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Sarah’s cell phone rang while Natasha buried her tear-streaked face into her father’s chest. Her body wracked with undulating waves of uncontrollable sobs.
Sarah ignored her and unzipped her black leather top enough to pull her phone out, answering it with relieved anticipation. She was agonizingly annoyed with standing around aimlessly while the fractured family was overcome by pathetic emotions. She had no use for them. Compassion, empathy and sadness were a waste of time that detracted from accomplishments. Sarah aggressively avoided vulnerability. Answering her phone, she breathed an internal sigh of satisfaction. Her stiletto boots struck the wooden floor with purpose as she walked to the kitchen. She brought her phone to her ear.
“Brian,” she said. “What’s going on?”
“We know where Haley is,” he answered. “Marcel was already doing an efficient search by the time we got to his house, and this time we did a lot more recon than last time.”
“How the fuck did we find her so quickly? It was a pain in the ass to find Natasha,” she shot back skeptically. “But we found her now.”
Her voice became analytical. “Two cops just came and returned her to Michael. They said that she escaped from wherever she was, and she doesn’t know where that is. She came up and knocked on one of their windows while they were sitting in a parking lot.”
Brian’s tone burst with surprise. “Holy shit! That’s lucky. Well at least we don’t have to look for her anymore.”
He continued“We did a quicker, more systematic search this time. Or maybe we got lucky. Or it could be both. Either way, we found the most likely place where she’s being held, and sent a few people to do some recon to make sure we weren’t being fucked around this time. They made sure they weren’t seen, so no one would know we’re coming. We’re gonna’ catch these motherfuckers with their pants down this time.”
Michael pulled away from his daughter, wanting to get an update of the situation. She was latched onto him like a leech, and he had to gently free himself from her. As he peeled Natasha off of his comforting body, he delicately wiped the tears from her face. His touch was so tentative that he barely made contact with her, fearing her fragility.
Sarah was ready as soon as she heard the news. “So what’s the plan then?” she asked with anticipation and focused predatory instinct. “Go in there stealthily, take them by surprise, and then slaughter everyone other than Michael’s wife?”
“Damn right,” Brian confidently answered, itching to satisfy his sadistic urges. “We’ll find Haley, kill the guys protecting her, and launch a full-scale assault.”
Michael had an unspoken exchange with Natasha. He looked into her eyes, and she nodded. He wrapped her tightly in his inviting arms, and then let go of her before standing up to stride over to Sarah.
“Where is she being held?” she questioned while her mentally reeling partner walked down the hallway to the kitchen.
“It’s an old abandoned building on the outskirts of town,” Brian answered, his tone cool and calculating. “Right in that lot where the old Sears building used to be.”
Sarah’s interest piqued. “Oh, that building? That’ll give us a huge strategic advantage. It seems like a dumb place to keep Haley,” she said critically, editing herself since Michael had stepped into the room. She would have said “that chick” if he hadn’t been there. Haley had no significance to her.
Michael heard Brian’s booming, gruff voice through her cell phone. “So we’re on our way to pick you guys up. Be ready to slaughter those motherfuckers,” he said with violent resolve.
Michael was excited. He longed to inflict unbearable suffering on the hit men who had caused his hardship. His even more saturating urge was to rescue his tormented wife from the unforgiving clutches of his dark world. But he was fully aware that he couldn’t go to save her while also ensuring his daughter’s continued safety. He had gone through so much to get her back that he felt phenomenally overprotective. He interrupted during a pause in the conversation.
“I don’t know how I can come with you guys,” he interjected regretfully. He was talking to Sarah, but aware that Brian could hear him. “You have no idea how much I want to, but I just finally got Natasha back, and I don’t trust anyone with her.”
Hearing Brian’s instruction, Sarah passed her phone to him.
“Michael, Marcel is coming to your house with his own personal guards to look after Natasha while you come with us to rescue Haley.”
“Whoa,” Michael reacted with incredulous satisfaction. “That’s fucking awesome. All right, then. See you guys when you get here,” he said, passing the cell phone back to Sarah.
He moved down the hallway and explained the situation to Natasha. Sarah copied his façade, finishing her conversation with Brian. She walked back to the living room and sat idly in an armchair to wait. Michael had his mind set on vengeance as he spoke in hushed, soothing tones to his daughter. When he was finished, they moved to the couch next to the armchair. All three of them awkwardly sat in silence until they heard a knock on the door.