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“What the fuck?!” Michael exclaimed in confusion, looking at his phone screen.
“What happened?” Ray asked.
The assassin turned to address his partners. “I think someone just fucking kidnapped Haley.”
He spoke quietly, shock winning the battle against anger. Devastation overwhelmed him.
“What are you gonna’ do?” Bill asked, expecting his partner to jump into furious action.
Michael did exactly that. He used rage to launch out of his depressed inertia, and onto a warpath.
“I’m gonna’ kill that motherfucker and anyone helping him!” he yelled indignantly. He felt like a bear about to snap off the head of someone who had invaded his territory. He authoritatively strode to the parked cars.
As Michael approached the Toyota, John ran up to him and blocked his path. He put his hands on his shoulders and made eye contact. “Wait. I know you wanna’ kill someone, and I get that, but just think about this for a minute.”
Michael stood impatiently, outrage boiling through every pore. His thoughts tunnelled into eradicating the people who hurt his wife. But his years of training kicked in, and he listened to the man in spite of his overwhelming desire for vengeance.
“Why?” He spat with hostility. “I don’t care what happens to me as long as I make sure Haley’s safe.”
He tried to step around John, but he moved with him, hindering Michael’s movement.
“Because it could be a trap Michael. Why else would they do things the way they just did?” his partner answered, trying to calm him down and make him see reason.
“I don’t care,” Michael said defiantly, shoving John’s hands off of his shoulders and sidestepping him. He opened the driver’s door of the car and looked inside, then popped his head back out.
“Give me the key,” he commanded, swivelling around and extending his hand.
John conceded, tossing a cluster of keys to him. “All right, but I’m coming with you,” he said, strolling to the passenger side of the vehicle.
Brian called out to him. “Text me your position when you get back on the right highway,” his baritone voice requested with nonchalant power. “We’ll take care of this mess and catch up to you guys.”
“All right,” John agreed, resting one hand on the roof and the other on his door as Michael got into the car. “Make sure you don’t leave any evidence.”
“Of course,” Brian assured him.
John stepped into the Toyota. Michael turned it around and launched down the road, tires squealing as he redlined the engine. Smoke saturated the air while the vehicle peeled off like a bullet bursting from the hot barrel of a gun.