look them in the eye. She wondered what, if anything, would happen to the Captain now that the authorities knew he was connected to Sarantos and his organization. Bringing herself out of her thoughts, she realized Donald was speaking to her. Sorry Donald, I was thinking about something. What did you say?
I asked if you two were ready to get this show on the road. Personally, I'm ready to get home and get Thomas securely tucked into a nice, warm cell. Donald's smile faded a clouded look cross Alex's face.
Yes, I'm ready. Let's go. Alex's mind wandered back to Seth Thomas, realizing that for the next few hours she would have to spend time with her lover's murderer her lover. Let's go home.
Alex, Donald, and Robert arrived at the police precinct a little after noon. To their pleasant surprise, Captain Cortez wasn't available. Instead they were met by another, more cooperative officer. Hello, I'm Captain Rodriguez, I'm terribly sorry for the inconvenience you have experienced while in Acapulco. I assure you, the matter is being closely investigated. Looking at the Agents he smiled. I won't delay you any longer. I'll go retrieve your prisoner now so you can be on your way.
Donald looked at Alex and noticed that the knuckles were white from gripping the arm of the chair. He was now wishing he hadn't asked Alex to come along, knowing that facing Conner's murderer would be hard on Alex. He reached over and placed his hand on hers. You ready for this?
Alex blinked trying to hold back the tears that were threatening to flow. Yes. Just do me a favor, Donald, don't leave me alone with him. Turning her head, she looked into her friend's eyes. As much as I want to kill him with my bare hands, I also want him to live a long, miserable life in prison.
Donald gently squeezed Alex's hand before releasing it and standing. The door to the makeshift interrogation room opened, and Captain Rodriguez roughly shoved Seth Thomas into the room. Donald stood behind Alex as the Captain pushed Seth down into a chair directly across from her. He knew if Alex could maintain her composure for these first few moments everything would be okay. Watching the two intently, he tensed as a smile crossed Seth Thomas' face.
Good afternoon, Agent Montgomery. Seth smirked as he watched Alex's face turn crimson red.
Forcing herself to remain calm, she nodded and returned his stare. Seth.
Captain Rodriguez stepped back from the chair. Agents, your prisoner. I'll have some of my men accompany you to the airport. Have a safe trip. He turned and walked from the room.
Donald and Robert each took one of Seth's arms and lifted him from the chair. As they were turning to walk out the door, Seth looked at Alex once again, and laughing. Alex, I was so hoping you would be here for this. Too bad Conner can't be here with us.
Alex's hands clenched into fists. Desperately fighting the urge to hit Seth, she attempted to steel herself for the confrontation and turned toward him. Yes, it is, but I choose to believe that she knows I'm here, eager to take you to prison. Alex smirked as the smile faded from Seth's face. I wouldn't have missed this for the world, seeing you thrown in prison for the rest of your life.
Seth laughed and leaned forward against Donald and Robert's firm hold. Yes, but what makes it better for me, is knowing you'll be living in your own little hell right along with me.
Donald and Robert lost their grip on Seth's arm as Alex lunged at him, shoving him against the wall. With one hand around his neck, she pummeled his face with the other. You son of a bitch, I'll kill you
Donald grabbed Alex, pulling her off Seth as Robert restrained Seth. Wiping his bloody nose, Seth grinned. I think I've just become a victim of police brutality. He looked smugly at Donald. I'm filing charges.
Donald looked at Robert, then back to Alex before facing Seth. Damn, Seth, I don't know what you're talking about. I'm sorry the door hit you in the face. We'll try to be more careful from here on out, okay.
Taking the prisoner's other arm, Donald and Robert led Seth out of the room with Alex following along behind, struggling to regain her composure. Captain Rodriguez looked up when he heard them coming down the hallway and gave Donald a questioning look. You really need to work on that door, Captain Rodriguez.
A knowing smile crossed the Captain's face. Yes' Agent Fairfax, I'll see to it. It has been a problem in the past.
They said their good-byes and headed for the airport under the escort of Captain Rodriguez's officers. Donald finally relaxed as they settled in the plane and felt the wheels leave the ground. This trip had taken several unexpected twists and turns, but overall they had come away with more than they bargained for.
Alicia was contentedly sitting alone looking out the window, and Donald wondered to himself what she was feeling right now. This couldn't be easy for her, turning on her family. He made his way through the plane and took a seat beside her. You doing okay?
Alicia looked at Donald and gave him a sad smile. Yes, I'm fine. All of this seems a little surreal to me. Yesterday, I was frightened for my life, today I'm on my way to finding a new one. She turned towards Donald. I know you think my motives are skewed, but I do want to help. I've seen too many people hurt or killed by my father. It's time to put a stop to this evilness. I want to start my life anew and finally become the person I've only dreamed about.
Donald tilted his head and returned her smile. Well, you have that chance now, Alicia. What you do from here on out is completely your decision. I have a feeling that you're going to make the right ones and have that life you've always wanted. Donald stood looking down at the young woman. Get some rest. I'm afraid you have a long evening ahead of you.
Alex watched as Donald talked quietly to Alicia. They were sitting several rows ahead and she couldn't make out what was being said, but from the expression of each of their faces she knew is was a good conversation. A few minutes later Donald joined her. How's she doing?
Donald shrugged, She's fine. I'm sure she's confused and frightened, but I think she'll do the right thing and give us the information we need to nail this bastard once and for all. Donald turned to Alex. What about you? You doing okay?
Looking away, Alex felt a slow heat rise in her face. I'm sorry I lost it back there, Donald
I just wasn't expecting him to be so smug.
Placing his hand on Alex's arm he smiled. No problem. You couldn't help it if the door got stuck so let's not worry about it any more, okay?
Shaking her head, Alex gave Donald the first real smile he had seen all day. You got it. Oh, did you call Catherine and let her know we'll be late?
Nodding his head, Donald fought to contain the grin that was threatening to break across his face. Yes, I called. I told her we'd be tied up at the office for most of the night, but I'd get home as soon as I could. Donald stood then turned back to Alex. By the way, tomorrow we're having a barbecue, at your house to celebrate.
Alex looked up at Donald, surprised. My house?
Yep, your house. You have a beach, and the better grill. Catherine's making all the plans so just be there, ready to celebrate. Donald turned and walked towards the back of the plane before Alex could question him further. Finding an empty row, he stretched out between the seats, deciding to get in a short nap before they reached Jacksonville.
Alex sat and watched Donald walk away. He and Catherine had been beside her almost the entire time since Conner's murder. Smiling sadly she decided that a barbecue was the least she could do for them. Laying her head back, she closed her eyes, hoping that she could rest a little before arriving home and spending the next several hours at the office.
The plane arrived in Jacksonville a little after 9:00. The tarmac was crowded with police cars when they arrived, with Jack Peterson in the lead. There had been a few tense moments as Jack and Seth faced one another on the tarmac, but Jack had kept his cool and backed away from the prisoner, not wanting to do anything to jeopardize the case.
Seth was placed in an unmarked FBI car, and the group swiftly headed towards the jail. As Seth sat watching the landscape alongside I-95 speed past, he realized this would be one of the last times he would have the opportunity to see the outside world from beyond the armed walls of a prison.
He laid his head back against the vinyl seat and contemplated his situation. He could possibly make a deal, that was one option, but he knew it wouldn't keep him out of prison. Thinking about what he knew happened to cops in jail, he felt a rivulet of sweat run down his face. He had to think of something fast
The car came to a halt just outside the jail. The officer waited for the overhead doors to rise so he could pull into the prisoner bay. After a few minutes, a voice came over the radio telling him that the mechanical doors were stuck and they would have to bring their prisoner in through the side door. The officer rolled his window down when he saw Captain Peterson walking towards him. I don't like this, Captain.
Jack looked around and noticed the other officers had exited their respective cars waiting for his orders. I don't either, but we'll have to make it work. Raising his hand and waving two of his best officers over, Jack turned back towards the officer in the car. Okay, let's go.
From the back of the vehicle, Seth looked around. There were too may men around to try making an escape. He twisted his legs and rose from the car as one of the officers grasped his arm. Walking towards the side door, Seth felt his gut knot at the thought of what a future inside prison held for him. He knew it would take little time before he found himself beaten, raped and more than likely killed within the walls of this building.
Not allowing himself time to think, he jerked away from the officer. The only mistake they had made was allowing him the one courtesy of cuffing his hands in front. In the second it took for the officer to react, Seth had his gun and was now pointing it at the officer's head. You tell everyone to back off or I'll blow your brains out right here.
Alex stood motionless as Seth's eyes locked on hers. Montgomery, in the car.
Donald raised his hands to stop Alex, but Seth quickly turned the gun on him. I wouldn't do that if I were you, Fairfax. I'm outta here, and if I have to kill you or anyone else to accomplish that then so be it. It's you choice.
Alex glanced at Donald. It's okay. Take it easy. I'm going. Alex made her way to the car and sat in the drivers seat, looking at Seth Thomas for further instructions.
Move the car over here, Seth ordered.
Alex started the engine and backed up to get as close as she could to the men. Seth had ordered the officer he was holding hostage to unlock his cuffs and leg shackles. For a split second, Seth's attention was focused on his hands and not Alex. Using this to her advantage, Alex prayed the officer could react quickly enough. She jammed her hand on the horn at the same time she floored the gas petal. The officer jumped to the side just as the car descended upon them.
Seth's eyes widened in horror as he realized too late what Alex was doing. Before he could roll away, the car made contact, crushing his legs between the car and the wall. He looked up to see Alex sitting dazed behind the wheel. He had kept his grip on the gun and smiled as he raised the barrel towards the windshield. A grin crossed his face the instant he pulled the trigger.
Part Thirty of Storm Surge
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