1 The Scent of Success By Kerry Drabing Introduction; Imagine, you are standing in front of your dressing mirror preparing

to attend an important business function. As you gaze at your reflection, the possibilities of manipulating every mind and emotion at the gathering, flood through your thoughts like fire flies flashing in the dark. Your eyes are drawn to several bottles of perfumes lined up neatly across the dresser surface. Each one has a specific purpose and is labeled accordingly and you consider your choice with much care. After grasping the decidedly correct bottle, you dash a moderate amount on the bare skin of your neck and leave for the appointment. As you enter the corporate building, every person within the aromatic vicinity of your scent is obviously changing their emotional demeanor toward you. Their eyes are immediately drawn to the source of the demanding fragrance that has invaded their sense of smell. At first you notice the casual recognition of your presence by the onlookers, but as the seconds tick past, their glances turn to steady gazes and eventually to complete infatuated stares of passion. All of this attention is concentrated directly at you! Ah, the satisfaction of knowing that every affected person is at your beck and call for anything you want them to do! You have absolute control over every mind and emotion surrounding you, where ever you go! At this moment you can make anyone do anything you desire and just what would that be? However, before these extraordinary fragrances can be available to you or anyone, the scientists developing these scents must endure extreme conditions and situations in their quest to discover these incredibly powerful aromas. This is the story of twin brothers and several characters involved in this intensely dramatic, comical and sexually fueled tale of fragrance induced emotional manipulation. Prologue; (Seven years earlier.) Jack Stanford was certain he was only minutes away from being sexually pursued by an intelligent, attractive twenty seven year old woman that worked in marketing research on the sixth floor of his building. Jack was in his mid thirties, fairly buff with good looks and a ferocious business appetite. He was waiting in a room down in a lower underground floor, just above the loading docks where the cases of bottled perfumes and colognes were being shipped out by truck. The bottles were to be distributed all over the world to cosmetic counters in every store that sold fragrance related items. The unsuspecting woman from marketing was to be sent by his brother, Bill Stanford, to meet with Jack for an undefined reason. Jack was peeking through the crack of the slightly open door with sweaty palms and his heart pounded hard from excitement. He finally heard the distinct clack of high heels coming down the isolated hallway and knew the lust cologne experiment was about to begin. After spraying himself with a moderate shot of the mist, he waited a few beats and eased the door completely open meeting the woman face to face. Since this was the first out of lab scent trial, Jack was wondering how immediate and potent the effect would be as he said, “High there, Nadine!”

2 She was startled and jumped back bringing her hand over her hear heart saying, “Oh, you scared me! Mr. Stanford.” “I’m so sorry, Nadine! Why don’t you just call me Jack?” He replied while watching her for any obvious reactions to the aroma floating around him. Mr. Stanford, or I mean, uh, Jack! What is that smell? It smells like, like, Oh, Jack! I feel so, so connected to you! What - is, that smell? Jack could see the apparent change in Nadine’s emotional state and just as he was opening his mouth to ask how she felt, her lips were pressed to his and they fell into a deep, highly passionate kiss. Jack mentally debated on how to proceed as the kiss lingered for almost a full minute. It was becoming more difficult to hold back his natural sexual desires, even though the cologne was allowing him to take advantage of this attractive woman. He decided to break the kiss and abort the whole encounter as devastating criminal charges of date rape flashed through his mind. Jack pulled back holding up both hands, palm out, trying to deliver a believable reason for excusing himself, but Nadine already had other plans. She took over the situation by leaning toward Jack, forcing him backward, through the open door and into the small room. Jack noticed a confident and lustful expression filling Nadine’s face as she closed and locked the solid metal door behind her. She crossed the empty space between them in a single lunge and reignited the heated kiss while grinding her hips against Jack’s awakening manhood. He felt his mind and body giving in to her seductive persuasion as he shamefully responded with pleasure to her sexual advancements. Bill was waiting impatiently at the stairway landing that led from the lower docks to the elevators. He positioned himself here to meet Jack immediately following the experiment but he encountered Nadine instead. She walked up the darkened hall and as she climbed the first floor of stairs Bill noticed her hair was out of place, her clothing was wrinkled and she seemed not to care. When she spotted Bill she said with a satisfied smile, “Hi Mr. Stanford! How are you this afternoon?” She passed him on the landing and made her way to the elevators without giving him a chance to respond. Soon after Nadine was hidden by the closing doors of the elevator, Jack came walking into view and Bill quickly jogged to meet him in the hallway. Bill excitedly asked, “How did it go?” Jack’s hair was standing up all over, his shirt was inside out and he stood with tie in hand as he said with a grin, “Better than I had ever dreamed possible!” Jack described the encounter in detail and Bill listened intently as they eagerly walked back toward Jack‘s office to make plans for the new scent they would test on their next human subject. Chapter 1. The rays of light were blinding as the sun was rising on a cool clear morning within the outskirts of Nashville Tennessee. The glistening dew drops reflected prisms of colorful rainbows across the entire lush green valley. A brand new day was dawning on the massive walls of concrete and steel that formed a skyscraper which jousted high above

3 the trees. It’s completely covered with mirrored glass and glossy stainless steel beams which housed the corporate headquarters of Exotic Scents, a world giant in producing the markets finest and most luxurious colognes, perfumes and fragrances. Every morning Jack Stanford drove up the asphalt road that made its curvy path through the tall oaks and rolling pastures into a flat sea of pavement and parked cars. His reserved space was only a few steps away from the secure executive entrance to the goliath building that he helped design and furnish. As he stepped out of his Porsche, he realized the blinding reflection from the surface of his work place always struck him directly in the face at the start of each sunny day. “I never should have put the main entrance on the sunny side of this fucking building!” He muttered as he finished closing the car door with a slam! He climbed the four steps to approach the digitally locked double glass doors located between the winding sidewalks that wrapped around the building from both sides. He raised his sunglasses and slid them to perch atop his head as his other hand was reaching into his left shirt pocket to retrieve his key card. His attention was directed to a thin, timid looking man coming out of the same entrance. It was his twin brother Bill Stanford. “What’s this, burning the midnight oil?” Jack asked. Bill leaned his head foreword with a stern, tired look and replied “I’ve tried everything and the formula just won’t adapt to the test samples!” Jack looked around with pissed off body language as he said, “Keep your voice down, damn it! I don’t want anyone to hear you! Now let’s go back inside and you can tell me in private.” “Alright, alright don’t blow a gasket” Bill said as he held the door open for his brother to pass by and enter the building. They quickly walked across the marble floor with the clacking of their shoes echoing throughout the lobby. They glanced at each other as they passed several employees who were trying ever so graciously to continue about their business without being noticed by the powerful twins. Jack is currently single and is almost six foot tall with a regular but muscular shaped and well toned body. He has the looks for success and the intelligence to make it happen, plus he can be down right ruthless in getting what he wants. Bill, on the other hand, is five foot six inches tall and skinny with no muscle tone. He is not ugly but not exactly what the women go for. He is also single and extremely afraid of Jack, so he is quiet and leans toward honesty with no conflicts. Jack likes having Bill involved in his life because they are brothers, but more importantly because Jack knows Bill is intimidated by him and always has been. Plus there’s nothing better than having a completely trustworthy partner. Bill has always depended on his brother Jack to get things done and have everything lined out, so Bill was always informed after a situation was already in motion. Jack believes they are a perfect duo for a partnership, but he may be mistaken. Jack and Bill were referred to in private circles as the dynamic duo by almost everyone in the building because of the past record they had acquired by supplying the company with the most popular and top secret fragrance formulas in the world. The competition companies were never able to crack the twin’s formula code and this became a powerful

4 tool Jack used as leverage against the stockholders and executives to achieve his ulterior agendas at Exotic Scents. The company had recruited both of them straight out of Harvard when they received their master’s degrees in bio chemistry and chemistry. The duos had been scooped up at the green age of twenty four and were now approaching a healthy and prosperous thirty five. Jack had always been the more ambitious and intuitive of the two, so the company had obliged his stipulation of only being able to employ him, if he and Bill were hired as a team. After only three years as head chemist’s, the twins had gained the confidence and trust of the brass wheels within the company by gaining Exotic Scents the highest sales in the world market. It was this industry dominance that prompted the financial appropriations to erect this new skyscraper, tower of power, that Jack and Bill held in their complete control. The entire complex was within Jacks specific designs for construction to fulfill his desire for an unequivocal superior lab and security system. In the last several years the twins were free to become educated in several other fields of bio metrics and gene DNA studies, so subsequently their secret expertise and experiments became more medically based and this was known only by the two of them. Jack had foreseen the probable need for a secret lab seven years ago when he was allowed to design the current monstrous conglomerate center for business and research. As the twins proceeded with their new secret research, they had accidentally stumbled on new aspects for manipulating and enhancing certain abilities of the human mind and body through gene DNA alterations. For the past several months they had been trying to produce a successful experiment on external strands of DNA other than strands of themselves but they could not break the barrier outside their own gene pool. Jack had broken the secret to holding the fragrance superiority by producing a new chemical agent that would instantly and automatically change its chemical make up to blend perfectly with the sweat and oils secreted from any human skin it came into contact with. The scents would only begin chemically altering their compositions after contact with the wearer’s skin and subsequently changing other bystander’s emotions. The wearer of the scent was immune to the effects due to their skin scent composition being the catalyst, so the effects were neutral for the wearer. Jack had dissected this process down to the last human emotion. In layman’s terms - you could induce any change in emotional response that you desired from another human being just by changing the fragrance you wore in their presence. Only Jack and Bill knew this was how the fragrances at Exotic Scents worked and Jack had made sure the potency was always just strong enough to keep the company in the front running for sales without raising suspicion. The extended experiments of this fragrance chemical enhancement led to the breakthrough of where the gene DNA itself was altered to induce these same emotional responses in other humans who came within close proximity! Once again in layman’s terms, the person who had the altered DNA could mentally cause their body secretion scents to modify and subsequently change the emotion of any person within a certain distance without the use of perfume. But the experiments were only successful within Jack and Bill’s DNA pool. That is where the project had been at a stand still because they just could not alter anybody else’s DNA with desired results. Jack knew that a Pulitzer Prize would be due and they would receive the Scientist of the Year Award if he and his brother should ever go public with their discovery but that may

5 not serve as well as keeping this chemist’s dream under wraps. That’s why Jack would get so upset when Bill would speak aloud about private testing results in public. Jack was frequently aggravated because Bill’s personality had always led toward honesty and he also desired the public eye for attention from being in Jacks shadow. Bill was slightly resentful of his brother for many reasons but not because of intelligence or looks but more for the demeaning way Jack would belittle him, especially in public. Jack knew very well how sensitive his brother was, so there was a little mistrust beginning to form between the corporate dynamic duo. Seven years ago when Jack had first discovered the formula for the emotion altering perfumes, he started conducting experiments with many different scents and the emotional test subject results were logged and categorized separately. This eventually led to the current exclusive line of Exotic Scents perfumes and colognes on the market today. Jack had produced many scents that could not be used commercially because of their unique attributes. There are eight total separate categories that Jack had refined to induce the following emotions; love, lust, pity, sorrow, confusion, fear, anger and rage. He only allowed the love and lust to be involved in the company’s line of scents and with only a low concentration as not to arouse suspicion but yet get the desired results and subsequent sales. The company commercial perfume lines are lust enhanced perfumes and colognes for men and women to get the opposite sex to attract with just a hint of love inserted to make the attraction a little stronger than anything else on the market. He found that some strengths of different combinations would work well together but certain other combinations and strengths either cancelled each other out or caused extreme results. The twins also developed a line of fragrances for the gay community, which was actually the regular Exotic Scents line, but slightly altered and marketed in a reverse format. Chapter 2. Jack had invited Bill to attend a boxing match at the coliseum. Bill was not much of a sports fan and wondered why the invite? Jack had explained that he just needed to see a particular boxer in action to determine if he would be acceptable for an experiment and wanted Bill’s opinion. Bill knew better than this. Jack didn’t give a fuck about what he thought, he only wanted Bill to help keep the ball in motion once he had started a cluster fuck. So Bill was apprehensive about the whole sports outing and was constantly looking for anything out of the ordinary, but since this whole boxing and sports outing was so foreign to Bill, everything seemed to be out of the ordinary. After the warm up fight, the main event was about to start and Jack said to Bill, “Keep your eye on the boxer in the blue trunks.” “Why? Is he the right one for another experiment?” Bill asked. “Well, it’s a little late for deciding weather he is the “right” one or not” Jack said with a chuckle. “Aw fuck, I can tell you’ve already got this poor bastard screwed and buried up to his neck in shit, don’t you?” Bill said. “Well, it’s not just him I would worry about if I were you!” Jack replied with another chuckle.

6 Bill sat in his seat trying not to look at the ring but he knew he had to peek, just to see exactly what his brother had done, “and what did Jack mean by “not just worrying about the boxer in the blue trunks?” Was he getting someone else involved? Was it him? Oh, I can’t take much more of this shit!” Bill thought to him self. Then Jack leaned over and whispered into Bills ear saying, “In the beginning of the fourth round, the coach of the boxer in the blue trunks is going to rub the boxers back with a red towel and after that keep your eyes on the ring!” Just as Jack had predicted, the coach started rubbing the blue boxers back with a red towel at the beginning of the fourth round. In a few seconds the boxer in the green trunks started to get more and more aggressive. He finally started to swing wildly and kick at the boxer in blue. The boxer in blue saw what was coming and in three punches he had knocked the boxer in green out cold. But when the referee went to grab the blue boxer’s hand and hold it up in a sign of victory, something happened to the referee and he started swinging violently at the boxer in blue. After a few seconds of the blue boxer holding the referee off with some well placed jabs, so as not to hurt him, the coach and corner man of the blue boxer were in the ring to help hold the referee back. As the coach approached the blue boxer he too started swinging at him and by now the whole audience in the coliseum was on its feet with sounds of disbelief and dismay! Bill glanced over at Jack and he was still sitting down while everyone else around was on their feet looking confused. Jack just held his hands out in a “don’t ask me” gesture and Bill knew at once that Jack was behind this whole incident. Jack finally stood up to see what was happening and the blue boxer had knocked out the referee, the coach and the corner man while more people were getting into the ring. Within a minute the boxer in blue was fighting six, no seven, no eight men at one time and more were still getting into the ring. Finally a whole mob of men got the blue boxer down and they began to beat him until he was no longer fighting back. Then Bill noticed that the mob just kept on beating and kicking him until all you could see was a messy blur of red blood, staining the whole corner of the ring. The lights on the ring went dark and everyone could still see the silhouettes of the men pounding on the immobile boxer. Then the whole arena went dark and the announcer said, “Everyone please calm down and be seated and we will turn the lights back on shortly.” After a few seconds, the whole crowd quieted to a silence and everyone was seated. The sounds of fists and shoes beating on the lifeless body continued to flow through the dark building. Eventually the pounding sounds ceased and the lights came on. The ring was empty and there was a tarp covering the bloody mess where the boxer had last been getting slaughtered by the mob. There were several men wearing gas masks and they were separating the men involved in the beating. Two more men with masks were carrying a body out through the athlete’s exit tunnel. The motionless body on the stretcher was covered with a white sheet that was quickly becoming saturated with large splotches of crimson red blood stains. Bill then said, “You are the fucking devil, aren’t you? I can’t be a part of this shit any more!” Just then two large men grabbed Bill and began to escort him out of the building. Jack walked along side his brother saying, “Keep your mouth shut until we get into the limo!”

7 Bill wanted to scream and yell that he and his brother were behind this atrocity, this murder, yea that’s exactly what it is; it’s a fucking plain and simple murder! But Bill knew better than to protest and if he said anything out loud he would probably get silenced by the two gorillas that were escorting him. Then Jack would have him committed to an asylum with a public announcement stating; “My brother was extremely stressed from work and he finally just cracked!” Bill suppressed voicing his thoughts of retaliation against his brother until they were alone in the limo. Once they were alone Bill said, “You just murdered that man, it wasn’t an accident and you might as well have shot him in the head yourself, you’re a fucking asshole!” Jack gave Bill a stern look and calmly replied “We have just learned a very important lesson on another scent, that’s all.” Bill looked at Jack with a disgusted expression and said, “You had the guy with the red towel put the “rage” scent on that poor fucking boxer and in no time the whole crowd around him wanted to kill him! It’s fucking murder Jack! MURDER! I should go public and confess that we are responsible for this!” Jack grabbed Bill by the neck and shoved his head against the car window with a thud and said, “Alright, enough already. I honestly didn’t mean for it to get so far out of hand and I promise not to endanger anyone ever again! But if you tell a soul about our involvement in this incident or about the effects of the scents, you will be sorry!” Jack let go of Bill shoving his head with a “bang” against the window glass one last time. Jack then reached down and picked up his brief case retrieving the file marked “Rage” and began to quickly jot down notes. Bill watched as his brother continued to write in the pages of the file with interest and focused intent, and Bill finally said, “Is that all you care about is documenting these damned scent experiments in your sick little psychopathic files?” The pen in Jacks fingers kept on scribbling out his notes as he replied, “I have to write down what I saw and what I felt before I lose a single second of what I remember so my notes are defined in detail, just so I don’t have to repeat an experiment. You don’t want me to repeat these experiments do you Bill?” Bill just sat absolutely still as he looked out the window at the dark shadows cast by the large oak trees while the limo was making its way up the winding drive toward the glass and steel building that was quickly becoming his second home. Chapter 3. Jack had convinced Bill to be the next experiment guinea pig with much resistance as Bill was practically afraid of direct contact with women. Jack confidently reassured Bill that he now had a specific understanding of the lust test fragrance and Bill finally agreed to give it a try as his desire for female attention could be realized with Jack’s new plan. Bill reluctantly went in undercover at a male strip show in the downtown area. The bar was huge and had pounding dance music blaring from all corners of the room. There must have been several hundred sexually heightened women cheering and screaming at the stage as the first stripper began to do his routine. Back stage, Bill was looking for a discrete place to hide and spray on a moderate amount of the female lust inducing scent

8 just before he was to go on stage. When the second performer was mid way through his act, Bill was informed that he was to be the fourth male stripper to perform. As Bill was turning around to find a location to secretly administer his lust generating cologne, the third stripper bumped into him and a small amount of the scent was accidentally sprayed onto the unsuspecting man. Neither of them noticed this and they both apologized to each other and went their separate ways. Bill found a small dressing area with a curtain that doubled as a door and he slipped inside and awaited his turn on stage. As he sat on the stool in his semi secluded spot, he was trembling from stage freight and anxiety. At this moment the roar of the aroused women rose so loud that it almost drown out the music as the third stripper made his way on stage. The lust cologne aroma from the accidental spill was floating off this performer. It was faint but the women closest to the stage were in proximity for the vapors to affect them. As he started to dance around and shake his package in the tight thong toward the front row, the women directly in front of him were noticeably becoming more turned on than their neighbors. The closest women began to reach out and grab at the bulging package being flaunted in their faces. The club had a no touch policy and the bouncers were able to keep the front line of women under control at first. When the girls realized that they couldn’t get to the dancer they began to undress from the waist up with each one hoping to catch his attention and by now the dancer was really getting into his routine and fully believing he was god’s gift to women, when in actuality it was the lust scent to be credited. All seven of the club bouncers were in attendance at the stage holding back two or more girls each and the numbers were climbing fast against them. After several more minutes of this battle at the stage, the third dancers routine had ended and he exited the stage. This caused the largest portion of the crowd, further back around the room, to become more docile but the girls up front were still in a slight sexual frenzy. As the bouncers were preoccupied and basically overcome trying to contain several girls each, the excited girls that were free of constraint noticed the dancer had left the stage and they turned their sexual appetite toward the bouncers. The snaps and buttons on several of the battling men’s jeans began to come undone and the low pulling on their pant legs made the zippers and pants fall downward to the ground in one swift motion. The women were first come first serve and in the beginning they took quick turns licking and sucking these big men’s packages in a fast switching flurry from one girl to the next. Pretty soon the smooth changing of different female heads bobbing in turn became more of a pushing and shoving on each other to gain longer access to the meat. The frenzy was not obvious to many women farther back in the crowd and the closer a woman was to the action the more her decisive judgment was impaired by the lust fragrance aroma. The bouncers knew that if this went on they could lose their jobs and possibly even face criminal charges, but when women are fighting to suck your cock, what’s a man to do? The men were being fondled and half ass fighting back for control and it was Bill’s turn to get on stage. When Bill learned he had one minute before show time, he waited several seconds and then sprayed himself with a moderate dose of the lust scent and headed for the stage. Bill had no idea that the previous dancer had unintentionally sparked a frenzy and he was in for surprise.

9 As Bill walked to center stage, he was amazed by what he saw happening down on the floor and all across the front rows of people. The women were pretty much having their way with the bouncers and some of the girls were completely naked and having intercourse with the men. He saw other bouncers receiving oral sex from two and three women at a time and these girls were fighting for position on the men’s packages. He saw other guys hammering away at full penetration sex and the girls just couldn’t seem to be fully satisfied. When Bill’s new dose of additional aroma hit the front of the stage, the frenzy was enhanced with double its intensity. Bill had given himself a good moderate spray of the sex juice and the vapors filled the whole front half of the bar within a couple of minutes. Soon after Bill began to gyrate his groin, the fuck was on! Bill was assaulted by three petite girls, who quickly got up on the stage and they had his little Speedo shredded in seconds! He was pulled down to the hard glossy surface of the stage and as one girl began to lick and kiss his lips and mouth and another had his hardening member rubbing between her lips as she bobbed forcefully up and down giving him a full erection within seconds. A third girl was also licking and sucking his package and inner thighs as a few more girls made their way to the spotlighted orgy. The bouncers were of no help to Bill because if they weren’t fucking or involved in one sexual act or another, they were swamped and being molested by the ever growing number of affected girls. This new round of aroma had progressed the scene into a total sexual free for all! Bill was scared for his life, he just knew these women were going to tear him apart, but the sound of the music kept pumping in the background and the saliva these women were releasing all over his body was making him more aroused. One woman had sat her naked ass down on Bills face burring his mouth and nose into her moist crotch while grinding back and forth. Soon there were several more girls up on the stage having their way with Bill’s body and he noticed two girls, one on each foot, sucking and licking his toes and several more were lifting him a few feet off of the floor. Almost every space around his entire body had a female set of lips caressing, kissing and licking his skin. This is when Bill decided to just give in and enjoy the sex because so far he was not being hurt in any way! As the tongues probed every nook and cranny of his body he couldn’t help but remember his brother’s earlier sexual experience caused by this fragrance and he laughed hysterically out loud. Just then tongues began probing his mouth and all of his sensitive spots and he felt a warm, wet tongue flicking and teasing his inner crotch area. Just when the tip of this tongue entered a small fraction of the way into him, the deep root of his groin felt that unmistakable urge building up for ejaculation. He tried to hold it back by thinking about anything that would reverse this feeling or stop him from coming, but it was too late because the inevitable fountain that was just seconds away! When he started to pump hot release into the mouth that was working on him at the time, her mouth pulled harder and harder and it felt like total ecstasy to Bill as she literally drew the juice from deep inside him! Oh, he was spent in a glorious release of sexual ecstasy! As he regained alertness, he realized his body was still being molested and he was in over sensitive agony but the girls were still going at him like he was covered in chocolate. He was squirming and fidgeting trying to get his member to a neutral position but there were so many hands on him that he couldn’t move any of his limbs freely and his penis was going from the deep sucking sensations of one mouth to another. Just when

10 he was about to have a claustrophobic panic attack, his cock regained substance and it was beginning to get hard again and his sexual ecstasy ordeal repeated over again! Since Jack had set up this fiasco and even had it video taped, he eventually called in enough guys to assist the bouncers in shutting down the party and rescue Bill. Later on that same evening the twins discussed the results of their latest public test. “What a night!” Bill said with an ear to ear smile beaming on his face. “Yea, you really are quite the ladies man aren’t you?” Jack said with a cynical smirk. They both knew that Bill was only the star piece of meat because of the lust cologne, but it still caused both of them to smile, even though it was for very different reasons. Bill was really sexually satisfied and drained, but Jack knew even though he wanted to repeat his brother’s sex orgy, his real delight was in knowing that he controlled the power of these scents they had created. “You do realize that we will have to further our experiments to explore the possibilities and full potential of the new scents?” Jack said. “What more proof do you need?” asked Bill. “We need to experiment with the whole spectrum of the emotional scent possibilities to know everything from the slight all the way to the extreme! On all of them!” said Jack with childlike enthusiasm. “We are going to need an arsenal of help if any one of these experiments gets out of control.” Bill replied in a cautious and fearful tone. “Don’t worry, I’ve got it all figured out” Jack said as he closed the “Lust” folder and put it away. Chapter 4. The night time security lights of the building and parking lot reminded Bill of a small city in the distance as they approached the Exotic Scents complex. The night was quiet when the limo pulled up as close to the entrance as possible and the light squeaking of the brakes echoed across the flat concrete only to be reflected off the smooth mirrored surface of the building back out into the dew misted valley. As Bill got out of the limo, he saw a moving set of vehicle lights climbing the south hill of the company property, where only an off road vehicle could possibly be. He immediately said, “Jack! Look to your left! Up on the hill top! It’s a four wheel drive! Jack abruptly turned his head to the left and squinted to try and block out the glare of the security lights to get a better view of the escaping vehicle. Jack quickly started blurting out orders. He told the limo driver to drive back out to the highway and try to head off the intruder around the far side of the hill in the neighboring valley. He then told Bill to go inside the facility and check for any signs of a breach in the secure areas. As he was barking out orders he was dialing his cell phone and the line was ringing. A man answered on the other end and Jack said, “Dan, this is Jack. Get the chopper air born as fast as you can and head to the complex!” Jack explained the situation to the helicopter pilot as the bird was prepped for take off and then in route. As Jack was finishing his conversation on the cell phone, the double glass doors to the entrance of the building burst open, it was Bill coming back outside. “Jack! We’ve got a problem!” Bill said with a concerned look on his face.

11 Jack flew up the steps and followed Bill, and as they ran toward the elevator Bill explained that the medium security portion of the lab had been breached and he thought one of the finalized secret scent vials was missing! They reached the door that had the digital code lock mounted on the wall as this was the main entrance to the company labs for fragrances and colognes. Bill entered the code numbers and the door unlocked. The twins walked down the short security corridor, through the metal and sensor detectors, into the main company lab. Then Bill said, “I’ve already looked around and someone has taken a vial that was in one of the company temporary holding cabinets!” Jack looked inside and saw that all of the vials were gone and the shelves were empty and said, “So what, all they got was some fucking bottles of perfume, what’s the red alert?” Bill pointed to one of the empty shelves and said, “There was one bottle in here, it was full potency vial of the “Crybaby” scent!” Jack stared at the cabinet with a questioned look on his face and replied, “This is the company lab and this is one of the holding cabinets for company perfumes and colognes. Why would there be one of our private stock items in here?” Bill quickly closed the glass door to the cabinet and began to slowly back away from his twin. In a micro second Jack could tell by the fearful look on Bill’s face that the problem was much more serious than he previously had thought. Bill said, “I was in a hurry to meet you for the boxing match and I set the vial in here until we got back. I had finished the molecular composite on the “Crybaby” scent and I was going to give that finalized vial to you for your evaluation.” By now Jack was biting his lips and rubbing his forehead trying to keep his temper under control. He finally said, “You put a high potency vial of one of our private scents in this easy access cabinet and it just happened to be among the vials that the fucking thief grabbed? Bill looked like he was playing the earlier events about the vial back in his head and he suddenly got a look of excitement and relief flushing over his face and he said, “I made sure it was in an a company vial so it would look exactly like the rest of the vials in there! So it was just dumb luck that the thief grabbed that particular one, right?” Jack thought about this for a few seconds and half thinking out loud he said, “If a dumb ass thief did this then why only take one cabinet full of vials, why not make it worth his time and effort and clean them all out? Or, how would anyone but you know which cabinet to empty? Who has access to this room and who would have enough knowledge to tell if one the vials were different in any way?” Bill’s eyes started to blink quickly and Jack could see the wheels of his mind were in overdrive. Just as Bill was beginning to say something, Jack’s cell phone rang and he looked at the caller ID and held one finger up toward Bill then answered the phone. “Yes Chief what can I do for you?” Jack asked. The Chief replied, “No Jack it’s what I can do for you! Your helicopter pilot just called and gave me a location to be interested in and your limo driver has given me a license plate number to run through the system. So get out your checkbook because this one is really going to cost you!”

12 Jack knew this must be big news for Chief Brown to call so late and to want more money than he was already receiving, to keep things smooth for the twins in their out of lab experiments. So Jack agreed to meet the Chief at a mini mart on the north end of town. “Come on Bill its show time” Jack said as the two of them locked up the lab and headed for Jacks Porsche. Police Chief Franklin Brown had been in control of the metro Nashville Police Department for the last six years, he’s a forty nine year old self made black man who is well liked by friends, neighbors and the general public. Jack had befriended the Chief after an earlier incident when Jack was called into the police station to straighten out an altercation between two employees of Exotic Scents. Jack and Bill had privately hired two dock workers for special jobs in the early years of sent experimentation. Somewhere around midnight the workers were at a bar and were fighting over the cash payment they had received from Jack for work they had done earlier that evening. The bar tender called the police to resolve the situation and the men were arrested for public intoxication and damaging the bar. When in custody, they informed the officers to contact Jack Stanford to bail them out. When the officers learned of who Jack was, they called in the Chief to decide what to do. This is the late night incident that introduced Jack and the Chief and neither of them were very happy to meet at such a late hour. Jack privately resolved the situation with the Chief and they both left the police station with an understanding that each would benefit the other in any situation necessary, for mutual benefit, of course! Jack and Bill attended several of the Chief’s private family gatherings such as barbecues and certain holidays. Sometimes Jack would obtain information or make secret payments at these gatherings. Chief Brown has a beautiful wife and two fine children that he keeps separated from his career and he tries avoiding the negative public spotlight to protect his family. The two men lead very different lives so they were not exactly the best of friends but a social connection between them needed to be established. The Chief was a large man in a comfortable and relaxed way. He is six foot four inches tall and weighs two hundred and forty seven pounds with an off duty personality of an easy going comedian. On the job he is intelligent, educated and can perceive plans of action well into a situation to assist Jack and Bill with their experiments. Chief Brown has no idea of exactly what the twins are involved in but for the right price he will help deal with the after effects and assist them with the public and political fallout. Many of the police department employees were suspicious of the Chief and Jack’s relationship but no evidence of wrong doing had ever been discovered and no body knew the real truth. When they arrived at the mini mart the Chief was in plain clothes and standing with a cup of coffee in his hand while leaning against his unmarked car in the parking lot. Jack told Bill to stay in the Porsche and he got out and walked over to the Chief and asked, “Alright, what’s the reason for the sudden meeting Chief?” “Well, it’s like this,” The chief took a drink of his coffee and made a facial gesture as though he had just swallowed cold mud and continued, “Two of my officers have a fucked up situation in that little shit hole bar over there on the corner.” Then Jack asked, “What’s it got to do with me?” The Chief lowered his head and looked at Jack over the top of his glasses and replied, “I have one officer holding the front door closed and another officer around back doing

13 the same thing. They are trying to keep all of the screwed up people locked inside and there is no other way out, so these emotional bastards are stuck in there and I don’t want them getting out until something is arranged. I got a call from your helicopter pilot friend Dan and he was real interested in a four wheel drive vehicle that your limo driver got the license plate number from. The vehicle in question is in the parking lot right over there. Now you tell me just what all of this midnight shit has to do with you, Jack?” Jack peered at the bar across the street then gave a disappointed sneer at his brother sitting in the car and then turned back to face the Chief and asked, “What exactly is wrong with the people in the bar?” “Well, I don’t know how to explain it, hell, I don’t know if anyone can explain it. Just go around to the back of the bar and the officer will tell you what he thinks is going on.” The Chief pointed to the alley as he talked into his hand held police radio informing the alley officer that Jack was on his way. “Oh, by the way Jack, I’ll need that extra cash by tomorrow afternoon!” The Chief said. Jack nodded his head in agreement and flailed his hands in the air to show his “no big deal” gesture. Jack then motioned for Bill to follow him and they crossed the street to the alley and soon they could see the uniformed cop standing at the rear entrance to the bar. They could hear several people crying and moans of sad depression coming from within the walls of the building. The officer said, “I don’t know what kind of pills these people are on but they need to stay the fuck away from them! Listen to the poor bastards; they all sound like their mourning the dead!” Jack asked the officer if there was any way to get a good look inside and the cop told them to go up the fire escape one floor to a back door and inside there was a second story window looking down into the bar. As they opened the door, the moans got substantially louder and as they approached the thin glass window the cries of depression became almost unbearable. Jack rubbed the dust off of the glass and could not believe what he saw down in the bar. There must have been thirty people all around the place crying and sobbing into paper towels and tissues or whatever they could find. It was pathetic; every soul in the place could hardly move from the emotional drain they were experiencing. The bartender was so upset and depressed he was dropping glasses and bottles of alcohol while trying to give out drinks. The customers at the bar were sobbing so hard that their bodies were actually jerking up and down from the intense crying. However, one customer wasn’t crying at all and he was desperately trying to find a way out of the sorrow stricken bar. As Jack and Bill watched from above, Jack said, “This one’s your fault brother! Somehow the sorrow scent in the “Crybaby” vial has found its way here and it’s been released! So now these tear jerking fuckers are stuck in there with the moron that’s wearing it and now he’s running around looking for an escape from this depressing shit hole!” Jack could swear that he saw a giggle or two come from Bill as they watched the poor fuckers dropping tears like rain. Jack called in the gas mask crew and they grabbed the culprit from the bereaved bar and took him to the secret lab before the Exotic Scents building was flooded with morning workers. They found the vial on him and it had quite a bit of fluid missing from

14 it. The gas mask crew hosed the thief down and scrubbed his naked body with poles sprouting stiff brushes, lathered with strong ammonia and detergents. After the scrub down, the blistered, red skinned thief was not talking and Jack was simply waiting for more information about this perfume thief to be forwarded from Chief Brown. Jack said to Bill, “We need a fucking scent that works as a truth serum. Or at least something close to that! That would sure come in handy now and give us the ultimate edge on every thing!” Bill pondered this idea for a moment and decided that Jack didn’t need another emotion to power fuck the world with! Besides, truth isn’t an emotion! Or is it? The twins got the information on the burglar from the Chief and decided to take along a little muscle to use as a “truth serum” to interrogate Mr. sticky fingers. Jack and Bill entered the company lab and as they were walking to Jacks office, he told Bill to keep in mind that someone in this lab was a fucking rat and it needed to be exterminated! Bill’s eyebrows jumped up and he felt like this whole incident was his fault but he honestly didn’t know who the rat was. Inside Jacks office there was a hidden door behind the wall of mirrors in the huge bathroom that led down to the secret lab. There were two other unknown entrances to this secret lab, one at the loading docks and the other at a secluded building, half a mile away out on the main road. There is a tunnel large enough for a semi truck to pass through connecting the two buildings. Along the large tunnel were several huge storage warehouse size rooms and their little burglar friend was being held there. As the twins entered the interrogation room, Jack saw the muscle man that had been brought along for physical support during the questioning. His name is Hans and his arms were crossed and he looked mean, confident and ready for action. Hans Striker had been employed at Exotic Scents for three years and was initially hired as a maintenance worker but recently had graduated to being a private henchman for the toxic twins. Hans is six foot seven, twenty nine years old, built like a house and loyal as a bulldog. He isn’t highly educated but could follow orders with meticulous precision and has the rare quality of keeping quiet about his work. He lives with his sister Helga in a small comfortable house only a few miles from the Exotic Scents complex. The siblings had immigrated to Nashville from Scandinavia on temporary work visas for construction and now were permanent citizens due to Jack’s political influence. Jack was not acting on compassion when he naturalized Hans’ citizenship, rather, he knew this would give him basic ownership over the hulk of a man. Larry, the burglar, is twenty nine years old, weighs one hundred and eighty pounds and still lives with his mother. Several circles around town know that he will do just about any kind of job for very little money. He’s got brown hair and eyes, he’s clean shaven and always wears jeans and cowboy boots. He used an older four wheel drive ford Bronco to execute his escape across the country side from the Exotic Scents complex when he caught sight of the limo coming up the long driveway. Larry’s wasn’t smart enough to use a stolen vehicle to commit the caper, he just drove the only vehicle he owned into the complex and did the job. When they all were gathered around the thief, Jack said, “I know your name is Larry Toole and you are from here in Nashville. I know all about your life history Larry, but what I don’t know is who, how, and why you picked my proverbial pocket. So, do you feel like talking?”

15 Larry was sitting in a kitchen type chair with his arms at his sides and duct tape wrapped all around him and the back of the chair. His feet were also taped to the legs of the chair as this acted to hold them together as one. He told the brothers that he just wanted to steal some expensive perfume for a little quick cash. “Well, I can understand that.” Jack said as he nodded to Hans who instantly swung a powerful uppercut into Larry’s face. Larry and the chair lifted up off the ground and flew back several feet landing on his back. The sound of Han’s fist connecting with his nose cracked and popped along with the bark of wooden chair legs scraping the dry concrete a split second before they became air born. The clack and thud of the chair and his skull smacking back down on the cement was followed by the faint sound of blood droplets splattering down on the flat concrete all around. Hans went over on top of Larry and crammed his index and fucker finger of his right hand, one finger into each nostril and lifted him up into a sitting position and drug him back to his original location with the chair legs squawking and barking the entire distance. Jack stepped a little closer to him and said with a chuckle, “So, now do you feel like talking?” Larry was gagging and coughing from the blood that ran down his throat. As Jack got nearer, Larry spat and blew several streams of misty blood out his nose and mouth as he was trying to catch his breath. This had gotten several spatters of blood on Jack’s coat and pants. Jack looked at the red splotches as they quickly soaked into his clothing and Larry also watched as this happened. Jack again nodded to Hans, but Larry tried to talk. The sounds were garbled and sounded almost hair lipped with hints of whistles as Larry’s jaw and lips smacked and popped in rapid movements with liquidly red bubbled froth pouring from his mouth. Jack said. “I can’t understand a fucking thing this asshole is saying, can you guys?” Larry continued trying to get some audible words to form but he mostly just splattered and choked on blood while his quickening breathes for air through his nose became more whistled and more frequent. Finally they heard “Ugh” “Ugh”, and finally a distinct “I” came out with a small bit of clarity and the three men stood around waiting for Larry’s next word to form. Larry claimed that he had received an anonymous phone call and was offered two thousand dollars to perform the burglary at the lab. After he accepted the job offer, he was informed to pick up a package containing necessary tools and information at a remote location . Larry said he couldn’t tell if the person was male or female, over the phone, because of a speech disguise and he was never requested to make a physical meeting with the mastermind. The package was left in a secluded spot in an abandoned factory on the edge of town. The package contained the detailed instructions of when, where and how to approach the Exotic Scents compound and the code card for the entrance door and the wall code numbers to the outer lab. It also specifically described the exact location of one particular vial, inside a particular cabinet full of vials, and for him to be meticulous about separating and securing it away from the rest. He broke in, grabbed all the vials in the cabinet, making sure to mark the one specific vial to be “extra careful” to hold for later exchange. Larry received half of the money in the first package and he was told he would get the second half of the money when the vial was delivered. Larry just happens to be one of those loud mouth know it all assholes that is constantly bragging and blowing it out his ass that he has done everything bigger and better than

16 anyone else. Well, that’s why Larry just had to stop off at that bar before going to the delivery location to exchange the single vial for the remainder of the money. He stashed the rest of the vials inside the Bronco and decided to keep the most valuable vial with him when he went into the bar. After a couple of beers he decided to use the restroom and while in there he couldn’t help himself but to investigating the vial. He unscrewed the lid and sniffed the contents and determined that it was good enough to slap a dab on his cheeks as cologne. He put the lid back on, slipped the vial back into his pocket and exited the bathroom. Almost immediately after he had walked across the room back to the bar, the effects were beginning to show on the other patrons and the bartender. This was the same time that Chief brown had received the information from Dan about the Bronco and he sent officers to check out the situation at the bar. The two officers arrived and one peered inside the door and witnessed the extremely depressed crowd. He only had his head inside the door for a few seconds and that was long enough for him to get a few strong whiffs of the scent. When he pulled back out of the door, he had tears welling up in his eyes and the other officer said, “Are you alright?” And the crying officer said, “Those poor fuckers in there must all be related to someone that just died because just looking at them crying and moaning got me all choked up!” At this moment is when Chief Brown arrived at the bar, secured the situation and then called Jack. Larry was pretty fucked up by the single hit from Hans, and Jack was satisfied that they had all of the information that Larry had to offer. So Jack decided to bait the trap for the mastermind. Jack pulled Bill to the side and said, “Since the mastermind doesn’t know that Larry got caught, we just need to go ahead with the delivery of the vial. One of us will take the Bronco to the abandoned building and the other of us will be with Hans in the shadows as back up. Then we’ll see if the son of a bitch shows up!” Bill looked at Jack with the pathetic frown of a scolded pup and said sarcastically, “I wonder which one of us is going to drive the Bronco.” Chapter 5. Bill pulled the Bronco into the abandoned building that Larry had described and he shut off the motor and lights and waited in the dark. There were only three garage doors and four walk in doors leading into the warehouse. All of the large doors were open and each one led out to different sides of the building, north, south and west. Bill had pulled into the south door and was looking in a north direction. Hans was out on the north side and Jack covered the west. The twins and Hans had secured some hand guns and earpiece communication devices so they could protect themselves and keep each other abreast of the situation. Jack said, “Are you guys in position?” Hans replies, “Yea, I’m good.” And Bill said, “I can’t see a fucking thing in here!” Jack said, “It’s alright, just keep your eyes on the doors behind you and we can watch the rest.” Bill said, “This sucks Jack, you should be in here, I can’t see nothing behind me either!”

17 The three of them waited for a couple of hours with no activity anywhere. Jack said, “Do you guys think we should call it off?” Then Hans replied, “They’re not going to show!” Jack then said, “What do you think Bill?” The radio was silent. Jack repeated the question and still nothing. Jack said, “Hans can you see Bill?” Hans said, “No, I can’t see a fucking thing in there! It’s too dark!” Jack made slow movements toward the building while continually trying to reach Bill on the headset. Jack reached the west large door and peeked in. He could see the outline of the Bronco but he couldn’t tell if Bill was inside. Jack said, “Hans, slowly come up to your north side bay door and take a look around inside.” Hans reached the door way, peered around and he saw the basic same thing as Jack. Then Jack said, “I’m going to creep up to the Bronco, so cover me!” Hans said, “10-4 boss, I got you covered, I think.” Jack eased his way inside along the wall until he was straight across from the Bronco, then he crouched down and crept across the dirty littered concrete floor toward the vehicle. His shoes were slightly crunching on the grit covering the floor and he thought to himself, “I should have changed my damn shoes.” “Hans.” he said in a whispered voice. “Keep your eyes on me; I’m almost up to the truck.” Hans said, “Where are you? I can’t see you; I can’t see a fucking thing.” And as Jack approached within a few feet of the vehicle he could see a head in the driver’s seat. Jack tried Bill again on the headset and still no reply. Jack said, “Hans, he’s in the truck but he won’t answer so I’m going to see if he’s alright. Keep me covered!” Hans said, “I just barely see the truck, god damn it, I still can’t see a fucking thing!” Jack slipped up to the driver’s side door of the Bronco, gently gripped the handle and eased the door open. “AW FUCK! It’s not Bill!” Jack said as he quickly backed a few steps away from the truck while bringing his hands up to his head in total shock! He again said into the headset, “It’s not Bill!” As Jack was stepping backwards he stumbled on a piece of trash and his gun went off! Hans saw the head inside the vehicle from the dome light’s illumination and when Jack’s gun went off, Hans fired several rounds at the person in the truck! Glass and bullet fragments were showering down on Jack as he screamed into the headset for Hans to “Cease fire”! The room went silent as the blue gun smoke slowly rose upward and dusty glass particles fell to the ground. The truck came back into view with the dome light shining on a severely mangled and gunshot head in the seat. Hans ran over to Jack who was back near the Bronco shaking his head from side to side. Hans looked closely at the body in the truck and said, “Yea, that don’t look like Bill, well I don’t think its Bill, hell I couldn’t tell if it ever was Bill!” Jack fired another round straight up into the metal ceiling of the building and yelled, “FUCK”. “It’s not Bill! It’s Larry! Before you turned his face into mincemeat I got a

18 good look! It’s fucking Larry! Somebody snatched Larry from the lab and put him in the Bronco in place of Bill while we were trying to watch from outside!” Just then the headset barked out a digitally altered voice saying, “What a shame! Larry was alive and well a minute ago! You’ve made yet another mistake by killing an innocent man in your quest to be God! Do you want to get your brother back alive, Jack!” Jack asked the voice, “Where the hell is Bill? He’d better be alright or I swear I’ll”Bills shaken voice came over the airwaves, “You’ve got to give up samples of all the scents or else I’m a dead man, Jack. I think this person means business!” Bills words had been choked off as if his neck had been squeezed and then the kidnappers voice came back to say, “Go home Jack and I’ll call you tomorrow!” Then, silence. Jack and Hans searched the building and surrounding grounds but found no sign of Bill or the kidnapper. Jack then instructed Hans to move Larry’s pummeled body to the back of the Bronco and remove the vehicle to a remote location and destroy any evidence of Larry or the truck ever existing. Jack said as Hans was pulling out of the building, “Make sure you aren’t followed, I don’t care if you have to drive all night, don’t get tailed! We’ve got enough problems and I won’t stand for any more! Call me when you get this cleaned up and we’ll go from there. I’m going home to wait for the son of a bitch to call!” Jack arrived home to his penthouse three bedroom condo apartment which was a bachelors paradise! Complete with a three hundred and sixty degree view of Nashville made this haven totally amazing by day and even more so at night. It had every modern gadget and convenience that money could buy. Beautiful teak hardwood floors except for the bedroom which had plush white shag carpet. Every furnishing was top of the line in every room with all of the extras that modern science and technology could render available. As Jack popped the top on an imported beer he realized just how much his brother really did mean to him. Not this amazing crib or distracting toy could take his mind off of the thought of losing his brother and his thoughts went to family memories and past events. Chapter 6. The twin’s parents had died only two years following the onset of college classes during their late teens. Their father, Gerald Stanford, was also a scientist and had worked in the nuclear and atomic field of research and development. The second year of the twins being away at school proved to be a fatal one for both their parents. Prior to the twin’s conception or birth, Gerald had been overseeing the deployment of uranium in an early experimental nuclear electrical power plant and had accidentally gotten exposed to radiation. This was in the early years before the safe knowledgeable construction of these plants had been implanted. The radiation was mild but the medical field was also not as advanced as it is today in the treatment of this kind of poisoning. Gerald lived several years with inoperable cancer from the radiation, and their mother, Felicia was aware of the cancer but not completely informed of her husbands actual condition. When their father had become ill they told the boys that it was not serious enough for them to quit school or delay their studies.

19 When their farther died and the news of his death reached them, they immediately took a plane from Boston back to a suburb of Nashville where they were raised as children, which is the same house where their mother was now grieving. When they arrived home it was almost eleven thirty that fateful Tuesday evening as their father had passed away earlier that day. The house was dark, the door was unlocked and as they called their mothers name there was no answer. Expecting to find her asleep in an upstairs bedroom, they were surprised to find her not there. They expanded the search to the main floor with no result and finally deploying down the basement stairs only to hear the flopping sounds of an old eight millimeter film that had finished and was slapping around in circles on the take up reel. The only light in the room was the blank white projector beam spraying empty nothingness on the basement wall. As the boys tried to adjust their eyes to the room, the film projector put out a constant hum and the reel kept its rhythmic slap, slap, slap as Bill reached for the main overhead light switch. The bright overheads lit up the room like a mid day sun and the glare took both of them by surprise. When their eyes adjusted to the view, they saw the back of their mothers head as she was facing the blank, white projector screen image, but she made no sound or movement. The twins looked at each other then simultaneously lunged toward the back of the couch where their mother sat motionless. As they leaned over the back of the couch to quickly see her eyes, it was an instantaneous feeling of despair and fear. Her eyes were open and a small sliver of saliva had almost dried as it had run down out of the left side of her mouth and over her lip and chin. Her expression was that of content and fulfillment. She had an empty glass that smelled of vodka in her lap and a bottle of sleeping pills clinched in her right hand. After the authorities had came and removed her body, the twins discovered that the several films their mother had been viewing, were early family outings from over the years, the boy’s high school graduation, and one film of their fathers early days as a young, confident and dashing scientist at his first real job as a passionate nuclear physicist. They buried both of their parents with a single ceremony and eventually went back to Boston after the affairs had been settled. This is when Bill noticed the hardened and determined change in Jack‘s demeanor. Bill felt he had to stay at his brother’s side throughout school and beyond, but the ruthless and selfish attitude of his brother’s personality progressively increased over the years. Bill was more intelligent than Jack had ever gave him credit for, but Bill played dumb to make him feel slightly obligated, just to keep the duo together indefinitely. Chapter 7. Jack was going out of his mind waiting for the call from the kidnapper and finally he called Chief Brown informing him of the kidnapping, but not about Larry or the Bronco. The Chief sent the crime scene crew to the abandoned warehouse where Bill was last seen and he now asked Jack the usual questions about Bills enemies, past lovers, and what had happened in the days and hours just prior to the kidnapping. Then he asked Jack about the incident at the bar and if that situation was in any way connected to Bills disappearance.

20 Then the shocker question came as the Chief asked, “Have you seen or had any contact with Larry Toole?” Jack was lucky that the Chief couldn’t see him, but the way his voice shook out the answer over the phone was incriminating enough as Jack said, “No, No, absolutely not! I haven’t seen that guy since the bar!” The Chief replied, “Come on now Jack, I know you and Bill had a little talk with him after all of us left the bar the other night.” Jack froze, and quietly said, “Well, I did ask him a couple of questions about why he stole from the lab but he just wanted to make some quick cash and I let it go at that.” The Chief grunted out a disbelieving laugh and said, “Jack, you can’t shit me. You can’t let go of nothing that pisses you off or gets in your way. Now, you better tell me everything so I can help both of us.” Jack denied any further knowledge of Larry’s whereabouts or Bill’s kidnapper and the Chief said, “I don’t’ know what the hell you guy’s were doing at that warehouse in the first place and I probably don’t want to know. Oh, by the way we’ve put a trace on all three of your phone numbers, home, office and cell just in case we get a chance to run the caller down, but other than that, that’s all we can do right now and I’ll be in touch if we find any new evidence.” Jack hung up with the Chief and called his office; he cancelled any appointments, took the day off and relayed the message that Bill was going to be out of town for a while. He kept running the previous night over in his mind and couldn’t think of anything he had missed. He suddenly had a disturbing thought, how did the kidnapper know his home phone number and was that the phone that was going to ring? The kidnapper had said, “Go home, Jack and I’ll call you tomorrow.” He decided that even though his phone numbers were private, someone could obtain that information easily enough. Jack decided to do a little investigating on his own. First he forwarded his home and office phone calls to his cell. Then, using a back up cell phone, in case the kidnapper also had his cell tapped, he called the Chief, Dan and a few other key people and gave them his new number to use for contact. Then he called a friend of his at a beauty salon to help him become someone else for a while! Chapter 8. The crime scene crew was at the warehouse looking for trace evidence. This particular bunch was of a different breed, not only were they at the top of their professional game, they were the most cynical unit at the Nashville Police Department. Frank Thomas was the team leader and Jim Bob Riley was his direct assistant. Frank had sent the other members of the crew back to the lab with the evidence that had been collected to get it tested right away while he and Jim Bob hung around the warehouse finishing up. Jim Bob said, “Frank, why does the Chief always make everyone in the department kiss those Stanford boys asses? Oh, and I got some rat shit on the ground over here!” Frank laughed and said, “Yea, I found some dog shit back over there, pointing toward a corner. Well, it seems to me there must be a sweet little deal between the Chief and the twins.” The two men continued to comb over the building and work their way around and toward the outside.

21 Jim Bob said in an excited voice, “Frank, I’ve got some black hairs on this door frame over here!” Frank walked over to Jim Bob and they looked over the area around the door. It was one of the smaller walk in doors on the east side of the building and at about knee height, on the knob latch side of the door frame, there were several black human hairs caught in the splintered wood. Frank made a “parting of the red sea” gesture with his hands indicating for the thinner Jim Bob to move out of the doorway so that the over sized belly on Frank could fit in the space. Frank was a full figured guy tipping the scales at around three hundred twenty five pounds. He’s a pleasant man and very competently qualified at his CSI job. His wife, Mary, leaves Frank to his workaholic vices as she is consumed by her own compulsions, which usually leaves them spending most of their time apart but satisfied. Jim Bob is Frank’s shadow. He has puppy dogged his occupational mentor trying to learn the ropes and for three years now and the two have been almost inseparable, on and off the job. Jim Bob is extremely skinny, weighing only one hundred forty three pounds and absorbs everything Frank says and does. He listened and learned quickly which landed him the lead CSI assistant position. Frank looked the area over a few times and said, “From the height of the hairs caught on this door jam, either we got ourselves a midget or this persons head was way too low to be moving on his own.” Jim Bob looked at the door jam again from just inside the building and said, “What if he was squatting down to keep a low profile or just sneaking out the door.” Frank took a magnifying glass out of his kit, put on his eye glasses and looked closely at the hairs and said, “Well he could have been squatting when he went through here and rubbed his head against the jam, but unless he was very short or squatting way down, these hairs should be a little bit higher on the jam. Jim Bob how tall does the report say this guy is?” Jim Bob dug in the outer pocket of his kit case and retrieved a folder file, opened it and read aloud, “William Stanford, blah, blah, blah, five foot six and uh, damn, he’s got me beat by thirteen pounds with a whopping one hundred fifty seven LBS.!” Frank smiled and again looked at the door jam containing the hairs and said, “If these are Bill’s hairs, he had to be squatting at an uncomfortable height and he would have had a hard time moving without making a lot of shoe scuffling noise trying to maneuver so low to the ground. If he was trying to be invisible he must have known he was being pretty audible. I don’t buy it, besides the roots of the hairs are on the inside of the jam, toward the inner building and this suggests that someone was moving the body out of the building head first, like they were dragging it outside by the hands. Jim Bob looked around at his feet and could see slight drag marks in the grit and dust on the floor going all the way back to where Jack had indicated he last knew Bill to be located inside the building. Frank and Jim Bob investigated the drag marks back to their origin and discovered that there were several shoe impressions at the starting point. At least three separate types of shoe styles were present in the dust. The drag marks began heading west and made a circular 90 degree turn to the north and continued another 90 degrees to the east straight to the door with the hair fibers.

22 Jim Bob said, “According to Jack’s statement his Mercedes was parked right around here and I can see the tire tracks in the dust, but wait a minute, these can’t possibly be the tracks from a Mercedes because they must be from an SUV or a truck!” Frank looked over the tire tracks and the shoe impressions and said, “You’re absolutely right, Jim Bob. These are much too big for any car tire and the tread is definitely an off road style. I can also tell by the drag marks that the vehicle was parked about here and the body was dragged out of either the driver’s door or the passenger’s door, depending on which way the vehicle was facing. Then it was drug around the vehicle to the other side of the building and out the door with the hair fibers. By God, It’s elementary my dear Watson, elementary!” Chapter 9. Jack arrived at his friend Raphael Lamont’s male salon called, “The Beautiful Man” and they met in a secluded office in the back to discuss Jacks plan. Raphael was slender and toned from the many hours he spent at the gym. He’s twenty nine, single and well known around the higher society social circles for also owning and operating the mostly exclusively female salon, ”She’s All That.” Raphael is very opinionated and outspoken on any subject, even when he doesn’t know shit about it. He is originally from Philadelphia and his parents and siblings still live there. At twenty two he began moving from city to city trying to find a comfortable place where he would be accepted for who he is. He landed temporarily in Nashville and intended to work at a local salon to save enough money to move on through Georgia and eventually wind up in Florida. He became friends with and respected Matilda Warner, who was the woman that owned the salon he first worked in and through Matilda he met Jacks mother at this temporary job. As the weeks turned into months, Raphael had gotten quite a name for himself in the Nashville higher society women’s community for being the one and only stylist to do your hair. His name and career blossomed while he worked for Matilda and he soon saw the possibilities for his career in Nashville. Jack met Raphael through his mother and Jack immediately knew that Raphael was gay, but Jack thought that a close friend in the gay spectrum might be able to gain him access and knowledge into this format for Exotic Scents purposes. In the secluded office Raphael said, “So Jack, how’s Nadine doing these days?” Jack face turned red as he gave him a disgusted look and said, “I don’t want to talk about that and you shouldn’t believe everything you hear from Bill anyway! Besides I have some bad news about Bill.” Jack explained the kidnapping situation to Raphael and some of the events before and after. Raphael doesn’t know the exact situation with the twin’s fragrance experiments but Jack always made sure to give him a stronger line of perfumes and colognes to sell in his salons than Exotic Scents had available. This was done to give him a better client satisfaction for return business and the real reason was for Jack’s ulterior motives for insight into the gay arena for sales and experiments. Jack then said, “I need a disguise to catch a rat!” Then Raphael said, “What do I look like, Swiss cheese, honey?” Jack shook his head and said, “Come on! Get serious, I’m trying to save Bill!” Raphael said, “Alright, alright. What can I do?”

23 Jack explained that he wanted to wear a disguise to infiltrate the Exotic Scents labs and discover who the rat was and when Raphael completed the disguise, Jack would have the necessary paper work falsified to give him what would look like a legitimate position in the lab under a alias name and ID. Jack had the education and knowledge to work in any capacity within the company lab. Once he knew who his false identity was, he could set himself up to everyone at the company as being a new member of the team and give his “alter identity” the run of the place without raising suspicion. He just needed a disguise that would pass and not be scrutinized for authenticity, and this was left in the confident hands Raphael. Bill was scared shitless and just knew that Jack would try to keep the secrete scents hidden and get the kidnappers caught all without getting him killed. Bill did not have that much confidence in Jacks kidnapping negotiating experience, he just knew that he was going to die! He was being held in a room that was basically a studio apartment that sported a bed, kitchenette and a bathroom. All of the windows had been sealed shut with no chance of escape. Time went slow even though he had only been in the room for less than a day and he had no idea how much time he had left to live because he was convinced that Jack would get him killed. They were feeding him fast food from fucking McDonalds of all places as he was used to eating at the finest restaurants in Nashville and the surrounding area. To receive the food, Bill was instructed to go into the bathroom when there was a knock at the door and the food would be left in the kitchenette and he was not to exit the bathroom until he heard the door shut and a knock following that. When Bill was grabbed at the warehouse the kidnapper had slipped up to the Bronco and the driver side window just happened to be rolled down. Bill remembers something hitting him in the side of the head and then it was lights out. After carrying Bill outside the warehouse, Larry was untied and held at gunpoint walking him inside and into the Bronco, then knocked out and left in the drivers seat. Then Bill was brought around with an ammonia stick and the kidnapper told him when and what to say into the communication headset to Jack and then it was lights out once again! He woke up in this box of a room with a cheap clock and a note on the dirty counter stating the approximate times he would be visited for food. The kidnapper had questioned Bill through the bathroom door on the first food drop. Using the voice alteration device, the disguised voice said, “Where are the samples and files on you and your brothers experimental fragrances located?” Bill replied, “Jack doesn’t let me have knowledge or access to anything sensitive because he doesn’t trust me!“ The voice then asked, “Where do you two conduct your secret lab work?” Bill thought for a second then replied, “We do everything in the company lab after hours and Jack transfers the samples and paperwork to a secret location only he knows about.” The voice then asked, “If you value your life these answers had better be truthful, Mr. Stanford!” Bill quickly blurted out, “I don’t want to die and I don’t want anything to happen to Jack either, I’ve told you everything I know!” The rest of the questions were about Jack’s office and other areas of the building and several detailed questions about Jack’s predictable daily activities. He tried not to give

24 any detailed information about Jack and nothing about the secret lab, he tried to play it off as though he was the tag along brother that had to be helped along through everything. The kidnapper seemed to be satisfied with Bill’s answers and finally said, “I’ll be back at the scheduled time and you are not to come out of the bathroom until you hear the knock on the door after I have left the room!” After the knock, Bill exited the bathroom and ate the burger and fries. He knew that if his life turned out to be less important to Jack than the fragrances, the kidnapper would try to grab Jack and threaten his survival for the almighty and valuable secret scents. Bill was growing tired, his head ached and the food had settled hard on his stomach, so he laid down on the bed and dozed off. Frank and Jim Bob returned to the crime lab to evaluate all of the evidence for a possible lead. When they had sifted through everything that had been collected, Frank called Chief Brown to set up an appointment to meet and discuss a few things. Frank walked into the Chief’s office and stood across the large desk and pulled out a couple of folders. Frank always noticed the odd decoration choices the Chief had chosen for a police station office, such as several large framed pictures of Jazz musicians in signed live performance pictures hung all around the room. There were four antique musical instruments, a guitar, trumpet, saxophone and a harmonica hanging in the center of each wall. The Chief told Frank to take a seat and as Frank sat back in the expensive chair his pants rubbed the slick leather surface making a loud flatulence noise. The Chief gave him a stern look of disgust and then immediately burst into a loud roar of gut busting laughter. While still chuckling, the Chief asked if Frank wanted a beverage or a doughnut but Frank declined and bluntly began to explain his evidence situation. Frank began, “Chief, I know that you are good friends with the Stanford brothers but I have some evidence that conflicts with Jack’s statement and I can’t make any conclusion other than he is lying.” The Chief made several troubled facial movements and tapped a pencil on the desk and finally said, “Explain what you’ve got and we’ll go from there.” Frank explained that the tire tracks in the warehouse were definitely not from Jack’s Porsche but were from a larger SUV or truck with off road tread and explained about the drag marks that came from the vehicle. Frank suggested that if the hair fibers found in the warehouse door jam could be matched to Bill, the evidence would suggest that Bill was in the vehicle then dragged to the door and removed from the location. The Chief sat still in his large, leather chair and just stared at a particular picture on the wall, and then looked Frank directly in the eye and picked up the telephone handset and started dialing numbers. By now Bill had been missing for sixteen hours and Jack was becoming extremely impatient and jumpy when the cell phone in his jacket rang, which was hanging on the back of the door in a secluded styling room in Raphael’s salon. When the phone rang Jack jumped and accidentally kicked Raphael in the shin and he said, “Oh Jack, you like a little violence with your sex!” Jack said, “You are a sick fuck Ralph, just shut up and hand that phone to me!” Raphael retrieved the phone and flipped it open before handing it to Jack and said, “Hello, this is Jack’s love slave you’ll have to wait a minute.” He held the phone out away from his face and said, “Is that how you like it lover, oh yes your almost there!

25 Jack jumped up and grabbed the phone away from Ralph and shoved him slightly back with a look of murder in his eyes! Jack spoke “Hello” into the phone. Chief Browns voice said, “Jack, who the fuck was that? Aw, never mind, we need to talk, right now!” Jack told the Chief to come down to Raphael’s salon and they could talk in person. Raphael had begun to transform Jack into an old geezer - geek with a badly weathered satchel. From top to bottom, Jack wore a wig of salt and pepper hair with a bad comb over revealing a mostly dry bare scalp underneath. The eyeglasses were thick black frames with pop bottle lenses and were constantly sliding down the bridge of his nose. His face was speckled with short unshaven five o’clock shadow with the same salt and pepper color of his wig. A slightly stained and smudged white lab coat with a large, noticeable pocket protector containing several pens and gauges. The coat hung a little below his knees to give the appearance of a short old man. He wore plaid polyester pants, a solid color shirt with a bow tie and outdated old worn out brown loafers. He fit the profile of a senior citizen aged - Nutty Professor in the Jerry Lewis classic movie! When the transformation was complete the salon secretary informed Raphael that Police Chief Brown was here to speak with Jack. Ralph insisted that Jack try out the disguise on Chief Brown! “Remember” Ralph said, “You are an old scientist geek, so act like it!” Ralph told Jack to go out the back, go around, come in the front door and loudly ask for a haircut. Ralph walked out to meet the Chief in the main salon area and the Chief said, “Is Jack here?” Then Raphael said, “Oh, he’s in the back on the phone.” Just then an old man in a white lab coat walked in the front door and loudly said, “Can I get a Trim?” Everyone in the room turned and stared at the shocking sight they saw standing in the doorway of this classy upscale gay salon! Raphael instantly said, “Sure come on in we will be glad to assist you!” Every one of his stylist’ gave Raphael a disgusted look of disbelief and eventually looked at each other to see who would be chosen to perform this deed of wasted talent! Raphael rushed up to the reception desk and said, “You must be Mr. Ron Pall, the new head researcher at Exotic Scents that Jack had mentioned! I’ve been expecting you and I will be taking care of you myself, please have a seat right over here and we’ll get started.” Raphael then said as they walked passed the Chief, “Oh, Chief Brown have you met Mr. Ron Pall?” The Chief looked around the room noticing that every eye was upon him anticipating his response. He finally said in a flustered voice, “Uh, no. I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure.” The two men shook hands and exchanged greetings and the Chief said to Ralph, “It’s very urgent that I speak to Jack immediately.” Raphael replied, “I’m sure he will be out in a minute, so why don’t you have a seat here with Ron and me while you wait?” The Chief sat down in a chair as Ron climbed into stylist seat and Raphael began to work his magic.

26 Raphael said to Ron, “So, tell us, are you married or is there a special someone in your life?” Jack was steaming now, along with acting the part of an old researcher, he had to be at Raphael’s mercy! Jack playing the part of Ron replied, “No I’m not married and there’s no special someone.” Raphael then asked, “Are you looking for someone special?” Jack was tiring of this bullshit charade and thought for a minute, then replied, “Why Raphael, with all of these personal questions maybe we could hook up for dinner?” Several coughs and vocal noises could be heard coming from all around the room as Raphael’s shocked face glanced around at his snickering employees. Raphael then quickly finished the haircut with a few snips of the scissors and reported, “You’re all finished Mr. Pall, will this be cash or credit?” Jack knew he had just turned the situation around on Ralph but couldn’t help getting in the last word as he handed a fifty dollar bill to Ralph in plain view and said, “Call me if you change your mind!” Jack got up out of his chair, said goodbye to Chief Brown and left through the front door. Chief Brown was getting very impatient and asked Raphael again, “Where the hell is Jack!” Raphael said, “Follow me, he should be off the phone by now.” He led the Chief to the back room and they entered the door. A few seconds later Ron walked through the alley door and the Chief had a dumbfounded look on his face. Raphael then said, “Chief I want you to meet Jack Pall, or is it Ron Stanford, no, wait a minute, it’s Jack Stanford!” The Chief looked even more dumbfounded and then Jack took off the wig and lab coat and the Chief turned red as a beet as the light went on in his head. He couldn’t help but laugh out loud and then Raphael said, “Quiet! We don’t want everyone to know our little secret!” Jack explained the plan to go undercover in his own lab to seek out the rat by using the disguise and fake ID. He previously had all of the lab and company employees tailed and followed to try and reveal some suspicious activity but nothing proved to be implicating anybody, so that’s why the undercover act. As Jack packed the disguise in a bag, the Chief asked Raphael to give them some privacy, so he smiled at both men, fluffed his hair and left the room. The Chief immediately asked Jack, “Are you sure you want to stick to your story at the abandoned warehouse?” Jack felt a little uneasy and asked, Why do you keep asking me if I want to change my story?” The Chief said, “I told you in the beginning of our arrangement that I was not going to be the fall guy and you promised me on behalf of my family that it would never come to that!” Jack said, “What’s happened?” The Chief explained about the evidence that Frank and the crime lab had discovered and needed the truth to put a plan into action to cover up any mistakes that Jack had made. Jack finally decided to come clean with the Chief telling him the truth because he needed all the help he could get.

27 After listening to the entire story, the Chief said, “Let me make sure I’ve got this straight. You, Bill and Hans interrogated Larry at a remote location and learned of the drop off place and then the three of you decided to go ahead yourselves with the exchange using Larry’s Bronco at the warehouse. The kidnappers didn’t show, well you thought they didn’t, and Larry was abducted right under your nose, Hans accidentally killed Larry and disposed of the Bronco and the body and you are still waiting for a phone call? Do I have it right?” Jack said, “Yea, that’s the short version.” The Chief thought for a moment and said, “Alright, I’ll tell Frank and the crime scene unit that Larry and the Bronco were in the warehouse, Bill was in the truck with him, the kidnappers used a gun to take Bill and keep Larry quiet, unknown to you, and then they shot at the Bronco and Larry split and no body has seen him since.” Yea, I think that should just about do it.” Jack said, “I already know, and the extra cash will be delivered to you tomorrow, Chief.” The Chief said, “We need you to get a sample of Bill’s DNA to the crime lab so we can match the hairs found at the warehouse and you need keep in contact with me concerning any, I mean any new developments, especially if the kidnappers call!” Jack agreed to immediately get a sample of Bill’s DNA and drop it off at the crime lab and to keep the Chief updated. Chapter 10. Jack had the fake paperwork made up for “Ronald Pall” to give the name authentic credentials for a high priority position at the Exotic Scents lab. He informed the company executives and lab technicians about his wishes and expectations for the older but educated Ron Pall’s duties and privileges within the company infrastructure. Jack basically gave Ron the same freedom that he enjoyed in the company. Jack also stated that Bill would also be taking a temporary leave of absence for an undetermined length of time. The only immediate problem was Jack’s current head lab technician “Laura Lutz”. She is an attractive thirty two year old assistant researcher and is very well educated and familiar with the Exotic Scents lab and commercial formulas. She was hand picked by Jack to help head the lab and has been under his direct supervision ever since he snagged her from college. There was always a mutual distant attraction between her and Jack but neither one acted on their feelings. Bill, however always went out of his way to assist her or just gain her attention, even if only for a second. Bill was infatuated with Laura and she knew it but she didn’t have the same feelings for him or the heart to tell him, so he just kept on making a fool out of himself in front of everyone in the lab with his attempts too get her interest. Laura questioned Jack extensively about the competence and experience of this new member of the team. Jack insisted that he had completed an in depth investigation and back round check on Ron Pall and he had secretly been training and mentoring Ron specifically for the company lab responsibilities. Laura eventually agreed to welcome Ron into the team but Jack could tell that she still had strong reservations in her acceptance of him.

28 Jack stopped off at Bill’s house and grabbed a hairbrush and dropped it off at the crime lab on his way home, even though Bills DNA samples were at the lab, he didn’t want it public knowledge that he and Bill were working with DNA. He arrived home and packed a few items to take to the house that he had rented in Ron’s name. His cell phone rang and Jack said, “Hello” Then the kidnappers altered voice said, “Are you ready to trade?” Jack had already planned for this very situation and said, “I’ve got the samples and we can meet but I decide where and when!” The voice laughed and said, “No, Jack! You will do as I say or Bill will suffer the fate of a prisoner of war! Now, you listen and you listen good! At midnight you will be at the metro park tunnel with the samples and files! Don’t be late Jack, come alone and definitely don‘t bring your friend Chief Brown!” Then the line went dead! Jack immediately called the Chief on his back up cell phone and relayed the information and then asked, “How are we going to handle this meet?” The Chief paused and then said, “Are you on a secure line?” Jack said, “Yea, I just bought this cell in a fictitious name!” The Chief then explained, “Ok then, here’s how were going to play it. First, we are putting a small tracking device in your pants hem for safety and secondly, I know the area and before the meet, I will deploy men in strategic places so we will have the advantage.” Jack said, “What if they have men in place too?” The Chief said, “We’ll get there earlier and I’ll have my men in casual dress and maintenance uniforms so we will be virtually invisible as a police presence. We should be able to get the drop on them!” Jack said, “You better know what you’re doing because Bills life depends on it!” Chief Browns men were in position as Jack walked from the parking lot toward the park tunnel. Jack noticed several men casually standing around and a few others in city maintenance uniforms and he was sure they must be the undercover men. He was carrying a medium size briefcase which contained the samples and the files of the scents that were to be traded for Bill. As Jack walked, he could feel the eyes upon him but even if they were friendly he still had an uneasy vibe growing stronger with each step he took. Chief Browns men watched as Jack entered the tunnel and they were positive that no one was inside or on either side waiting to ambush him. They watched as Jack entered the unlit tunnel and disappeared into the dark hole. Two of Chief Brown’s men were on either side, with a clear view of Jack’s silhouette inside the almost black cave like structure. The man on the south side, or the side that Jack entered through, came over the police frequency headset radio and reported, “He’s inside and all is green.” After a few beats he again said, “I see his shadow and all is still green.” Then the man reported, “Wait! I’ve lost visual. He could be against the wall but I no longer have a visual!” Chief Brown came over the headset saying, “North side do you have a visual?” The reply was instant, “Negative, I lost visual at the same time as south side did, but I agree, he could be up against the wall”

29 Earlier in the evening the Chief had the men set up high power lights, hidden in the thick bushes, on both ends of the tunnel to flood the black hole with blinding light should something go wrong. The man controlling the lights came on the headset, “Chief, do you want to go bright?” The Chief said, “Negative on the lights. I still have a reading on the tracking device and he is still in there. South and North do we have any visual yet?” South came back, “South Negative.” Then North reported, “North negative.” Chief Brown then gave the order, “Go bright, I repeat, go bright!” The light controller switched on the lights and it looked almost as if the sun had come up in the middle of the park and the tunnel was illuminated with the intensity of a nuclear blast. Chief Brown asked, “Does anybody have a visual?” There were several replies in chorographical order from unit one to unit seven and all the men replied, “Negative on visual!” The Chief said in a low voice to himself, “Shit, Jack! Where the hell did you go?” Then he ordered, “Go! Go! Go!” All units from both sides rushed into the tunnel until they met in the middle with no sign of Jack or anyone! After several minutes of searching the tunnel and surrounding area with no obvious sign of what had happened to Jack, the Chief made it over to the men searching the tunnel and asked for a report. With no apparent way out, the Chief asked for a run down on sewer man holes or any other way out of the isolated tunnel. The report came back with no other possible way out except the entrances. The Chief said, “God damn it! Something is definately wrong here! I still have a reading on the tracker and it shows that he’s right here where I’m standing! Somebody find out what the fuck is wrong with this picture, and NOW!” As Jack was walking into the tunnel he felt sick to his stomach but he tried to act as normal as possible. When he reached the middle of the tunnel he felt a sting in the side of his neck. Jack wasn’t wired for communication or sound, only the tracking device in his pants hem, so he couldn’t report anything back to the Chief. A few seconds after the sting in his neck, he began to get drowsy and couldn’t yell and just before he lost his ability to stand, someone grabbed him and drug him into a passage that opened up in the wall, then he passed out. Jack’s kidnapper had removed Jack’s cloths in the hidden space at the side of the tunnel and took his unconscious naked body and the briefcase out through the passage. The clothes containing the tracker were left at the side of the tunnel to give the Chief and his men something to keep them busy during the escape. Bill was trying to pick the lock on the door of his small apartment prison when he heard someone coming down the hall. He quickly moved to the counter to check the time and the note to see if the kidnapper was due to show up, it was not even close to “feeding” time so he listened to the footsteps in the hall to see what was going on. The only time he heard anyone was when he was fed or questioned by the kidnapper, so why the unscheduled visit? Just as before, there was a knock at the door and Bill went into the bathroom as he had been instructed to do and the outer door opened, but this time there was a lot more scuffling and more time elapsed before the door closed. As soon as the door closed, there was no sound coming from outside the bathroom and there was no exit

30 knock either, so Bill stood patiently waiting for something to give him a sign of when to come out of the bathroom. Bill waited for several minutes until he couldn’t take it anymore, so he cracked the door open and was trying to peek into the outside room. He saw bare feet and legs on the bed but the head of the bed was around the corner and he couldn’t see the body or face to tell who it might be. Bill slowly eased the door open enough to get his body through, he got down on his hands and knees and crept toward the foot of the bed. When he reached the bed and was close enough, he slowly raised his head up above the mattress and was shocked to see who it was lying so still, it was his brother Jack! Chief Brown had the men prepare to bust bricks out of the side of the tunnel wall where he believed the tracker to be transmitting from. The first swing of a hammer hit the wall with a definite hollow “boom”, as if there was a large, empty space behind the wall. The man swinging the hammer could see a crack form the area that sounded hollow and several men then began to concentrate on that spot. Soon they breached an elaborate door in the passage and followed it to its entrance but found nothing, no tire tracks and no trace evidence, only Jack’s cloths. The Chief left a few men to search the area for anything possibly left as a clue and he went back to the station to consider his options. Frank and Jim Bob were getting ready to leave the warehouse for the second time and they were discussing what the Chief had said about Larry disappearing on his own. Jim Bob said, “The evidence suggests there was more to the story than the version that we are told to believe.” Frank said, “Yea, I know. Like the fact that Jack said the kidnapper shot up the Bronco and Hans had emptied his gun, but he said he didn’t shoot at the Bronco. Damn I wish we at least had that truck to go over with a fine tooth comb! Anyway, where was I, oh yes, if Hans didn’t shoot at the truck, then where did his bullets go?” Then Jim Bob added, “I did find the bullet hole in the metal ceiling like Jack said, but if Hans was at the north end of the building and shooting in a southerly direction, or hell, if he shot inside the building anywhere I should have found some bullets or at least some holes, right?” Frank shook his head up and down and said, “I’ve seen just about everything and I’ve heard just about every lie and excuse you could think of for bending the truth, but this mess does not add up in my book. Well, not like it should anyway.” Then Jim Bob said, “Well, at least we know for sure from the hair match that Bill went through that walk in door where we found the fibers and since he hasn’t’ shown up yet he must have really been kidnapped.” Frank said, “I still believe that if the Stanford brothers had a little talk with Larry after he stole from the lab, they must have gotten enough information from him to have an idea of where he would be right now, especially if Hans was doing the intimidating,” Jim Bob added, “Yea boss, I wouldn’t want to fuck with Hans without back up!” Bill could see that Jack was a little scraped and bruised but breathing normally. He didn’t seem to have any major injuries so Bill wet a rag with cold water and dabbed it on his forehead and face trying to revive him. Once Jack was awake enough to comprehend his surroundings, he first jumped up, disoriented and confused, spun around in the middle of the room asking no one in particular, “Where the hell am I?” When he finally recognized Bill, he grabbed him and

31 pulled him close hugging him tight. Then he pushed him back by holding his shoulders and asked, “Where the hell are we?” Bill explained about the room and the prior kidnapper visits and Jacks arrival. Then he asked, “Did you give up the formula for me?” Jack’s eyes swelled up with tears and he said, “Of course I did, what do you think I am, an animal?” Bill hugged Jack this time and said, “Thank you brother, I was so scared! I thought I was a dead man!” Jack said, “I would never let anything happen to you! Now, how are we going to get the hell out of here?” Chapter 11. Raphael was doing some inventory adjustments on the computer in his office when the phone rang. Raphael picked up the handset and said, “Beautiful Male Salon, how may I help you?” A digitally altered voice said, “If you want to save you friends Jack and Bill Stanford, you will do as I say!” Ralph was totally taken by surprise and immediately thought it was Jack playing a trick, so he replied, “Jack, I know it’s you and I’m not interested in a dinner date with Ron Pall!” The line was quiet for a few seconds and then the voice replied, “Listen you faggot mother fucker, this isn’t Jack and it’s no joke! You will do as I say or your friends are dead! Now, you will go to the alley in the back and at the west end there is a large trash container. Inside the container there is a small purple trash bag and inside the bag is a key and a letter, so get you ass going before it’s too late!” Then the line went dead! Ralph didn’t know weather he should call someone or just do as he was told and he didn’t have much time to decide. He opted to go it alone just incase his phones were tapped and they were watching, after all Jack and Bill are important enough to attract would wide criminal interest! Ralph grabbed his cell phone and went to the dumpster, got the bag and removed the key then read the note. It described directions to a run down motel about eighty miles east of Nashville and the key opened the door to room number thirteen. The note stated that a bomb would detonate and destroy the whole building at exactly three o’clock P.M. Ralph looked at the clock on his cell and the time was one thirty! He only had an hour and a half to get there and get them out of the building! Ralph knew he probably couldn’t make it in time! Oh shit! What am I going to do? Fuck the phone tap, I’ll call for some fast help! The phone was ringing and Ralph was mumbling to himself, “Come on, come on, answer the fucking phone!” After the fourth ring he heard someone say “Yea” and then Ralph blurted and babbled the situation to the man on the other end of the line and after Ralph was finished the man said, “Alright! Quickly describe the key to me!” Ralph dug the key out of his pocket and looked it over and said, “It’s gold or brass in color, well actually it has copper kind of tintThe man yelled, “Ralph!” Then Ralph said, “Ok, ok. It’s also got the sharp little things on the edge and-”

32 The man again said. “Ralph! Let me ask the questions and you just say yes or no! Now, are there teeth on both sides or just one?” Ralph said, “Teeth! What the-” The man said, “The sharp things on the edge, both edges or just one side?” Ralph replied, “One” The man then asked, “How long and how thick is it?” Ralph said, “Well, its almost as long as my middle finger and as thick as a construction workers toe nail!” The man then said, “Alright! I need that key! So get up on the roof of the salon and I’ll be there in a few minutes! Dan had been getting in the helicopter and prepping it for take off while he was talking to Raphael. He got it fired up and lifted off heading for the salon. As he came to the block where Ralph was waiting on the roof, he could see Ralph’s bright blond and red highlighted hair with a pink scarf lose around his neck with the ends blowing in the wind. The tight pants with thick high heeled boots made him look like a solid gold dancer in a rooftop video. Dan lowered the bird down onto the roof and Ralph climbed into the chopper cab. Dan said, “Give me the key and the note and get out!” Ralph said, “I’m “so” going with!” Dan didn’t have time to argue so he just lifted off. Thirty five minutes had passed and they only had about fifty minutes to get to the motel and get the twins out before the explosion! Ralph asked, “Dan, how long will it take us to get there?” Dan replied, “I can make it in about forty five minutes!” Ralph said, “It’s going to be close isn’t it?” Dan looked at his watch again and said, “Yup!” Ralph asked, “Why do you need this key?” Dan replied, “By the size and shape of the key I’m sure the door is heavy duty and the only way I could break it is with explosives and that might hurt the twins or maybe set off the bomb!” Chief Brown was really becoming bitchy from being up all night trying to find Jack. He was going over Larry’s file and trying to find a connection to the kidnapper there, with no luck. He had called Frank to see if the lab had uncovered any new leads and no luck there either. The Chief decided to call Detective Steve Jones to get information on his current situation. The Chief had sent Steve to Larry’s place of residence, his mothers house, to ask her about Larry’s friends, jobs, activities and anything that might shed some light on the kidnappers. The Chief knew Larry was already dead, but only Jack, Bill and Hans also had that knowledge. Steve’s cell rang and the Chief asked for an update. Steve said, “Yea Chief, I just left the old lady’s house and she is one weird woman. Anyway, she said that Larry tore out of her driveway three days ago after taking a phone call and saying he would be back in a day or two with some money for bills and groceries. She said she hasn’t seen or heard from him since. He doesn’t have a steady job and no real friends but this phone call really seemed to put a spark up his ass and she hadn’t seen him that excited in years. She has no idea where he is or where he might be and she will contact us if he contacts her. Anything else you want me to do Chief?”

33 The Chief said, “No, just swing by the park and nose around with the officers that are still there and let me know if you find out anything new.” Steve said, “10-4 boss.” Jack was naked and had to use a sheet off the bed for a toga while he and Bill were trying to get out of the reinforced room. Bill said, “Did you really give the kidnappers the formula samples?” Jack kept looking around the corners and cracks of the room while he replied, “Of course I did Bill! Like I told you earlier, you are much more important to me than those damned scents!” Bill said, “I sure hope you gave them what they wanted because I’d hate to go through something worse than what we already have these last several days, especially if they get really pissed off!” Jack stopped, turned to his brother and said, “Brother, what’s done is done and there’s no going back now!” They both continued to comb the nooks and crannies of the rooms and checked the covered windows desperately searching for an escape. Bill said, “Jack, what’s that sound?” Jack listened for a few seconds and a big smile covered his face as he said, “It’s got to be Dan in the chopper! Were saved brother, were saved!” They listened intently as the bird flew overhead and settled down on the side of the building and the motor died down to an idle but never completely stopped. Jack could hear a faint thin voice calling out his name and Jack said, “Raphael? What the fuck is he doing here?” Then he heard Dan yelling for Ralph and Ralph yelling “over here” to Dan. The twins began to yell for their rescuers in a wild furry. Dan and Ralph found the heavy steel door, inserted the key, freed the lock and opened it revealing the ever thankful twins. Ralph said, “Jack you owe me a date with Hans!” Dan pushed his way into the middle of the three and said, “Fuck the pleasantries! We’ve got to go, Now! Dan’s watch showed three o’clock on the nose and as the four ran toward the outside of the building toward the chopper, there was a “boom” in a room near the back end of the hall. A large cloud of thick yellow poison gas quickly engulfed the entire building and it was catching up with the escaping quartet. As they were reaching the blowing wind from the chopper blades, the yellow gas had gained and surpassed their progress. The gas was swirling in the vortex winds from the chopper blades as the four men neared the bird. All four had no choice but to breathe in a few breaths of yellow death as they were making their escape. Dan and Jack were the strongest and had the longest resistance to the effects, so they were the first to reach the chopper. Jack quickly realized that Ralph and Bill were not going to make it. He instructed Dan to ready the bird for lift off while he went back for the weaker two. Jack returned to the outer doorway to the building where Ralph and Bill were choking, coughing and having difficulty standing, so Jack got between and helped both of them towards the chopper. When the three men were only twenty feet from the chopper’s door, Ralph’s shoe had stepped on the sheet covering Jack’s naked body and he lost his toga just a few feet from entering the chopper. When all of them were in the bird, Dan lifted off and they were headed back to the Exotic Scents complex. Dan had oxygen masks for

34 everyone and explained that he believed it might have been a nerve gas but his own symptoms felt more like it was a noxious type of tear gas with an ingredient to cause unconsciousness, severe nausea, cramps and a whole list of nasty effects. Dan said, “I don’t think the gas was dense enough with the wind from the chopper blades swirling it around for us to have gotten a lethal dose. By the way Raphael, I saw you get Jack in a compromising naked state, are you impressed with his package or have you seen it before?” Ralph replied with true embarrassment, “I didn’t do it on purpose, Dan!” Jack said, “All of you just shut the fuck up about this and don’t ever repeat it! Dan, what have you got in here for me to wear?” Then Bill said, “We had better go straight to the hospital instead of the complex just to be safe and besides, Nadine might see Jack without his ass covered!” Laughter filled the chopper, except for Jack! After a quick check over at the hospital, all four men were released with slight symptoms but nothing serious. Jack had called the Chief to inform him of the ordeal and that he and Bill were fine. The Chief wanted to meet the three of them, and Hans, at the Exotic Scents complex as soon as possible. Dan flew them back to the complex from the hospital and Raphael took a cab back to his salon. Hans was waiting with the Chief just outside Jack’s office. They all went inside and the Chief said, “I know all about Larry and the warehouse and it is taken care of for the moment, as long as Larry’s body or the Bronco are never found. They wont be found will they Hans?” Hans said, “I drove to-” The Chief interrupted and said, “I don’t want to know any details, Hans. Just a simple yes or no will do, now, will any body find them?” Hans shook his head no. The Chief then said, “Alright then we are back to finding out who the kidnapper is and I am out of leads. Larry’s connection seems to be a dead end, unless you guys got something out of him?” Jack said, “I’m pretty sure that Larry told us everything he knew and that was absolutely nothing about the mastermind behind this whole ball of shit!” Bill said, “Since Jack gave them what they wanted they should leave us alone, right?” The Chief said, “Jack is this true?” Jack looked around the four faces that were intently gazing back at him and he said, “Well, I did give them something they “think” they want.” Bill said, What the fuck does that mean? I thought you gave them what they wanted!” Jack didn’t want the chief to know the exact details of the formula but he had to let them know what he had done. Jack poured himself a stiff drink, took a big gulp and said, “I gave them eight vials marked for each formula but the only one that’s authentic is number five.” Bill said,” Aw fuck Jack, now they’re going to come back with a vengeance! Chief Brown said, “Well, these guys are pro’s and my department cant keep up with their advanced technology and operating skills.” Dan suggested, “Between the Chiefs department and my special forces friends we should be able to keep them at bay, well, for a while anyway.”

35 Jack then added, “Remember, the police department can only know certain things, so their help will be limited but if we can keep things under control for a while I think I can catch the lab rat! First of all, Bill and I are on official leave of absence, so we must keep Bill hidden and safe and I will pose as Ron Pall in the lab. Hans and Dan will be around the lab for me to have open contact with as I pretend to be Ron and I can get some assistance from you, Chief. Plus I put a secret ingredient in the number five vial that will help me catch the rat.” The Chief said, “I guess we’ll just have to play it by ear for a few days.” Chief Brown left through the secret lab tunnel taking Bill to a safe house while Dan and Hans prepared for searching the Exotic Scents complex for the rat and Jack began making his transformation into the life of Ron Pall. The next morning Ron (or Jack) showed up for work at the lab. He was introduced to Laura and she gave him the grand tour and set him up to have all of the advantages and clearances as Jack had instructed. Ron was thriving on the things he was learning about himself. Normally when “Jack” walked through the lab several conversations would be cut short and everybody was on their best behavior except for a few places that were not under company surveillance. The only safe place was the restrooms but even they had security measures in place before entering and exiting. Jack had everything in the lab video taped over the last several years for extra security measures. Over the years he spent many hours scrutinizing these tapes of company surveillance to make sure his team was efficient and loyal. He instructed Dan to review the surveillance tapes of the past several weeks to look for the rat, but so far he had no success. Ron was quick to leave the impression that he was not like “Jack” and welcomed any advice on keeping his job status. It didn’t take long for a few employees to warm up to him on the subject of company policy and the personalities of the bosses and executives. Jack learned that he was thought of as, basically an asshole and a self absorbed, rich, snobby son of a bitch. This was not surprising as Jack had taken on this personality role just after the deaths of his parents and he knew he had only enhanced it over the years. Jack was enjoying himself being invisible as Ron Pall and undercover among his peers and employees. He was learning how he could change things and himself to benefit the company and the employees all at the same time, so even if the rat was not discovered, he did get some valuable information. As he was playing around asking questions and hearing things that “Jack” never could, he decided to try his luck at questioning Laura about her thoughts on Jack. Ron said, “Jack said you were very important to this lab and the company.” Laura’s eyebrows slightly scrunched as she said, “Well, I know my qualifications and expertise are valuable here but apparently Jack thinks you are just as important and qualified as I am.” Ron said, “He definitely had a noticeable gleam in his eye when he spoke of you.” Laura looked surprised and stuttered out, “I, I, uh, I had no idea he had any feelings beyond work for me.” Ron wanted to push the envelope just a little and said, “He definitely seemed pleasantly relaxed and if I do say so myself, a little red faced when your name rolled off his lips.” Laura instantly blushed and tried to change the subject to a culture sample in the incubator.

36 Ron caught her drift and moved on continuing to get deeper and deeper into the labs professional daily activities and personal lives of several employees. Ron had introduced a special agent into the number five vial in the briefcase that the kidnapper had stolen in the tunnel. He was hoping that the kidnapper was using someone from the Exotic Scents lab to get information and eventually to breakdown the formula in a remote lab to have the raw ingredients revealed. Ron carried a micro black light illuminator to check the hands of every employee without their knowledge. He also supplied Hans and Dan with micro black light’s to check everyone they possibly could in other areas of the company. The rat hunt went on for the first two days with no results and Ron was starting to get worried. The second night Jack remotely checked his phone messages and was surprised to hear one from Laura. She sounded out of normal context, he guessed it was because the message was half to do with work in the lab and the rest was more of a personal nature. The message said, “Jack, it’s Laura, uh, from the lab. Don’t worry there is nothing wrong I just wanted to let you know that Ron Pall is doing just fine and I have become quite fond of him, well in a fatherly kind of way. Anyway, I also wanted to let you know that if you need anything just call me, I guess you have my number, well if not it’s 555-5555. Well then, I guess I’ll catch you later, bye.” When Jack heard this message something happened inside his brain. He had been interested in many women in his life and he had been intimate with several women before, but this just hit him from the blue. Maybe it was because he was getting older or maybe it was the reality of his own mortality due to the recent danger, but his out look on life had changed and he had softened somehow. Jack couldn’t sleep that night because his thoughts kept finding there way back to Laura. On the third day of playing “Ron” at the lab, Jack made his usual rounds secretly checking hands for signs of espionage on the employees and he tried to find reasons to be near Laura. On his first time checking Laura’s hands today, the black light showed the unmistakable illumination of a bright white reflection and that meant she was guilty of handling the stolen vials! Jack’s heart was crushed! He couldn’t believe it, she had been the fucking rat all along! Jack could hardly contain his feelings. He had to get away or at least out of the lab and collect his thoughts. Just as he was about to make up an excuse for his quick exit, in his haste, Ron bumped into another lab assistant spilling a beaker of acid on his hand! A few drops had also landed on Laura’s shoe. Laura tried to help Ron with a towel and a neutralizing agent as he was trying to tell her to remove her shoe before her foot was burned. Finally she stepped out of the bubbling shoe before any physical damage was incurred and Ron was taking his towel wrapped hand to the wash station in the center of the lab. Laura hobbled along side, with only one shoe, holding Ron’s good arm to help steady herself and him as her attention was totally on his apparent injury. Ron was distracted from his dilemma of the traitor and the corporate espionage, but he was even more flustered by the extreme burning sensation that was intensely adding to his stress level. Ron was trying to hide the obvious fake skin of the disguise, on his hand that was melting from the acid. The micro thin glove - like skin was only there to give the appearance of an old mans hands and Laura was about to discover his secret. Ron thought quick and knew that Dan was hiding in “Jack’s” office watching the surveillance footage. Ron could look at the small camera in the ceiling of the lab but he couldn’t make any obvious gestures because Laura was at his side and he wasn’t sure that Dan would catch

37 him on the video monitor. Just as Laura was about to remove the towel to evaluate his acid burn injury, Ron pulled his arm back and said, “I think we should keep it covered and get me to the hospital!” Laura was in a slight state of shock and agreed with a look of confused bewilderment as she said, “I’m coming with you!” Dan happened to be watching the whole time that the acid was spilt and came to Ron’s rescue. Dan came out of the office and down the stairs into the main lab, winding up just a few steps from Ron and Laura. When he reached the wash station Dan said, “How bad is it? Laura quickly blurted out, “I can’t tell, he won’t take the towel off so I can see.” Ron defensively said, “I think we should keep it covered until we get to the hospital to keep all of the skin in tact in case there is something they can do to save it!” Dan said, “Well, lets go then!” Then Laura said, “I’m coming along, and don’t argue Dan!” The three of them made their way quickly out of the lab, through the lobby and out side to Dan’s truck. Within twenty minutes they were entering the hospital parking lot headed to the emergency entrance. As Laura was helping Ron out of the truck, she accidentally pulled on the towel and it slid off his hand, revealing the melted discolored, melted plastic of the fake skin on his hand. She was so dumbfounded by the odd sight of what she was beholding that she just stood at the open door of the truck blocking Ron’s exit. The fake skin had melted all around the back of his hand and ran down to the palm side in a glob, dripping and oozing down to the floorboard of the truck. The color was a rainbow of melted plastic and it almost gave the illusion of melted stained glass in a swirling blob, hanging from his palm. Laura said, “Is it a prosthetic?” As she squinted her eyes and tried to make sense of what she was seeing. Dan had made it around the front of the truck and was pulling Laura out of the way to get Ron in through the emergency room automatic doors. Dan and Laura had to stay in the waiting area until the ER doctor could evaluate and begin to treat Ron. Ron explained about the disguise being drenched in acid so the doctor could quickly understand and diagnose for immediate treatment. After removing as much of the melted fake skin as possible it was obvious that Ron’s real skin on his hand had suffered first and second degree burns. Most of the acid had soaked into the fake plastic but as the disguise skin heated up and melted, it burned the real skin underneath. Ron was treated for his burns, wrapped in gauze and sent home with cream and fresh gauze to change a few times a day. As Ron, Dan and Laura got back in the truck and were on their way back to the lab, Laura said, “I know it’s not a prosthetic hand! Ron! I think I deserve an explanation!” Dan was taking the back way into the compound through the abandoned building adjoining the tunnel to the secret lab. Ron was trying to keep Laura’s attention while the truck took a different route back so she wouldn’t notice the detour and freak out. When the truck was entering the old building’s property, Laura noticed that they weren’t going in the right direction and began to ask questions and get more upset. Dan reached across Ron’s chest and smacked Laura on the side of the face hard enough to knock her out. Ron said, “What did you do that for?” Dan kept driving and looked straight ahead as he said, “I was getting tired of the questions and now she probably wont remember where we took her.”

38 They drove down the tunnel and pulled into one of the large warehouse sized spaces and stopped the truck. Dan carried Laura to a well equipped living space used for volunteers and test subjects during private experiments. Some of these rooms were secured with lock down for the safety of the test subjects and the lab techs. Laura was placed in a spacious room that was basically an apartment and she was locked inside. “Now what are we going to do with her?” Dan asked. Ron was deep in thought as he locked the door to Laura’s room and replied, “You realize that she is the rat in the lab, right?” Then Dan said, “I thought she realized that you were wearing a disguise but I wasn’t sure if she knew it was you, Jack!” Ron nodded and said, “Yea, she knows something’s up with “Ron” but did you hear me? She is the fucking rat!” In a couple of hours, after removing the disguise, Jack checked the video monitor for the room where he had locked in Laura. She was awake and looked as though she had been crying but was still in a pissed off mood. Jack spoke into a microphone that was connected to speakers in the room. Jack said, “Are you alright Laura?” She jumped violently and tried to see where the voice had come from, with terror on her face. Jack then said, “I’m not going to hurt you but I know that you are the spy in my lab!” Laura’s eyes suddenly got as big as golf balls and she again began to cry. Jack then said, “I’m going to unlock the door and I’m coming in to where you are and I will have a gun, so don’t do anything stupid!” Jack went to the door, unlocked it and went inside. He slowly made his way toward her as she silently wept and dried her eyes trying to regain her composure. When he reached the open doorway she looked directly into his face and she said, “What are you going to do with me?” Jack laughed and shook his head from side to side and said, “What can I do with you? I’m between a rock and a hard place. You see - it’s like this, I need to know who you are working for, where my samples are and I want you to start from the beginning!” Laura’s face dropped into a stressed frown and she said, “I can’t !” Jack leaned his head to the side while he made a face of despair and said, “Hans isn’t going to like to hear that!” She said, “Hans, Oh, so he’s your muscle now!” Jack said, “You just have to tell me what I want to know and no one will get hurt.” Laura began to cry harder than before and could hardly breath from the sobbing. Jack was reminded of the bar where the “Crybaby” scent had accidentally been released but he didn’t show the comical memory on his face because he thought she was about to crack. Laura finally calmed down enough to say, “Alright, alright. Can I have a drink first and I’ll tell you everything I know.” Jack went to the fridge and got an orange soda, set it on the counter, grabbed a glass out of the cabinet and filled it half full in the door ice dispenser and grabbed a bottle vodka and the soda on his way back to the couch. He poured a couple of shots of vodka in the glass, opened the soda and filled the glass the rest of the way and handed it to her. She took several long drinks from the glass and was rolling it between both of her hands as the rings on her fingers clinked when the glass spun around and she said, “I don’t know

39 who I’m working for, I get calls and packages that give me instructions. I have never met anybody and the voice on the phone is always disguised, so I have no idea who is behind it.” Jack said, “Why did you do it? Money!” Laura began to cry again and she took another drink from the glass and said, “No Jack, it has nothing to do with money! It’s my mother! They took my mother! If I don’t do exactly what they say, they will kill her!” She started to cry uncontrollably again. Jack sat down on the couch next to her and hugged her from the side and gently rubbed her back as he pulled her close. She totally let lose crying and slowly turned toward Jack and hugged him back as she laid her head on his shoulder. Jack whispered into her ear, “It’s going to be alright, I promise, it’ll be just fine.” She cried another minute as Jack kept repeating his promise of help and reassured her that he could make everything work out. Laura pulled herself back to look Jack in the face and she said, “You don’t understand, Jack. If I don’t show up at their lab tonight they are going to kill my mother!” Jack asked, “Where is the lab, how many people are at the lab?” She explained, “They set it all up before they even contacted me and I was told where and when to show up there to make sure the lab had everything I needed. There are cameras and microphones all over the place to give them instant information. I am the only person I have ever seen there and like I said, it’s all done by remote. The disguised voice talks to me when I’m there and of course they hear me. I am watched while I’m there and also given verbal instructions. If they need to contact me anywhere else, they call my cell and send me to a location to get any items. They told me to watch you and Bill for a couple of weeks and to look for something out of the ordinary. When I saw Bill quickly set a vial in the company lab cabinet, I knew that was not usual so I reported this to them and the next thing I knew, the lab was burglarized. After the lab was broken into I expected to be contacted but nothing happened. Then the other day I was instructed to start breaking down eight vials of liquids that were already in the lab and I just finished number five last night” Laura stood and looked directly down at Jack and said, “My mother is going to die, isn’t she?” Jack also stood, putting his hands gently on either side of her face holding her gaze and said, “I wont let anything happen to your mother, I promise!” Jack had that feeling he had experienced earlier, when he was disguised as Ron back in the Exotic Scents lab just before he discovered she was the spy. He remembered not being able to sleep the night before because he kept thinking of her and his pulse began to race and his whole body ached. She looked so honest and vulnerable at this moment and he could see in her eyes that she was at her wits end. So he leaned into her face, their lips met and they kissed like neither of them had ever known before. Dan had been watching and listening to everything that was transpiring and as the embrace seemed to go on for too long, he coughed into the microphone and they instantly broke the kiss. Jack, Laura and Dan were in the secret lab office discussing their next move and Jack said, “Laura, where is your cell phone?” Laura dug in her purse and held it up.

40 Jack asked, “Have they called since you last remember?” She checked her missed calls and said, “I received a call this morning instructing me to report to the lab after work to continue breaking down the contents of the vials, but I haven’t received any calls since.” Jack then said, “You will have to show up there on schedule and perform as though nothing has changed. Can you do that?” She nodded her head in a yes motion. Dan then said, “We are going to have to track the radio signals or trace the hard line from their surveillance back to their headquarters without being seen or heard. I think when we get close enough to the lab without being detected, my radio wave scanner will pick up all the radio waves in the area. But, if they’re using a hard line it’s going to be a little harder to trace it without being detected. Since we don’t know where your mother is, Laura, we will have to hope she is at their headquarters or we will have to capture someone to interrogate for information and hope they know where she is being held.” The three of them went to the location of the kidnappers lab, making sure to stay out of detection. Dan stopped well out of the area he was sure might be under surveillance and said. “I’m going alone on foot to try to find their surveillance equipment, the fewer the better since we are not sure of exactly what we are up against. I’ll be back in twenty minutes.” After Dan was out of sight, Jack said to Laura, “You know almost everything about me but I don’t really know anything about you except for your professional history, so how about a little info?” Laura couldn’t believe he wanted to do this now while her mother was in peril and she was so upset! Jack said before she could reply, “It’ll take you mind off the drama and the stress, so come on, talk to me.” Laura emptied her head of the current situation and began, “I was born here in Nashville, I graduated high school here and I got a partial scholarship to a local college and after three years of working my ass off I got a full scholarship to Tennessee University and you know all of that. Well, lets see, my father died when I was twenty one, my mother works, well worked at a local bank until she had a stroke and I had to put her in a nursing home a couple of years ago because I just didn’t have the time to take care of her and work at the Exotic Scents Lab too. Oh Jack, they took her right out of the nursing home in the middle of the night. Oh, she must be so scared! She must hate me for getting her into this!” Jack wrapped his arm around her shoulders and pulled her close and said, “None of this is your fault! If anyone is to blame, it’s me! Do you hear me Laura? It’s my fault, not yours!” She began to lightly cry as Jack held her and they both sat still in the silence waiting for Dan to return. Jack had never thought about other peoples problems before, especially since his own parents had passed away. He felt so guilty that he had spent so many years being so self centered and using everyone and everything to do his will. He didn’t know what it was about this woman but she had really gotten into his soul. Jack turned her face toward his and rekindled the kiss that had been interrupted earlier. This time the entangled couple could decided when to end the kiss and just as they

41 finished and looked into each others eyes, Dan returned and said, “I found a radio signal and I’ve isolated it, so now we’re going to follow it to the land of Oz!” Chapter 12. Dan knew they would need help on this job, so he contacted three comrades from his days in the Navy. When he was a young man, Daniel Lewis Strong, joined the Navy Seals and was involved for many years of covert operations and was awarded several medals of honor. He eventually became a trainer for the Seal’s and over the years he made a few solid friends within the units he trained. Dan left the military and decided to take his retirement and return to his home town of Nashville. Retirement proved to be a little too boring, so Dan first dabbled in police work and he was very respected by Chief Brown for helping the Nashville P.D. on several difficult cases, however when the city council banned Chief Brown from using Dan because of the extreme tactics he employed to get the difficult jobs done. This is when he was introduced to Jack. The Chief had been consorting with Jack for a year when he felt comfortable enough to introduce him to Dan. This is when Dan became in the employ of Exotic Scents, well, the employ of Jack Stanford to be more exact. So Jack and Dan immediately struck a deal where if a situation called for Dan’s expertise, Jack was to give him freedom to work with his effective and sometimes extraordinary means of executing a job. Jack has used his cash deal with the Chief to cover up several of Dan’s implemented plans that were too messy for a private cover up. This arrangement has caused a lot of tension between Dan and the Chief almost always leaving Jack in the middle, but money talks and Jack seems to fork out enough cash to smooth things over. Jack didn’t mind the extra cost of Dan’s extreme tactics for several reasons, such as, Dan was single and was available twenty four hours a day, seven days a week and with his known reputation there were few public or private entities that would tangle with Dan’s crew. Besides his technological, mechanical and military back round, there are a number of skills that anyone in Jack’s capacity would be delighted to pay a high price to have and keep close. Jack and Laura had apprised Dan on everything that they knew about the kidnappers actions and their ways of conducting activities. They explained about the nursing home abduction of Laura’s mother, the use of Larry for the burglary and the kidnapping of Bill in the warehouse and Jack in the tunnel. Dan decided that since neither Bill nor Jack was killed, that the kidnappers are either not sure of the authenticity of the vials or they have future use for the twins. Either way, they seem to have future plans for menace concerning the brothers. Dan suggested a complete extermination of all the culprits once the objectives were accomplished. Dan’s three friends were not in the direct employ of Jack or the company but were on call with Dan’s request by means of Jack’s cash. The six of them met at a quiet bar outside the edge of the kidnappers lab surveillance area and were in the midst of forming a plan. Dan was always the leader of these more detailed operations and would also design the operations for the public - out of lab - tests that Jack required to expand his experiments, even though Chief Brown usually handled the final clean up. The job at hand was more of a malicious covert mission that Dan and the other seals were perfectly trained and equipped to execute, as this plan would be made to have a permanent resolve.

42 Once everyone was fully informed, Dan began his orders by saying, “Jack, Laura, I want you introduce you to my associates, they will be known as Tom, Dick and Harry. Now that we know each others faces we can put this plan into action. Jack, you and Laura will wait here in case we can’t infiltrate their headquarters before it is time for her go into their lab. If it comes to that, we will have the cameras outside on a closed circuit loop so we can go in undetected and watch the real time video feed while all they can see is the faked loop. Jack, take this cell phone as it has the instant voice relay accessory built in so we don’t have to dial. Just push this button and talk like the headset microphone you and Han’s used before, however these units will transmit and receive more reliably over a much farther distance. All of us can hear each other at the same time so state your name before you communicate and keep it short but keep each other updated as we go. Dan and the three seals left the bar leaving Jack and Laura to become better acquainted and share thoughts about the operation. Laura’s main concern was her mother and Jack completely understood. He comforted her by saying, “They still believe you are completely under their control and they will wait until you have analyzed all of the vials before they realize they are fake. So, if Dan’s team can’t make a breakthrough by the time you have to go to the lab later, we still have another day until they expect you to finish analyzing all of the vials. We should have your mother back by then!” Laura’s eyes were moist but she was so tired of crying, she didn’t have anymore tears to shed but Jack could hear the pain in her dry cracked voice as she said, “I can’t lose her, not like this! Oh Jack, and look what I’ve done to you! I keep asking myself, what could I have done differently?” Jack pulled her close and whispered in her ear, “There was nothing else you could have done! You did the right thing by doing exactly what they asked! We’ll get her back and when we do they won’t be able to do anything to you, or her, ever again!” Jack ordered another round of cola for the two of them even though he desperately wanted a stiff whisky straight up but he didn’t want his judgment impaired. Just as the drinks were delivered to the table, the cell phone in Jack’s hand crackled to life with the seals communicating back and forth on the instant voice accessory. “Unit four to unit one.” Dan was unit one, Tom was unit two, Dick three and Harry four. Dan said, “This is one, go ahead four.” Then Harry replied, “I’m 10-20 at the wrinkle farm and I’ve traced the phone call from a male orderly and confirmed communication to enemy H.Q.” Dan replied back, “Unit four, are you sure have a positive location of the enemy H.Q.?” Harry said, “10-4, unit three has confirmed cell tower bounce from the wrinkle farm to enemy lab, but the lab has a scrambled relay bouncing station forwarding it to enemy H.Q.” Dan ordered, “Ok unit four. Grab male orderly at wrinkle farm, without raising suspicion and relocate to safe zone.” Harry replied “10-4, unit four out.” “Jack, this is Dan, do you copy?” Jack was so surprised to be called on so soon, that he dropped the phone and it bounced off the table top on to the bench seat and finally smacking hard on the wood floor under

43 the table. He fumbled around not quite being able to grab the phone as it slid and spun just out of reach of his finger tips as he awkwardly leaned sideways between the table and the bench. Finally he had to get up out of the seat and crawl under the table to retrieve the small phone. Dan was quietly waiting for Jack to reply and after a few beats of waiting, he loudly called out “Jack!” This caused Jack to raise up before he was completely out from under the table. He in turn caused the table to come off the floor just enough to cause the drinks to slide directly into Laura’s lap and she let out a shrill scream of icy cold shock! Jack got the phone to his ear as Dan was yelling, “Are you guys alright? What’s going on? What happened? Who’s screaming? Are you under attack?” Jack said, “This is Jack, everything is ok. We just had an accident.” Then Dan said, “Meet us out behind the bar in the old carport just down the alley in five minutes.” Jack replied in a stutter, “Tee, Tin, Uh, Ten and four, Uh, we’ll be there!” Jack and Laura were walking down the alley toward the old carport as Laura tried to dry her cola soaked crotch with a hand full of paper towels. When they reached the carport, they could see the lights from Dan’s SUV coming up the alley and when it screeched to a stop, the four Navy Seals got out of the truck. Dan pointed for Jack and Laura to step just inside the carport out of view. He then grabbed the fifth man, slammed him into the side of the SUV with enough massive force to make a loud “bang” and rock the vehicle back and forth on it’s shocks. The man’s head and back were definitely bruised from the impact and the distinguished grunt of released air and pain could be heard coming from his battered body. Dan immediately grabbed him by the front of his nursing home uniform lapels and lifted him off the ground and said, “Where is the old lady?” The man said, “I don’t-” Dan cut him off with a hard fist to the stomach and repeated, “Where is the old lady?” The man was trying to cough and breath but the wind was knocked out of him and he just convulsed as Dan held him in the air. When he finally caught enough breath to speak, he choked out, “They’ll kill me!” Dan smiled as he knew he had a winner and said, “Well, shit for brains, you can keep your fucking mouth shut and die now, or spill you punk ass guts and die later, it’s up to you. What’s it going to be?” He opted to live a little longer and told them Laura’s mother was being held at the kidnappers H.Q. and gave them the location. He had no other pertinent information as he only knew where the H.Q. was located because he was only there a short time while waiting in a vehicle for his associate to escort the elderly woman inside. The orderly didn’t recognize this associate who had paid him to kidnap Laura’s mother and had not been contacted by anyone else. Dan opened the back door to the truck and as he shoved the orderly into the seat, he purposely slammed the man’s head into the edge of the steel door frame as hard as he could. A loud crack of bone meeting metal echoed between the brick walls surrounding the alley. He fell unconscious half in, half out of the back door of the truck, then Dick picked him up and threw his limp body the rest of the way into the back seat.

44 Dan turned to Jack and Laura asking, “Do either of you know who this guy is?” “Jack and Laura both shook their heads no, with wide eyes of bewilderment from the quick and efficient way Dan had interrogated this poor fucking health care worker. Dan said, “We’ll keep this guy around until I’m convinced we don’t need him anymore.” Laura then asked, “What will you do with him then?” Dan just gave her a slight smile, raised his eyebrows and leaned his head slyly to the side as if to silently say, “are you sure you want to know?” Laura suddenly shouted, “Oh shit!” This caused Jack to stumble back into the metal side of the carport creating a loud hollow metal bang as he lost his balance and slid down the metal wall to the ground. When he regained his posture he asked, “What now, Laura?” She replied, “I have to be at their lab in twelve minutes!” Dan said, “Jack, go with her but lay down in the back floorboard and wait there hidden in the car and we‘ll stay in contact through the phone. Tom and Dick will be just behind you. Don’t forget to take Laura’s car, not yours! Remember, she doesn’t have any way to hear what we are saying because they might detect a phone on her and our cover would be blown.” Jack got in the back floorboard and Laura scrambled her Toyota toward the lab with Tom and Dick in Jack’s Mercedes right on their ass. Dan, Harry and their unconscious orderly passenger headed for the kidnappers headquarters. As Dan drove away he asked Tom and Dick, “units two and three did you get a line on the lab surveillance cameras to insert a loop?” Tom replied, “This is unit two. Yes all is go at the lab for video loop.” Dan replied, “We are running late enough that Laura will have to go ahead into the lab to give us time to get ready at our location because I don‘t want them on alert due to her absence. Did you catch that Jack?” Jack again dropped the phone, this time in the floorboard as Laura was turning a corner at double the speed limit and the phone slid under the passenger seat and into the front floorboard. Laura could hear Dan’s voice as it became louder when the phone came into the front portion of the car. Just as Jack was about to get up to lean over the front seat to retrieve the phone, Laura reached back and lightly pressed his head back down so he couldn’t raise up as she said, “We’re in video camera range so stay down!” Laura hoped that the kidnappers wouldn’t be suspicious of her next move as she swerved the car at a hard right turn to cause the phone to slide toward her so she could reach it. The car tires squalled, the phone slid and Jack’s face smashed into the side of the back door with her sudden crank of the steering wheel. Laura grabbed the phone and discretely handed it to Jack as she grabbed her jacket out of the back seat all in one swift, fluid motion. The car came to a stop and Laura exited and briskly walked to the lab door. The cameras obviously were catching her every move as the lab door unlatched and opened at her arrival. Jack heard Dan’s impatient and frustrated barking as he waited for a pause in the angered questioning of “are you there?” Jack finally got in a few words of explanation by saying, “She’s on her way into the lab right now! I can’t see her but she’s on her way in!” Dan questioned Tom, “Unit two, do you have a visual on Laura?” Tom replied, “This is unit two, that is affirmative, she is entering the lab. All is green.”

45 Dan knew that if Laura was entering the lab, the video cameras had seen her and opened the door so the coast was clear for him and Harry to continue to their destination without worry. When Laura was inside and the door closed and locked behind her, two men with ski masks and guns were standing in the hallway waiting for her. She knew something was up because she had never encountered another person inside before, only the disguised voice piped through the speakers. She also knew that Tom and Dick were going to place a digital video loop device on the outside video cameras that sent a direct feed to the monitors inside. She also knew that they would be able to see her in real time in the cameras while the kidnappers only saw the fake loop. If she could keep an eye on the monitors maybe she would see a flicker when the switch was made and she might be able to get a message to them about her uninvited company. Dan came over the air waves informing everyone that he and Harry were in position and had looped the cameras at the kidnappers headquarters. He reminded Tom and Dick that when the loop device was connected at the lab, they needed to monitor the actual scenes the cameras were capturing inside and outside as this would be critical. Dan instructed them to take a quick visual inventory of all the camera views in and around the lab and report as soon as they had the loop connected. As Tom connected into the camera feed, Laura caught a glimpse of static flash across one of the monitor screens out of the corner of her eye. She needed to find a way to discretely get a message to Tom and Dick by doing so in front of the nearest camera. She knew there was a camera mounted on the ceiling behind her but she needed a way to turn around for a front on view to warn the guys. She grabbed a small test tube and when the guards were not looking directly at her, she threw it over their heads and far down the hall on the other side of them. When it smashed into the floor, the guards instantly went on defense as one man turned his gun directly at her and the other one turned toward the sound. She immediately said, “There has been a rat sneaking around in here for two days.” As soon as she mentioned the rat, the guards looked at each other and both turned and started toward the noise. When their backs were turned, she immediately turned around and made three hand gestures over and over several times, in quick succession, directly at the camera as she tried to make sure the guys saw her doing so. She made the peace sign for the number two, then she used her first finger and thumb to make the gun sign and then pointed behind her to the hallway. She would quickly glance back to see where the guards were after each succession of gesturing. Tom was moving through each camera feeds, one at a time, when he caught sight of Laura’s hand signals. He immediately decoded her message and relayed the information to Dan. After a few silent beats, Dan’s instructions came over the airwave saying, “We hold steady until we can simultaneously take both locations at the exact same time or one location will inform the other before we are ready. We have several targets here inside the headquarters and you have two guards there at the lab. Keep your eye on your two targets and I will report when we have a window of opportunity over here. By the way, we have a camera visual on Laura‘s mother, she‘s ok but we don’t know which room she‘s in” Laura had made several repeats of her hand signal attempt to inform the guys of her situation. She suddenly had to abort her warning as the guards were coming back up the

46 hallway to the lab area. They were obviously looking for the possible source of the pieces of glass they found on the floor and Tom saw the images of Laura’s unwanted company as they searched intently around the room. Jack had been listening to all of the events that were taking place and when the airwaves fell quiet, he said, “Tom, this is Jack. Can I get out of the car now?” Tom waited a few seconds before replying to see if Dan was going to interject any comments. Just as Tom was about to reply, Dan’s voice said, “Jack, this is Dan. Stay put and wait for Tom to come and get you.” Then he instructed Tom to retrieve Jack and take him to their safe zone. As Tom was getting Jack out of the Toyota Jack said, “You have to give me a gun! I know how to use it and you might need me” Tom decided not to bother Dan with this request and gave Jack a silenced 9 mm pistol and said, “Don’t use it until Dick or I tell you to, ok?” Jack agreed and the three men squatted near the entrance to the lab quietly waiting for the right moment to proceed. Dan’s voice once again came over the air saying, “Tom, go ahead and have Dick insert the rope fuse into the outer door lock and wait for my signal.” Harry had also began to insert a rope fuse into the lock at the headquarters door, so both locks, at each location could be burned at the exact same time. Tom came back saying, “The fuse is in place.” Dan replied, “We go in as soon as the locks are compromised and we are green for lock burn anytime you are.” Tom could see that one of the guards was right behind Laura watching her work with his gun at the ready but he couldn’t see where the other guard was positioned. Tom decided that he and Dick would have to go ahead with the plan by taking out the first guard and sneak up on the second one covering Laura. Tom spoke into the mouthpiece saying, “This is Tom, we are a go.” Dan then replied, “We are green in - 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, go, go, go.” Jack was watching the monitor and knew the guard was behind Laura and said to Tom, “You can’t go now! They will kill her!” Tom gave the go sign to Dick and turned to Jack and said, “I’m not going to let anything happen to your sexy little lab chick, so just relax and stay here until you hear from me!” Harry and Dick each lit their fuse ropes at almost the exact same time and pulled back while the technology did it’s magic. The fuse sputtered with an almost undetectable sparking fizz as it silently burned and destroyed the lock mechanisms. When both fuses went silent and dark Dan said, “Go in now!” Tom eased the door open just enough to slip inside the lab with Dick close behind. The illumination from the outside light was letting a fairly bright beam pass into the hall as the two men entered. Dick closed the door as soon as he was inside to douse the intruding light and both men stood absolutely still to listen for signs of being detected. Just as Tom was sure that the coast was clear and began to creep up the hall, he turned and gave Dick the silent hand signal to move fore ward slowly. After they had only taken a couple of silent steps, Jack slipped the door open and eased inside behind them. The light instantly caught their attention and Dick brought his gun up

47 to Jack’s face and it almost engulfed his nose. Dick shook his head from side to side with the facial expression that let Jack know he came real close to being a dead man. Just as Jack pulled the door shut, Tom held a fist up signaling an all stop and quiet order. Then the tap, tap, tap of someone trying to tip toe in boots could be heard coming down the hall toward them. Tom gave a shitty sneer in Jack’s direction as he pulled his silenced pistol from it’s holster and stood ready to take out the nearing guard. The tapping foot steps stopped and Tom could see the beam of a flash light appear twenty feet up the hall and the light was quickly working it’s way toward them. He quickly raised his gun and eased the trigger down as the pistol released a silenced shot. The muffled spew of gun powder was followed by a light thud of a body leaning hard against the wall and before the dead guards body could slide down to the ground, Tom had slipped up and grabbed him under one arm and held him steady to keep the noise to a minimum. Dick was right behind and helped Tom to set the body silently down. Dick looked back at Jack and motioned for him to stay put and he returned to follow Tom up the hallway. Dan and Harry had entered the kidnappers H.Q. under similar circumstances as Tom and Dick had at the lab. Dan had cleared the first two rooms and the next hall split in two opposing directions. They went back to the first room and waited for the roaming guard to return. Standing on either side of the door between the first two rooms, they got in position and when the guard stepped through the threshold, Dan smacked him in the face with the but of his rifle. The guards nose smashed into his face with a blood spattering “pop” and as he turned away from the impact Harry hit him with a fist in his left jaw and he went straight down. Dan went left and Harry to the right where the hallway split. Harry was following the hall with several closed doors along it, he checked each one by slipping a small extendable micro camera under the doors and taking a quick look. The first few revealed nothing of importance but the fourth room contained three men sitting at a table as though they were taking a lunch break while they watched a T.V. Laura’s mother was safe and sound in the room at the end of the hall with the remaining rooms being empty. Harry called Dan and said, “This is unit four, I’ve got three gunners at a picnic and the old woman is solo.” Dan replied, “I believe I’ve found the main control room with a safety door. I’ll come to you first.” Dan caught up to Harry and they devised a plan to eliminate the three guards without raising the alarm. Harry determined that the wall to the west was the only angle that all three were basically facing away from, so as Dan went into the room directly west of the guards, Harry stayed at the door using the micro camera to keep constant surveillance. Harry gave Dan exact instructions as Dan silently cut a small hole in the wall, undetected by the picnickers due to the cover of the T.V. noise. When Dan had the hole finished, he could put the barrel of his silenced rifle through and look down the sights. Harry said, “You’re good to go.” He watched through the small camera and saw one, then two, then three small puffs of smoke spew through the hole and then he directed his attention to the table. He then saw the front of the first mans face blast out of his skull with a large hole left in it’s place and his body lean over and fall to the floor. Then the second body fell to the floor and then the third body leaned over straight onto the table top while it jerked in small convulsions that eventually slowed to complete stillness. Harry retrieved Laura’s mother and escorted her out to the truck with slow progress as she was not that old but had suffered a stroke so she didn’t possess quick motor skills.

48 He didn’t know her name so he just called her miss until she suddenly stopped cold, turned to face him and said, “My name is Roberta and I want to go back to the nursing home!” She leaned in close to him and said in a quiet voice, “I’ve had a little accident!” He thought she must be nearing sixty but her build and general health looked good, which reminded him of his own mother but the stroke had taken it’s toll on this woman. As he walked her slowly out of the building, he realized he had to piss real bad, he wasn’t sure if it was from the stress of feeling like he was falling behind from the woman’s slow progress or the odor of urine coming from the elderly woman‘s accident. He finally got her to the truck and had to almost lift her into the seat but as he grabbed her to lift, he felt that unmistakable, warm, sticky feeling of urine soaked cotton on her nursing home gown now transferred to his hand. He got her in the seat and leaned over the urine soaked woman taking the keys out of the ignition and placing them under the drivers floor mat. He then pulled himself back up and shut the truck door. As he ran back to the building, the urge to piss was becoming overwhelming and Dan was calling for him to “hurry the fuck up”, over the headset. He finally stopped and took care of business inside the building, just outside the room where Dan was waiting. During Harry’s senior citizen outing, Dan had made his way back to the secure control room to give the massive door another inspection. As he called for Harry to hurry, he determined that to get into the control room drastic measures would be necessary. Harry was zipping his pants up as he made his way into the split hallway and Dan said, “You didn’t do the old lady did you?” Harry said, “Hell no! I had to piss!” Dan noticed a distinct smell of old urine and quickly decided he didn’t even want to go there, so he just got Harry up to speed on the control room door and he then contacted Tom. Dan said, “Tom, it’s Dan. We’ve got a door that’s going to take a little blast to unlock. So, when we use the explosive were going to set off a shit load of alarms and all hell is going to break lose, so be ready!” Tom said, “10-4, lets do it!” Dan placed a C-4 charge on the door and set the timer for fifteen seconds and he and Harry ran back to the first room to wait for the blast. Dan counted down ten seconds and then said into the headset, “5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and “boom” the door was no longer a problem. Tom leaned his head into the lab and saw the second guard looking at a red light flashing on the wall as he grabbed Laura while pressing his gun to her head. The guard looked around and listened but didn’t see or hear anything so he tried to look at the monitors for some information on the reason for the flashing red warning light. When the guard had full attention on the monitor screens, Tom brought his pistol up, holding it with both hands for stability, and fired a single round just passed Laura’s forehead and popped a hollow point round in the guards left temple. The silencer was so quiet that Laura didn’t know what happened except that there was suddenly a salty, metallic taste in her mouth and her entire face and side of her head was drenched with a sticky liquid. The guard had spun around as he fell, because his arm was around Laura’s neck and the exploded portion of his head rubbed against the side of her face, leaving blood, brain matter and other bodily fluids streaming down her body as he

49 fell to the floor. She realized what was happening and shoved him away as she fled back screaming and flailing her arms with what Tom thought was a slight over reaction. Dan and Harry waited down the hall from the now imploded door to take out any runners, but as the smoke outside the room cleared, the scene remained quiet. Dan gave Harry a fore ward movement hand signal and pointed to his own eye ordering him to move to the door opening and use the micro extended camera. Harry slid the unit around the corner and at first could only see smoke and ash but soon he could see two bodies on the floor that had probably been knocked out by the concussion of the blast. Then he saw another body moving toward the back of the room and disappearing behind some equipment. Harry motioned for Dan to join him at the door to make further advancements. Dan slipped in to the room and made his way behind a bank of monitor screens for protection. As he peered over the top of the equipment, a rifle shot rang out and a bullet hit him in the neck instantly bringing him back to a sitting position. Harry saw the impact and immediately pulled off half a clip of machine gun rounds toward the back of the room as he made his way to Dan. Not sure of who or exactly where the shot came from, he just kept showering bullets out until he dropped down next to Dan. Harry asked, “How bad?” Dan tightly replied, “It’s just a fucking bleeder!” Harry looked at the wound and instantly could tell there was no way to implicate a tunicate so he ripped his shirt sleeve off and applied it to the wound with hard pressure trying to stop or at least slow the bleeding. He then radioed Tom and said, “Tom, its’ Larry. Dan took a hit and its’ a bleeder, and we’re pinned down!” Tom said, “Damn, it’ll take us almost twenty minutes to get to you and there’s not much we can do for Dan once we arrive. He needs medical attention! I’ll call in our medics to meet us there and we’re on our way! See you in seventeen minutes!” Dan said, “I can hold this wound closed for a while, see if you can get the fucker that shot me, and Larry, be careful!” Larry peeked around the same side that Dan had when he was shot. Dan grabbed him by the collar and quickly pulled him back just as a bullet whizzed right passed where his head would have been! Larry said, “Thanks bro!” He then moved around the other side of the equipment and again showered bullets toward the back of the room while making his way behind a desk. There was no return gunfire and he could see under the length of the desk and spotted a boot, slightly moving a few yards away. He wasn’t sure if the man knew where he was and decided not to try lifting his head up for a look. He laid down as flat as he could and shot as high on the mans leg as was possible. When he pulled the trigger, the bullet hit the man just above the ankle and as the man moved again he shot the other leg, striking the other ankle. When the injured man went down, Harry popped several rounds into his head and torso. Harry waited a few seconds and remembered seeing two men earlier on the floor, but he wasn’t sure which direction they would be located from his current position. He edged his way around the back side of the desk reaching the corner. As he leaned to look around the corner, another shot rang out and caught Larry in the shoulder. Tom tried to get Laura out of the lab but she was hysterical and wouldn’t let him come near. He called Jack in to help try and calm her down. As soon as Jack entered the doorway, she instantly ran to him and he received her in a gripping hug. He didn’t care

50 that her face and upper body were covered in blood, he was just happy it wasn’t hers. As she was crying with her face buried in his shoulder, he gently mentioned that her mother was safe. He knew this would redirect her thoughts from the bloody trauma of the dead guard to hopeful thoughts of reuniting with her mother. Just as Jack was wiping the blood from her face, Tom instructed them to follow him and Dick to the kidnappers headquarters so they could get her mother to a safer location. Jack and Laura left the lab in the Toyota with tires squealing! Jack drove as they followed Tom and Dick in a speedy dash for a twelve mile race against time to rescue Dan. The radio came to life with Larry’s voice once again saying, “I’ve been hit in the shoulder and were still pinned down! I think there are two of them but I‘m not positive!” Dick reassured Harry that they would be there in a few minutes along with the medics. When Dan first became in the employ of Jack and realized how serious his job would be, he insisted that Jack buy a state of the art ambulance and retain a qualified medical team to be on call from a local surgeons office to operate the mobile medic unit. All three vehicles arrived at almost the same time in the kidnappers H.Q. parking area, consisting of Tom’s truck, Laura’s Toyota and the medic ambulance. Harry gave Tom the detailed layout of the inner building over the radio and Tom barked out orders, “One of you medics check out Laura‘s mother, if she’s ok, Jack you take her and Laura to your lab. If she needs further medical attention take her to the local hospital and try to keep the details fuzzy until we get this mess cleaned up, because we don’t need the police involved charging us with murder. The other medic can follow Dick and me and wait just inside, until we secure the control room and then give medical attention to Dan and Harry.” The medic waited in the first room while Tom and Dick made their way to the control room doorway. Tom radioed Harry saying, “We’re outside the door.” Harry replied, “I think there are two targets in here, all the way to the back center of the room but they’re well barricaded and they have a direct view of the door.” Then Tom said, “Ok Harry, can you make it back to the door if we give you cover fire?” There was a pause and Harry said, “Yea, I’m good to make it but when you come in I’m going to toss a twenty second delay grenade back at the targets on my way out, so get out fast!” Tom agreed and said, “On four, 1, 2, 3, Go!” Tom and Dick both came around the corner of the control room door way with guns blazing. Harry peeked up to see the targets taking cover from the pummel of bullets surrounding them. He snapped a grenade from his belt, pulled the pin, raised up and tossed it in their direction as he made a dash back to the entrance. When he reached the bank of monitors, he saw Tom lifting the unconscious Dan while Dick kept his rifle bullets pummeling toward the targets with small bursts to keep from running out of ammunition. Harry used his good arm to help Tom get Dan out of the room and Dick’s gun ceased to fire as his clip drew empty and in just a couple of seconds the targets began to return heavy fire. Tom and Dan were barely outside around the corner of the doorway as Harry’s back and head were riddled with enemy fire and he went down. Dick didn’t have a chance because as he was inserting a fresh clip into his gun, he was totally engulfed in bullets and before he or Dick hit the floor, the grenade exploded and extinguished any life remaining inside the room.

51 Tom frantically called for the medic team to come to his assistance but the team was still intimidated by the fresh ringing in their ears from the gun fire and grenade blast. When they finally overcame their fear, they made their way through the smoke and found Tom doing C.P.R. on Dan. As the medic took over the attempt to resuscitate Dan, he instantly realized that Dan had been dead for several minutes from loss of blood. Laura and her mother Roberta were with Jack in his secret lab at Exotic Scents waiting for news from the team. The medics had evaluated all three to be ok and they were deciding what to do with Roberta when Jack’s cell rang. It was Tom with the bitter sweet news, he said, “Jack, it’s Tom and I’ve got bad news. Dan, Dick and Harry are dead! We took out the targets but we lost everyone!” Jack didn’t know what to say, he wanted to apologize and commend Tom all at the same time but the words in his head just seemed so, empty and awkward. He finally said, “My god Tom, I don’t know what to say. Are you alright? Or is there anything I can do?” When Jack took a brief pause Tom said, “Jack, it’s not your fault and these missions can turn bad on a Dime! Dan was a good friend and a mentor to me, damn, I’m going to miss him! I tried to save him and Harry, but the son of a bitches had them pinned down and they got us on our escape from that fucking room! Dick is the only reason I’m alive!” Jack listened without saying a word until Tom was finished letting it out, then he said with sympathy, “Tom, were here for you! What do you want me to do?” Jack thought he heard a quiver in Tom voice when he replied, “I’ve got to get rid of all these bodies before anyone finds out what happened here and I’m from California so I’m not familiar with this area and I don’t -” Jack cut him off and reassured him, “Tom, I will be back there shortly with another able man. We’ll bring a van and supplies, and we should be there in thirty minutes. Is there anything you need or anything special we need to bring?” Tom listed a few things for Jack to grab and agreed to sit tight until they arrived. Jack explained to Laura that he had to leave and wanted to know what she was going to do with Roberta. Laura decided to take Roberta to her house until things calmed down and she had some time to think. Jack thought that was a good idea and agreed to call Laura the next morning as Jack insisted she take at least a few days off work to sort things out. Jack didn’t give her any information about the situation where Tom was but he knew eventually she would figure out why Dan wasn’t coming back to Exotic Scents, ever again. Chapter 13. Jack called Hans to come and help with the clean up and when he arrived at the lab, he had a surprise guest with him, it was Bill. Before they left the lab to meet Tom, Jack explained the situation to both Bill and Hans. Bill insisted on tagging along to be of any help he could. As the three of them drove to Tom’s location, Jack asked Hans about a good location to “get rid of the evidence”, permanently and Hans said, “Don’t worry boss, I know just the place!” When they arrived, Tom was waiting just inside the door and came out to the van as it rolled to a stop. Introductions were made and Tom told them that anybody with a weak stomach may not want to be involved in this part of the clean up. Everyone looked at each other and nobody said a word, so the four of them got ready to enter the building.

52 Tom was wearing gloves and had hospital booties over his boots along with a hair net and a medical face mask pulled down to his neck with the strap still over the top of his ears. He instructed the other three to dress accordingly with the supplies that Jack had brought and to smear a little Vick’s vapor rub in the mask. Bill asked, “Why the face mask? There isn’t much trace we could leave since all four of us are clean shaven.” Tom looked Bill in the face and replied, “When the human body gets shot up, especially in the abdomen, the bladder, spleen, bowels and other parts and organs, instantly give off a “unique” odor.” With raised eyebrows and still slightly confused, Bill said, “I see!” Tom had already cleaned up any trace evidence inside and outside the building, including tire impressions and shoe tracks. They entered the building and when they reached the control room, they noticed that Dan, Dick and Harry had been lined up side by side and were covered with a ripped up section of carpet from a room elsewhere in the building. There were three more pieces of carpet lying in the hall way, rolled up and waiting to be used. Tom directed everyone into the back of the control room where the dead targets lay strewn on the floor. Hans was first to notice that the dead men had more wounds than were caused by bullets, so he asked Tom, “What happened to these fuck heads?” Tom looked over at the dead men and replied, “My family is Blackfoot Indian from South Dakota and we believe that a true evil enemy’s body will go to the afterlife in the condition as it leaves the earth, so I restored Dan, Dick and Harry’s honor! Any more questions?” All three men shook their heads no as they gazed at the two mutilated bodies before them on the floor. Tom had removed the heart, eyes, ears, tongues and genitals of both dead men. He had placed the removed body parts in a plastic bag and was holding it up for the others to see. Bill then asked, “What do you plan to do with them?” Tom held the bag out in front of his face letting it spin back and forth as he said, “I will use an old traditional ceremony to burn these sacrifices as I chant the ancient spoken ritual to send these men into hell with lonely, blind, deaf, speechless and sterile eternal nightmares.” Jack and the others glanced at each other and then back at the spinning bag of bloody organs when Jack said, “Alright then Tom, what do we do next?” The four men, in pairs of two, grabbed the feet and hands of the dead enemies and carried them out to the hall and wrapped each one in a section of carpet, then put them in the back of the van. Bill then asked, “Why didn’t we put your friends in the van first since they were closer and already rolled in carpet?” Tom grabbed Bill’s arm, spun him around and sternly said, “My fallen friends will not spend one minute under the bodies of these spiritually doomed adversaries.” Bill then said, “Ok, ok, what ever you say Tom!” They returned to the hall where the three fallen men were lying and when they began to place Dan in his temporary casket of carpet, Tom stopped the operation just as the body was laid on the flat piece of rug and recited a prayer in his native tongue.

53 Tom then said before they loaded Dan’s body into the van, on top of the dead targets already inside, “Since we don’t have time to make two trips to relocate the bodies, I must spiritually separate my fallen friends from the enemy for the transport.” Tom had earlier removed an extra piece of carpet which he then placed on top of the dead enemies in the van and set a personal item from Dan on top of the fabric barrier. He once again recited a verbal ritual in his native tongue before placing Dan’s body on top of the spiritual barrier of carpet. He repeated this ritual for Dick and Harry’s bodies also. All of the bodies were placed in the van and any new trace evidence was collected or destroyed and the inside and outside of the building cleared to Tom’s satisfaction. Tom threw two more pieces of carpet in the van and the other three men just thought there must be another ritual to be witnessed in their upcoming future. Hans was the designated driver as he steered the van to the remote location for the permanent disappearance of their cargo when Tom said, “We have to go over to the lab and clean up there. Jack and I didn’t have time earlier because we rushed straight to Dan’s assistance.” The men understood and the van’s course was redirected to the kidnappers lab. The two dead guards inside were just as they had been left earlier when Laura had been smeared with blood. Tom pulled out his Bowie knife and began his dismemberment ritual on the last two remaining bodies. Jack and Bill opted not to view the mutilation and made quick steps to inspect the other areas to be rid of trace evidence. However, Hans was in a hypnotized state of anticipation as he was about to witness Tom’s artistic organ removal techniques. The razor sharp Bowie moved in a swift, flowing, continuous motion of slicing precision as Tom’s experienced hand wielded the bloody blade. Hans looked on with childlike wonder as Tom finished mutilating the first body and Hans asked, “Can I do the last one?” Tom efficiently completed his task on the first body before replying, “This ritual has been practiced through my ancestors for centuries and is not to be taken lightly!” Hans had a confident excited expression on his face as he replied, “I know you are an American Indian and that’s why you do this, but I have Viking blood running through my veins!” Tom accepted this plea of reasoning and handed the Bowie to the hulking man. Han’s eyes were glazed over as though he was about to cash in the winning lottery ticket as he knelt down beside the body to begin cutting. He started at the eyes and was trying to be as gentile as Tom had, but his hands were not so delicately trained for filleting, actually he is more of a hacker! Tom was appalled by Han’s performance but once the ceremony was underway, his beliefs were that the ritual performer could not be changed without dire spiritual consequences for all entities involved. Tom continued to watch as he was compelled to at least view the results of his bad choice for master of ceremonies. Tom’s ancient beliefs were that the removed organs should be whole and undamaged after removal to make the fire burning ritual of these organs to be effective. Hans eventually removed the eyes with some damage to the orbs and his own hands. Tom was again disappointed because Hans’ blood had mixed with the enemy’s, as this also was a bad omen. He removed the tongue and ears with minimal damage to the parts and himself, however when he turned his poor slicing skills to the genital area, there was a distinct change in his demeanor and attitude.

54 Jack came back in the room and happened to see Hans as he was attempting to remove the penis. Hans’ hand was trying to hold the penis stretched and firm for the blade to slice smoothly and Jack noticed the unsteady motions of the brutes hands and the penis would stretch to an almost painful looking elongated state to a limp flaccid wrinkled lump as it slipped from his grip and fell lose, flopping around on the dead man’s groin. Jack witnessed these few seconds of sex organ removal and immediately removed himself outside to wait. Hans eventually removed the penis and testicles and Tom held the plastic bag open for him to drop them into for safekeeping. Once the last two bodies had been wrapped in carpet and taken out near the van, Tom insisted that his three fallen comrades be removed from the van and the two remaining enemy bodies thrown in with the others, then he could repeat the spiritual separation ritual again, hopefully for the last time. When the building and surrounding area was clear of trace evidence, the van once again headed to their final destination. The van made it’s way into a extremely remote thickly wooded area in the nearby mountains. When they saw the exact dump spot, Jack recognized the burned out remains of a Ford Bronco. He then said, “Oh shit Hans! This is where you dumped Larry, isn’t it?” Hans just turned to Jack and shrugged his shoulders with a cowering body motion. Tom said, “It doesn’t matter. Once I finish my spiritual duties to honor my fallen soldier comrades, I will eliminate all possible trace of everything here!” After dumping the bodies, the four men made their way back to Jack and Bill’s hidden lab and Tom said, “I will need to use your chopper for a few hours, ok?” Jack said, “Sure, whatever you need. May I ask what you need it for?” Tom pulled Jack to the side and replied, “I am going to fly to a warehouse where I have a friend that will help me hook a 1000 gallon container to the bottom of the chopper and we will fill it with a powerful acid mixture. The container is actually two 500 gallon containers in one. One half will be filled with a neutral acid and the other half with an activator. When I am over the dump location in the mountains, I will release both liquids simultaneously and this will coat and destroy everything it comes in contact with. The reaction time is very quick and within thirty minutes no one would be able to tell exactly what was there. No bones or anything biodegradable will survive and all metal, rubber and plastic will melt and molt into unidentifiable globs of junk. As Tom was heading to the chopper, Jack stopped him and said, “I know this doesn’t mean much but you can have the other men’s pay and I’ll double yours. It’s the least I can do and is there anything else I can do for you?” Tom thought for a moment and replied, “I want the other guy’s pay to go to their closest relatives and I will accept my double pay.” Jack said, “You get me names and addresses and I will make sure the money will get to the family members in a discrete manor, and Tom, I am here if you ever need anything!” Tom said, “Thanks Jack! I know that the outcome of this operation had nothing to do with you. It was bad luck and a couple of bad strategic decisions by Dan, so If I can be of assistance to you in the future, just call me. Here is my card. Good bye for now, Jack.” Jack waved good bye as Tom picked up the case of money and he said, “Tom, you can keep the chopper!” Tom saluted Jack, climbed into the chopper and lifted off.

55 Jack checked his watch to see if it was late enough in the morning to call Laura but it was only four thirty and he decided to retire to one of the lab apartment living quarters along with Bill and Hans to try and get some much needed shut eye or at least some rest. Chapter 14. Later that morning, Jack decided to just go to Laura’s house instead of calling but as he turned the corner of her block, he realized that she may not want him to show up in person. He pulled his cell out of his pocket, dialed her number and she answered the phone with, “Jack! Are you alright? Did everything turn out ok?” Jack told her everything was going to be fine and asked how her and Roberta were doing. Jack was pulling into her driveway and after she stated that she and her mother were fine, she asked him, “can you come over?” Jack replied, “I’ll be there in thirty seconds!” She opened the door before he had a chance to ring the bell and she threw open the screen and slammed into him with a hugging grip of a petite bear. Jack hugged her back with the same ferocity and passion, then they slid into a deep, slow kiss of reunited bliss! As they kissed, she pulled him into the house and shut the door behind him. They continued kissing and fondling each other as they made their way to her bedroom and she whispered in his ear, my mother is asleep in the back bedroom and he instantly knew this was explicitly to let him know that they were free to explore each other intimately. Once inside her bedroom, they continued to kiss as Jack was letting his hands gently slide up and down her sides, from the fullness of her breasts down to the curve of her hips. She was becoming more turned on as he moved his lips from her mouth to her cheek and he lightly kissed as he moved along her jaw line to her neck. His hot breath and tender lips touching her neck was sending her into another sense of existence. As he raised his hands along her sides, he slipped under her blouse and his fingers were floating across her erect nipples that were pushing out the thin, silky bra. She began to unbutton his shirt and ran her hands across his muscular chest and stomach as she lightly kissed his nipples. Jack caressed his way around her sides to the clasp on the bra and in a swift flip of his fingers, the garment fell lose and he eased his hands to the front fully cupping her breasts. She pushed the sides of his shirt back over his shoulders and he let it fall to the floor. He then pulled her blouse bottom up, inside out over her head revealing her breasts as the bra had also come off with the blouse. He could feel the pulsing sensations in her swollen nipple as he eagerly leaned over and gently let it slide into his mouth. Her breast felt and tasted like sweet nectar to his exploring tongue. She unbuttoned and stepped out of her pants at the same time that Jack removed his, then they continued to hug, kiss and fondle. Jack ran his fingers down her back to the thin straps of her thong as he traced the side straps around to the back, down along the center to her now moistening panty crotch. She could feel his manhood, stiff and pulsing against her stomach below her bellybutton through his briefs. He was first to pull her thong down as far a he could reach without leaving contact with their newly heated kiss. She replied by pulling his briefs down below his knees as his full erection was beckoning for attention. As she slowly broke the kiss, she finished removing her thong and slid down to her knees to taste his throbbing member and he moaned loudly, then caught himself and

56 muted the sounds of ecstasy. She slowly slid the tip in and out of her mouth until she could tell he was going crazy wanting a deeper sensation, then she leaned into him taking as much of him as her mouth would allow while drawing hard as she pulled back. After several times of her plunging him in and out of her mouth, he finally pulled back, grabbed her under the arms, lifting her to a standing position and pressing her back onto the bed at a diagonal angle to the corner of the mattress. He laid her down with her head slightly leaned back off the corner and he positioned himself to ease himself back into her mouth. As she parted her lips to accept him, he leaned over pressing his lips to the swollen mound of her sensitive button and began to gently caress it with his tongue. She began to moan and the vibration coming from her throat was even more sensual to his excited erection. Her sensations were heightening as she spread her legs widely apart to allow him to lower his mouth to explore her wet, inner most pleasure folds. After she had released a moist trickle of juice into his mouth, he wanted to feel himself inside her love nest and he pulled back for her to turn around and let him climb up between her legs and position himself on top of her. He leaned down and kissed her deeply as he pressed the tip against the opening of her moist opening. As the kiss intensified from the anticipation for the moment of penetration, he kept constant pressure against her as she came again and he slid in with body shaking vibrations of pleasure for both of them. The first plunge inside her aching, silky walls was of the ultimate pleasure and release for them both and as their bodies fully met in total unity. When he finally pulled back, he withdrew almost completely and quickly pressed back down again with the same deep plunge as before. He withdrew the second time pulling completely out of her allowing the folds to close slightly as he instantly pressed back inside her wet slot and this time he entered with a little more force and speed. The moans came faster and faster from her as he steadily quickened his pace until he was swollen with excitement as he finally released a powerful shot of warm, oozing juice into her now soaked and silky velvet glove. They lay there breathing hard and caressing each other recovering from the total release of all things emotional and Jack kissed her deeply for a few seconds and rolled to her side with both of them lying in exotic bliss and total exhaustion. Chapter 15. The next morning Jack’s cell rang and he answered with a chipper, “Hello Chief, what‘s up?” With no hello or salutations the Chief laid into Jack, “What the fuck did you guys do, start and finish a war over night? Never mind, I already have a pretty good idea of what happened! You better hope my crime scene crew don’t find anything linking any of you guys to this cluster fuck!” Jack tried to sound innocent and even a little surprised, “What the fuck are you talking about Chief? Bill and I have been on leave of absence for several days, hell we haven’t even been in town!” The Chief said, “As long as you are cleared from any ties to this mess, that’s what I want to hear but I have another problem. Do you know the name Dalton Jamison?” Jack replied, “Yes, he’s the son of Alfred Jamison, the head of Super Cosmo, the make up conglomerate. What about him?”

57 The Chief said, “Well, it seems as though he hasn’t been heard from since yesterday and he is never late reporting to his father.” Jack asked, “How did you find out so soon about this?” The Chief replied in a low voice, “One of my bosses on the city council has ties to the family and has direct knowledge that the little son of a bitch had been here in town very recently and had been reporting home up until yesterday. Now tell me, what do you know, Jack?” Jack paused in thought for a few seconds and said, “Chief, keep me updated and let me do some inquiring and I’ll get back to you as soon as I get something. Ok?” The Chief agreed and hung up. Jack contacted Bill and asked, “Did we get any information on the dead guys the other night?” Bill said, “I don’t think so, hell I have no idea.” Jack told Bill to ask Hans the same and to get back with him later. Jack then called Tom and asked, “Tom, did you get any information on any of the dead guys the other night?” Tom paused a beat, then replied, “I didn’t keep anything but I looked in the pocket of one of the guys in the control room. He was the only one that had any kind of ID or info that I could find. Why do you ask?” Then Jack bluntly said, “I just really need to know anything about any of those guys, can you help me?” Tom said, “Let me think a minute… I remember it was a gas receipt from a mini mart. It was a Quick Go mart. It had the credit card number on it but I didn’t memorize it. Does that help?” Jack said, “It just might, Tom, it just might. I’ll call you later. Thanks.” Jack called the Chief and told him to check the Quick Go marts for gas purchases on credit cards in the last week that might match Dalton Jamison’s info. The Chief looked for any purchases that matched any criteria from Dalton’s home town of Chicago or even any local characters that may have been involved with him. Before the end of the day the Chief called Jack back and when he answered, it was disturbing to say the least. “Jack you had better level with me!” Jack was not sure of how to respond but he needed to get it over with and he said, “Chief, we were involved the other night but it got out of hand and-” The Chief cut him off by saying, “Everything you do gets out of hand but that’s not the point right now because what is important is that the credit card was traced back to Daltons right hand man and Dalton still hasn’t been located. They also had a motel room rented with that card but that doesn’t mean anything to anyone but us, because it’s already common knowledge that he had been here. So, I’ve got to assume that you guys did a good job of “hiding the evidence”, right?” Then Jack said, “We got rid of everything, permanently.” The Chief said, “Jack, I can get this thing to blow over only if you guys don’t get tied to this mess but if you are caught, I’m out of it and I’ll deny any knowledge or involvement on anything. Remember Jack, I’ve covered my ass and I won’t go down alone if you implicate me!”

58 Jack thought for a moment and said, “Well, I see it like this. If Dalton is dead, he wont be found and we have to play it off like we don’t know what happened to him. If he’s alive, he won’t say anything to the authorities or he will implicate himself, right?” The Chief agreed and said, “Somebody must know that he is, or was, definately here. Probably his father, most likely! I have been to the “war zones” at the abandoned buildings you guys left behind and looked them over without finding anything. This is under the table and not an official police investigation, but Dalton is a different story because his associate has filed a missing persons report, but there was no mention of the places where you guys engaged in the shoot out. So, either they weren’t involved or they want it kept quiet too.” Jack agreed with that and they agreed to play it by ear and wait to see who or what turned up. Chapter 16. Jack and Bill returned to work as usual with the exception of Laura taking some extended time off to be with her mother. Jack hired a full time nurse to help Laura take care of Roberta and they were doing fine, at least for the time being. Bill was hoping that the events of the recent past would diminish Jacks desire to research the special scents but this was not the case. At first, Jack seemed to have his interest totally engulfed in his relationship with Laura and this lasted for a while as Jack and Laura were quite the nightly item and they even invited Bill along for dinner and other outings. After a few weeks, Jack began to spend more and more late nights in the lab working on the scents and was even more determined to remedy the DNA test failures for outside his and Bill’s gene pool. As his frustration with the failing DNA testing grew, he decided to distract his aggravated state of mind and go ahead with the public scent research testing, and this caused Bill’s stress levels to raise dramatically. Jack eased back into the scent experiments with a simple plan of forced emotional manipulation in another sports situation. Bill was sick with worry after Jack told him of the general plan and his role in the experiment. Jack had decided to try out the “Confusion” scent, by applying the scent on a referee at a local televised basketball game. Bill resisted participating in the fiasco, especially when he found out that Jack would be a stand in referee to record the verbal statements of the athletes during the experiment. Jack was to wear a micro air filter that would fit comfortably hidden in the nostrils. The air filtering device would clean the air that he breathed while he was mingling with the athletes as the game took place. Jack also installed a microphone and digital recorder on his person to record everything in his immediate vicinity. He also needed a new disguise so he wouldn’t be recognized and Raphael’s expertise was once again required. Jack and Bill entered Raphael’s men’s salon through the front door and the entire working staff stopped what they were doing and stared at the twins when Ralph said, “Why, Ron Pall what are you doing here?” Jack just ignored the staff as they snickered and giggled as he and Bill walked to the back room behind Ralph. When the door to the back room was closed Jack said, “You didn’t have to let everybody know about my alter ego, “Ron Pall.”

59 Ralph replied, “Jack, my employees aren’t stupid, they knew you were Ron Pall from the get go, honey!” Jack said, “Ok, ok lets get busy on me so I’m ready by tonight, shall we?” Ralph put Jack in the reclining chair and laid him back to begin his newest masterpiece. First he applied a thin layer of quick drying latex rubber to get his features for the mold. The nostril holes were fitted for the micro filters so the air would draw into the nose through the filters to keep his body immune to the scents. The mouth hole of the mask would be open so Jack could talk and blow the whistle, or make any other necessary sounds to seem normal. Ralph mad the mask so it could be worn and removed with ease, just a thin paste of latex to seal it on and a stiff tug would start a rip in the seal to peal it off, wash it out and reapply it on demand. So, in a nut shell, as long as Jack breathed in through his nose he was safe from the effects of the scents but if he breathed in through his mouth, the scent just might affect him. Jack took a little refresher course on basketball rules and referee duties from the local coach at the Nashville University. Jack had initially decided to wear the scent himself, but this would leave him stuck with infecting everyone around him before, during and after the game, thus causing him inconvenience for research study. So, he rethought his strategy and by applying the scent on another referee, Jack would be free to move around without causing chaos near himself. By the time the game was about to start, Jack was ready for action, and action he got! Jack made all the arrangements with the necessary people for him to be the replacement referee at the game. He made his way into the players entrance with his fake ID and credentials. He then entered the officials section of the locker rooms, found his area and changed into his official cloths. He had previously chosen a particular referee to be the one that would unknowingly wear the scent to spread the aroma around the court. Jack had made the strength of this batch weak enough to only affect people in the immediate area of the wearer. But as time elapsed the air would inevitably be more and more saturated, eventually affecting other referee’s, coaches and probably the people in the stands. However, he calculated that he should have enough time to get some important data during the useable portion of the experiment. Jack had an extra white handkerchief saturated with the scent, sealed in a plastic bag in his pocket, ready to administer the scent on the unsuspecting referee at the right time. As many officials did at modern sports events, Jack wore a pair of latex surgeons gloves for the evening so as not to mix the scent with his natural body sweat when he touched the handkerchief. Without the gloves, Jack would also be contaminated and subsequently cause more people to be affected in a shorter amount of time. The two teams entered the court as the crowd applauded and cheered, with Jack, the other officials and coaches following up behind the athletes. Jack didn’t want to apply the scent too soon, so he had to wait for the game to begin before he could contaminate the target referee. When the opening tip off was executed, he tried to get as close as possible to the target until he had a window of opportunity to act. Everyone ran down the court with the leading player in control of the ball from the tip off. Jack was one step behind his target, he reached into his pocket, pulled the yellow foul flag out and threw it down and caused some confusion. As the target referee turned back and forth from Jack’s yellow flag to the

60 ball in play, while blowing on his whistle, Jack pulled out the scented handkerchief and discretely brushed it against the targets arm and up around the back of his neck. When play on the court was finally stopped and Jack was asked what the flag was for, he responded, “I, uh, thought I saw number 12 traveling!” The instant replay, however, revealed that was not the case and the ball was put back in play. Jack was ecstatic that the plan had worked and the experiment was underway. After only a few minutes of play, Jack turned on his audio recorder and followed the action that interested him. Meanwhile, Bill and Hans were running back and forth court side with video cameras shooting the action around Jack, also with micro filters in their noses. Bill and Hans had been placed as cameramen filming a fake documentary about these two teams and this particular game. Just as the ball was being transferred back up court after an opposing team score, the effects of the scent were beginning to show. The target referee was running alongside player # 21 who was driving the ball to the opposite end of the court when he suddenly lost control of the ball and it simply bounced off into mid court until it was picked up by a team mate. Then # 21 just slowed his pace and came to a complete stop with a forgetful look on his face. Jack saw this and was near by when # 21 lost the ball. Bill and Hans were staying right with Jack as the cameras and Jack’s audio caught # 21 saying, “I was going to, uh, make, uh, shit! I can’t remember what the hell I was going to do. Did I lock my car? I wonder why I can’t get any sports equipment endorsements? Oh, and why are all of these people here?” Jack was trying not to show his total amusement, but god damn, he was getting all of this on audio and video! As the target referee made his way farther down court, more and more players just slowed their progress and became almost docile. Jack walked around the confused players getting all of the audio he could. As he walked among several players he heard all kinds of - out of context statements from every direction, such as, “These lights are fucking big and way up high in the ceiling!” A different voice said, “The ball was here and now it’s over there and, my god there are a lot of people here!” Then Jack noticed the mood got even more abstract as he heard, “I know why I’m here and, wait a minute! Where am I?” Jack was ecstatic! This was unbelievable! These guys are totally lost! As he moved around the court he heard more statements of total confusion, like, “I’ve got to get the, uh, what am I supposed to be doing? Shit! I can’t remember what the I’m doing here! Where the fuck am I?” Jack tried to get over to the sideline to catch some people that weren’t affected quite so intensely and he heard a coach say, “What the hell is wrong with these guys? They can’t seem to find there ass with both hands! Why the fuck am I so upset? Where are the hell did I leave my pencil? Can I go home now? Uh, and where the hell do I live?” Jack could see that this was another cluster fuck that was going to turn bad, real fast! He motioned for Bill and Hans to follow him outside to a safe distance from the chaos. As they were trying to make their way to the door, Jack noticed more and more people a

61 few rows up in the stand seats were looking around with the blank, confused faces of lost children in the middle of Disneyland without a parent in sight! He motioned for Bill and Hans to stop and film the whole arena as the confusion spread. After a few more minutes the bands and announcers all fell silent, the squeaking of the sneakers on the wood floor stopped. The only sound was a low rumbling mumble of several thousand people all blurting out statements that made absolutely no sense what so ever! But with so many mumbling at once, it sounded like a low toned roar of confused, directionless babbling that would go on for a long time. Jack finally decided to go back in and grab the target referee, pull him out and get him to the lab and scrub him down. Jack told Bill and Hans to meet him at the lab, and for god sake, make sure you two keep those filters in your noses! Once Jack and the guys had the referee cleaned up and paid off, they couldn’t help but tune in for the local news channel that had a correspondent team sending a live feed from the arena. The reporter came on the screen, wild eyed and tremendously excited with the following commentary, “This is Sara Jones with a Channel 4 evening news special report! We are live at the Nashville sports arena where the Tennessee “Gamers” were taking on the Florida “Sailors” in a heated basketball game. If you weren’t watching the game earlier, both teams began to just wonder around the court aimlessly while mumbling words and statements of nonsense. The ball was left abandoned somewhere at mid court while even the referee’s and coaches seemed to lose their ability to concentrate. Eventually the entire stadium of fans became incoherent to the point of where they too were aimlessly wondering the arena with players and fans mingled on the playing court! Wait a minute! I just got word that Police Chief Franklin Brown is on the scene and will give us an official update momentarily! The news channel 4 station anchor, Biff Adams, came on in a split screen with Sara asking her, “Sara, does anyone have any clue to what has caused this odd behavior in these people?” Sara replied, “Biff, it has been speculated that marijuana smoke was pumped into the arena by way of the air conditioning system but this is not yet confirmed. By the severity of the confused state of the affected people and the lack of smoke, we are not at all convinced that marijuana is the cause of this pandemonium. Wait a minute Biff, I just received word that Police Chief Franklin Brown is here to give us an update. Chief Brown, what is going on here tonight?” The Chief cleared his throat and glanced at Sara with a nod of appreciation and said, “Sara, Biff and the good people of Nashville, we are investigating the cause for the events that have taken place here tonight. Currently we are taking samples of the drinking water and all food and beverages served in or around the stadium this evening. We are convinced that it must be connected to something here, near the arena so there is no reason for the general public to be alarmed. We have the area blocked off and contained, so no body will be allowed to enter or leave until the investigation has been satisfied that everyone is safe.” Biff bolstered his way into the interview with, “Chief, do you have any clues to what chemical or mind altering element may have caused this tragic turn of events and are the affected people getting medical attention?”

62 The Chief firmly replied, “Biff, the cause is currently under investigation and we are taking blood, saliva and even urine samples from several of the affected people and we have a number of medical personnel attending everyone, one at a time, to evaluate the situation before anyone will be allowed to leave. We have called in all the volunteers from the local hospitals and private medical practices to help evaluate everyone here. We have also requested all available law enforcement officers and some national guard personnel to report here as soon as possible and many of them are currently arriving.” Sara then asked, “Chief, what are your speculations on the cause of this mass confusion?” The Chief quickly had an epiphany of “Jack Stanford’s” face flash in his mind while he quickly organized a cover story in his mind as he said, “Sara, I don’t like to make premature conclusions but I am inclined to believe, from my extensive experience, that this is either an elaborate practical joke implemented by an extremely disturbed entity, or possibly an obsessed fan of one basketball team or the other. This could also quite possibly be related to the continually rising problem of illegal betting on sports events. Let me assure you, my investigative team and I will get to the bottom of this outrageous crime, as we always fulfill our duties and obligations to the good people of Nashville! Now, if you will excuse me I have work to do and I will keep you updated as information becomes available to me.” Sara said, “Thank you Chief Brown!” Sara and Biff continued to speculate back and forth over the air waves until Sara found an eye witness that agreed to give an interview. Sara said, “Biff I have an eye witness here, what is your name sir?” The cross eyed, back woods man wearing suspenders replied, “My name is Elrod McCoy” Sara then asked him, “Elrod, can you tell us in your own words what happened here tonight?” Elrod scrunched his face while leaning his head to the side and lifting his baseball cap up while scratching his head with the same hand as he said, “Well, it’s kinda hard to splain but I seen our # 21, Todd Sprite, just let that there ball fall out of his hands and roll away whiles’t he kinda watched it bounce down the court. Todd just stood there a talki’n to his self like he was aski’n his self a bunch a questions! Then them other players tried to pick up that slow rolli’n ball but they just couldn’t get they selves to do it! The players on both teams just seemed to forget what they was doin! Then the ref’s and coaches was a scratchin they heads and doin like the players, just walkin real slow and lookin like they was in outer space or somewhere! Then the people in the stands started to act the same way and they got up and made their way down to the court just walkin around like they didn’t know where to go! Then I remember I was startin to feel real forgetful and I was close to the doors, so I came out side and in a minute or two I started to feel better! Then I remembered that the people inside were actin funny, so I went back in and as I was watche’n them walking round all dumb lookin and such, I started to feel forgetful again and I came back out side and I been out here ever since! Sara immediately said, “Thank you Elrod McCoy for that, informative and “interesting,” eye witness testimony! Biff, I’ll be here all evening and I will continue to report live from the Nashville Sports Arena. This is Sara Jones, Channel 4 News, Nashville.”

63 Biff said, “Thank you Sara. We will continue to report live from the arena throughout the evening, so stay tuned!” Jack couldn’t believe how quickly the experiment got out of hand and he said to Bill, “I even had the scent diluted to less than a quarter strength!” Bill replied, “Maybe the “Confusion” scent has different applied properties than the others, hell, maybe they all are different in various ways!” Jack thought about this for a moment and said, “I bet you are right Bill, if you think about it, each emotion has a different threshold for activation and for decline naturally in the human brain anyway. When we induce the emotions, each one must have a different level of activation from the scent as it passes through the nostrils. Natural emotions are usually induced from visual, audio and inner thought processes and not near as much from smell. Our scents induce the brain to trigger these emotions directly from smell alone, so the power of each scent must vary distinctly. We have got to find a way to analyze, label and document the strength of each scent to a micron!” Bill said, “I’ve already done that in the lab!” Jack said, “No, no, not in the lab! We need to know how much each one affects live human subjects on a micro incremented dosage! The out of lab tests we’ve been doing are proving that the scents work extremely well but we have no idea of how much to dilute the inhaled dosage for public induced desired responses!” Bill gave Jack his patented look of total despondence and disgust as he said with an exhausted tone, “The only way we can accomplish this is to do more controlled live human subject testing at the lab warehouse apartments, like we did in the beginning of the DNA testing.” Jack said, “Exactly!” As Jack sat thinking about a plan to start the controlled experiments, his phone rang and he saw it was the Chief on the caller ID, then he timidly said, “Hello Chief.” Jack could tell the Chief was pissed because he had to hold the phone several inches away from his ear as the Chief said, “Jack, you mother fucking asshole! I know this is your dirty mess! It has your fucking name all over it! You left two messes of what looked like war torn carnage the other night and tonight you’ve created a fucking cluster fuck on national T.V.! How the fuck am I going to cover this up when the whole country is going to be watching me? Huh? What if the fucking FBI is called in? Huh? What the fuck then? I’m not going down alone, you rich little fuck!” Jack was still holding the phone out away from his ear when the line went quiet and he kept it held out for a few seconds longer to make sure the coast was clear. He slowly brought the phone back to his ear and the line was still quiet as Jack finally said, “Chief are you there?” The Chief was waiting for this opportunity, then he screamed, “YOU’RE A FUCKING ASSHOLE!” Jack’s ear was ringing as he was saying, “Alright, alright! What can I do to help?” The Chief thought a moment then replied, “I don’t care if Dalton Jamison is dead or alive, we have to use him as an escape goat! I don’t care if his daddy “Alfred” gets involved, we need to slide the heat somewhere and it has to be a media interest personality! We already have proof that Dalton has recently been here and we need to build a case around him!”

64 Jack was surprised by the Chief’s idea. He quickly ran a couple of scenarios through his mind and said, “If Alfred Jamison gets involved, there is going to be a lot of his money pushing around some serious weight here, and if Dalton was actually here, then I’ll bet that Alfred knew about it. He may be from Chicago but he has connections all around the world! Hell Chief, Alfred is probably a billionaire!” The Chief replied, “I don’t give a fuck! We need to swing the attention away from here fast! I vote we say Dalton has been down here from Chicago, doing all of your fuck up’s and he is responsible for all of the recent messes that your sorry ass has made! Then we wait some more because since he hasn’t surfaced yet, I bet you guys killed him the other night and it will only get a big, empty search started. They not going to find his body or anything else, will they, Jack?” Jack was weighing the odds in his mind and he said, “Why the hell do we have to frame someone so, so, so damn, international?” The Chief said, “Jack, we need someone to pull attention away from Nashville. We need someone the media can really sink their teeth into! Someone they will have a hard time researching, someone they will spend a lot of time digging up dirt on! This will keep the public and the feds off our asses! You still didn’t answer my question, will they find anything?” Jack had been thinking about Dalton Jamison possibly being behind the kidnapping ever since his name came up the other night. He decided that if the Jamison’s got too deeply involved he would liquidate his asset’s, throw the cash in a Swiss bank account, grab the scents and disappear with Laura! He then said to the Chief, “According to an ex Navy Seal, the evidence is permanently gone, so do what you have to, and I’ll play along!” The Chief said, “Oh, and Jack.” Jack said “Yea.” The Chief screamed into the phone, “NO MORE FUCK UP’S!” The Chief had been talking to Jack from a secluded room in the basement of the arena. As he was walking back upstairs heading outside to give another interview to update the news teams, he was thinking out his plan for implicating Dalton Jamison. He had proof that Dalton’s credit card had been used three days earlier to purchase gas at a local mini mart, but he had no eyewitnesses placing Dalton physically in Nashville. His credit card may have been stolen or it may have been used by someone he authorized to use it. He had no evidence to implicate Dalton for the arena situation but the gas receipt could only be used to possibly place Dalton at the gas station and he could make a feasible link to the kidnappers lab. This wasn’t good because he didn’t want the kidnappers lab and headquarters to be public knowledge. The Chief decided to split the deference and put only part of the fabricated story out to the media. When the Chief reached the police line outside the arena, he saw several news teams waiting like cats ready to pounce on a mouse. As the Chief approached the cameras and reporters the questions came at him like rain on a roof. He held his hands out, palms down, bobbing them in a downward motion trying to settle the excited crowd of media so he could talk. When the questions finally stopped, the Chief began presenting his prepared statement, “I will take a few questions in a minute but first I have a couple of new developments. First, we have found some trace evidence that will be evaluated at our lab immediately.

65 Secondly, we have a tip that earlier this evening an individual was seen in a secure area that he was not authorized to be in. We are confiscating the security video tapes to view for a possible ID of this person of interest. That is all we know right now. I will take a few questions now.” Sara Jones was first to blurt out a loud question, “Police Chief Brown, do you know what caused the mass confusion inside the arena tonight?” The Chief said, “We are still investigating and running tests on the victims, the arena and surrounding area for possible answers.” Another reporter from a different station asked, “How many people were affected?” The Chief said, “We know that there were approximately 9500 people in the arena tonight and we are taking a count of all those affected by the incident. We will get a final count to you as soon as it is available.” A third reporter asked, “Was there any deaths or serious injuries involved?” The Chief replied, “There were absolutely no deaths and several victims sustained bumps or bruises and some incurred minor cuts. I have no more pertinent information but I will keep you posted. Thank you.” The questions kept flying at him as he turned and made his way back inside the arena. After getting the contaminated referee cleaned up and paid off, Jack and Bill were discussing ways to continue working without causing so much chaos. Since the out of lab experiments were basically impossible to control or precisely analyze, the twins decided to conduct controlled, in house testing. Jack was contemplating how to word the contracts and advertisements to acquire test subjects without being to descriptive but yet vague enough not to scare off any potential takers or draw attention from the company. After he wrote down a basic draft of the ad to run in the local paper, he read it to Bill for a second opinion, “Wanted. People of any age for emotional stress tests. Subjects will spend up to seventy two consecutive hours in comfortable hotel accommodations. Each person will receive $50.oo per hour. Please call for further details.” He added a phone number and an e mail address Jack looked at Bill with raised eyebrows of questioning approval and Bill said, “Well, as long as nobody remembers the last time we recruited subjects for the DNA testing and several of them were less than satisfied with the pincushion skin they left here with!” Jack said, “I couldn’t help it that we needed to keep repeating and retrying the gene serum and we never did get the formula to work outside our gene pool. Besides, we didn’t need to start a whole new test schedule to finish the final results, we just needed to inject the existing participants a few extra times, that’s all!” Bill laughed and said, “Just run it in the news papers and I’ll post it on the public info scientific web site and we’ll see what happens.” Jack called the ad into the local news papers and Bill uploaded it to the web and they waited for any responses. Chapter 17. Alfred Jamison was sitting at his huge mahogany desk in his office having a conversation with his associate and right hand man, Martin Long. Alfred is the CEO of Super Cosmo makeup company. Al had started the company forty three years earlier and

66 had taken it from a simple basement based business to a world market dominating, complete line of cosmetics, perfumes, colognes and several other lines of men’s and women’s personal products. Al is a large man, both physically and metaphorically. Weighing in at four hundred and eleven pounds and all of six feet tall, he is a big man. His other impressive attribute is the immense financial asset’s at his finger tips. When Al wants something, he gets it within minutes. This also works when Al doesn’t want something, that also happens within minutes. People have disappeared, countries have fallen and mountains have been moved, all from the simple desires of Albert Jamison. Martin is an in between sort of man. One hundred and eighty pounds, five foot eleven, regular build and a fairly nice dresses. He cant quite afford the expensive designer suits, so he buys what he can afford new, and has acquired some used higher quality threads. He is competent for executing Al’s regular demanding tasks but he has yet to prove himself on the more tedious and difficult jobs. Al had tried to acquire the dynamic duo Stanford’s for Super Cosmo when Exotic Scents had obtained the twin’s employment several years ago. Al never could understand why Jack Stanford had chosen employment with the smaller infant Exotic Scents over his profoundly larger and highly established Super Cosmo’s offer. In actuality, Jack knew that Al’s conglomerate would keep a tight reign on his activity and he wouldn’t be as free to pursue his private experiments as he is at Exotic Scents. Jack had the basic ideas in his college years of the secret scents and he had the DNA conception in mind as he looked for the perfect home base for he and Bill to flourish their corporate and private careers and Exotic Scents was young and open to Jack’s ideas and stipulations with no questions asked. Al’s son Dalton was not much of a researcher or scientist, he wasn’t even a good business man, he was just good at executing the jobs his father had reserved for his limited talents. Dalton was mostly a reconnaissance thief and spy to keep his fathers lab and factory pumping out products to keep up with the competition. Al sent Dalton and his crew of professional pirates to get the most well hidden information that other companies kept under wraps. Just as Jack had put inhibitors in all of Exotic Scents products to prevent other labs from completing component analyzing, so have most other companies around the globe adopted the same practice. This is where people like Dalton Jamison and his band of thief’s become so valuable to industrial espionage. Al was interrogating Martin about the location and condition of Dalton as Al said, “Martin, you were supposed to keep closer tabs on Dalton and those ingrates. So, where is the last known location of Dalton?” Martin was scared shit less because his predecessor in this “right hand man” position to Al, was listed as a missing person by the Chicago police department just two years ago when Martin became Al’s new gofer. The official story was that this man had just suddenly left town with a girlfriend but word on the street was quite different. Al sent the previous gofer to get a briefcase from Al’s condo and unknown to the gofer or Al’s young mistress, the apartment was hardwired with video cameras. Al viewed the gofer fuck his mistress, six ways from Sunday, from a real time video camera feed. Needless to say, Al’s mistress disappeared along with the horny gofer! Martin said, “Mr. Jamison, I know Dalton was in Nashville at his control center when I went to the private airstrip to secure a plane to bring him and the analyzed samples back

67 here one day that week. When I returned, it looked like a battle had taken place and there was no sign of Dalton or the crew at the control center The lab proved empty and it was also a war zone!” Al took a big puff on his cigar, tapped the ash in the gold plated ashtray, then he looked Martin directly in the eye and said, “You checked out every possible avenue of escape or abduction for Dalton, right?” Martin was obviously squirming in his chair as he answered, “Boss. Or, uh, I mean Mr. Jamison, sir. I searched for two days in and around Nashville with no sign of Dalton or the guys. Dalton knew the airstrip where I had went to secure the plane, but I even went back there and again I found no sign!” Al shook his head and replied, “Martin. Don’t shit your pants. I know what a fuck up Dalton is and how hard it is to keep tabs on a man that wants to be free of prying eyes, so I don’t blame you for everything, just not finding the little son of a bitch after the fact. Aw hell, that really isn’t your fault either, it’s not like you did something on purpose like fucking my girl, now is it?” Martin blurted out with earnest, “No way boss, or, uh, Mr. Jamison, sir!” Al raised his eyebrows and said, “I’ve told you a hundred times to quit calling me “boss”, god damn it! Anyway, we’ll wait another day or two for something or someone to surface but you head back down there tonight, because I want you there if I need someone to be on hand in Nashville and stay in contact with me at least three times a day. You got that?” Martin said, “Yea, boss- aw shit, I mean, Mr. Jamison, sir!” As the sun began to rise the Chief was enthralled in his complex duties of sorting out the aftermath of the Nashville Sports Arena incident. He had been here all night and was getting more irritable by the minute. Frank and Jim Bob had been all through the arena snooping for evidence when they ran into the Chief in a back stairway. Frank saw the Chief first and said, “We can’t find much, well, we’ve found a lot of shit but this stuff could have been here for days or even weeks, and it’s hard telling who left it here!” The Chief said, “What do you mean?” Jim Bob butted in with, “We’ve got shoe prints, finger prints, skin cell samples and a number of trace partials and fibers! The problem is, we haven’t got anything to compare these samples to! I think we can run the finger prints in the local and federal data base and we could print everyone that was here last night, but we still don’t have proof that any matches would constitute a crime was committed! I mean, all of these people were here and they innocently left trace evidence behind just with normal activity, so how do we separate the good guys from the bad?” The Chief looked at Frank and said, “Ok then, what about the security video tapes? Who is going over them?” Frank said, “We have a specialist running the faces through a digital computer image comparison program. This compares images from several data bases and it also compiles the images from the security tape images and compares them within themselves.” The Chief said, “What the fuck did you just say?” Jim Bob butted in again and said, “Chief, it compares the people already here to themselves and this tells us, from each time they are caught on film, where and when they moved around inside and outside of the arena!”

68 The Chief suddenly got a relieved look spreading across his face as he said, “I see! Well, keep up the good work boys and keep me posted, I’ve got to leave!” Martin arrived back in Nashville mid morning and immediately went to the police station to check on the status of the missing person report that was filed on Dalton. The front desk Sergeant told him that the Dalton Jamison case was being handled directly by Chief Brown and he was extremely busy at the Nashville arena. Martin said, “Do you know who I represent?” The desk Sergeant said, “I don’t care if it’s the Queen of England, the Chief left explicit instructions that he was not to be disturbed unless it was very, very important! Capiche?” Martin pursed his lips, took a deep breath and said, “You might want to give him a ring or you may be working a cross walk for handicapped people with seeing eye dogs! Capiche?” The Sergeant made a slight laugh and said, “Well, it just so happens that I’m a dog lover, uh, what did you say your name was?” Martin pulled out his cell phone and said as he dialed, “My name is Martin Long and I’m a fucking psychic and I have a prediction, lets see, it’s coming to me now, yes, in less than a minute your insignificant little phone is going to ring and you are going to kiss my ass, and probably with a little tongue to boot!” Martin had a short conversation with the person on the line, hung up and within forty five seconds the desk phone rang. The desk Sergeant answered it and said, as he looked at Martin with a smug face, “Nashville Metro Police Department.” There was a long pause then the look turned into a frown and then into the look of a man with his balls stretched up and stuffed into his mouth! The Sergeant then said, “Yes sir! I’m sorry sir! Right away sir! Goodbye sir!” Martin raised his eyebrows with a distinct look of “I told you so.” The Sergeant said, “I will contact the Chief and would you like to meet him over at the arena or would you like to wait here until he can get here! Mr. Long, uh. Sir!” Martin squinted his eyes half closed with a small scrunch of his face as he thought of what to say to push this asshole just a little farther down into his own shit, then he said, “Well Sergeant, since you’re such an animal lover, why don’t you get your parakeet ass, alligator mouth up and get me a cup of coffee while I wait?” The Chief had just got off the phone with a city council member that told him to get to the Police Station as soon as possible to meet with a man named Martin Long who was there on behalf of Alfred Jamison, inquiring on the progress of the Dalton Jamison missing persons case. The Chief was briefed on Martin’s encounter with the desk Sergeant and was instructed to be extra courteous with Mr. Long. Chief Brown was tired, pissed off and not in the mood for a Jamison goon nosing around up his ass. He decided to call Jack to get a plan into action, “Jack, we need Raphael to do a make over!” Then Jack said, “Of whom, and why?” The Chief said, “Of Dalton Jamison and to save our asses! I’m sending you a fairly current picture of Dalton and you need to find a match for a look alike and go see Raphael!” Jack found Bill fucking around with some commercial fragrances in the company lab and he asked him to follow him up to the office. When they were alone Jack said, “We need to talk!”

69 Bill looked suspiciously at Jack and said, “What about?” Jack said, “I need you to be strong and to look at the big picture, ok?” Bill sat down hard on the leather couch and said with dismay, “What the fuck do you want me to do now?” Jack put on his fatherly, knowledgeable face and said, “Well, it’s like this little brother. (Jack called him little brother because he had been born three minutes earlier than Bill) We need an escape goat to take the heat for the events of the last few weeks. Chief Brown can’t keep this one from closing in on us and he thinks that weather Dalton is dead or alive, he is the perfect candidate for a frame up.” Then Bill said, “So, what’s my role in this new and exciting ball of shit?” Jack moved over, sat down next to Bill, put his arm around him and said, “The Chief gave me a picture of Dalton and we need a stand in to be him, and since he is about your build and your weight and your height, we thought-” Bill cut him off by saying, “Fuck you Jack! The Chief thought this and the Chief thought that and then we thought this and, Aw, just FUCK YOU JACK! I’m not going to do it!” Jack got up and walked over to his desk, pulled open a drawer and retrieved a large manila envelope. As he walked back over to his brother, he was pulling out photos and documents and then he sat down next to him again. Jack began to lay the photos and documents, one at a time on Bill’s lap while explaining each one. “Here is your Exotic Scents work contract, notice it states here in fine print that you are fifty percent responsible for any illegal activities that our collaborated efforts incur. Here is a document that states that you are the experiment organizer and it is you responsibility to insure the safety of all Exotic Scents employees and the general public from the consequential results of experiments. Here is a picture of you getting licked and fucked on a stage by a bunch of horny women in a male stripper club. Oh, and here you are filming the fucked up basketball game last night. Well Bill, do you like life outside prison walls?” Bill handed the photos and documents back to Jack, called him a dirty fucking prick, stood up and said, “I assume we are off to, “Raphael’s Salon?” As the Chief entered the police station he saw a man in a expensive Italian suit sitting in the desk Sergeant’s chair. The desk Sergeant was standing uncomfortably, but courteously said, “Chief Brown, this is Mr. Martin Long and he has been waiting for you.” The Chief said, “Hello Mr. Long. I have been briefed concerning your visit here and if you would follow me into my office, we can discuss the case.” Martin got up and as he came around the desk, he purposely slammed shoulders with the Sergeant, knocking the eye glasses off the officer and spilling coffee down the front of his uniform, then saying, “Close call there, Sergeant. My suit costs more than you make in half a year.” When both men were seated, Martin immediately began to interrogate the Chief, “Do you have any new developments about Dalton?” The Chief was somewhat defensive and said, “We are currently exploring every possible avenue concerning the disappearance of Mr. Jamison.” Martin rebutted with, “You have had the missing persons report filed for several days now and we, Mr. Alfred Jamison and I, expected results by now!”

70 The Chief said, “I am sure that we will find some evidence of his movements here in Nashville and we will find him!” Martin then asked, “Have you checked the morgue’s for John Doe’s, the hospitals and any other place that he might be, I mean him or his body. Chief Brown, don’t get me wrong, but Mr. Jamison has the common sense to consider the possibility that Dalton has met with a fatal accident or even foul play, god forbid!” The Chief wanted to maintain the popular belief that Dalton was definitely alive, at least up until the arena incident, to give credibility for his and Jack’s plan of deceptively framing Dalton for the recent cluster fucks. So the Chief said, “I’m sure he has been incapacitated and will be located very, very soon! If you give us a number where you can be reached, we will keep you informed of any new developments. If you will excuse my briefness, Mr. Long, but I really do have a lot of work to do!” Martin said, “I understand Chief, you are a busy man!” They shook hands and Martin wrote down his phone number for the Chief and he left the station. When Martin was clear of the station he called Alfred and informed him of the dead end with the police investigation on Dalton. Al said, “You must be overlooking something, somewhere!” Martin started to say “But Boss” and he caught himself and said, “But Mr. Jamison, if the police can’t even find him, what could I have possibly missed?” Al was quiet for a few beats, then said, “My friend in the city council doesn’t know shit either and I have stressed that I don’t want the FBI involved. If something isn’t resolved with Dalton soon, the FBI will automatically be drawn into the investigation. Martin, I don’t want the FBI involved and I still want the samples of Jack Stanford’s work. If Dalton has the samples and is alive, he is playing games with me and I definitely don’t like this scenario, however, if Dalton had the samples and he is dead, neither him nor the samples does me any good. Martin you say the samples were definitely in the lab when you last saw them and Dalton was at the control center. So, either Dalton got out of the control center when it was infiltrated, went to the lab and grabbed them, or the infiltrators confiscated them. You still don’t know who attacked us, right?” Martin replied, “No. I don’t know who it was and the police still haven’t investigated the lab or control center. I never told them about those locations because when I filled out the missing persons report I only told them we were in town and that I had a motel room rented in my name. Al said, “Keep your eyes and ears on the Chief because I know he is on the take but I don’t want to try to bribe him or it might backfire. Martin said, “Send Simon down here so he can help me get a line on the Chiefs phones and on anything else he can do to get private information.” Al agreed and hung up the phone. Jack and Bill slipped into the back alley door to Raphael’s Salon and Ralph said, “Hi guys!” Bill rolled his eyes and Jack said, “Hi Ralph.” Jack had explained that he wanted to have Bill transformed into a man in a photo and he handed the photo to Ralph, and Ralph said excitedly, “Oh! He’s so handsome, who is he?”

71 Jack said, “Don’t worry about who he is and you have never seen him before and you will never recognize him in the future, do you got that!” Ralph said, “Alright Jack!” as he looked from the photo to Bill and back again. Then he confidently said, “I can turn Bill into this man with no problem!” Chapter 18 Martin picked up Simon Says at the private airstrip when the Leer jet landed. Simon Says is obviously not his real name, nobody knows anything about Simon because he is Al’s private spy and hit man. Dalton was never allowed to use or even associate with Simon and Al keeps him for the extra special situations around the world. Simon got his last name from the fact that no matter what he wanted, Al informed everyone to do as he “says”, so he became Simon Says! He is slender with a casually regular build. He wears designer suits with matching shoes and maintains a clean shaven head. He carries his body with a slow, easy going gate as if he is in no hurry, but extremely confident. Simon immediately hooked up his gadgets and zeroed in on Chief Brown’s entire public and private communications. Martin drove and Simon gave orders and directions in his low, even toned and non emotional manor of speaking. Jack called the Chief and said, “We’re ready to start shooting, so what next?” The Chief said, “I’ve got the Sports Arena secured with my “special” officers so we have the run of the place. Meet me at your lab and we will use my car to go in.” The Chief and Jack were in the front seats of the car and Bill was in the trunk comfortably lying on blankets as they went into the arena parking lot. They parked close to the back entrance in a secluded spot and the three of them entered the building. The Chief directed Jack to coach Bill through some actions with a few staged props and he made sure the security cameras were filming Bill disguised as Dalton doing the criminal deeds. They were in the air induction room that was connected to the air conditioning vents and the cameras caught a good view of the fake Dalton’s face as he set up several smoke grenades to a timer and concealed them inside the vent. This would give the Chief the ability to implicate Dalton for the incident at the arena by having the video tape date, back dated to just a day before the actual incident. They then took their fake Dalton to the kidnappers lab and control center and used the cameras there to film him exiting both locations as though he was dodging bullets and quickly making his exit as the Chief and Jack shot blank bullet loads to give the sound on the tape as though Dalton was under attack. This would be to insure that if the lab and control center actual shoot outs were ever made public, Dalton could be implicated here also. If he endangered all those people at the arena, then he would easy be to blame at any other scene of illegal activity, right? Simon and Martin were listening on the Chief’s and Jack’s cell phones and following them while watching and filming the three put on their charade of Dalton at all of the locations. When they caught Jack helping Bill remove the Dalton mask and make up, Simon filmed it close up with a telephoto lens and had all three of them, the Chief, Jack and Bill caught in the act of the deception. Martin said to Simon, “We’ve got them now!” Simon looked at him with a smirk and said, “No, “I‘ve” - got them now.”

72 The Chief bagged and tagged the smoke grenades himself when he and his two accomplices left the arena. Jack had previously planted a solution of some special mixtures of the confusion scent in the empty smoke grenade canisters, so the police lab would find the traces and be convinced this was the agent that caused the incident at the arena. The video of the fake Dalton placing the grenades would give the official police investigation a suspect and the media would flock on this like flies to shit! After he thought all lose ends were tied up, the Chief called a press conference to let the shit hit the fan. There were reporters from all over the country present at the front of the Nashville Metro Police Station as the Chief came out of the doors and stood at the top of the stairs preparing to begin his speech. Everyone interested in the recent events in and around Nashville was tuned in to a broadcast of this speech, including Alfred Jamison, Jack, Bill, Simon, Martin and even Frank Thomas and Jim Bob Riley from the police crime lab. As the cameras and lights were focused on Chief Brown, he cleared his throat and said, “I have a statement concerning the recent incident at the Nashville Sports Arena. I will not be taking questions at this time as we are still in the process of completing our investigation, however some new evidence has been discovered. As you view the following security video tape from the arena, I will narrate the events that we believe took place. As you can see on the video we have a male suspect placing several smoke grenades in the air conditioning duct connected to a timer set to detonate at a later time. He is wearing gloves but we are testing for fingerprints but the video clearly shows a visual positive ID. This video is dated from the day prior to the actual incident and obviously shows premeditated malicious criminal activity. We have identified the perpetrator as Mr. Dalton Jamison of Chicago, Illinois. We are currently trying to locate Mr. Jamison and we would appreciate any anonymous tips or information to the location of this individual. I am not taking questions, so please hold them until the investigation has reached a more conclusive state and I do not want to jeopardize any further avenues of information. I will keep you informed with information as it becomes available for public knowledge. Thank you.” Alfred was shocked and pissed as he called Simon and Martin to give more instructions. Simon answered with a quick, “Simon here.” Then Al said, “I know Dalton’s not stupid enough to do something like that! I want you to find him, Simon. I don’t care if he is dead or alive, find out!” Simon replied, “Mr. Jamison, I have proof that Dalton wasn’t responsible for the fiasco at the Nashville Arena and the person on the video is definitely not him. I also have some other intriguing evidence that I am currently following but I still haven’t found any trace of Dalton since Martin last saw him at the control center. I am running down all leads and eventually I will get to the bottom of this.” Al then calmly replied, “I trust your professional abilities and decisions, so keep me informed Simon!” Jack and Bill were impressed with Bill’s portrayal of “Dalton” as they watched it on the newscast and thought they had pulled off the ultimate slide of attention from themselves to someone of media interest! After the press conference concluded on the T.V. screen, Bill said, “Jack, we need to keep a low profile for a while, at least until this blows over.”

73 Jack nodded his head in agreement and said, “I think we can still conduct the in lab experiments because they are of a normal foundation. By the way, did we get any possible test subjects responding to the ads?” Bill said, “I don’t know about this. Maybe we need to put everything on hold for a while, don’t you think?” Jack let out a loud sigh and said, “Oh, come on Bill! Our experiments won’t wait forever, we have to get the scents and the DNA testing completed so we can retire with the futures we have all planned out!” Bill didn’t care about the money and scientific or public status, he was happy just being as well off as he was, with the high life that the legitimate position at Exotic Scents permitted, but Jack could ruin that for him, so he reluctantly said, “We have several responses to the ads and I will screen the applicants as quickly and swiftly as I can.” Then Jack said, “Good. Then we can get some work done in a few days.” Simon kept constant surveillance of Chief Brown, Jack, Bill and especially their phone calls. Simon had recruited a couple of local thugs to tail Jack and Bill while Martin tailed the Chief on physical surveillance. Simon usually had pre knowledge of when and where any of the three were going by the numerous phone taps. Simon had four separate phone lines to monitor for the Chief, four on Jack and three on Bill, and this proved at times, to be quite a chore. Simon already knew that the three conspirators had faked the Dalton tape but he didn’t know if they had any information about the real Dalton’s location. As he listened to the phone taps for any new information, he heard Jack and the Chief discuss the faked implication of Dalton but nothing concerning his real activities since the lab shootout. He kept constant listening vigilance through the night and finally early the next morning Jack made an interesting call to a man named “Tom”. Simon listened as Jack asked Tom, “How are you doing?” Tom replied, “I’m alright, how about you?” Jack said, “I’m alright but I have a couple of questions, if you have a minute?” Tom said, “Sure, what do you need?” Jack thought of a discrete way to talk without being too obvious about details as he said, “When you disposed of certain items, was there anything left behind?” Tom said, “Absolutely not. Why?” Jack again carefully worded his questions, “Well, some talk was heard that there were three biological items in the control room and two were confirmed but not a third. Do you know what I mean?” Tom thought about the way the question was worded and then recalled what he remembered about that night and he replied, “I recall hearing about three and I definitely know of two, so I’m not sure of the exact count of bio items involved.” Jack then said, “I came to the same conclusion and if your interested I could use your assistance?” Tom said, “I’ll be there by tonight!” Simon had figured out that they were talking about how many of Dalton’s men were at the control room the night of the shoot out. This gave Simon the same conclusion that Jack was thinking, and this was the possibility that Dalton might have gotten out alive! Simon called Martin and asked him, “Are you sure that Dalton couldn’t have slipped out through a hidden passage in the control center room?”

74 Martin said, “I searched the whole building and I couldn’t find anything that suggested a way out except for the main doors to each room and the main door to the building itself. The back door had been sealed from the inside and all the windows in the whole building were also sealed from the inside.” Simon said, “Alright. I’m still going to go over there tonight when the phones and the tailing surveillance slows to a crawl.” Simon was also concerned by the thought, that if Dalton was alive after the shoot out, then why hasn’t he contacted anyone. Maybe he met a different fate later, but this still was no better than where the situation was before Jack made his call to Tom. After midnight the surveillance slowed to nothing and Simon took an earpiece with him into the bullet riddled control center building, so he could keep monitoring calls made by his three persons of interest. As he scoured the building he confirmed Martins observations of how tightly the building was secured. He made his way to the control room and was taken aback by how many bullet holes were splattered around the inside of the room. He also noticed how the inside of the doorway and the wall, across the hall and outside the door was totally riddled with bullet holes from return fire of Dalton’s men. Simon carefully inspected the room as he made his way around the broken and splintered furniture and equipment. His flashlight was fairly powerful but it only illuminated the room with a narrow field of view. The deeper he entered the room, he noticed the stronger the smell of burnt gunpowder became and as he was examining the walls and floor, he noticed a dried puddle of blood on the floor up against a wall. The puddle seemed to disappear under the wall, he first thought the blood had flowed under the small crack between the floor and wall, but under closer inspection he realized that it was actually a secret door and the blood had been spilled when the door was open and then closed over the top of the puddle. This instantly gave him the impression that Dalton had at least made it out of the room alive. Simon traced the crack along the floor until he discovered the two cracks on the sides that outlined the entire secret door itself. He found that the top of the door was at the ceiling, which made it much more difficult to see the outline of the door unless you knew exactly where to look. He couldn’t find a way to open the tall, skinny door from inside the room. He then went outside and discovered that the back wall showed no signs of a door. Even with a close, meticulous inspection of where he knew the door to be, he couldn’t find it. He then climbed up on the roof and still saw no sign of door like features. Only when he went back inside to re inspect the cracks, did he find a conduit of wiring running the perimeter of the wall, up along the corner of the ceiling. He followed this to another room at the other end of the building and there he found a remote controlled triggering device disguised as a T.V. satellite receiver box. There was no obvious remote control to operate the device anywhere in the building. He decided that Dalton must have used it from inside the distant control room, where the door is located and left with the remote control on his person. It only took Simon a couple of minutes to dismantle the unit and short circuit the correct wires to activate the secret door to open as he thought to himself, “Simon Says Open Says Me” Simon went back into the control room and as he looked inside, he saw a dark vertical rectangle where the closed door had been. When he shined his flashlight in the dark space

75 he could see that it only had a downward direction of escape with a tunnel that ran back underneath the building toward the front. He climbed down inside, noticing a moderate blood trail treading along the floor of the small tunnel. The tunnel space was not big enough to stand upright, so he had to squat and make fore ward progress with uncomfortable waddling type steps and since the floor was dirty and damp, he didn’t want to drop to his hands and knees as this would further ruin his expensive suit. He followed the blood drops underneath him until he had traveled almost a full city block and the tunnel connected into a city sewer system. As he entered the sewer, he lost the blood trail in the stinking, flowing dirty water. He first followed the sewer tunnel to the right for a couple of city blocks, while checking the mostly dry metal ladder rungs for signs of blood at each manhole location. He returned to the small tunnel he had exited and followed the city sewer to the left for several city blocks checking for signs of Daltons presence. When he reached the third manhole ladder he discovered dried blood spatters and droplets on the metal ladder rungs. He climbed up, pushed the manhole lid up and looked around to get his bearings. He climbed out, replaced the lid and looked around for more blood to find a direction to follow Dalton’s trail. The trail led him in an east direction but after a block and a half, it went dry at a curb and he determined that Dalton must have entered a car and either drove away or had an accomplice drive for him. When the following day began Jack was as excited as a child on Christmas morning as he and Bill greeted six new volunteer test subjects that had passed the application process. After they read and signed the contracts, Jack and Bill routed them back out to the parking lot where they were loaded on a bus for transport. They always conducted the tests in a private, undisclosed location. Jack had convinced the administrators of the company that all human based tests needed to be conducted in a totally isolated and remote location to keep the participants completely free of out side influences, such as, other company spy’s, inner company persuasion or any input that would create a contaminated result. Jack’s real reason for this isolation was first so he could take the subjects in the back way to his secret tunnel warehouse apartment style testing lair. Secondly he could run his private tests using company policy and format to use as cover to recruit test subjects and the company even paid for the testing. The bus was equipped with blackened windows and a partition at the front so the passengers had no idea of exactly where they were being taken for the experiments. The bus took a long, round about route to the back entrance to Jack’s private lab warehouse apartments. Chapter 19 The media feeding frenzy had intensified and temporarily moved from Nashville to the Super Cosmo corporate headquarters in Chicago. Alfred Jamison knew it was coming as soon as he heard the Nashville Police Chief, Franklin Brown, name Dalton Jamison as the perpetrator of the Sports Arena incident on national T.V. As the news vans, cameras and reporters flooded the Super Cosmo parking lot, Al was telling the company security crew not to be rude to the media, but keep them in the parking lot and under control. Al told the company public relations officer, Harold Zink, to give a statement that Al would give an official statement in person at three o’clock this afternoon.

76 Harry said to Al, “Do you think it’s a good idea for you to do it yourself?” Al said, “Absolutely! I have to give this one myself! Guilty or not, I have to defend myself and this company from the accusations and charges against my son, Dalton. Even if he gets convicted of something, I have to portray myself as a caring and deeply concerned parent, god damn it Harry, you are supposed to be the one to think of this shit first! What the hell am I paying you for?” Simon knew that the Chief and Jack were not sure of Dalton’s situation but he also knew they were not completely convinced that he was involved in the kidnapping. Simon was considering anonymously contacting the Chief to deliver the news that Dalton was in the shoot out and had escaped, however since the Chief didn’t have any current information about Dalton, this probably wouldn’t lead to anything except informing the Chief that a new player, anonymous Simon, was involved. Simon decided not to play “go fish” with the Chief and he didn’t want to fore ward the news that Dalton had escaped the shoot out to Al, because he didn’t want to get his hopes up until there was more solid evidence on Dalton’s condition. Simon called Martin and said, “Did Dalton have a back up vehicle parked anywhere near the control building?” Martin replied, “No. Well, not that I know of, Why?” Instead of telling him why, Simon asked, “Who else might have been waiting in the area as back up or for support?” Martin was dumbfounded as he said, “Hell Simon, the only people involved on our part was the six of us. Lets see, there were the two guys at the lab and the two guys with Dalton and myself. If there was anyone else involved, I wasn’t told about them!” Simon ended the conversation and thought, since Dalton’s blood trail ended at the curb side of a vehicle, I’m more inclined to believe that the person knew him and invited him into the passengers side. Or maybe Dalton was pointing a gun at the stranger driving the car and car jacked the motorist to carry him away. Fuck! Simon thought as he called the Nashville city council friend of Al’s and said, “This is Simon Says and I need some police information without raising any suspicion, especially from the Chief, so how can this be done?” The city council members name had not been disclosed to Simon or Martin, they just had a phone number to call and with a few code words they were entrusted by the voice on the other end of the line. Simon ran the trace on the number and it was a cell registered to, of all people, a one “John Doe”, and it was possible for Simon to track the signal to a tower and eventually to the phone, but even Simon didn’t get too nosy or cross the wishes of Al Jamison. Eventually the voice said, “What type of police information do you need?” Simon said, “I need to see if there were any car thefts or a carjacking in a certain area on the night in question.” The voice was quiet for a few beats and finally said, “I have an officer in the department that can discretely get the information and when he calls me I will call you.” Simon said, “I need it as fast as possible.” Jack had placed the six test subjects in their respective dwellings for the duration of the experiments. Each subject was informed verbally and by contract that they would be under video and audio surveillance for the duration of the experiment, except for the

77 bathroom. So, Jack and Bill watched the six subjects on the video monitors as they got settled. As they discussed their plan of action, Jack wanted to try the “Fear” scent first, since it was the only one that had qualities different than the ones that already been tried out in powerful doses. Bill was extremely nervous about all of these tests but knew better than cross his brother, so he said, “Alright, let the games begin!” The testing dwellings were arranged in a circle of eight, with a center hub of a large lobby that had electronic doors to open passages between any number of dwellings from the access of the hub. It was shaped like a huge wagon wheel, with the center being the hub and the eight spokes being the dwelling spaces. Jack decided to use subject #2 to wear the “Fear” scent and be allowed to enter the dwelling of subject # 1. To begin, a wash cloth sprinkled with a few dashes from the vial of the “Fear” scent was sent through a small remote chamber with a door in the bathroom and subject #2 was instructed to rub the cloth around the neck and shoulders and place it back in the remote transfer door. Then subject #2 exited the dwelling into the hub and entered the open door to the dwelling of subject #1 and sat on the couch with subject #1 until receiving further instructions. After subject #2 was in subject #1s dwelling for a few minutes, Jack and Bill began to see dramatic changes in #1s demeanor. #2 seemed almost as worried as #1 as the mood changed within the room. Eventually #1 was making scared statements to no one in particular, such as, “Stay away from me! Don’t come near me! I’ve got to get out of here!” Finally subject #1 began to slide his back along the wall, hands out to the sides and touching palms flat, while visually searching the room all around and steadily speeding up the pace and acting with almost classic schizophrenic paranoia symptoms. Jack instructed #2 to immediately leave the dwelling and return to the hub, then return through the open door into your own dwelling, go to the bathroom, remove your cloths and place them in the transfer bin and shower while scrubbing vigorously. Bill had turned on the massive fans that instantly ventilated #1s dwelling and in a few minutes subject #1 returned to almost normal. Jack went into see #1 and take vital readings and check for after effects of the experiment. Jack asked #1, “How do you feel right now?” #1 said, “I feel tired, sleepy and a little dizzy, but I don’t remember much after that other person came in here.” Jack asked several other questions and since the cameras were filming this interview, he didn’t need to take notes. He let subject #1 rest and sleep after he left the dwelling to discuss this experiment with Bill and review the video footage. Jack said, “Did you see that? Did you see that fucking shit? Did you, aw, fuck it, play it back on the monitor!” Bill started the play back and the brothers were glued to the monitor. After viewing the video several times, Jack asked, “What was the strength of the mixture?” Bill blurted out the stats that were always in the front of his mind and Jack reminded Bill to be sure to always attach the lab scent dilution percentages, dilution substances, the scent numbers and all paper work to the videos for quick reference. The twins ran several more tests on the “confusion” scent throughout the day and evening until the subjects were fairly exhausted and the brothers called it a day. They agreed to start a fresh set of experiments on another scent in the morning.

78 Tom had arrived back in Nashville and met with Jack in his office just as Jack and Bill had concluded their testing for the day. Jack asked Tom, “Can you go to the spot where we dumped the “trash” from the shootout and see if there is any evidence or anything that might link to Dalton Jamison?” Tom thought for a moment and said, “Are you talking about the Super Cosmo make up company Jamison’s?” Jack made the, yea, why? Facial and hand gesture and Tom then asked, “So, you believe he was involved in the shit that went down that night!” Jack again made the yes gestures and Tom then said, “I’ll be back in a couple of hours.” Simon got a call from one of the hired thugs saying, “The new guy that just got in town is on the move, what do you want me to do? Stay with Jack or tail the new guy?” Simon opted for him to follow the new guy before he got away and the other hired gun could take on tailing both of the twins until he got a hold of Martin to see what the Chief was doing. Simon learned that the Chief was home and probably in for the evening, so Martin was to rendezvous with the thug and take over the tail on the new guy so the thug could return to tailing Jack. Chapter 20 Martin followed the man in circles until he finally took a round about way into the steep mountain roads north east of town. Once they got off the blacktop, Martin had a hard time keeping himself incognito because the back roads were dark from tree cover with no other vehicles and Martin knew he was becoming too obvious. He couldn’t just turn off his lights as this would raise suspicion and the road was to treacherous for a game like that. Tom saw the car behind him and decided it was probably a tail, so he led the pursuer into a trap. Tom went ahead toward his original destination but once the tail had become obscured in the trees from the sharp turns and steep hills, Tom pulled off the road just far enough to be hidden, and he waited. The vehicle never came up the winding road and Tom began to think he was being paranoid but still he waited a while longer. After several moments with no sign of a tail, Tom resumed his mission, keeping one eye sharp for visitors. Martin had backtracked a ways and ditched his car down a separate branch of the road, then made his way back around through the trees and brush to resume visual contact with his prey. He topped the crest of a hill just when Tom was resuming onward to his destination. Martin had a difficult time following Tom’s vehicle because the terrain just beyond the side of the road was slow going on foot and he didn’t want to chance being discovered by walking in the road. He could hear the vehicle getting farther away as the minutes passed and his pace and pulse quickened trying to keep up, but his mountain climbing stamina was rapidly deteriorating. Finally he heard the truck come to a stop and the engine go dead. Martin didn’t realize how quiet the surroundings were until the engine stopped and his stumbling progression sounded like a heard of elephants cutting a new trail. To quiet down his noise level, he slowed his speed through the maze of vegetation and he feared losing site of the man. Martin had to frequently stop and listen for sounds emanating from the man’s location just to get an idea of exactly which direction to tread.

79 Martin was not the outdoor, triathlon, mountain man type, so he was definitely out of his element. Martin was born and raised in metro Chicago and if he left town it was by plane or luxury car and if his destination had vegetation it consisted of golf course grass. As he was finally able to creep to a position for a view of Tom, he saw the man kicking around in a pile of burnt ash with clumps of melted plastic and metal. The man picked up a shiny piece of metal that resembled a part of a drum set he had seen in blues clubs back in Chicago, this struck him as an odd place for musical instruments to be lying around. Just as the man seemed to be finished rummaging through the area, Martin tried to move for a clear view of the shiny item, his footing with the his loafer shoes gave way and he tumbled head over heels for what seemed to be an eternity until crashing into a thicket of thorny brush. Tom heard the snapping twigs and loose rocky gravel give way to the bumpy pounding of a body tumbling down the mountainside as he thought to himself, “Serves you right, you fucking sneaky bastard!” Tom hurried to the place the noise originated from and peered over the ledge but was unable to see anything but a couple of deer running off spooked and a raccoon scrambling up a tree. Tom looked for foot tracks and found only slight, smooth indentations in the extremely small patches of dirt between the natural litter of roots and fallen tree debris on the ground. There were no footprints or shoe tread marks but the sound was more of a human body tumbling, rather than a couple of deer running away. Tom kept peeking over the edge of the steep mountain watching for any movement down along the rough terrain as far as he could see. Martin was caught, face down, his feet uphill, with thorns hooking and stabbing through his clothes and into his skin. Any movement caused just as many sharp needles to penetrate deeper as there were ones coming free, so he just lie still moving only slightly to try and free himself enough to get his gun. As he contemplated his situation, a scruff of rocks and twigs suddenly broke free at the top of the hill and gathered speed and strength as it fell toward him. Martin’s first instinct was that the man had heard him fall and was watching from above, so he lay still and listened. The falling debris slowly came to a stop and the woods once again became quiet but Martin just lay there trying to look to his left and upward to the top of the mountain, feeling as though eyes were glaring down upon him. Tom was still suspicious of the situation and picked up a handful of small rocks in one hand, with his gun in the other. He quietly made his way around the side of the hill where it was more level for descending to where he thought the fallen body had come to rest. As he moved along the steep cliff edge to the smoother rounded side of the mountain, he occasionally tossed a rock back toward the place where the falling sound had originated, to take attention away from his movements. He reached the lower end of the steepest portion where he could cut back across and be just above the brush line at the bottom of the cliff. He knew if someone or something had fallen down the incline, he was now only a few yards above the landing area with a few feet of thick brush between him and the spot. Martin heard sounds coming from his left and slightly above him but then he heard rocks and dirt crumbling down the hill behind him, so he was sure there were now two or more men about to find him. As the closest sounds seemed to be just beyond his feet and he couldn’t see in that direction, Martin decided to go for broke and rip himself free of the thorns. The noise behind him became loud and rushed just after he lifted and pushed

80 back out of the thorn bushes. His shirt and pants made sharp ripping sounds from the needles cutting sideways as they stubbornly released him. Martin could feel the gouging and deep scratching of the jagged thorns as they ripped his skin when he freed himself from his nature made iron maiden. His face, neck and torso were severely cut and several thorns had penetrated his crotch and legs as he finally found a standing position, while one hand instinctively pulled out his gun. Tom heard something thrashing and scratching around in the sharp thorn bushes just beyond the line of brush in front of him. The noise got louder as he snapped and crashed his way through the thicket toward the tangled, cloth ripping sounds. When he cleared the bushes, he found himself facing a pistol a foot away from his nose as his gun was pointing at the head of a scratched up bloody mess of a man. As both men instinctively tried to back away from each other, they both tripped backwards and each pulled the trigger as they fell! Simon had a fairly uneventful evening and morning while he stood vigilant guard on the audio phone taps through the night and into the next morning as he sat in the car outside the Chiefs house to cover for Martin‘s absence. He was getting pissed off because Martin had not checked in and was not answering his cell. The two hired thugs followed Jack and Bill to a restaurant after they left the experiment hideaway and then each twin went to their respective homes for the remainder of the night. The brothers were up bright eyed and bushy tailed the next morning, excited about the promise of the coming day of human subject testing. They were followed back to the lab and the two hired thugs staked out the twins and waited. Chapter 21. Jack had been unable to sleep for most of the night with anticipation of his newest brainstorm for the next experiment. As he delivered the explanation of his newest extreme idea for the ultimate test scenario, Bill’s expressions ran a gauntlet roller coaster ride of delighted excitement to that of extreme terror. Jack had described the following insane proposal for testing by administering the already tested “Lust” scent on male subject #3 and administering the “Pity” scent on female subject #4. Then release one of them into the others dwelling, and record the events! Test subject #3 was instructed to rub the cloth sprinkled with “Pity” on his neck and shoulders, and simultaneously, test subject #4 was instructed to rub the cloth sprinkled with “Lust” on her neck and shoulders. Then #3 was directed to go through the door into the housing wagon wheel “hub” and then through the open door into the dwelling of #4, then the twins locked them in together. After a few minutes #4 was showing facial expressions of concern and then verbalized, “Oh, you poor man! I see you are lonely and upset! Here let me hug and hold you, yes, now isn’t that better?” As #4 was showing compassion for #3, he was getting turned on and more grabby and slightly sexually aggressive. He began to make light moans as #4 was hugging and rubbing his back while she spoke soothing words of compassionate caring into his ear. His hands were slowly rubbing her lower back with circular motions which consistently progressed lower and lower until he was rubbing and grabbing her ass. His other hand was sliding up under her shirt and bra. She didn’t even seem to notice where she was

81 being groped and fondled as she only kept speaking of how sorry she felt for him. He was intensely wanting to take the situation to full sexual contact and she seemed to still only be interested in consoling him from the effects of the “Pity” scent he wore. Bill finally said, “We better stop this or she may remember this and charge him, hell, or even us with sexual harassment or sexual assault or probably rape!” Jack shook his head in agreement and called in Hans to break up the two subjects. Hans was wearing a gas mask and entered the test dwelling with the intent to remove #3 back to his own dwelling. As Hans got between the two subjects, his mask became dislodged and he tried to hold his breath, but before he could get the mask back in place, he had to breath and he knew to breath through his mouth instead of his nose. As he took a few breaths attempting to get his mask untangled from the flailing arms and hands, he fucked up and took in a breath through his nose. That was all it took, that one quick breath through the nostrils and he was screwed! The twins watched as Hans’s expressions resembled Bill’s when Jack was explaining the experiment! Hans first looked at #3 and almost got tears in his eyes as he said, “You poor, poor man, let me help you!” Hans grabbed him and pulled him into a tight hug of compassionate affection. The tide changed when Hans got a good whiff of the “Lust” scent on subject #4. Hans immediately went from compassion to a raging hard on and #3 was right with him on the raging hard on part. #4 was starting to become the object of both men’s affections and it was happening fast! Hans was first to initiate any clothing removal by practically ripping off her shirt and bra! #3 was working on getting her pants off as both men began fondling her naked breasts. Jack turned on the powerful ventilation fans but the scents were too strong at ground zero, so the molestation continued. Then Bill said, “You have to mask up and go in there!” Jack said, “No fucking way, brother! Bill just opened his eyes wide with thoughts of what could happen if he went into the room, but still his head just turned back to the monitor with intent enthusiasm! While the twins had been so involved in their discussion they hadn’t noticed that Hans and #3 had stripped off their cloths and were naked, Hans was hugging while lifting #4 up off the floor as #3 pulled her pants and underwear off. Hans then laid her back over the arm of the couch and spread her legs. She still seemed oblivious to what was happening to her as she said, “It’ll be alright! Don’t look so sad! I’m here for you!” Hans was looking like he was on the verge of tears but yet, hard as a rock as he slid himself into her opening, while #3 was pulling her back to lay the rest of her body on the couch as he straddled her head, facing Hans and he fondled her breasts as he tried to get positioned to penetrate her mouth. She was still giving words of comfort and emotional support toward both men while Hans was really hammering away at her with solid intent and #3 had slid around off the couch, kneeling on the floor, giving himself straight access to her mouth as she turned her head to the right. Both men were really going at her from top to bottom and Hans was breathing heavily while trying to give soft words of comfort to both #3 and #4. He then would suddenly make a complete change in attitude and blurt out an obscene, dirty sexual statement. Bill almost lost it while watching and listening as Hans was pumping away and calling out, “I can feel your pain, I want to take it away, you poor, poor, little fucking cock slut!

82 Take that dick! Yea! Take it bitch! Aw, I’ll give it to you with, a, a, a little puppy to cheer you right up, yea, it’s ok. I’ll be there for you! I know how you feel and I can make it better! I promise I’ll, I’ll, I’ll fuck the shit out of you! You, you, you little fucking cock slut, bitch, whore!” Jack and Bill were totally engulfed with the scene they were viewing on the monitor as Jack said, “ Hans don’t know weather to cry or fuck! He’s getting double dosed from both scents!” Bill was trying not to smile as he said, “This gives new meaning to “A crying fucking shame” doesn’t it brother?” Jack couldn’t help but laugh as he said, “It’s not funny Bill! But that was a good one!” As the twins watched Hans swing between his two extreme emotions, they couldn’t help but laugh heartily at the fact that he had absolutely no control of when his mind would change gears. Jack finally said, “Well, shit! I guess we’ll give it until the guys finish and see if things calm down enough to get the three of them separated.” Bill replied, “And what if things don’t calm down?” Jack looked at him raising his eyebrows and said, “One of us is going to have to go in!” Bill gave his patented look of disgust and said, “I wonder which one of us it’ll be?” Hans was boiling up to for scream of ecstasy as Jack and Bill watched him plow himself into this woman, who was oddly consoling him as he verbally degraded her. Subject #3 had already strewn thick lines of juice across her face, neck and hair and he was now recovering, by slouching beside her head on the couch with his knees still on the floor. As Hans hammered away, something must have triggered his release and he cried out loudly, “I going to do your sweet, misunderstood pussy, oh god, help me give this woman peace of mind and to console her tormented heart! I give you- PEEEEAAAACCCEEE! As history usually repeats itself, Jack convinced Bill to be the degraded and chosen one to enter the “room of sexual doom” and bust up the pitiful rape situation. Jack resorted to fear convincing Bill into submission by reminding him of the compromising files and pictures he displayed earlier. Bill put the gas mask on and just as he was leaving the control room he stopped dead in his tracks, turned around facing Jack, took the mask back off and said, “Fucking DUH!” Jack watched as Bill opened a small cabinet and grabbed a sheet of paper and showed it to Jack. With an expression of remembrance Jack said, “Oh shit! I forgot all about that!” Bill scanned the sheet as it contained numbered sentences. Each line was a command for different automatic operations to be executed within any desired dwelling. Everything from a total water flooding to a fierce flash fire. This was implicated for safety in case of an accident, experiment gone wrong or just extermination of a test subject. Bill was searching for the numbered line for something to incapacitate the test subjects. Two possibilities seemed plausible to Bill, they could pump ether in the dwelling or decrease the air pressure, and he chose air pressure because ether is flammable and has after effects for the people knocked out. Bill selected the dwelling number button and the knob for decreasing air pressure within that dwelling to the level rendering any human unconscious. In a matter of seconds the effects could be seen on all three people as they became sluggish and seemed

83 tired. After a few minutes they were out cold and Jack and Bill geared up, went in and cleaned up and hoped that most of the events would be forgotten or at least be hazy to the participants. Chapter 22. Martin woke up lying beside the thorn bush with a terrible pain in his jaw. The sun was beginning to illuminate everything brightly and a quick look at his watch revealed it was eight thirty the next morning, so he had been unconscious all night. When he got to his feet he realized that the intense pain was where the bullet had entered his body. As he thought back to facing the gun at his head when he had earlier pulled himself out of the thorns, he spotted a large rock on the ground with blood dried on it’s surface with a small pool of red surrounding it. He then felt the lump on the back of his head and following that he recognized a slight head ach pounded his inner skull. As he quickly scanned around for the other man, he noticed his gun was nowhere to be found and with further searching, he found no sign of the other man. He tried his cell and discovered that his crashing tumble down the mountain had permanently damaged it. He managed to make his way back to his hidden car and was relieved to see it in the same condition as he left it. He looked at his gunshot wound in the mirror and the bullet had entered his left cheek and broken teeth on both sides of his mouth and exited his right lower jaw taking some bone out with it. The bleeding had stopped sometime during the night but the intense pain persisted, including the tears and scratches from the labyrinth of thorns he had survived. When he tried to start the car, the battery was dead and he noticed his wallet in the seat with his ID purposely left in plain view. After raising the hood he discovered a surprising message, his gun had been wedged between the positive battery post and the chassis of the car, totally draining the battery. The gun had actually welded itself to the car and Martin had to use the tire iron to break it free. The bullet clip was nowhere to be found but at least the man who did this had left him alive! Tom had awaken before Martin with killer pain in his ear and crusting blood had streamed down the side of his head and neck. He stood up and realized he was lying on the ground in the bushes. It was totally dark and he had difficulty finding his way around. He remembered the intense face off with the other man also wielding a gun but everything was a blur after that. As Tom moved to the location he believed the other man to have last been, he found him passed out near a large thorn bush. Tom found the man’s gun and searched him finding a cell phone and smashed it repeatedly against the ground to disable it. Tom removed the mans wallet and discovered he was Martin Long from Chicago. He thought better of killing the man because he didn’t know for sure of the man’s connection to the ordeal. Making his way up the mountain back to the truck was slow and difficult because of the total darkness. The sky was cloudy and not even the moon was able to penetrate the thick overcast, so Tom had a stumbling ascent to the truck. After several falls and bumping encounters with trees and bushes he finally reached the vehicle. As he drove back down the dark winding road, he knew the man must have a vehicle hidden somewhere near by. Tom found the man’s car and after disabling the battery he placed the wallet with the contents displayed in the front seat and he continued back toward town to his motel room to take care of his wound and make a few inquiring phone calls about the shiny metal

84 item he had found at the disposal site. He arrived at his motel room, cleaned up, did some research and rested until he could speak with Jack in person the next morning. Jack and Bill were preparing for another day of experiments, when Tom arrived at the secret lab entrance. After Tom explained his encounter the previous night Jack asked, “Why didn’t you call me, and what happened to your ear?” Tom looked around the room suspiciously and replied, “Are you sure that no one has placed bugs or any hidden surveillance devices in here?” Jack looked at Tom with a questioned expression and replied, “I don’t know how anyone could without being seen, unless it was an inside job!” Tom asked the twins if there was an absolutely secure place to talk and Jack decided to humor Tom and the three of them went into the decontamination chamber. Tom revealed the events of the man following him to the disposal site and the resulting gun fire and then he revealed a colossal piece of information about the shiny metal item he found. Tom first asked, “Do either of you know a man named “Martin Long” from Chicago?” Jack immediately said, “He’s got to be involved with the Jamison’s since he’s from Chicago and that tells me that Dalton is definitely involved in this cluster fuck!” Tom held his hands out palm fore ward and fingers up to indicate for Jack to calm down as he said, “Do you know what this is?” He retrieved the shiny metal object and held it out as Jack and Bill examined it. Jack and Bill both had expressions of understanding as Bill said, “It looks like a replacement knee joint!” Tom shook his head in agreement and said, “Yes, it’s a titanium knee replacement joint. I ran the manufacturer’s numbers through a medical data base and guess who this belongs to!” Jack and Bill looked at each other with raised eyebrows and then back to Tom as if to say, “we have no idea.” Tom said, “Two of the ID numbers were damaged by the acid but the only matching possibilities were either an old woman local resident of a Chicago suburb, whom is home right now and alive and well, or a man named Terry Brandt!” The two hired thugs witnessed Tom’s arrival at the lab and they informed Simon. Simon was intrigued that Martin still had not checked in and it was almost nine o’clock in the morning. Simon instructed the hired thugs to follow any of the three that left Jack’s lab. Simon hoped that Martin would show up soon to report on Tom’s activities the previous night but he was almost convinced that Martin had probably met an untimely death and Tom was probably the executioner. Martin finally reached the main road and flagged down a passing motorist. The old man pulled his old pick up truck off the side of the road and waited for him to get in. As he opened the door and slid into the seat the old man commented, “You look pretty roughed up for a man in a city slicker suit!” Martin pushed out a throaty “Huh” and thought to himself, “if you only knew, old man!” The old man barely knew what a cell phone was, so Martin had to wait until they reached town to call Simon. He got out of the old man’s truck at the motel and he saw that Simon’s car was in the parking lot as he knocked on his door.

85 Simon listened to Martin tell the story of the mountain road, the ash pile and his encounter with Tom. His interest was peaked when Martin mentioned the shiny metal object that reminded him of a drum part when Tom pulled it out of the ash pile. Simon went on line and showed him a picture of a titanium knee replacement from a web site and as Martin looked at the image, he said, “That’s it!” Simon immediately knew the entire story. Chapter 23. Tom and Simon both, now knew the identity of the owner of the implanted artificial knee. It was Mr. Terry Brandt and he was the son of Alfred Jamison and his mistress Mrs. Janine Brandt. The implant operation was conducted at a local Chicago hospital four years ago and the medical records revealed the insurance was from Super Cosmo Incorporated and the signature on the forms was none other than Mr. Alfred Jamison. The dead man owning the fake knee joint was Al’s illegitimate son, Terry Brandt! Simon figured that Tom had enough connections to discover the truth behind the knee joint, so Simon called Al to relay the news about his other son. Jack just kept saying, “Shit, oh shit. Aw fuck!” Finally Tom said, “Are the Jamison’s going to want retribution?” Jack said, “Retribution. Retribution? No! Al won’t want retribution, he’s going to demand revenge! Fucking bloody, messy revenge!” Tom tried to calm him down and said, “Were going to have to take some drastic measures to avoid any blood shed on our side!” Simon had received his instructions from Al and he, along with Martin, met the thugs at the back entrance to Jack’s lab and prepared for a destructive introduction. Simon and his three accomplices created a distraction with a small car fire just outside the lab tunnel to bring the twins and their friends out. Simon was positioned back, away from the entrance with a high powered rifle and an infrared scope. As Hans and Tom tried to inconspicuously find the cause of the fire, Simon picked them off with the puff of two silenced shots from the rifle that exploded both men’s skulls before they had gotten twenty yards down the tunnel toward the back entrance. Tom had not expected Simon to put the information together so quickly and was pressed to investigate to protect the twins and this small hurried oversight caused his and Hans’s demise. Simon sent the hired thugs on in ahead to run down the twins and he gave them explicit orders not to kill the brothers but to eliminate any one else. After twenty minutes the “all clear” was received, so Simon and Martin entered the tunnel making their way to where the thugs had Jack and Bill secured in the lab. Jack and Bill tried to hide in the control room and make their way through the stairs back up to Jack’s office in the Exotic Scents building but their advisories were too quick and had caught them in the stairway before they reached the secret door to Jack‘s office. They were forcibly taken back to the control room to wait the arrival of Simon. As Simon walked through the lab, he counted six dead civilians and of course, Tom and Hans. When he reached the control room he confronted Jack and Bill with one statement, “You two are about to have a very interesting discussion with Mr. Jamison.” Just as he

86 finished talking, the thugs smacked both twins in the head with the butt of a gun and it was lights out for the brothers. Jack woke up first and saw that he and Bill were in a room together, each on a cot. The room was small with a single light bulb on the ceiling and no windows with a solid heavy metal door. Jack reached over and lightly shook Bill to wake him up. Bill came around and they both searched the room for any other features that were not obvious, with no luck. Eventually a small sliding slab opened on the door and a set of menacing eyes scanned the entirety of the room and then the slab quickly slammed shut. After a few minutes the slab opened again, the same menacing eyes peered in, disappeared and then Simon’s face appeared as he said, “Are you two going to be civil and cooperate?” Jack and Bill looked at each other with equal expressions of having no other choice and they both looked back at the small rectangular hole and nodded their heads in a yes motion. They were led down a hall and into an elevator, up several floors and down another more elaborate hall to a large solid wood door. Once inside they were instructed to be seated in chairs on the guest side of the large desk that had a gold plated ashtray centered on it. After a few minutes a large, well dressed man entered through another door. His face was worn with an air of confidence and experience as he puffed on an expensive Cuban cigar. He made his way to the business side of the desk, tapped his cigar in the ashtray and sat down with a sigh. He took a long gaze at Jack and then a quick glance at Bill, took another slow puff on the cigar, let out the smoke, tapped it in the ashtray again and said, “I am Alfred Jamison. You are Jack and Bill Stanford, the toxic twins of the fragrance world. You turned your backs on my offer for employment several years ago, only to take Exotic Scents to the top of the cosmetic corporate ladder and cause year after year of thorns in my side. Jack could feel the cold sarcasm in the air and tried to convey the realization to his brother by way of looking at him and forcing his face to distort and turn red but Bill was only taking each word coming from the man as compliments. Bill disregarded Jack’s urging and said, “Well, Mr. Jamison, Jack and I have worked long and hard to get Exotic Scents to the top of the industry!” Al’s entire belly shook from the inaudible laugh he was constricting, as he said, “Ah Bill Stanford. I have your file right here. Yes you have worked very, very hard, under the overbearing constant control of Jack here. Isn’t that right, Jack. Or am I way off the mark?” Jack tried to smooth the situation over by saying, “Bill has always been his own man, but we do work together and I do take charge, but that doesn’t mean that-” Al cut him off with, “I have all the proof I need right here in these photos and reports. Here’s Bill getting molested by a mob of women at a male stripper bar, well, that might have been your idea Bill but I doubt even that episode was of your planning. Here you are at a professional boxing match and what do you know, Bill looks like he wants to hide, and a little while later your thugs practically drag him out to the limo, Jack. In every picture, Bill looks out of sorts and you seem to be smiling and laughing, Jack. As a matter of fact, the reports from my investigative team concurs with the pictures. You see, I have been watching you two for a very long time, well ever since you turned down my offer, anyway.”

87 Jack interjected, “What do you want Mr. Jamison?” Al’s face went flat with no emotion as he said, “I have what I want! I have the two of you and all of your samples, notes, video tapes, everything. I have your professional data and more importantly, your private stock of samples and formulas. Yes Jack, I now have it all!” Jack stood up and faced Bill saying, “We don’t have to listen to him! He can’t keep us here!” Al motioned to Simon and he walked over and backhanded Jack in the nose and he fell back sitting in the chair holding his face, then Al said, “Alright! Here is how it’s going to be! You two are going to work for me! If you don’t you both will disappear permanently! Any fucking questions?” Bill understood the situation now and replied, “We will do whatever you want us to!” Al smiled and said, “Are you in agreement with your brother Jack?” Jack’s nose was still bleeding and he was trying to stop it with a handkerchief that Simon had given him, when he said, “And if we don’t help you?” Al said, “I knew you would be the difficult one, Jack. So here is the deal. If the two of you don’t do as I say, I might as well kill you now because you are of no use to me in a defiant state, however Jack, you have one more chance to help me or I will have Bill taken apart piece by piece in front of you. If that isn’t enough incentive, I always have Laura and her mother to dismember!” Jack immediately said, “Alright, alright! What do want us to do?” Al began by relighting the cigar that had went cold from his attention being on the twin’s answers. He then disclosed his plan, “First, Bill will call Laura and tell her that Jack has died in a boating accident and the body was never found. I want this second part done with some class as not to cause any undue attention as Bill will return to Exotic Scents and go on without Jack. Eventually he shall take over the lab and slowly decrease and eventually cease the secret scents in Exotic Scents fragrances and do the reverse for Super Cosmo and we shall miraculously take over the market. This will generate enough sales for the three of us to step up your private testing and experiments on scents and eventually the DNA testing will be worked out. Remember boys, if one of you fucks up, the other one pays the price and if things don’t go back on track, then more people will pay the price. I have all of the documentation, samples and everything connected to your life’s work, so don’t try anything fucking stupid. Jack, you will stay here as my permanent guest, working on Super Cosmo fragrances to slowly raise my sales while Bill does the reverse at Exotic Scents. In between your duties with Super Cosmo work, you will resume testing on the private scents and DNA work here. Oh and Bill, I will have a gifted lab technician to be your new assistant at Exotic Scents, and you no longer have freedom away from the lab either. I have also read your employment contract and when Exotic Scents sales fall below a certain status, you will probably be fired and when that happens you will come here to join Jack. I calculate this to take approximately one year and in that time we should have a breakthrough in the DNA testing.” Al also had both brothers give a sperm sample before the day was over and Al just claimed it was for back up insurance purposes. Chapter 24.

88

Jack reluctantly settled into his new boring routine and performed exactly as Al desired, to keep Bill and Laura safe. Martin was assigned to watch over him with the assistance of two Super Cosmo lab scientists to make sure he did as he was instructed. When Bill returned to Nashville he had to tell a deceitful lie to Laura. He went to her house and as she answered the door she said, “Oh, high Bill! Where’s Jack?” Bill asked to come inside to talk and she opened the door wide and motioned him in. He asked her to sit down as he sat down next to her and said, “Jack has been in an accident.” A worried look spread across her face as she said, “Is he alright? Where is he? Can I go see him?” Bill grabbed her hand and placed it between both of his as he rubbed her soft skin, he looked her in the eye and before he spoke he quickly thought to himself, “I have to do this without fucking up or Jack is a dead man!” When he had a grip on himself he said, “Laura, he didn’t make it.” She turned from a worried expression to one of confusion as she said, “He didn’t make what? The Plane? The limo? Bill, he didn’t make it where?” Bill had a hard time now. He was not a good liar and he wasn’t sure if he could go on with the charade as he said, “No Laura, he was out in a boat and it caught fire and everyone on board had to jump in the water and all of them disappeared. They searched for days. They are still searching but they don’t think, well they don’t think any of them survived. I’m so sorry Laura! I wanted to be the one to tell you in person.” Bill put his arm around her shoulders and tried to console her as best he could while she cried. After a moment she wiped her eyes and looked at him and said, “I want to go there! I have to be there when they find him! Bill, I want to go there, now!” Bill didn’t know what to say or do! He was trying to think of anything to say that might detour her from this direction but he was coming up blank. Just as Bill was about to give up and spill the beans as he was saying, “Laura, Jack is-” a sudden knock came at the door! Bill could see how distraught she was and he offered to answer it. When he opened it, he saw Simon standing there with a sheet of paper in his hand and Simon grabbed Bill’s arm and gently pulled him out onto the porch, whispering in his ear, “Don’t stray from the plan! I am here to inform her that Jack’s body has been found. You better play along or Jack’s body really will be found!” Bill shook his head in submission and the two of them went in to break the news to her. Laura took the news hard and after a few minutes she asked, “When can I see him? Oh Bill, when do you plan to, to have the-” Simon butted in with, “I’m sorry but the fish and crabs, well they uh, well- It’ll have to be a closed casket and I’m sorry.” Laura broke down again and Bill went to her as Simon excused himself and left. Laura insisted that Bill stay with her and he ended up spending the night just being there for her. They had a few drinks and Bill ordered Chinese delivery and he seemed to get her over the initial shock of Jack’s death. Bill was becoming more comfortable with this deception as he had always liked Laura but was too shy to confront her and now she seemed dependant on him. In the back of his mind he knew that someday this charade

89 would come to an end but for now it was just too enticing not to go with the flow, and besides, he had to play along or Jack might be killed. Toward the end of the evening, as Laura was putting dishes in the sink, Bill had brought the wine glasses in to hand them to her and as she quickly turned around they found themselves face to face and it led to a short kiss. She took it as a consoling endearment by Bill and he was feeling the pent up emotions he had felt for her, manifesting into reality. After only a few seconds into the kiss, she pulled away and began to cry while holding her hands over her face. Bill knew this was a difficult time for her and he completely understood her actions. She moved her hands from her face and placed them on either side of his face as she said, Bill, I have something to tell you. But I don’t know if I-” She let the moment go empty and quiet as she thought of how to say what she wanted to tell him. Bill was accustomed to staying quiet but he decided to break the silence and he said, “You don’t have to say anything. I completely understand and I am here for you. Always.” She looked at him with a wondrous and mystified gleam in her eye as she said, “You know? I mean, Jack didn’t know, so how did you-” Bill was completely off the mark but he went ahead with his heart and said, “I will be here for you and I know I’m not Jack but I can give you the security and the solid relationship you want!” Laura again began to cry and she turned away from Bill as she leaned over the sink, sobbing. Bill rubbed her shoulders from behind as he said. “It’s all going to be alright. I promise!” Laura decided to just confront Bill and she turned back around and said, “You don’t understand! It’s not what you think! I cared for Jack and I still do but it’s not you Bill, it’s that I’m, it’s that Jack and I, we never thought, I never thought that-” Bill was convinced that she was trying to excuse herself for abandoning Jack to be with him and he said, “It’s what, Laura?” She finally blurted out, “I’m pregnant!” Chapter 25. Nine months later, Al was the proud father of two specimens of Jack and Bill’s sperm samples, a bouncing baby boy and a beautiful baby girl. He had inseminated two healthy surrogate mothers nine months ago and they delivered the babies three hours earlier. Al knew from the stolen files that Jack and Bill had the only DNA that the experimental emotion altering gene would be effective with. Al took the babies to a nursery he specially designed for their infant care. This was constructed within the Super Cosmo compound and the plan was to keep updating construction and content of the fake home for the babies as they grew. Al was determined to use the children to progress the research on the DNA experiments. Jack had no idea of this portion of Al’s devious plan, and Bill was just as clueless. Laura had given birth to Jack’s son three months earlier. She and Bill were an item and had gotten married a few months after the fake news of Jack’s death had been made public and everyone was under the impression that Bill was the father. Bill took the

90 whole situation as real and treated it as his very own family. Laura played along but her heart truly belonged to the memory of Jack. She never let Bill see this side of her as she saw how dedicated he was to her and James, Jack’s son. Even with Simon watching him like a hawk, Bill had found small amounts of time to resume secret research on the DNA formula himself. His progress was slow but he had all of that information locked away in his photographic memory and he knew exactly what to do, it was just finding the solitary time to execute the lab work. Luckily for Bill, Simon was convinced that Bill was a total pushover and gave him a lot of unsupervised time at the lab. Bill played his part to the bone and continued to progress steadily but his personal life with Laura and James was as real to him as the sun and moon. Jack was not making any quicker progress than Bill even though he had the documentation and samples from the original formulas. Bill had purposely left out certain minute but necessary steps or ingredients in the written research, just in case of this situation. Jack was keeping Al satisfied with his progress but the over all mood at Al’s lab was discouragement and frustration, but the goal was being slowly realized. Al expected the formula to be completed in just a few months and was disappointed with the length of time the work was taking, but as long as progress was being accomplished, Al was not going to eliminate Jack. As the next several months went by, both Jack and Bill had completed the formulas for the scents and the DNA gene altering procedure. Al was pleased that Jack had completed the scent formulas and had redrafted the gene procedure but no one knew that Bill had recreated the same work secretly back in Nashville, under to Simons watchful eye. Al had his team decipher the twin’s documents and journals about the scents and experiments as well as the problems of only being able to apply the gene procedure to adhere to Jack and Bill’s gene pool. This is why Al had secretly inseminated the sperm samples into the surrogate mothers as this would give him live human test subjects within Jack and Bill’s gene pool without compromising Jack‘s health. Jack had implemented the diluted scents into Super Cosmos commercial lines of fragrances and colognes to boost sales and generate money for Al to expand testing and research on the secret scents and the DNA procedure. Bill had reduced the amount of diluted scents in Exotic Scents commercial line and sales had dropped dramatically but he found a way to implement them into other products and generate sales in those items to keep his job and the company in good financial standing. Simon hadn’t figured out that Bill had done this, he only knew that the fragrance and cologne sales were down and that was Bill’s main objective. Al was preoccupied with progress of the DNA testing and seemed disinterested in Bill or Exotic Scents, especially since the perfume and cologne market now belonged to him. Al was content that Bill remain in Nashville until he was ready to possibly later rejoin the twin’s in his Chicago lab. Plus the impact of transplanting Bill was going to be highly publicized and he wanted to keep a low profile, at least until the testing was more complete. So, Bill and Simon remained quiet in Nashville while Jack remained a pampered prisoner in Chicago for several more months. Al’s lab team had figured out how the DNA worked on the gene pool of Jack and Bill but they ran into the same difficulty when introducing it to a fresh gene DNA test, it wouldn’t work like it did with Jack and Bill’s DNA. So, Al had the team use the surrogate children to use as test subjects to further analyze the problem.

91 Al was considerate enough to give the children names, Kane and Mercedes Hamilton. Kane is the actual child of Bill and Mercedes belongs to Jack. The children will never know their real parents or many other things, according to Al’s innovative plan to keep them under his thumb. They were later told that their parents had died from a rare disease that might be hereditary. As the children grew, Al would renovate their living quarters to accommodate their needs and their allowed wants. They will not be ordinary children due to the fact that their existence was only possible because of the selfish desires of Al to experiment on them to further the DNA testing. In the beginning there were nurses and nanny’s to care for the infants until they reached several years of age. They were constantly tested for intelligence and aptitude to indicate what levels of education to administer to them. Both children scored high in the testing and were almost equally high in intelligence, so the educating was for an equal class of two. They quickly moved on to preschool, kindergarten, and on up through the grades. Kane and Mercedes believed that their daily life was normal for every one of their age. A typical setting was for the children was to wake up in a bedroom consisting of laboratory educational decorations with posters and charts, along with the usual bed, dressers, closet and all of the clothing and necessary items for hygiene and school work. At seven o’clock every morning alarm clocks went off, bathroom rituals were performed, apparel was adorned, school work and utensils were gathered and then down the hall to the dining area for nutritious breakfast. After breakfast they went over to the classroom for the morning classes, with a recess break at the playground area, back to class and then back to the dining room for a nutritious lunch. After lunch, a few more afternoon classes and on to physical therapy education at the gym and then back to the playground area. Evenings were consistent with games, art, or educational videos of necessary and informative content for their age. Weekends were filled with many kinds of activities, learning experiments and games to give them a definite sense of time in the real world work week. This schedule eventually turned into weeks, months and finally years. Al had insisted that the children be educated with the knowledge of the outside world with all of it’s wonders and disasters. As the children learned of the outside world and all the creatures, places and people that inhabited it, they also began to ask why they could not see it form themselves. Al had them to believe that their physical condition would not allow them to survive outside the lab. He had the fear of death in them because if they ever left the lab, they would surely die from their bodies not being able to resist the diseases and viruses that ran rampant outside of these safe walls. Al had convinced Kane and Mercedes that the testing done on them in the lab was to find a cure for their ailments so that someday they might enjoy life outside the lab. In actuality, the testing was to further the knowledge on the DNA of the emotion gene altering formula that only seemed to work on their DNA, since they were actually descendants of Jack and Bill. As time went on Bill and Laura had built a strong family environment for James as he flourished in school and was above average in his intelligence levels. His life was as normal as the next door neighbor and he seemed happy and content with what life had given him. Bill and Laura had raised him with compassion and caring but also with a firm hand of duty and responsibility to others and the world in general.

92 Bill had superseded his previous DNA research to an exact detailed match to the extent that he could control each individual pore of the body. A desired amount could be secreted to the point that all of the pores could work in unison to concentrate the scent in a single direction and for an undetermined distance. Bill kept this breakthrough to himself and was waiting for the proper time to use it. Jack had become almost depressed to the point of suicide as his work and confinement had taken it’s toll on his psyche. His work had become as complete as he could make it, especially without personal desire to continue, because he was only making progress for Al’s personal gain. It was different back when he knew that at any time he could spring his and Bill’s research on the public and professional world. Possibly receiving a Pulitzer Prize award, but those days were gone, and now, his existence was not important, especially without Laura. Chapter 26. As the testing on Kane and Mercedes continued through their young years, the results were at a stand still until they reached twelve years old. It was on a regular day that Kane became upset with Mercedes concerning an item at the playground and once he became angered, his abilities seemed to intensify dramatically. When the teacher had arrived where he was talking to Mercedes with a raised voice, she immediately felt her self become submissive to Kane’s will and thoughts. Mercedes seemed to feel the same effects but she had a resistance to him and continued to deify his wishes about the item. This was all captured on video as Al and the lab team later viewed it with enthusiastic hope. The testing took on a new function concerning the children and the research was redirected to the concept that the children could call on the DNA to react upon mental desire. As testing in this direction continued, all that was discovered was that, when angry, Kane could now secrete self made scents to make those around him become submissive to his wishes. Mercedes was never able to project this or any secretion of consequence for the same result. These tests went on for several months until Al decided to bring in a psychologist to evaluate the children and their emotional state to give insight for Kane’s anger special ability. The doctor evaluated both Kane and Mercedes and only found that Kane’s anger threshold seemed quite low, compared to his past behavior and his age. She asked to see the medical records of the children and their biological parents, but she only received the children’s documents and she then asked the lab tech, “I didn’t get any records on the parents, do you know why?” The tech told her he would check and would get back to her shortly. When Al found out that the Doctor was requesting parental history he decided to have a meeting with her. Al came into his office and as he approached his desk he saw an attractive brunette wearing a tight but professional skirt and a slightly revealing blouse. When he passed her to go around to his side of the desk, he noticed she had a nice bosom and a cleavage, only noticeable looking down from above her blouse line. Al sat down, lit a cigar and the Doctor said, “I would appreciate it if you wouldn’t smoke, sir.”

93 Al let out a sigh and extinguished the Cuban in the gold plated ashtray and as he glanced over a file he said, “Well, Mrs. Annie Vaughn. You seem to have quite an impressive educational history and work record!” Annie replied, “Thank you Mr. Jamison. For not smoking, and for the compliments.” Al finished looking over her file and said, “So, exactly what do you need to finish evaluating my children?” Annie said, “I just need you and your wife’s medical records to further determine the emotional possibilities of your children’s situation, Mr. Jamison.” Al laughed and said, “First of all call me Al and I think we have a slight misunderstanding here. My wife and I are not the biological parents of the children.” Annie said, “I’m sorry, Al, but you did say “my children” and I assumed, uh, well, never the less, can I see the medical records of the parents?” Al said, “I’m sorry, Annie, that’s impossible, because I don’t have any and I don’t know where to get them.” Annie said, “It would be very helpful if I could see their records.” Al asked, “Why do you need the medical records of the parents to evaluate the emotional state of the children?” Annie said, “Emotional stress can be directly connected to the medical or emotional history of the immediate family. This information can make a faster and more accurate diagnosis before more problems develop.” Al thought about this for a moment and replied, “So, you are saying that you can possibly evaluate and diagnose Kane and Mercedes faster if you have their parents records?” Annie caught that he said faster but not accurately when referring to the children and this raised red flags in her mind concerning Al’s motives. She then said, “If I had the records, I can almost guarantee a quick evaluation and diagnosis!” Al decided that he could get the records and white out the identifying information and she would never know who the parents were but could still have the medical information. Al then absently said, “I can get the Stanford’s, uh, I mean the children’s parents records by tomorrow, but since they are deceased and the children may be in foster care and possibly later adopted, you can’t know the names of the parents! Do you agree to this stipulation?” Annie caught the familiar “Stanford” name and knew how to play charades and she was game, as she said, “Sure, Al. I am just here for the best interest of the children.” Al said, “You can stay here and talk with the children until the records become available.” Annie decided to possibly make better use of her time in the best interest of the children by going home for a little research of her own and returning when the records arrive, so she said, “I have a very needy client that I want to refer to another doctor and I need to do this in person, uh, tomorrow. Well, actually my client has a severe case of antisocial behavior and I will need to personally introduce them. This will free up my schedule so I can spend some uninterrupted time with the children in the coming days. So you can call me when the records arrive and I can begin then.” Al agreed and Annie left Super Cosmo with more questions than she had when she came in, about the man in charge and especially those poor, pitiful children.

94 Annie was very informed of who Alfred Jamison was and how he operated and how far his fingers reached in the local and global political circles. So she had better tread lightly or she may end up without a license to work, or worse yet, she might end up missing! She knew that name “Stanford” and somehow it rang a bell with cosmetics but she couldn’t put it together. She was trying to think of who could help her without letting the cat out of the bag or getting herself in trouble. She tried the simple tricks first, like running through the phone book under the name “Stanford” and nothing stuck out. She then went on line and did a search with, “Stanford - cosmetics - deceased - Chicago Kane - Mercedes, and she hit the search button. Annie was flooded with memories as she saw the web page load. It was a link off the search page that had a Chicago Tribune article about “Jack Stanford’s untimely death in a boating accident.” Laura had went to college with Jack Stanford and she also remembered his tag along brother, oh, what was his name? As she went back to the article, she read the name of “the brother of the deceased man is Bill Stanford.” She was sure now! It had to be! Jack was the father to the children at Super Cosmo! The children were in Chicago and Jack had died in Chicago, yes, it had to be him! She kept reading the article until she came to the information about the brothers family and she learned that the twin’s parents had passed away several years ago and they were from Nashville, Tennessee. Now she remembered, her and Jack had dated but only a few times and she remembered he had mentioned he was from Nashville! Alright, she thought, I have to locate Bill and find out what the hell is going on! Annie had graduated from Harvard after Jack and Bill, with a degree in psychology and she currently maintained a private practice in Chicago. Prior to her move to the windy city, she had worked in a public service job in New York City and at another psychologist’s office in Boston before that. She was finally content with her life and practice in Chicago and has been for five years now. She knows most of the who’s - who in town from her connections through her office, so she is fairly well informed. She found the information about Jack and Bill with Exotic Scents and she had read in a magazine about the “Toxic Twins” of the fragrance world! The listing was for the office of the company and no personal contact information. It was two o’clock in Chicago and it couldn’t be but an hour difference in Nashville, so she decided to find out if she was on the right track. She called the number and it rang the Exotic Scents main office and a woman with a very low and sexy voice answered, “Exotic Scents, how may I direct your call?” Annie replied, “Is Mr. Bill Stanford there?” The woman said, “Who may I ask is calling?” Annie knew she had to seem important or else she would never get through, so she decided to say, “This is the Coroner’s Office of the Metropolitan Chicago Police Department and I need to speak with Mr. Stanford about his deceased brother Jack Stanford.” The woman said, “Uh, ok. Just a minute please.” In a few minutes a man answered saying, “This is Bill Stanford.” Annie wasn’t sure of how to continue as she said, “Bill this is a friend of Jack’s, well, and of yours from a long time ago, actually, college in Boston.” Bill was surprised to be hearing this but he was curious now and said, “And you are?”

95 Annie wasn’t sure if Bill would remember who she was so she said, “I dated Jack back in college, my name is Annie Vaughn.” Bill thought for a few seconds and replied, “I remember you, how are you?” Annie had a second of relief and then she had to explain her sudden call, “I’m ok but I have an odd circumstance that maybe you can clear up for me.” Bill said, “Sure, what can I do?” Annie was trying to find the words to begin as she said, “Do you or Jack have any children in Chicago?” Bill shit himself as he instantly remembered leaving his semen in the diabolical hands of Al Jamison and this woman must have some incredible information. Bill also knew that Simon could quite possibly be listening in on this conversation as he replied to her, “No, neither one of us could possibly have children in Chicago and I would appreciate it if you people would quit calling with these sick jokes and pranks! Goodbye!” Bill hung up the phone and quickly went to the front reception desk and looked at the last incoming calls on the caller ID for a Chicago number. He found it, wrote it down and was mentally putting a plan into action. Bill needed to free himself of the prying eyes and ears of Simon so he could contact Annie and the only way this was going to be possible is with the help of someone very trustworthy. Bill finished out the remainder of the day at work while racked his brain thinking of a way to tell Laura that the last twelve years of her life have been a farce because Jack is actually alive! The worst part is that Bill had to admit to her that he knew all along but continued to keep the truth from her for the sake of her and James’s safety, let alone Jack’s. When Bill arrived home everything was as normal as it had been for the last twelve years and he was about to tear it all apart. James was first to greet Bill and after excitedly telling him all about his day at school, Bill excused himself to the kitchen as James went outside to play. Laura was cooking dinner and looked as lovely as ever as Bill approached her. He stood in the doorway just watching her as he built up his nerve to crush her world but she noticed that he was acting odd and since she knew him so well, she immediately asked him, “What is it, Bill?” Bill was on the verge of tears as he choked on his first words, “I don’t know, I’m so sorry! I never meant to, I tried to-” Laura went over to him and hugged him tight and said, “Just tell me, Bill. It’s going to be alright!” Bill really started to break down and he couldn’t control himself as he hugged her back and squeezed her tightly. Finally he pulled back and said, “I have something to tell you and you are going to be very upset, so I want you to sit down but we have to be careful.” They both went outside and sat at the patio table and he began, “I have kept something from you but only to keep you and James safe! I know for a fact that Jack is alive.” She looked at him as if he were crazy and he could tell she didn’t believe him as she said, “What the are you talking about? He’s been dead for almost thirteen years! We were at the funeral! I saw him buried, Bill! What the hell are you trying to do? Have you lost your mind?” Bill sat with a somber face as he thought of a way to convince her of the truth. Then he realized he must let her know about the phone call he received earlier.

96 As he explained the caller and how she had dated Jack in college, Laura jumped to the wrong conclusion and said, “Are you telling me that Jack left me, went to Chicago and faked his own death to be with this slut? Is that what you are saying? Huh Bill?” Bill was shaking his head no as he tried again to explain about Al Jamison, Super Cosmo, Simon and the whole chain of events that took place after the kidnapping incident almost thirteen years ago. Laura was in total shock because she thought she knew Bill and couldn’t believe he could keep a lie going for so long. Eventually Bill had explained the whole story but Laura still had reservations about the real motives behind this story because her life had been so stable with Bill for the past thirteen years and now all if a sudden nothing was what it seemed. Bill explained to her that their every move, phone call, letter, everything was being watched and evaluated by Simon who reported to Al. Laura was in disbelief that such an elaborate hoax could be fabricated by so many people. She couldn’t believe that so many people kept such a lie, so secret for so long. Bill explained to her how powerful Al is and what he is capable of and about the sperm samples and Annie asking about Stanford children in Chicago. He explained that even the house was probably wired and he hoped the patio would be safe from Simons ears. Bill finally made a plan to bring the story into perspective for her as he explained, “I need you to go to the store and purchase a cell phone and I have a number that Annie called from, I’m sure it’s a track cell phone because of the caller ID and you have to be careful because Simon or his goons will probably follow you and they can detect cell phone signals. You will have to buy the phone as soon as you go into the store and call the number while you are inside. Don’t stay in the store too long or they might get suspicious and catch us.” Laura was still confused and in a daze but she was intelligent and very perceptive as she said, “Ok. Let me see if I have this right. You and Jack have been working on these secret formula experiments in the secret lab since you started working at Exotic Scents. You, Jack and my mother were kidnapped by this, Al from Chicago, to obtain this information. These were the formulas that I had been analyzing in the kidnappers lab and Tom, Dan and those other guys killed the kidnappers and at least one of Al’s sons in the battles. You and Jack were kidnapped a second time, taken to Chicago and Jack has been a prisoner there for almost thirteen years and you have known this all along. You didn’t tell me because they threatened to kill James or Jack or me, or all of us, if you told anyone. Is that about it?” Bill Said, “Yea! That’s about the short of it!” Laura then said, “I am very pissed that you lied to me! Especially for thirteen years, Bill! I’m going to the store and I’m going to make the call and I will be back after while!” As Laura pulled out of the driveway she looked around carefully to try and spot anyone following her. She hadn’t felt this way since the kidnapping of her mother and the rest of that mess. She got about a block away when she noticed an expensive Cadillac pull in behind her and stay with her for several more blocks. She didn’t want to take a round about route to the store, to find out if she had a tail because she didn’t want to raise their suspicion. So, she drove straight to the store and when she got out of the car she casually glanced around the area and she happened to spot the Cadillac parking at the far end of the parking lot and after she got inside the store she could see the driver just sitting there

97 watching the store front. She was convinced that Bill was being honest about the entire ordeal. She grabbed a track cell phone, purchased it, activated it and just before she dialed the number, she had a thought. If her and Bill were under surveillance, how would she know that the woman in Chicago was not? How would she know if the woman might be working for Al? She decided to play it by ear and dialed the number. After a few rings a woman’s voice said, “Hello.” Laura tried to change her voice and said, “Is this Annie?” The woman said, “Yes it is.” Then Laura said, “I am trying to locate an old friend of mine named, “Stan Jackford” do you know him?” Annie immediately caught the hint and knew this was concerning Jack and she said, “It’s safe and I do know him!” Laura explained the events of thirteen years ago, about James and her life with Bill and that she had just learned thirty minutes ago about Jack being a prisoner in Chicago and about Annie calling Bill at work. Annie said, “Oh my god! This is so fucked up! It does sound like something Al Jamison would cook up to gain power!” Annie explained about Al’s slip up on the “Stanford” name on the children’s parents medical records and how incredible Kane and Mercedes were. Laura informed her about the sperm samples that Al had taken from the twins and that might explain the children. Annie agreed to play Al for all she could and she promised to try and locate Jack. Laura said, “I hope that Jack is alive and well but I am in love with Bill and I understand why he lied to me. So, if you see Jack, explain the whole thing to him and especially about James! Oh god! He doesn’t know about James, or about Bill and I! Oh, please tell him gently because he has been through thirteen years of hell keeping all of us safe by doing Al’s bidding!” Annie understood and agreed and the women decided that to resume contact would be difficult and they needed a plan. Annie said, “I have a private investigator friend that helps me with my more disturbed patients and I trust her with my life. Let me think a minute.” Laura said, “I don’t have much more time or they will catch me!” Annie said, “Do you make regular trips to the post office?” Laura said, “Yes. Probably twice a week at least, why?” Annie said, “My friend will get notes or letters to you and from you, through a post office box. She will contact you inconspicuously with the details. It may take a few days to set it up but at least we can communicate without Al’s knowledge!” Laura started to cry as she knew she had a friend in Annie to help get this mess in perspective. Her voice cracked as she said, “Thank you Annie! If Jack is alive, he at least needs to see his son, someday. I don’t want Al to hurt James or any of us, so be ever so careful!” Annie said, “Get yourself together girl! I will take care of things up here because I didn’t go to college just to help the disturbed people in this world, I am happy to help another professional woman, mother, wife and all round good person! You’ll be hearing from me soon!”

98 They said their goodbyes and Laura cleaned herself up a bit and returned to her car and she noticed the Cadillac following her home. She and Bill again returned to their patio and she updated him on the situation as they held each other silently weeping and hugging for comfort. Laura then asked Bill if Jack could possibly have children in Chicago and he said, “How old?” She said, “At least twelve.” Then Bill said, “Oh no! He’s definitely done it!” She asked, “Who’s done what?” He reminded her about the sperm samples he and Jack had to surrender to Al thirteen years ago and that must be the children Annie has seen. Just then James came out the back door and said, “Mom, dad, what’s wrong? Annie contacted her friend and they met at a café and she filled her in on the situation. Sassy Adams was a well built athletic type with a history of several years in the FBI and she knew her shit. She retired from the agency because of all the criminals that walked away Scott free just by buying politicians and judges. She had spent months and even years building cases against criminals only to have her work destroyed or filed away as the indicted criminal was whisked away by the CIA or some other delegate agency from another country. She had opened up her own private investigation agency to actually help people in need. Sassy had met Annie at a court hearing for Sassy’s brother, who had severe mental problems that were to be evaluated by Annie. As the two women became friends through Sassy’s brother, Sam, they also began a professional association that has been profitable to both women and the clients as well. After listening to the entire facts, Sassy sat back, sipped her latté and pondered their options for a few minutes and said, “Al is a son of a bitch! I had indicted his son Dalton, years ago on a murder charge and Al got him out of it by putting a hit out on the witnesses and he even had my partner killed. I tried to push the case against Al and I was forced to take a temporary, unpaid leave of absence. I knew that I didn’t have any friends or back up and if I persisted, Al would’ve had me killed too, so I gave up, quit the agency and started my own business. Needless to say, I want to nail his ass to the wall!” Annie said, “What if I bring you into Super Cosmo as my assistant?” Sassy said, “No good! Al knows who I am and what I look like! You are going to have to do this solo, girlfriend!” Annie explained about Laura and Bill needing to be informed because they might be of help from Nashville, somehow, and Sassy wrote down a few instructions and some other information and she went to Nashville, rented a post office box in an ammoniums name. Sassy got herself a temporary job with the Kirby vacuum cleaner company as a door to door sales person. She started two blocks away from Bill and Laura’s house and made her way there a couple of days later. During her sales pitches to all of the neighboring houses she was doing recon on Simon and a couple of goons that were watching Bill and Laura’s house. She eventually made her way to the house and when Laura opened the door she said, “We don’t need a vacuum cleaner.” and tried to close the door but Sassy put her foot in the door jam and said,

99 “Mrs. Stanford, I have a deal you can’t refuse” as she handed a small note to her. Laura read the note and almost fainted as she realized that if Simon was watching close enough they might be discovered and she decided to invite the woman inside. As Sassy went through the sales pitch and sample vacuum tricks because of Simon’s surveillance devices, she was motioning Laura to take a key from her and she finished her demonstration, packed up and left. When Bill returned home from work they retired to the patio and she let him read the note and they were practically shaking from the thought that if anyone was caught, all of them might be killed, including Annie and Sassy. The note informed them of a post office box that the key was for. They would transfer information back and forth through the box. Annie got the call that the medical reports were in and she could return to the Super Cosmo Complex and resume evaluating the children. Annie agreed to stay over night to view the children for several twenty four hour periods to get a complete picture of their habits and personalities. She read the medical reports and realized that she also had history on the mothers of Kane and Mercedes. She knew at once that the children had different mothers and since there were two separate male reports, there must also be two fathers, Jack and Bill. The reports were not of much help as all four parents seemed to be in good physical health and there was no mention of any psychological problems either. She then proceeded to inform Al that with some surveillance of the children for a few days she might be able to make a breakthrough. As the evening came and Kane and Mercedes were in bed for the night soundly asleep, the lab tech at the monitor station said, “Usually they sleep straight through until morning, so if you want to retire.” Annie said, “Do you stay here all night?” The tech said, “I am supposed to but I occasionally slip off and get a bite to eat and lie down for a nap in one of the other rooms as the video films any activity in the children’s rooms.” Annie said, “Well, I would like to stay here and watch their sleep patterns for a while and if anything odd happens I can come and get you, alright?” The tech was a young man and he looked tired from a previous night of partying with friends and he said, “I’ll be in the room just down the hall, and uh, thanks!” Annie waited for about a half hour and she peered into the room and the tech was out cold snoring. She knew that the whole place had cameras, so she found a lab coat and a hat and slipped the security card out of the sleeping tech’s pocket and began to investigate the building to locate Jack. She made her way through several secure areas and was surprised how big and empty this labyrinth was. As she went into a long, dark hallway where she heard a TV playing at the end of the hall. As she creped toward the sound, she saw a security guard sitting at a desk, facing the TV but he was fast asleep and snoring. She went to the silver door and quietly slid the card through the locking device and the door lock clicked with a sharp pop. She thought for sure the guard had heard it but when she looked over her shoulder, the guard only rustled a bit and resumed his snores of bliss. Once through the door, there was another dark hall but there were a set of doors at the end with two glass windows, beaming light from the other side, partially illuminating the hall. She could make out a figure through the glass windows moving around as she

100 slowly crept toward the doors. When she arrived at the end of the hall, she could see it was a man slowly working at a lab table with no obvious interest in his work. As she watched him, she began to recognize his face and when he turned toward her, she was sure, it was Jack Stanford. She couldn’t believe how old and sick he looked, especially for his age and compared to the vigorous man she once had known a few of decades ago. This set of doors also had the locking device, but this one was different than the previous one and she hesitated before trying to swipe the card. She had placed her hand on the door to steady herself and it made a slight bumping noise and Jack looked toward the door and instantly walked over as he said, “What do you want now! You people don’t care what time it is, you just want what you want, when you want it!” Annie said in an almost inaudible voice, “Jack, is that you?” Jack squinted his eyes and said, “Who’s out there? Who the fuck are you?” Annie said, “I’m a friend” Jack laughed and said, “I don’t have any friends here! Now, who the fuck are you!” Annie thought a minute and said, “Do you remember back at college when you were at the “Lions Den” pub and a woman beat you in a game of darts?” Jack stopped moving. His face went into a thoughtful look and then he smiled and just as suddenly he went into a rage of anger as he said, “Who else have you threatened to kill if I don’t do what you want? You fucking bastards are relentless!” Annie said in a slightly louder voice than before, “Jack! It’s me! Annie Vaughn! I’m here to help you!” Jack still had a suspicious look as he leaned against the window glass and tried to see the woman’s face. He turned away and walked toward the lab table as Annie said, “Jack! Don’t walk away! It’s me and I’m here to help you!” Her heart sank as he kept walking past the table and disappeared into an adjacent room. She was crushed! She thought he was so untrusting from being locked in here that he was convinced he was going to spend his last days as a prisoner in this lab. Just as she was deciding weather to leave before she got caught, there was a bright light illuminating the window glass in the door. As she raised her hand to block the beam from blinding her vision, she heard Jack say, “Put your hand down so I can see your face!” She did as he requested and she could hear him mumble, “Annie? Is that really you? How did you get in here?” Annie said, “Jack! It’s me! I know all about the kidnapping of you and Bill! I know everything about Al, Simon and, and” She quietly lowered her voice to say. “and Laura.” Jack broke down and tears flowed from his eyes and she could see the shiny water as it ran down his face in the dim light. He blurted out, “Is she alright? Is Bill alright? Are they-” She cut him off with, “There all fine, Jack! Thanks to you!” Jack tried to compose himself as he was relieved to know for sure that his suffering had not been in vane. He then asked, “How did you get in here?” Annie gave him the quick run down and she asked, “How long am I safe out here?” Jack got a fearful look and turned, glanced at the clock on the wall, turned back to her and said, “You have to get going! Come back tomorrow night and we can figure out something! Now go! They’ll be coming in soon! Go! Go!”

101 Annie made it back to the children’s monitoring station and the tech was already there and he said, “You can’t take my card and stuff! I’m going to turn you in! Annie said, “Well, let me tell Al about your napping habit and we’ll see who gets fucked!” The tech said, “Hay now! There’s no need to get hasty! I can live with a little borrowing of stuff, if we can make some kind of deal!” Annie said, “I think from now on we can help each other out, somehow.” He said, “Erik. My name is Erik.” Annie introduced herself and said, “Your kind of cute. Do you have a girlfriend?” Erik’s twenty some year old face blushed as he said, “Not really.” Annie said, “Well. Let’s see if we can fix that, Erik!” Later that day Annie insisted that she needed some research books and booklets from her office to further her evaluation on Kane and Mercedes and Al agreed to let her leave for the day. She knew she would be followed and she had to go to her office and make her report for Sassy. She was going to use a voice cassette recorder but thought better of it as her office was probably bugged and she decided to write everything down instead. She complied everything she could on a few sheets of paper, grabbed a couple of books and pamphlets and left her office. She went to the local post office, checked the mail in her own box and after looking around, she opened her and Sassy’s secret box and deposited her report. Sassy was watching Annie and the man following her and after they both had left the area, she went in and retrieved the report. The report stated that Jack only knew the area he was in and a basic time frame of guard rounds. Annie knew where Jack was located but she was unsure of the locking mechanism on the door at his prison lab. She was to meet Jack again tonight and get more information. Sassy then faxed the report to an associate she had planted in Nashville and the associate, in turn, placed the copy of the report in the post office box for Laura to pick up in a day or two. Annie returned to Super Cosmo and resumed her work with the children as usual and everything seemed to be going as smooth as could be expected. That is until the night became complicated by Erik. As Annie was waiting for Erik to take his usual nap, he seemed as awake as ever. She asked, “Aren’t you going for a nap?” Erik said, “I thought since I don’t have a girlfriend and you wanted to “see what we can do about that” I thought we might take a “nap” together, if you know what I mean!” Annie could kick herself in the ass! She only thought a nice flirt would suffice with this little pimple faced fuck, but no! He wants the whole enchilada! Annie thought that she might need a couple more days to meet with Jack to complete the information exchange and this meant kissing “Erik’s” ass, as well as other parts of his anatomy. She decided that Jack, Bill, Laura and James’s lives were worth a quick fuck with a young inexperienced boy and besides, how long could he last, right? Annie took Erik by the hand and led him into the neighboring room after she made sure the children were asleep and no one was around. As soon as they got the door closed he started groping and trying to kiss her and she said, “Hold on there cowboy! Let’s slow down a little bit here.” She held his face in her hands and slowly kissed him with a sense of passion and he took right to the hint and actually started to behave like an experienced lover. They kept

102 the kiss going as Annie removed his lab coat and his shirt as he unbuttoned her blouse and removed her bra. She saw he was skinny and not muscular but not exactly ugly. She backed up and removed her skirt as he slid off his pants. She pulled down her thong as he watched intently and she could see the rising bulge in his white Sears underwear. As she kept watching, the bulge kept growing and growing and eventually he slid them down to the floor. His erection was of nice length and thickness and she thought to herself, “This might not be too bad.” She approached him and they entangled in another kiss and he lightly pressed downward on her shoulders indicating he wanted oral sex. She reluctantly obliged his hint and slid down to her knees and slid his pulsing member into her mouth as he made light moans of pleasure. He seemed to be pleased with the way she was doing him and he must have wanted a little more depth as he placed his hands on her head and started pumping her mouth with deeper strokes. She was unable to take him that deep into her throat and she pulled back and said, “You have to let me decide how much is enough or else we are done! You got it?” He shook his head yes and she continued to orally pleasure him. She could feel him begin to swell as though he was going to blow in her mouth and she did not want to taste it. She moved back and forth on him a couple more times, pulled back, stood up and pushed him back onto the floor on his back. She squatted over his face sliding her crotch along his nose and mouth as he shot his tongue out licking her as she passed along his face down over his chin. She slid down the length of his body until she reached his stiff, throbbing erection. Then she lifted up and set her wet folds directly over him and slowly lowered herself onto him. It started into her opening smooth and silky until the thick shaft was a little larger than she had encountered in a while, hell she hadn’t had sex in a long while. She let her body weight pull her the rest of the way down on him and he was completely inside her. She could feel his testacies rubbing against her ass and she squirmed around in a circular motion and eventually lifted back up for another ride back down. She slid up and down on him several times and when he couldn’t take any more he held her up slightly above him and he began to pump in and out of her from below as she just stayed still and let him do the work. He quickened his pace until her juices ran down all around his erection and this caused him to pump faster, harder and deeper. After a dozen hard slamming pumps she could feel him swell and then the warm spurt and ooze of hot sperm flooded deep inside her. He slid in and out a few more times and she could tell he was empty. She then raised up and moved above his face and squatted again and their mixed juices began to run and drip out of her splattering and covering his lips and chin with wet, sticky goop. She lowered herself back down on his face and smashed her wet, dripping lips against his open mouth and she shifted back and forth, letting the gooey ooze drain into his mouth and all around his face. When she raised up and stood, he looked like a kid that had just eaten a cum flavored, ice cream cone. She got dressed, grabbed his lab coat and card pass and said, “I’ve got some work to do, so don’t wait up for me, tiger!” Annie then looked at the clock on the wall and she wasn’t too far behind schedule and she made her way back to Jack’s prison lab. He had been watching for her and when she arrived he was already at the door.

103 Jack said, “The card you have won’t open this door and the locking mechanism has a time counter on it, so don’t try or they will know when it was attempted! I know the guard behind you has one but even if I get out, they will just hurt the others!” Annie said, “I have some things to tell you, would you rather hear it from me or do you want to take this letter and read it?” Jack knew the news wouldn’t be good, so he took the letter and would read it later. He said, “You still haven’t told me how you got in here, so how about a little explanation, huh?” Annie just shrugged her shoulders and said, “Why don’t you read the letter, it explains everything. Plus I should go before I get caught. I’ll be back tonight or tomorrow night, it depends on what happens out here, ok?” Jack nodded slightly as he was thinking about the contents of the letter. As she turned to leave, he said, “Hay, you look beautiful, and thanks!” She placed her hand against his, with the glass between them, held it there for a few seconds and let it slide down as she walked away. Laura went to the post office as she usually did and snuck the copy of Annie’s report home. She was supposed to wait for Bill to get home before reading it but the temptation was too strong and she began to read, “Laura and Bill, it’s Annie and Jack is alive and well. He has changed from the last time you saw him but he is holding up as well as can be expected. He seems a little disoriented and depressed but that is to be expected from the amount of time he has been in captivity. My professional opinion is that when we get him out he will be alright, especially now that he knows we are trying to free him. I will send more information as I get it. Hang in there, Annie.” Below this paragraph was another that read, “Bill and Laura, this is from Sassy. I have been watching Annie and they are watching her closely and as you know you two are also being watched closely, so we all need to be extra careful for Jack and James’s sake. Don’t forget anything that might give them a clue of what’s going on. If you need anything I have an associate there in Nashville that is loading and unloading the P.O. box with our correspondence’s and she is available to help you but only if you become in dire need of her help. You just place a letter in the box with the heading, “Help us Miranda” give her a written idea of the situation and she will find a way to contact you in person from there. We will figure out how to beat these people, we just have to be patient. Don’t forget to destroy these letters and don’t talk in front of people or in the house and be careful about everything you say and do! My prayers are with all of you! Sassy.” Laura cried and put the letter in a safe place until Bill got home to read it. Jack was too nervous to read the letter Annie had given him and he paced back and forth opening the envelope, removing the letter, unfolding it and then neatly folding it back up before reading it and reinserting it back into the envelope, time after time. He did this several times until he worked up the courage to finally read it, and it said, “Jack, it’s Annie. I want to first of all let you know how sorry I am that this has happened to you and we are trying to resolve this situation! We are being careful as not to alert Al or the goons of what we are doing. We are keeping a close eye on Laura and Bill and there is someone else that has become involved. I want you to take a deep breath and think of her as you read the following words. When you were abducted this last time, Laura didn’t get a chance to tell you that she was pregnant with your child. She gave birth about seven months after you were kidnapped and Bill had no way to tell you and even if he did, they

104 threatened your son’s life if Bill was to talk. Laura named him James and he is doing fine. He is almost thirteen, healthy, intelligent and a very caring young man. This next part may also upset you as you learn of it. Bill and Laura decided to get married before James was born to give him security and to spare him and Laura the social awkwardness of being without a father and husband. You must realize that everyone thought you were killed in a boating accident and there was even a funeral back in Nashville. Bill knew you were alive but they threatened James and Laura’s safety if he didn’t play along. Bill took them on and has given both of them security and love. Laura is in love with Bill, but I know you still hold a special place in her heart. She and Bill know you are alive and now they know what I know about your situation. There is one more piece of disturbing news that I am burdened to inform you with. When you and Bill had to give the semen specimens to Al, he used them in surrogate mothers, so you and Bill have a child each, here in the complex. They are twelve years old and are beautiful. I believe Al is trying out the DNA procedure on them for his selfish reasons and I am, for a time, going to be in daily contact with them for emotional evaluation. I am trying to drag it out so I can spend as much time as possible with them and if you have any ideas or input, let me know tomorrow night, or on my next opportunity to visit you. I want you to know that I am here for you now, and when this is over. Jack, maybe we should have waited until later to let you know all of this but I thought it better that you know now in case, god forbid, something would happen to them or you. I am sincerely yours, Annie.” Jack didn’t know just how to take all of this news. He was in total shock and confusion. He knew he wanted to help but from all of the years in this hell hole, he felt so helpless that he was almost suicidal. This feeling was overwhelming and it took everything he had just to breath. As the minutes and hours ticked on the clock, he gained more and more anger toward Al and this whole fucking deal. This new heat wave of anger gave him the strength to go on fighting. Annie was excited to see Kane and Mercedes the next morning and it was business as usual, for the kids anyway, as the day began. At ten o’clock Al requested a meeting with Annie in his office and she obeyed. Al was being his usual self by puffing on a Cuban cigar and sitting in his huge leather chair. When Annie entered the room, he had the common courtesy to snub out the cigar in the gold plated ashtray as he asked her to sit down. Al said, “What progress have you made in the last two days?” Annie wanted to stall and buy herself some time as she said, “I’m getting closer to seeing the whole emotional profile of both children’s emotional psyche and in a few more days I should have a detailed report for you.” Al looked pleased with the prognosis she had just given him and he said, “ You have two more days to get a line on these kids or you are gone and I will find a replacement shrink to get the job done.” If Annie was sure of anything, it was that Al Jamison didn’t bluff about anything, so she said, “I will do my best Mr. Jamison and I will contact you the day after tomorrow.” She got up and left his office with a lot on her mind. Annie enjoyed the children and they seemed so normal except when Mercedes made the statement of how she wished she could see some of the wondrous things that the world had to offer, Annie asked her what she meant and she said, “I wish I could see and touch

105 things like a dolphin or the ocean, you know, all the things in the books and on the videos and on the internet.” Annie understood now that neither of the children had ever been out of the complex. Then it really hit her that Jack had been in there almost a year longer than Kane and Mercedes had. She asked Mercedes, “Why can’t you go anywhere?” Mercedes looked at Annie like she should already know as she said, “Well, you’re one of the doctors that is supposed to be curing me and Kane so we can go out! Are you going to cure us?” Annie thought fast and said, “Oh, honey. Of course we are, it’s just going to take some time but we will cure you, I promise!” Annie knew that Al had convinced the children that they would pay the ultimate price if they went outside the complex, just so he could keep them away from the world for his selfish experiments. This is the straw that broke the camels back and gave her the resolve to see this through. Annie made it through the day and she had to promise Erik a rain check on sex in exchange for her pass card to see Jack and when she saw him she could see the change in his demeanor. She asked him, “Are you alright Jack?” He looked at her with a smile of confidence and said. “I have decided to do whatever it takes to make sure my children are free of Al Jamison and any other sick fuck like him!” Annie understood exactly how he felt and said, “I feel the same way and I am trying to take the necessary steps to change the circumstances! You know that this could take a while, don’t you?” Jack was nodding as he said, “I know! It’s hard to fight the money and power of someone like Al Jamison!” She then softened her voice as she said, “I may have to leave tomorrow and this may be our last meeting. Al is tired of waiting on my evaluation and if I don’t produce, he is going to replace me.” Jack looked somber as he said, “I hope you get another day but as my luck would have it, well, you know.” Jack noticed the time and said, “You better go or it’s all over for all of us.” She placed her hand on the glass and he did the same and they just stood there looking at each other and she said as she broke the moment, “I won’t give up, Jack! I’ll never give up!” He kept eye contact with her until her face was swallowed up by the dark, lonely hallway. The next afternoon Al requested another meeting with Annie and she reported to his office. This time Al didn’t extinguish the Cuban cigar, he puffed with enthusiasm as he said, “I hope you have a full psychological and emotional report on these kids or I’m going to be very disappointed, Miss. Vaughn.” Annie swallowed hard and said, “I can give you a preliminary evaluation by tomorrow afternoon and-” Al cut her off and said, “Miss. Vaughn. I want it now and if it is not ready you can send it to me by tomorrow afternoon. I don’t like being stalled by anyone and I will have my way. So, I bid you a good day and I expect your report in my hands by tomorrow afternoon, don’t disappoint me, Miss. Vaughn.”

106 She was led out of his office, all of her papers and belongings had been brought to the lobby and she was sent on her way. She met with Sassy and they tried to devise a plan to resolve even a small portion of the problem but it seemed hopeless. Annie said, “I’ll send a basic report to Al, so he won’t get me disbarred or worse, and you can try to whip up a miracle!” After several months of playing cat and mouse around Al and his goons, Sassy tried to get help from her old contacts at the FBI and that turned into another endless roll of red tape. She quickly found out just how powerful Al Jamison was from the endless bullshit she encountered from any official agency she confronted with the situation. She had even contemplated a raid with some ex military teams but every scenario might save Bill, Laura and James but Jack, Kane and Mercedes would probably be hurt if not killed. So the operation was put on hold indefinitely and everyone just had to bide their time. Chapter 27. As the months and years dragged on, Al’s team was not much closer to maximizing the DNA progress on Kane or Mercedes. Jack had become a shell of a man and Al was tiring of his endless ramblings of the whole procedure being impossible to procure into what Al desired it to be. Bill and Laura continued as a family unit raising James as their own, however Bill had made incredible progress with the gene experiments and was just on the verge of incorporating James into his work. Bill had hoped that James would follow in his father’s and his desire to indulge in the world of science. James had excellent grades all through school and now that he was eighteen and nearing high school graduation, Bill was entertaining the idea of giving him a little push in the direction of chemical and bio science. James exceeded sharply in science, math, algebra and all the necessary classes to become an extraordinary scientist in the lab next to Bill. If the DNA procedure that Bill had perfected was to be introduced to James’s metabolism, he would certainly become a master of many things in a very short period of time. The only problem was that Bill took into consideration all of the intense problems and circumstances that this work had brought to Jack and his lives. He didn’t want to blindly impose these burdens on a young, brilliant scholar that was his very own flesh and blood. So, Bill decided to introduce James into the possibilities of this life without damaging his future by paying close attention to his responses as he methodically introduced him to the work he and Jack had accomplished over the years. By now Kane and Mercedes were almost eighteen and becoming quite a handful of hormones for the team at Al’s lab. As the days grew more frustrating for all concerned, the kids were ever so eager to get cured of their ailments so they could go outside and experience the world first hand. Both, Kane and Mercedes had small capabilities of manipulating emotions of others around them but only when they were in an a fairly emotional state of crisis. Al’s team could provoke certain results but always at the high price of losing trust and cooperation from the kids. As time went on the experiments became more unpredictable and the kids were more distant from each other as this caused even less progress to be made. Both of them had taken deep interest in music to take out their frustrations. They especially enjoyed singing along with a Karaoke machine that Al

107 had provided for them and both were becoming quite excellent at singing to almost any song they desired. Mercedes was a young woman now, with the body of a model and the attitude of a women’s liberation leader, she was quite intelligent and very determined for an eighteen year old. Kane had also developed in excellent physical and mental condition. He worked out regularly and was fit and trim. He was not quite as educated as Mercedes because his interests were not as academic as hers. He was bored and disappointed from being locked up and unable to experience the wonders of the world outside so he did not excel in his studies. Both of them made it rather difficult for the lab techs to get any work or testing completed and Al had also become extremely discouraged. They both were so focused on the outside world that nothing else seemed to matter and the whole lab was stuck in a perpetual state of repetitiveness. Mercedes had become quite attached and interested in a young lab tech as they had spent enormous amounts of time around each other during the last several years. During one experiment she decided to show her feelings toward him while they were alone. Mercedes was now a young, attractive, intelligent woman and she was curious about the opposite sex. She sat in a barber shop style chair and the young tech was about to connect brain and pulmonary sensors on her body, as he had done several times before, but somehow, this time she seemed different to him. He had noticed her coming of age but since he was nearly ten years her elder, married and knew the wrath of Al, he kept his association and demeanor strictly professional with her at all times. But today he kept getting a stronger and more intense urge to be the object of her desires. He was not exactly athletic or well built but he did have good looks and a pleasant personality. Since she had very little contact with other men, or people in general, she became quite infatuated with him in a very short period of time. As his hand was placing the heart monitor on her chest, she moved her body sideways to force his hand to brush her breast. He was shocked and thought that the contact was of his fault and immediately apologized to her while looking around as he knew they were under surveillance. He continued to finish his work but now the feeling of attraction to her was almost unbearably strong and he was extremely concerned. His first thought was to leave the room but as he played out his exit through his mind, he felt a nauseous urge in his stomach, as though he would lose the most important thing in the world when he walked away. But at the same time he felt a fear of Al and guilt toward his wife but he could not bare the thought of moving even an inch away from her. His heart pounded heavily and he began to sweat profusely as he just stood there in total mental confusion while he noticed that she seemed to be enjoying the whole incident. She could tell that when her emotional response to him touching her breast was heightened, so was the feeling of her ability to manipulate his emotional state. As the seconds ticked away, she tried to force more mental pressure on him and he responded by reaching out toward her, as if his hands were not under his control and his eyes watered as he held the face of a distraught and stressed man. She could tell she had almost complete control of his body actions through his desire for her, and his desire for her to want him, but the other part of his psyche was trying to defy this overwhelming feeling.

108 She also knew that the camera was watching this interaction and she was not going to let this become just another part of her expected duties. After the team had viewed and discussed what had happened during this incident, they confronted Mercedes about her part in the ordeal. She laughed loudly and immediately changed gears and spitefully said, “I want to speak to uncle Al right now and tell him that things are going to change around here or I refuse to cooperate!” Al had been watching her on the camera as she defied his will and he decided to change her perspective. He went to her room and said, “I understand that you have some demands.” She thought she was in control of the situation as she smiled and said, “Yes I do have some demands. First of all I want to be cured or at least be allowed to leave this place and experience the real world or else I refuse to do anything else you or your doctors want me to!” Al smiled as he said, “Well, Mercedes, it seems that you have had a sudden change in your attitude today. Has something happened that I should know about?” She laughed again and said, “Maybe something did happen, but you still haven’t agreed to help me to be happier.” Al shook his head in an understanding manor and said, “So, you are resolved to hold your ground and not cooperate unless your demands are met, is that right?” Mercedes had no idea of who she was dealing with. She only knew him as the caring uncle Al that was trying profusely to cure her and Kane of their ailments so they could eventually live normal lives. She had no idea of the real manipulative, corrupt and cruel man she was disobeying as she said, “I know that you could do more to cure me than you are doing and I want a change made, now!” Al thought a moment and said, “I am doing all that I can to get you cured and give you a normal life but you say you don’t believe me and you are insisting that you will not cooperate. Is that your final decision?” Mercedes got a resolve look on her face as she said, “I am not going to help the lab team and I will go on a hunger strike or whatever it takes to get something done for me! I want to do what you want but I need my life too, uncle Al!” He rubbed his forehead and was deciding just how to handle this situation and when he made up his mind he waved to the orderly’s in the doorway as he said, “I’d hoped you would have given me more time to get your rare disease under control but I see you have made up your mind and you have left me with no choice.” The orderly’s came into the room, one had a syringe and they both grabbed an arm, holding her as the sedative was injected. As they held her, they both began to feel as though they were assaulting the Queen of England as she concentrated and was manipulating their emotional state. Even Al could feel this as he stepped back toward the door trying to evade the mental invasion. Just as the orderly’s completed the injection, their emotional state became so severe that they released her and just stood like statues admiring her as she bolted passed Al, out the door and down the hall. As they tried to regain their composure, Al said, “Go after her before she does something stupid!” It took several seconds for the guys to regain their senses and do as Al ordered.

109 Mercedes was starting to become dizzy and disoriented from the injection as she slowly made it down the hall to Kane’s room and as she knocked on the door, the orderly’s were just about to grab her. Kane opened the door and pulled her inside, shutting and locking the door. She was now almost incoherent and quickly losing coconsciousness as he grabbed a hold of her and laid her on the bed. He then ripped off a base board and began to rip and peel back the carpet revealing a trap door. He opened the lid and set it aside, went back to the bed lifting her up, carrying her to the small, dark, square opening to the abyss. Kane knew the door to his room would bust open soon with lab tech’s and orderly’s flooding in. He got her down the hole and carried her to the end of the tight hallway to an angled tube of tunneled dirt leading down at a sharp degree for several hundred feet. He set her in, holding on to her as he slipped in behind and they slid down the tunneled ramp together. Kane had been using this escape slide to explore the outside world at night, ever since a maintenance man had slipped him a note describing it to him. They slid downward at an alarming rate as he was accustomed to doing this with only his weight. When they reached the bottom there was a sharp turn to the right and the slide kept bending to the right in a coiled spiral in three complete circles for slowing down the speed just before the end. At the very end it dumped into a basement parking lot of a nearby office building at a tarp covered exit hole in the wall that was camouflaged with construction and men working signs. Kane left her lying behind the tarp until he returned with an old Chevrolet four door Caprice classic car. He pulled up along side the tarp, stopped the car and opened the rear door. He lifted her into the back seat, shut the door and got in the drivers seat and sped away. Al’s goons were right behind but not close enough. When they reached the basement of the office building they saw nothing as Kane had made his get away before they reached the parking lot. Al was pissed off when he was informed of the get away by his two irreplaceable human test subjects. Al had pictures and information sent out to law enforcement agencies and private informants to quickly find the two run a way’s. Al knew how intelligent these two are, so he had people on the look out across the whole country, especially in airports, bus depots, automobile tolls and anywhere they might be found on the move. Kane pulled the car into the garage of a small house in a Chicago suburb about thirty five miles away from the Super Cosmo downtown corporate complex. He waited for the single car garage door to close before he exited the car. He unlocked then opened the adjoining door to the house and returned to the car retrieving Mercedes. He carried her into the little house and lay her in a bed, in one of the bedrooms until she regained consciousness. Chapter 28. Bill had convinced Laura to allow James to spend some weekends and school breaks at the Exotic Scents lab, ever since he was about fifteen. This gave James an insight as to what Bill did for a living and his first hands on experience with commercial career science. Bill educated him with the meticulous experiences of analyzing and formulating the ingredients of popular commercial fragrances and colognes. James seemed to be very

110 interested in the entire process of making and breaking formulas. He took naturally to the math and scientific element components of the work as it helped him in both work and school. Bill also had his school recognize the lab hours for credits and James seemed to be going in a very confident and positive direction. Now that James was of age it became more important that he start seriously thinking about his future. Bill was excited that James took interest in the lab science but he was still apprehensive about dragging him into the secret scents and the DNA work. Bill also had that nagging thought that James was the only hope he had to continue the DNA research, especially since it is in his genes to be able to accept the formula and he had no children of his own, well, that he was sure was of his or Jack’s DNA. James had learned fast, especially in the past year and the only thing Bill had left to teach him was the private work he and Jack had acquired outside the Exotic Scents commercial research. Bill was at the apex of the decision for involving James in this more dangerous, private field of the family scientific legacy. Mercedes had awakened with a pounding headache and dry mouth from the sedative. Kane heard her as she was trying to figure out where she was and he went to her. He lightly knocked on the bedroom door as he said, “You alright in there?” She replied in a groggy voice, “Is that you Kane? Where the fuck am I?” He replied, “Yea, it’s me. We’re in a safe house that my friend secured for me.” She eventually came out, went into the bathroom and eventually made her way into the kitchen to join him. After they sipped coffee and had a doughnut she asked, “How did you get out of- how did you get this place? Who helped you?” Kane said, “Let me start at the beginning. I was just hanging out one day and that janitor, Bob, came up to me and was asking a bunch of questions about you and me. I kind of thought he was being nosey and he finally told me that he had been sent in the lab to make sure we were not being wronged or abused. One conversation led to another and he said he could help me to get outside and check out the world.” Mercedes butted in with, “Why didn’t I get invited?” Kane said, “I’ll get to that, may I finish?” She nodded with a impatient look and he continued. Anyway, he said it would be safer and easier for just one of us to escape for a while, so he gave me a note with the explanation and directions. The first thing he said in the note was that I did not have a rare disease and the outside world was just as safe for me as it was for anyone in the world! I didn’t believe him but he had given me an escape route map and even just an hour of freedom was just too damn tempting, so I tried it. I found the way out and the first few times I was too scared to go very far. I saw Bob a few days later and he asked how it went and I replied that I was scared. He told me to have the nurses check me out the morning after each outside excursion, so I did and I never even had as much as a high temperature! I eventually trusted Bob to the point that he let me come here in his rental house for a little time away. I have only been sneaking out for a couple of months now and I have never felt better or more alive! Mercedes was looking bewildered and mistrustful as she said, “Why is Bob so helpful and so “knowledgeable” about our or “your” situation? Why would he risk so much? And for what?”

111 Kane replied, “He just told me that when we got our lives back, not to forget how he helped. I don’t know exactly what he meant but I was too excited about finally being free, to look a gift horse in the mouth, you know what I mean?” She asked, “Will he come here? Will he tell anyone that we’re here? Can you get a hold of him?” Kane got a worried look on his face as he said, “He doesn’t know what happened last night! He doesn’t know that we left like we did! He doesn’t know about you! I hope he doesn’t fuck things up because he doesn’t know!” Then She said, “Do you think we should leave?” Then Kane said, “I don’t know, we could take the car but it’s his and if we’re not safe here we won’t be safe in the car either!” Mercedes then asked, “Has he ever been here when you were here?” Kane replied, “He brought me here the first time I got outside the parking garage. He drove me in the car and taught me how to drive and I tell you what, driving in real life is nothing like the simulator in the lab, but other than that first time he brought me here, I have only seen him in the lab.” Just then the ringing of a cell phone could faintly be heard as if it was in a drawer. They both listened and followed the sound until they found it in a kitchen cabinet. Kane opened the cabinet door, grabbed the phone and looked for a name on the screen, it said “Bob Lander” and Kane pressed the button and said, “Hello?” Bob said, “Are you two alright?” Kane replied, “Yes. We’re fine, what’s going on there?” Bob said, “They’ve got everyone, everywhere looking for you two, so you better stay put! They have no idea where you are and I don’t think they’ll find you.” Kane then said, “We’re going to stay here a few days and then we’ll figure out something, is that ok with you?” Bob replied, “I’ll help you two out of this. It’s going to take a couple of days to get some things lined up but it’ll work out ok. I know what’s been happening to you guys and I just want to help, so I’ll be in touch.” Kane said thanks and he snapped the phone shut. Mercedes was still untrusting of Bob’s motives and she was making a back up escape plan in case of emergency. She told Kane, “I’m going out tonight to find a secure way to out of here in case this goes to shit.” Kane said, “I don’t think you should be going out by yourself.” She replied, “I’ll be fine and you had better start thinking about a back up plan too!” Kane just sat on the couch looking at the cell phone he still clutched in his hand as she slipped out the door. Annie had just returned home from her office and as her mind still occasionally went to those two children locked away in that lab, she was figuring out how old they would be. She decided they would be eighteen and she felt so sad that they weren’t able to enjoy a normal life. It was a hell of a coincidence that as she was thinking about those two kids, she just happened to reach in her sweater pocket, before taking it off, and there was a strange piece of paper folded inside. She didn’t remember putting it there and as she withdrew it, she didn’t recognize the handwriting. The hair on the back of her neck stood at attention as she read the note,

112 “Miss. Vaughn. Kane and Mercedes are out of the lab. They are at a safe house and Al has the better part of his contacts looking for them. You must not let him get control of them again or else the world will suffer. I am including the address of their location but you know as well as I do that even you are being watched and if you are not careful you will get them caught. I can only do so much for them to keep them safe but you have other connections that will be much more effective toward their safe existence away from Al and his ulterior motives. So, be very, very careful as you proceed.” It was signed with an address enclosed, “A Friend” Annie had a secret meeting with Sassy and they decided to send a note to Bill and Laura through the post office box to alert them that their assistance and resources will probably be needed. Sassy made sure that Annie promised not to go to the address so Al’s goons wouldn’t be informed of the kid’s location and Sassy got the letter on it’s way to Bill. Mercedes left the house on foot and headed for the nearest mall for a few supplies. The outside world was so wonderful, it was so, real, unlike anything she had experienced before in that closed up lab. She was almost giddy but she knew all too well that if she screwed up, Al would have her back in there and this time there would be no escape. She enjoyed her surroundings as she managed her freedom with stealth. When she reached the parking lot of the mall she wondered around looking for someone to give her assistance without their even knowing it. She came across a group of young, yuppie boys and she approached them with the pretense of a damsel in distress. As she neared the group of three boys, they were so engrossed in their conversation, they didn’t even notice her. She concentrated as never before and within seconds all three were looking her way as if she had mentally called each one by name. They immediately stood up off the bench, straightened their stance and stared at her as if she were Miss America coming down the runway. She immediately asked for their money and she was surprised at the amount these boys had accumulatively. She quickly grabbed the cash and made her way back toward the side road to find a beauty shop. She had made it around the corner of the building before the boys had quit trying to follow her with their eyes and she wasn’t sure how long before they missed their money. When she found the desired store, she purchased a wig, a couple items of make up and just a few shops down the sidewalk she bought a few new outfits of clothing. After changing her appearance in a bathroom, she continued on to her next victim. Just two more encounters and she had enough cash to rent a cheap motel room for a week and she obtained a few more wigs and a couple more outfits. She now had security without depending on Kane and Bob, even though she was more scared than she had ever been in her wildest dreams, she did not want to be confined, ever again by anyone. Mercedes Knew that the encounter the lab tech had with her breast, at the lab the previous day, had triggered a new ability in her and she wanted to explore the possibilities of that sexual avenue. She was inexperienced but everyone has a first time, right? So, after a little freshen up at her motel room and putting on a new disguise, she went back out and searched for her first sexual encounter. As she scanned the boys and men, she knew her main reason for this encounter was to get her abilities in a more advanced state but she also wanted the man that popped her cherry to be of a certain high caliber. After leaving her motel room she went up the block to a large Ramada Inn and checked out the men that were coming in and out. There were a few that raised her interest but

113 after a few more minutes, she a spotted a fine young specimen leaving the front entrance. She followed him to the parking lot and approached him just as he was about to enter his BMW. She casually walked up to where he was standing and he could not take his eyes off her. She concentrated on making him find her not just sexy and available, as she naturally was but slightly irresistible so she wouldn’t have to play this game again tonight. She decided to waste absolutely no time by leaning in to him and they immediately dove into a deeply intimate two minute kiss. She could feel him bending and reacting exactly to her will, somewhat submissive but firmly masculine. When she could tell he was nicely aroused, she suggested that they retire back inside to his room and consummate their newly sparked acquaintance. She could tell that he actually had some sort of appointment he was going to miss but he seemed to be just fine with the current plan. They reached his door and as soon as they were inside she began to remove her blouse and bra. When he turned and saw her naked breasts he walked over to her and resumed the heated kiss. She was unsure of exactly how to proceed since she was not even educated by the internet of sexual intercourse, thanks to Al’s overbearing security measures back in the lab. As he gently slid his hands across her erect nipples and squeezed the fullness of her breasts, he deepened the kiss and was becoming more intense with his actions. She realized that the higher her arousal became, the more intense his actions became and when she directed her thoughts to diminishing his emotional arousal, he almost lost interest, or became confused on how to proceed to the point of losing his erection. She quickly realized that this was a tricky balance to keep him moving fore ward but at the same time making her feel comfortable. She wondered if all women went through this type of “touch and go” or on and off balance or was it just that she hadn’t learned how to get exact control of her ability. All she could do for a while was turn him on and try to keep things at a comfortable progression but she was new to intimacy with an actual living, breathing man and she would get caught up in the moment and he would push her a little too far. Just when she was about to give up and remove herself from the whole situation, she decided to just go with the flow and take her chances. She let go of her fear and just closed her eyes, concentrating only on what she wanted to feel and suddenly his movements and body expressions just fell into sync. She found herself throttling her concentration up and down in small spurts and it was the most exhilaratingly fulfilled she had ever felt. Since her experience was next to none, she had to let him take the lead and he did by kissing her neck and shoulders as he unbuttoned her jeans. She just let him advance as he wished and she would stop it, if she felt threatened. He leaned down slightly to push her jeans and panties to her ankles as he slipped his lips on her left breast and flicked the nipple with his tongue. This set off ripples of excitement throughout every nerve in her body and she stepped out of her clothing pushing him backward to the bed. As he caught his weight with his hands behind him, they both lay down together as they reignited their passionate kiss. She decided to take more control as she unbuttoned his shirt and pants, while kissing his throat making her way down his torso until she reached his open pants revealing the hard penis below the thin fabric of his underwear. She knew what a penis looked like, well she had seen one before when she hid in the men’s shower at the lab but she had no idea of exactly what to do with it.

114 Curiosity was more in her thoughts than sex as she exposed him into full view. She noticed that as her concentration went from erotica to medical anatomy 101, she must have mentally forced his thoughts to a cold shower. In just a matter of seconds she watched a fully erect penis go from Moby’s dick to a flaccid and limp inch worm! This was much more difficult than she had ever expected, not just because she was a virgin but now she had to learn all of this with the added complication of influencing his libido with only her thoughts! She wrapped her thumb and forefinger around his limp member, pulling it to an upright position and lowered her mouth on the tip as she slid her fingers up and down on the wrinkled shaft. As her thoughts again went back to sexual erotica, he was pulling her ass toward his face as his penis quickly regained consciousness. He kept pulling her around until she was straddling his face and he pulled her down and when his warm tongue slid deep into her moist folds she instantly buried his hardening tool in her mouth. He held her hips down tight against his face as he explored he inner sweetness and she could feel the hot breath from his nose rolling across the deepest curves of her ass cheeks. This was causing her to release more juice into his devouring mouth. She now couldn’t bury all of him in her mouth because it was fully hard and the throbbing pulse of it was becoming hypnotizing and more erotic by the second. She knew she wanted to feel him inside her and she raised up from his face as the gooey strings of her cum stretched and splattered him, she could feel his throbbing member intensify in her mouth. Suddenly his hands were on the back of her head lightly motioning her up and down as she felt thick globs pumping into her mouth. She was shocked and mortified all at the same time with a notion of sadness as the throbbing slowed and he was quickly falling soft again. This was not going to do, no, not by a long shot! She spit the globs back onto him and began to concentrate on thoughts of exotic bliss. In just a few seconds he was as hard as before and she turned around and straddled his hips. The cum from both of them made the penetration smooth and easy but she had never had anything quite this large inside her before. She had masturbated using her fingers but this was more intense and fulfilling. She set the pace and roughness of the ride and he seemed content to let her have her way. After a few minutes of her experimenting with movements he began to counter pump and this brought her to another heated, vibrating orgasm . When her inner walls contracted on his again throbbing erection, he built up another swelling spew and released it into her as they pounded against each other until the last throb was shuttered. They wriggled against each other and then she lay down on him as they both just caught their breath without moving anything but their lung muscles. When she had regained composure, she could feel her abilities were juiced up with a substantial amount of power, so she tried out a little test. She sat straight up on him and slid back to be able to see his penis and she also was curious to look at his testacies as they too were a mystery to her. As she investigated her ploy, she again concentrated and sure enough he again quickly became hard and throbbing. She changed her thoughts to fear and he, along with his erection, shrank back toward the headboard and turned sideways as though to protect himself from her. She was amazed at these results! She then thought of deep sorrow and within seconds tears were rolling down his cheeks as he silently sobbed. This was un fucking believable! No fucking way! She then thought of blank nothingness and waited, and nothing happened. She thought it had failed but as she got up to dress, she noticed he was shaking

115 his head as though he was disoriented and confused. She then knew it had worked but she wanted to test it again. She watched him as she finished dressing and as he was pulling on his pants, she again thought of total blank nothingness and he stopped what he was doing almost instantly and just stood there as though waiting for instructions on how to continue dressing himself. He looked totally confused and bewildered standing by his shirt and shoes. She began to laugh with a deep sinister howl that sounded diabolical. Bill and Laura had received the letter from Sassy that explained how Kane and Mercedes had escaped from Al. They both had mixed emotions about the news. Laura said, “I’m glad that they got away from that god awful prison but I hope they are alright. They probably don’t know anyone or have any friends. Oh, they must be so scared!” Bill was very mixed about how he felt but he didn’t want to concern Laura about what he knew, so he just said, “I’m also glad they got away from Al. I just wish Jack had been able to escape too.” Bill didn’t want to worry her with the idea that these two kids were most likely injected with the DNA formula that he and Jack had initially developed. Just the information that he had been involved in producing formula would be hard enough for her to deal with, let alone that his blood family possibly had been injected. Bill was excited that James was so interested in this field of expertise but he also had a discouraging gut feeling that all these events and coincidences were leading to a inevitable end. He just hoped it was a positive one for the Stanford’s and their associates. A little voice in the back of his mind told him that he may have to introduce James to this secret life and to the truth about his own life, and the time was getting very, very close. Kane had hung around the little suburb house of Bob’s until he returned that next day. Bob had brought food and other necessities that he placed on the kitchen table as he said, “I don’t know exactly how long you two will be safe here but it will take a while for them to find you. By the way, where is Mercedes?” Kane wasn’t sure if he should be honest with Bob but he didn’t see how lying would help, so he said, “She’s not here. She took off yesterday and she hasn’t returned.” Bob asked, “Is she coming back?” Kane shrugged his shoulders with his palms up, saying in body language that he had no idea. Bob asked if he knew where she might have went and again he received no specific answer. Bob then said, “If she attracts attention to herself in this area Al will concentrate his search around here and we, or you will be in danger!” Kane understood and agreed then asked, “Do you think we should try to find her? Or what should I do?” Bob sat down at the kitchen table and indicated for Kane to join him as he said, “I know a little bit about what Al was trying to achieve with you and her. I was hoping to talk to both of you right now to make some arrangements to move all three of us to a safe location. I guess we could wait a day to see if she returns and for now, I am going to do a quick sweep of the area to try and spot her.” Kane said, “I want to go with you!” Bob hesitated for a moment then said, “I should go alone. She doesn’t know what I look like and that will give me a small advantage. I’ll be back by tomorrow morning.”

116 Bob left in the other car he had arrived in and Kane impatiently waited, wondering just what the hell he might have gotten himself and Mercedes into. Al was totally pissed off by now. With all of his connections and resources he still had no information on the location of the kids. Plus, Jack was failing in health due to his mental anguish, he was depressed to the point of showing physical stress and he was not eating. Al wanted Jack alive to assist on perfecting the performance of the kids when he recaptured them, but Jacks failing health was becoming as much of a difficulty as locating the kids. Al knew that threatening Jack with the well being of Bill and Laura was only pushing him deeper into a suicidal state and it was not going to work anymore. Jack had simply lost the will to live and it was so renounced that he had shut out the entire world and clammed up into his own depression. Al had no idea that Annie had told Jack about Kane and Mercedes several years ago, so Al thought he might be able to use that information to keep Jack hanging on a while longer. Al went to Jacks living quarters and sat next to his bed. As he watched Jack lying there just staring at the ceiling as if he were in a coma, Al said, “Jack. Can you hear me? Jack I have some information for you.” Jack just remained motionless and un-reactive. Al then leaned over and said quietly in Jack’s ear, “You have a daughter, Jack, and she is here in the lab. Would you like to meet her?” Jack still made no reaction, not even a blink of an eye. Al then said, “Jack. If you don’t get your shit together I will have no choice but to do very bad things to her. Do you understand what I mean?” Jack still showed no sign of comprehension, so Al then said in a devious tone, “Well then, I will have to rape her myself and then turn her over to some of my, uh, less desirable associates so they can do as they wish with her. Is that what you want me to do Jack?” Jack just lay there showing no indication that he had heard a word, until out of the corner of his eye he saw Al turn his head toward the goon standing over at the door and he took advantage of the moment and lunged at Al. Mercedes had left the Ramada and her first sexual encounter behind as she decided what to do next. She thought that a last discussion with Kane might convince him to get the hell away from anyone that has ties to Al. She hailed a cab and headed back to Bob’s house but she had the cab driver pass the house a couple of times and when she thought the coast was clear he dropped her off a couple of blocks away. She had a good sized backpack with all of her disguises and cloths inside and she was wearing a wig and clothing that made her look twice her age. She approached the house from behind, leaving her pack at the back entrance under a bush and knocked on the back door. When Kane heard the knock he shit his pants! Bob would have come to the front door and he didn’t knock before because he had a key! Who the fuck could this be at the back door? He tip toed around to the back bedroom to get a look at the intruder and saw that it was on older woman. Who was this old bag and what the fuck did she want? As he kept watching her she was scanning the windows for any sign of movement, and out of the corner of her eye and she could see his face looking through the blinds and she quietly said, “Kane, it’s me, Mercedes. Open the fucking door!” His heart finally dripped back down out of his throat as he made his way to the back door and let her in.

117 He said, “What the fuck did you do to yourself?” She shook her head and replied, “I wised up Kane! You better do the same or you’re going to either be back in Al’s prison of worse yet, dead! Kane, you don’t seem to realize that if Al decides that he can’t have you, he will make sure that no body can!” Kane replied, “Fuck, I know that!, but just running around in plain sight is not my idea of being exactly smart! Besides, I can’t disguise myself as easily as you can and if we are together, well lets see, they’re looking for a male and a female together, uh, about our build and lets see, uh. yea I should just jump in that car, that might be a dead give away and drive away to happily ever after, right?” She gave him a look of disgust as she said, “I’m not trying to make you feel stupid, I’m just saying it can’t stay safe here for very long.” Kane said, “Bob is going to get us out of here, He knows about Al’s plans for us and wants to help!” She again shook her head and said, “How do you know you can trust him? For all you know he is getting Al’s goon’s together to surround this place and capture both of us!” Then Kane said, “If he was going to do that he would have had them here a long time ago!” She half closed one eye with an untrusting glare and said, “You do what you want! I’m out of here and we probably will never see each other again, but I will not be a lab rat and I have no plans on being killed because I won’t cooperate! I’m going to disappear!” Kane was too afraid of being spotted in the streets and Bob hadn’t fucked him over yet, so he said, “You wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for Bob! You would be locked up and Al would be torturing you to get you to comply!” She turned toward the door and as she opened it to leave she said, “I have one thing to say before we part ways. You might want to keep it to yourself though, but anyway, sex is the key to maximizing your potential, so if you get a grip on your life just remember that!” She stepped through the door, shut it behind her, walked across the small yard, grabbed her bag and was out the gate and out of sight. Kane had never felt this lonely in his life and he was hoping that he wasn’t making a deadly mistake by trusting Bob. Just before dark Bob returned and when he was inside he said, “I didn’t see her anywhere for several miles around in any direction, so I’m guessing she has left for good.” Kane decided not to tell him that she had been there earlier and he just said, “Well, What’s the plan?” Bob said, “Grab some of the food and other supplies and we are leaving too. I have a connection in New York and he will get us out of the country to a safe haven in Germany.” Kane was shocked and he said, “If you are just a maintenance man at Super Cosmo, how come you know so much and how do you have these worldly connections?” Bob said without stopping what he was doing, “My name isn’t Bob it’s Dalton and we had better get going or we‘re going to lose some much needed time to stay ahead of my father’s connections!” They grabbed what they needed, got in Dalton’s car and headed for New York City.

118 Jack had body slammed Al in the chair with full force and the chair went over backwards with the two of them in it! Jack had his hands around Al’s thick, fat throat trying to choke the life out of him before the guard was able to pull him off. After repeated attempts to remove Jack, the goon slid the rifle around from his back and smacked Jack in the temple with the butt of the gun, knocking him unconscious. As he fell motionless to Al’s side, the goon tried to help Al back to a sitting position while Al rubbed his throat and gasped for air. When he was somewhat composed, Al tried to yell at the goon but his voice sounded like he had laryngitis and he motioned for the goon to lean in close as he said, “Get a medic in here!” The goon said, “Are you alright Mr. Jamison, sir?” Al slapped the goon’s face and said, “Not just for me you idiot, for him! You better hope he doesn’t die or you will be ever so fucking sorry!” The goon left and Al could hear his hurried running boots clomping down the hall after a medic. A few minutes later a medic came in and went straight to Al and he shoved him in the direction of Jack while he was jabbing a finger at him trying to indicate for him to attend to Jack first. Al knew by the loud crack that the gun butt had made when it struck Jack’s temple that the damage was severe. When the medic had done a quick evaluation of Jack he turned to Al and said, “He’s alive but I think he’s in a coma. His brain is probably going to swell and if we don’t take care of that immediately he is going to die!” Al was trying to think as his throat burned and he was still feeling dizzy from the lack of oxygen, but he knew they didn’t have the equipment or facilities to do brain surgery here at the lab, even if he got a surgeon in immediately. He knew that in order to save Jack’s life he was going to have to be hospitalized and this was not impossible to do and still keep Jack’s identity secret but it was going to be risky and a major pain in the ass. Al said to the medic, “Get a private ambulance here fast, call that doctor we own at the hospital and have him get a brain surgeon on stand by and get that morgue guy we own down here too!” The medic said, “Why do you want the ambulance and the morgue guy too, this guy here is probably not going to die until, well if he dies it will take a day or two, and uh, Mr. Jamison are you sure you’re alright?” Al stood up and while looking the medic in the eye, he walked over to the goon, grabbed his gun and with the strap still around the goon’s neck he flipped the barrel up and placed it in his right nostril and pulled the trigger. Al let go of the gun as the strap pulled it out of his hands as the goon fell dead on the floor leaving a bloody streak down the wall behind him clumped with skull and brain matter. Then Al said, “The morgue guy is not for Jack.” Dalton had sent a second note to Annie informing her that Kane was on his way out of the country and Mercedes was somewhere in the suburbs of Chicago and he doubted that she would remain there for very long. He described her reluctance to go with him and Kane and he hoped she could manage to avoid Al’s goon squad. He mentioned that certain DNA gene sequencing procedures had been performed on Kane and Mercedes and he was trying to insure the safety of Kane but he was no longer going to concern himself with Mercedes as she wanted to be on her own. He said he would be in contact in the future to relay information about Kane’s situation. He informed them that he last knew of

119 Jack’s well being the day before and would no longer be able to give reports on him because he would be accompanying Kane out of the country. This note was also signed, “A Friend.” Dalton was only informing the Stanford bunch about Kane and Mercedes because if push came to shove and Al found out what he had done, Dalton was going to need some friends that weren’t in alliance with Al. Annie found the note in her car and she immediately contacted Sassy and she in turn informed Bill and Laura of the disturbing news. Sassy was curious as to who this informed note writing friend could be, especially since he claimed to be inside the Super Cosmo complex and in contact with Kane and Mercedes after the escape. Either this was a ploy by Al to trap Annie or this “Friend” had ulterior motives. Why didn’t this person disclose the location of Kane and Mercedes to get more people helping them to safety? She decided that who ever it was, they had more knowledge of the real situation than the rest of us and this was very disconcerting. Chapter 29. Laura diligently checked the P.O. box a few times each week and when she read the note she could hardly wait to show it to Bill later that evening. When Bill arrived home, Laura casually got him out on the patio and disclosed the note to him. When he read the news that the process had been introduced to the kids, she saw a flash of worry flood his face. When she asked what the matter was, he tried to play it off as just concern for the kid’s well bring from the laboratory procedure they had endured. Laura knew Bill well enough to discern that he was lying to her but there wasn’t much her or Bill could do for the kids anyway, and she really didn’t want the extra unnecessary stress on her mind. Bill tried to resume like everything was normal but inside he knew that with the isolated, emotionless childhood these kids had, they were going to evolve the personalities of very selfish individuals. When they got a good grip on the power that the formula would yield for their abilities to control other peoples emotional state, they could cause catastrophic events and results. They could very well have the power to change things across the globe. This along with the news that this note writing “Friend” was taking Kane out of the country really set off alarms in Bill mind. Even if this was a trick by Al, there was still the threat of this getting out of hand and beyond even Al’s control. Bill decided he had to intervene and have a evasive back up plan in the works for any possible scenario, and this involved the one person he had fought years to keep innocent, and that person is James. Mercedes used her ever growing talent on more innocent victims and accumulated enough cash to make her way to Las Vegas. She thought that would be the perfect town to advance herself with money and anonymity. As she continued to use her ability to render helpless men and women into giving her what she desired, she had made a few mistakes. She had went into a casino and tried to scam the dealers by rendering them and the other gamblers confused with her ability as she snuck peeks around the table. She made several thousand dollars until the cameras caught her, then she was allowed to leave with some of the money but she found she had been labeled a cheat in all the casinos. By then she was having a hard time disguising herself beyond their acute ability to seek her out after only a short time of winning.

120 She then tried to use her ability to trick bankers and men of wealth but after a few successful con jobs, that too became well known and she once again was defeated. She knew that the possibility was always there to emotionally cripple everyone around her in a single situation to keep her status on going but this took a lot of concentration and as the numbers of people increased in a single room or situation, it took a larger amount of mental energy to keep them in her emotional grasp. She could not hold up long enough to do her any good. She would have to sleep and rest or pass out, if not relieved, and thus the environment around her would turn against her. She knew this would lead to media exposure with everyone knowing about her, eventually including Al. She needed a plan as she was going to run low on cash very soon. Dalton and Kane arrived in Berlin, Germany and settled in an apartment to get things in order. Dalton was confident and seemed to have all the right connections, so Kane was not to concerned about the immediate situation. Dalton was incredibly positive and supportive toward Kane’s wishes and thoughts. After a few days the mood became calm and very docile, almost pleasantly normal. When Dalton was sure that Kane was fairly secure he approached him one morning by asking him, “So, do you have any other special features to your abilities besides making people submit to your anger moods?” Kane was shocked at the question because it was out of the blue and more importantly, how did this man know about the testing at the lab. It was one thing to be around and hear things but the experiments were kept fairly confidential between the tech’s and Al. Kane thought about his reply and then he said, “I was just able to make everyone understand what I was feeling and they seemed to understand, that’s all.” Dalton laughed and said, “Is that really what you have been told or are you still mistrustful of me?” Kane just shrugged his shoulders and Dalton then said, “What do you want out of life?” Kane was not ready for such a broad question and replied, “Do you mean what do I want in the immediate future or for the long term?” Dalton laughed again and said, “I just want to know what would make you happy, what do you feel like you need to be happy?” Kane thought for a second and said, “I don’t really know. I haven’t had much experience with life or the world to be able to choose or compare one thing to another.” Dalton couldn’t help but laugh again and he said, “Kane. What do you want right now?” Kane thought again and replied, “Sex with a beautiful woman! That’s what I want right now!” Dalton busted out with a loud laugh as he said, “Kane. You just think of me as you personal magic genie. Your wish is my command!” Dalton slapped his hands loudly on his knees as he stood up and said, “Come on my young lad. Lets go fulfill your wildest dreams!” Kane hesitantly stood and put on his jacket as Dalton threw an arm around him and led him out the door. They left the building and Dalton hailed a cab and instructed the driver to take them to a certain address. The cab driver smiled and got an excited look on his face as the car sped off. Dalton had spoken to the cabbie in perfect German and Kane had no idea of what was said or where they were going, but he definitely knew this was not Daltons first

121 time here in Berlin. After several minutes of speeding down streets and around a few turns, they were in front of another apartment building with sexily dressed women looking out the windows and calling to Dalton in German tones of adornment. Kane also knew this was not Dalton’s first time at this location either. As they entered the building the women began to whistle and say words in sexy tones, addressed at both him and Dalton. Dalton spoke in German to a man at a window of a small room at the entrance. Dalton signed a small notebook and the man said a reply back in German. As Dalton grabbed Kane’s arm pulling him toward the elevator Kane asked, “Is this a whore house?” Dalton’s eyebrows lifted as he said, “Don’t talk like that! You might offend someone!” Then he lightly smacked Kane on the back of the head. They entered the elevator and Kane said, :I can’t do this! I haven’t been with- I’ve never had a girlfriend before!” Dalton laughed and said, “You said you wanted to have sex with a beautiful woman and, well, here you are!” Kane replied, “I don’t know what to- I have never- I just can’t do this, Bob, I mean Dalton!” Dalton grabbed him by the shoulders and looked him straight in the eyes and said, “It’s no big deal! You just go in and see what happens. If you don’t like it, we will leave, ok?” Kane agreed as long as they could leave if he became too uncomfortable. The elevator reached the desired floor and Dalton said, “You go into this room and I will be next door with a lady friend or two and you have to at least give me a half hour before you pull the plug on this deal, agreed?” Kane reluctantly shook his head in agreement as Dalton shoved him into the room. Dalton was sure that every emotional experience that Kane, or Mercedes for that matter, encountered would only enhance their power and the ability to control the ability would only come from experience and practice. This should give Kane a whole arsenal of experience and fresh a new perspective on his abilities. Dalton was actually going to do a little voyeurism from his adjoining room just to see of Kane’s attitude or personality might change quickly enough to be noticed in real time. Kane entered the room and to his surprise there was a very beautiful, topless, woman dressed in a thong, sitting on the bed in a seductive position. Kane immediately had a mixed rush of emotions course through his excited mind. His first instinct, being an eighteen year old male, was of a sexual nature but then his personality kicked in and he became shy and withdrawn. This girl had been instructed about this boy’s inexperience and she was told to be gentile but insistent with pleasuring this good looking young man. He just stood inside the door battling the emotional turmoil pounding in his head as she walked over to him in a sexy manor and led him back to the bed by his hand. She sat him down on the edge of the bed and began to kiss and suck on his fingers while standing in front of him in a stance where her feet were spread apart and the garter straps showed a little tightness. He was drawn to the thong panties that were clasped by the upper snaps of the garters and she turned sideways just far enough for him to view a full exposed cheek of her ass. His attention was fully on this angel of lingerie when she leaned over, letting her naked breasts brush his face, as she turned back toward him. This instantly gave his loins a boost of energy he had never felt before. Just as he felt the nagging ripples of urgency in

122 his penis, she instantly became more aggressive and determined to get him in her clutches. She unbuttoned his jeans and pulled his t- shirt over his head. When his shirt was free and tossed to the floor she leaned over and plunged her tongue into his mouth with a veracity of a love starved sex addict. Kane was feeling more turned on than he ever thought possible and this was pouring out through his pores and she was definitely responding in unison. She soon had him completely naked and was moving him up to the middle of the bed as she licked and kissed every inch of his virgin body. His erection was standing at full attention and his testis were swelling and maneuvering the internal juice for an unprecedented expulsion of release. Her crotch was becoming increasingly more soaked as she was responding to Kane’s sweat outpouring of hormonal aphrodisiac. The more she touched and licked him, the more he was emotionally sparking her desires. Finally she stripped off her garter and panties and Kane was enthralled with her breast as she leaned over placing the large brown nipple in his mouth. With her breast still in his mouth, she pushed him back until he lay flat and she moved up his body until she straddled his neck, slowly pushing her crotch up his chin and onto his lips. He hungrily licked and sucked on the outer lips of her vagina as she quivered and rubbed her own breasts. He was not sure if he was doing any of this right but it all seemed to be coming natural to him and he just did as he felt and he heard no complaints. He was tasting the sweet juices of the parted legs directly in front of him as she was rocking her crotch back and forth across his mouth. He felt the release of a sudden surge of her liquid flow into his mouth and she let out moans of ecstasy as she slowed her pace and eventually pulled up and away from him. He then decided to take charge of his desires and rolled her onto her stomach as he positioned himself behind her, reached around her hips, pulling her up onto her knees to line himself up with her wet slit. He could smell the aroma of her juice all around as he pushed himself into her parting lips. He slowly ran his full length deep into her as she let out light cry’s of pleasure. He slowly pumped himself in and out of her watching the thick shaft completely disappear and come back into view. This new vision and feeling of pleasure caused him to pump with deep, slamming strokes until he felt himself start to boil. He didn’t want to cum yet, so he withdrew for a few seconds and after the feeling subsided just enough, he reentered her warm, wet slit and slammed hard against her ass cheeks causing both her and him to reclaim the heightened exotic state of sexual climax. He pumped hard and furiously for several more strokes until he released his hot fluid into her silky glove. Then he pushed and held himself deep inside as she wriggled around with their bodies held tight together as one and he pumped the last of his cum into her awaiting depths. He withdrew and watched as the thick cream slowly flowed back out of her, oozing down over her folds and dripping to the bed sheet below. He instantly felt the urge to taste their mixed love juices as he leaned down and let his tongue wrap under her dripping button and slid it back up along her still flowing folds, while slurping their mixed, spicy juices and finally plunging his tongue deep into her slick, sticky opening. She pressed her crotch back against his face to deepen the reach of his tongue and as he probed and licked, she again released another flow of her juice into his mouth. As he pulled his face away and wiped his mouth on the back of his hand, he aligned himself up and slid his newly awakened erection back in her pulsing vagina. As he

123 pressed himself inside her, she again accepted him by plunging her body backward against his with hard, pounding thrusts and they again brought their slamming movements to an incredible climax. With both of them drained, he rolled to the side and lie there next to her thinking of all the new pleasures he had just experienced. As Dalton watched through a viewing hole in the wall he knew something was happening to Kane because this was an experienced girl and she should not have been as wet and excited as she was. He thought that Kane might be good looking but with no experience and this girl being a professional, the formula had to be responsible for her to be so turned on, right? He decided to make a quick survey and find out for sure. He knocked on the door and asked her to come out into the hall as Kane lie almost asleep on the bed. He asked her if there was anything unusual about this guy? She seemed to think that he was a god of sex by the way she pleasantly smiled in total satisfaction as she thought about the last twenty minutes of her life. Dalton excused her and he thought to himself as he entered the room, “I hope this isn’t the extent of the formula power! I hope it’s not just some aphrodisiac for Kane to get laid!” Mercedes had gotten herself blacklisted in most all of Vegas and she had one last trick up her sleeve. She planned to go into a medium sized venue of a high society function and slip herself in as a waitress or any position where she can mingle throughout the crowd. She had figured out that she could hold a good size crowd in a state of confusion for at least half an hour. This would give her ample time to clean out all of the cash and valuables in the room. She had scanned the papers and local function magazines to plan her broad daylight robbery at the appropriate function to maximize her take. She applied as a waitress at the temp agency that supplied all the labor at events in the building she had staked out for the robbery. She was called for work two days before the event and went in and got her uniform and all the information for her duties. On the night of the event she got dressed in the uniform and went to the location. She was instructed on her duties and the guests began to arrive right on time. She watched to see how many people would be in the back rooms that could screw things up for her. There were only four employees that would be constantly in the back and five others that would be, like herself, going back and forth between the main room and the back. She would have to time her attack for just the right moment and catch as many people in the main room as she could. She watched the movements of the other waitresses and found that during the serving of the salads there were several times when all five of her fellow waitresses were in the main room for several minutes, all at the same time. She decided to wait until the main dish was served and spring the confusion on them at the appropriate moment. She watched and when she knew all five of her coworkers were in place, she concentrated on blank nothingness and the whole room full of people went slack. Everyone just slowed down and came to a total halt. The busy sounds of metal forks and spoons rattling against ceramic plates suddenly stopped. So did the buzzing of table chattering and the clinking of glasses, the whole room went dead quiet. She kept on concentrating on the blank nothingness and she moved up and down the rows taking wallets, purses and jewelry. She had used a serving cart on wheels and set a large bag on top and as she went down the rows, filling the bag with the loot, she kept her concentration constant.

124 Then a cook from the back came out front for some unexpected reason and she was surprised when she heard him come through the double swinging doors. She lost her train of thought and the entire lot of guests and workers began to collect their thoughts. She immediately cleared her mind and tried to regain control of the crowd. She closed her eyes and concentrated like never before and when she opened her eyes, the mass of faces once again was in a dumbfounded state of confusion. She quickly finished her rounds and made her way out through the back to an exit she had earlier found and made accessible for a quick get away. She went out into the parking lot, down the alley and made her way to her small, out of the way motel room. When she counted up her booty, she had over eleven thousand in cash and probably three times that in jewelry, well that’s what would be left by the time she lost almost fifty five percent selling it through a fence. These people she had robbed were seated at a dinner of a thousand dollars a plate for some Hollywood production company that was trying to use environmental issues to recruit money and big name actors. They were obviously trying to make a documentary that was actually going to be a full studio production piece on global warming. As she went through the purses and wallets she scanned the IDs for familiarity or importance. She kept the business cards and wrote down the personal information of all the ones she found interesting and burned everything when she was finished. As most of the names and companies she found to meet her needs were actually located in Los Angeles, that was her next destination. Chapter 30. Bill had brought James to the Exotic Scents complex and they were seated in Jack’s old office, that had become Bill’s since Jack’s faked death. Bill was trying to figure out just how to break all of this news to James without pushing him away or freaking him out. He finally decided to make a analogy out of it to peak his interest by saying, “Have you ever dreamed of being a super hero?” James looked at Bill with a face that said, “Do I look like I’m twelve?” But James held his cool and said, “Well, maybe a long time ago, why?” Bill smiled as he thought of how silly this must sound to a seventeen year old, even though he was extremely intelligent for his age Bill thought a moment about how to word his next statement and said, “What if you could change some events and only you could do it without getting anyone hurt?” James really looked at Bill with an expression of doubt for his sanity as he said, “What are you talking about? Are you alright?” Bill decided that there was no way to do this without a shock factor and he said, “Follow me back here. I’ve got something to show you.” They proceeded to the office bathroom and through the secret door down to the warehouse lab and testing facility. As they got in the elevator James said with wonderment on his face, “Wow, dad! How come you never showed me this before?” Bill said in a stern voice, “No one can know about this! Especially your mother! Do you hear me?”

125 James nodded his head in agreement as he looked through the glass walls of the elevator as it descended into the depths of the lab. Bill noticed a questioning look on James as the boy said, “Didn’t mom used to work here, a long time ago. I mean doesn’t she know about this place?” Bill decided that he had better be honest with his new student as he said, “Yes. Your mother knows all about this place but she can’t know that you do, or about anything from here on, do you understand?” James shook his head vigorously in agreement because he definitely didn’t want this tour to end just yet. As they reached the control center, Bill reached up above a beam in the ceiling and pulled down a black box and they continued into the room. As Bill opened the box and took out a stack of CD’s he said, “Remember, this is our little secret and you can’t tell a soul!” James was still shaking his head in an over reacting motion of agreement as Bill slipped a disc into the player. James watched the screen in total confusion as the images played across it. He watched but couldn’t make sense of what or why these people were doing the things they were doing. Bill let the images play for several minutes and then he paused the screen and said, “These are test subjects that Jack and I had conducted these experiments on using these scents.” He showed James a row of vials that were also inside the black box. James looked puzzled for a few seconds and then surprisingly said, “So, the contents of these vials is what caused the people in the tests to react the way they did, right?” Bill was impressed, not only that he comprehended so quickly but he also seemed so calm and very interested. Bill explained about the secret scents and of each ones special properties and James was eating it up like a kitten at a milk dish. Bill eventually described the DNA gene formula procedure and how it only worked with the Stanford blood line. James had again taken on that look of doubt toward Bill as he tried to convince the boy of the reality of the proposal. Bill was coming to the emotional part of the conversation and he wished to god he didn’t have to reveal the next details. Honesty was going to be the only policy to get James to truly understand the importance of the situation and time was running out and Bill couldn’t wait any longer. Bill and Jack were now almost sixty years old and who knows how long either of them had left on this earth. Bill was to old to use the formula on himself and dido for Jack, even if he was available. James was the only hope to control Kane and Mercedes from completely changing and convincing the leaders of the world into doing god knows what. Bill knew with the back round of Al’s influence on Kane and Mercedes, that they had the potential for anything and it would most likely be self serving and devastating to the rest of the global inhabitants. James, on the other hand, is caring and compassionate. This power in his able hands could be used for the greater good and if he didn’t get the boy to cooperate, the young man’s future could become quite grim right along with the rest of the people around the world. Bill finally decided to drop the bomb shell on the boy and he said, “James, I am not your real father.” James looked at Bill and then to the video monitor and back at Bill with a fearful expression as though he might be a test tube baby and before he could speak Bill said,

126 “Jack is your biological father but I am your dad. I love you just as if you are my own. You are of my blood line and I have always loved and treated you as if you were mine!” James looked pale and weak as his mouth just hung open and he sat there in a stupor. Bill said, “James. James? Are you ok?” James just slightly shook his head back and forth while his lips moved in a silent mumbling motion. Bill had tears trickling down his face as he tried to explain why things were the way they were. James could see the pain in Bill’s face and hear it in his voice and he felt more admiration than anger toward this man he had known as his father for the last seventeen years. James finally said, “So this means mom knows all of this too and she has lied to me my whole life!” Bill reached out to hold his shoulder an James shrugged him off and said, “Why are you telling me this now! Why didn’t you just keep it to yourself and let things be as they were? Why dad-” He cut off the last word as it didn’t feel the same as it had, just a minute ago. Bill wiped his eyes and resumed bringing the boy up to speed. He hoped this would put a sense of understanding to the mess going on in his mind right now. Bill explained about his own kidnapping and Laura and her mother and especially how she and Jack had been in love. He explained all the details of the shoot out at the kidnappers lab and everything about Al Jamison and the events of the last eighteen years. James was quiet for a long pause and then he finally said, “So, I have a brother or a sister and a cousin out there somewhere and they have the DNA formula inside them and they might do bad things that will affect the whole world, including you, me and mom?” Bill nodded and said, “They are our flesh and blood and it isn’t their fault that they never had a family to give them love or for them to love back. Al had raised them inside a lab for eighteen years and they were basically treated like test subjects and not children.” James couldn’t believe that anyone could live like that and for that long. Bill could see the slight anger in the boy’s eyes and yet the compassion in his expression. At this moment Bill knew that James was going to be the super hero that the world needed but no one would ever even know he existed or what deeds of honor he would accomplish for their well being. Bill again tried to fight back the tears that flooded his eyes as he thought of the innocence lost and the burdens gained by this seventeen year old boy, all in a single conversation! Bill still had the one ace up his sleeve to give James a sense of purpose and direction as he said, “There is one more thing I want to tell you. Jack is still alive. He didn’t die in that boating accident, that was a cover up story concocted by Al.” James suddenly got a glimmer of hope and excitement as he said, “Where is he? When can I see him?” Bill tried to calm him down as the excitement was overcoming his emotions. Bill grabbed him by the shoulders and sat him back down and said, “Al has him locked away in Chicago.” James immediately said, “Lets go get him!” Bill explained how powerful Al is and how something bad could happen to his mother if Al was crossed and how his and Laura’s safety was the reason the lies had gone on for so long.

127 James said, “We can send mom away where Al can’t find her and we can go get Jackmy father!” Bill explained that Jack might be hurt or even worse, if Al found out he was being crossed. James tried to make up scenarios where they could rescue Jack and still get away but Bill had to explain that as long as Kane and Mercedes were out there, on the lose, Al was going to keep tight reigns on everything and everyone until his objectives were satisfied. Even after Al gets what he wants, that doesn’t mean it’s all over for the Stanford’s, especially Kane and Mercedes. Bill then took the conversation to what he needed James to do. He explained that he had perfected the DNA formula procedure to be extremely more potent and effective than what Kane and Mercedes had been injected with. He continued to drew out his plan to get them back here to Nashville and try and reverse the procedure to make them just ordinary people and hopefully give them a family to belong with. He explained that maybe they could show Kane and Mercedes what a family could feel like to change their isolated way of existence, once they had been cured of the formula. He went on to explain how if he injected James, he could then use the stronger power to subdue them and get them back here to Nashville for reversing their procedure. Bill explained that the new formula was safe and he could reverse it whenever need be. He just needed to get James trained and experienced with using the power before things got too far out of hand. James asked, “So, they can’t hurt me or any of us before I get them here, right?” Bill said, “As long as you follow my instructions and you don’t lose concentration, everything will work as we plan it!” James then asked, “Where are they now?” Bill explained how Mercedes was on the lose and no one knew where she was and that Kane had left the country and his location was also a mystery. James looked puzzled as he said, “Then how are we going to find them?” Bill slightly laughed as he said, “I believe that since they are selfish, inexperienced with the world and eighteen years of age, they will lead us to them. Our biggest problem is that Al will also be able to find them as easily as we can and we will have to deal with him and his goons.” James nodded with a skeptical look as he said, “Well, old man. Let’s get started before the world goes to shit!” Al was going crazy as the surgeon was working on Jack’s skull in a hospital operating room and he had to wait for updates back at Super Cosmo, so as not to raise suspicion to Jack’s identity. Al was also stressed because Kane and Mercedes were still unaccounted for. He had everyone he could muster on the hunt for these two teenagers and he couldn’t believe that no one had spotted them yet. The phone rang and Al learned that Jack was out of surgery and he was stable but he was in critical condition and it would be days before they could tell if he would remain in a coma. Al was slightly relieved that the surgery went good and he could now concentrate on those two disobedient, ungrateful teenage fuck ups. Sassy had been working on a plan for keeping Al occupied when the location of both or either Kane and Mercedes was known. She had used her FBI contacts to use the facial recognition program to locate anyone similar looking to Kane and Mercedes. She had Annie use a micro camera back when she was evaluating the kids to snap excellent

128 pictures of them. She then used an age enhancement program to age the faces to date, and viola, she had a few prospects for stunt doubles for both Kane and Mercedes. She went to each doubles location and did a physical comparison and selected several doubles for each of them. She had contacted Bill and Laura about her plan to plant the doubles at the perfect times to draw Al away from the real Kane or Mercedes as they made their own plan to abduct the real ones. Bill supplied the funding for Sassy to pay the doubles expenses and keep them on ice until the appropriate time. Mercedes had arrived in Los Angeles and she found a room near where she planned her next adventure to advance her personal situation. She had pondered several scenarios for her life. She could fly straight to a tropical island and use her power to get by on the high life but like her last experiences in Vegas, she would eventually be found out by the locals and her good time wouldn’t last very long. At every location she thought about relocating to and she applied her ability, she always came to the same conclusion, it wouldn’t last very long and the longer of a trail she left, the faster Al would find her. As she scanned the Hollywood business cards she had an incredible idea run through her mind and she planned it out before the plane hit the runway in L.A.. Chapter 31. She found a decent but unknown struggling band and when she heard their name she knew it was an omen for her to pursue this band. They were called “Death Angel” and they were located near the Sunset strip. She began to hang around their practices using the name Goddess. She diligently hung tight until she knew all the music and songs. She observed the band members and everyone else that steadily hung around until she knew what they were going to do before they did it. She had a hard time passing on the drugs because every time she declined to use, she could tell they were suspicious that she might be a police informant since she just showed up out of nowhere. She smoked a little pot but declined the cocaine and the crystal methamphetamine and this seemed to satisfy the fear of her being a CI. After a few weeks she decided to take out the lead singer to open up the position for herself. She had watched each member of the band and knew their habits before, during and after practice. She followed the singer, who was also a female, and when she left the rehearsal space alone, Mercedes was right behind but not too close. When she turned down the dark alley to cut across to the road she lived on, Mercedes was going to use this to eliminate her by emitting a confusion scent and then knocking her out. When she reached the darkest section of the alley, Mercedes picked up a lose brick, slipped up behind her and smacked her in the back of the head. The girl, named Tenacious, went down and hit the concrete like a bag of potatoes, then Mercedes drug her limp body over to the side of a dumpster. She had placed a large piece of carpet and a roll of plastic behind the dumpster earlier that day. She then tightly wrapped her body in several layers of the plastic, then rolled her up in the carpet. She lifted her head up and lay the top end of the body against the top edge of the dumpster and then lifted the feet and slid her completely inside the dumpster. Mercedes had made sure that the dumpster would be emptied either this same night or in the morning by watching the route of the trash truck for the past couple of weeks. The body would not give off any odor due to the plastic and the carpet would hide her from

129 view, the truck would empty the dumpster and carry her to the landfill. If the body was found anytime there after it would be impossible to trace the murder back to anything but possibly the alley. She had made sure to wear a hair net, long sleeves, gloves and she threw the bloody brick into the attic of her motel room. She left no trace of herself on the body and she even cleaned off Tenacious’ face, hands, outer clothing, the bottom of her shoes and anything else that might give the crime scene investigators any clues. She had secured an air tight alibi when she purchased a ticket at a move theater several miles away just before she returned to the band practice and followed Tenacious to the alley. This was a back up for just in case of an oversight with the clean up. Mercedes didn’t know that Tenacious was not killed by the blow to the head with the brick but she died from suffocation inside the plastic, only minutes after she was thrown into the dumpster, like a bag of trash. The next day Mercedes played it cool and showed up to the band’s practice space at the regular time and at first everyone went about business as usual. Tenacious had been known to be late on several occasions and even to miss the whole practice, so there was no immediate cause for the band to worry. After a couple of hours though, the guitar player and band leader, Ricky Roads, was bitching and carrying on about losing practice time. The drummer, Thumper, was pretty high strung and always doing something, if he wasn’t playing the drums and he also was becoming impatient because of the delay as he said, “Hay man. We’ve got to do something! Just sitting here sucks!” Mercedes had been waiting for this opportunity and she spoke up, “Guys. I know the songs and I can sing just as good as Tenacious, hell, probably better!” Ricky looked at Mercedes and then at Thumper and they both looked at the bass player, Vibe, and all three of them looked back at Mercedes and shrugged out an ok. She sang so they could practice and she hit everything on the money and the guys were impressed after just a few songs, so they let her fill in throughout the entire practice session. At the end of the night Ricky mentioned that Mercedes might be able to join in as back up singer and he asked her if she could play the keyboard. She accepted the offer to sing back’s and she knew a little on the keys and she could have it down in no time. Ricky looked around at Thumper and Vibe and they usually went along with whatever he wanted, so Mercedes was in a band but they didn’t know what they were in for! She repeated this lead singer fill in singing for the next few days and things were beginning to work out just as planned. Dalton was making plans to get Kane more experienced and practiced using his scent ability in a public setting. He said to Kane when he got out of the shower, “Hurry up and get dressed!” Kane looked at Dalton and said, “Why? Where are we going?” Dalton replied, “We’re going out to a club!” Kane said, “Alright! Just give me a minute!” They caught a cab and went across town to a night club where all the kids with a little status and money were hanging out. Dalton greased the bouncer and they got right in and were one of the few tables right up front next to the stage. Kane asked, “Is there a band here tonight?” Dalton was looking around the room as he said, “There is always a band here! Tonight’s band is called “Dead Bolt.”

130 The room was large and packed with people as the house music was playing loud and the club lights were flashing and blinking. Kane was watching as the band was about to take the stage and the whole room was sparking with electricity in anticipation of the first chord of a screaming guitar. Kane was trying to take it all in at once, the band walking out on stage, the people screaming and shouting, the lights and the whole new experience of being out in the world. As the band took their places and the lights dimmed, the whole room was fully charged, then the guitar screamed out a blaring power chord and the band slammed into their first number. Kane was totally mesmerized by the entire concept. He and Mercedes had listened to a lot of music and had spent a lot of time singing along with songs back in Al’s lab. Al tried to keep all of their input under his control but they secretly got CD’s and tapes from some of the workers containing music that Al didn’t approve for the karaoke machine. So, they both were fairly updated on modern music and they both had good voices and could sing to just about anything. They had watched videos and concerts before, but to be there live was so vividly real and exciting that it was intoxicating and addictive for both of them. So, as the night rocked on, Kane had decided that he wanted to be a front man singer for a rock and roll band! During a break between sets, Kane told Dalton of his desire to be in a band and Dalton was surprised and a little worried. Dalton was fairly sure that they were safe from Al here in Berlin, but too much publicity could cause major problems. Dalton tried to play up the negatives of being in a band but Kane had obviously made up his mind and there was no changing it. Kane wanted to find a way into the Deadbolt band, but Dalton talked him into waiting until he had seen all of the bands around first, before making his decision and Kane reluctantly agreed. They stayed at the club for the remainder of the night and they spent the next several days checking out all the bands they could find and Kane was still sure he wanted to hook up with the band he saw that first night, Dead Bolt. Dalton found out where to find the rehearsal location of “Dead Bolt” and he scoped out their situation. He made Kane wait in a rental car behind the building as he went inside. The band was in the middle of rehearsal and Dalton just hung around with several other groupies while the guys practiced. He started asking an attractive girl about the band and the members and her first words were, “You’re a little old to be here, don’t you think?” Dalton just laughed as he had already thought this situation out when he replied, “Well, a pleasant hello to you too. I’m Bob Lander with a recording and production company called “Audio Blast” and I am very interested in this band.” The girl then became very attentive and helpful as she answered all his questions with interest and vigor. Dalton found out as much as he could before the band had finished their practice and he slipped out before they knew why he had been there. He made it outside and got in the car with Kane and explained that the band leader was the guitar player, Rocket, and the drummer was Rumble and the bass player was, Sub. He continued to explain how he would pay off the singer, Scream, to leave the band and Kane would take his place. He said, “Kane, you are going to have to change your appearance, especially if this band gets a lot of publicity because we don’t need any pictures floating around with you looking like yourself. You don’t want to meet up with Al again do you?” Kane agreed and said, “I don’t understand that if Al is your father, why are you helping me stay hidden from him?”

131 Dalton didn’t want Kane to know that he had ulterior motives for his future, so he said, “My father didn’t treat me any better than he did you and Mercedes, so I want to make sure that you have a better chance for a good life since Al screwed up mine!” These kinds of statements were making Kane trust and even admire Dalton as a friend and even as a father figure and Dalton knew it. He explained that he would pay off “Scream” to suddenly leave the group for some other band that had secretly recruited him and this would give Kane the opening he wanted. He explained that this may take a day or two but not to worry, because by the weekend he would be the singer for “Dead Bolt.” They drove to a small bar and Dalton pushed several drinks down Kane to celebrate his new adventure, but actually he wanted him to sleep like a log while he did some dirty deeds in the dark of the night. Chapter 32. Bill and James returned home from the lab and Bill said, “Remember, not a word to your mother, ok?” James nodded in agreement and they entered the house. After dinner James retired to his room and dug out the pictures of Jack. He was thinking of how for all these years everyone had referred to him as “Uncle Jack” and now he knew that this man was actually his father. He went on line and as he looked at all of the accomplishments that Jack and Bill had achieved together from college all the way to Exotic Scents, he looked at all of these awards and fragrance breakthroughs with a new perspective. This time, instead of quickly scanning over Jack’s media attention and focusing on Bill’s, he did the reverse to learn more about this man he had never met or known. As he read and reviewed the same pages he had done several times before, he realized that even though Jack Stanford was accredited with the public recognition, it was actually Bill that had spent endless hours in the lab out of the public eye to bring the toxic twins to power. This gave him a new admiration for the man he had known as his father for the last seventeen years. He choked out a stream of tears for the whole situation, including his own and after a little scientific brushing up on chemical infusion, he lay down and fell into a false dream of secure family bliss. For the next several weeks, Bill and James worked on preparing James for the injection. After Bill had taught and discussed all he could, it came time for the needle to do it’s magic. Bill prepared the solution and as he and James sat at the lab counter looking at each other and at the syringe, James finally said as a rhyming, nervous joke, “Through the needle and into the vein, I hope this shit don’t drive me insane!” Bill gently slid the tip of the needle into his skin and as it pierced the vein, a coincidence of total quiet cut through the lab. The refrigerated cabinet motors went dead, the buzzing of the electrical equipment stopped, the overhead lights went out and the entire lab went dark. Even the breathing noises of Bill and James stopped for a moment. Bill went ahead and pressed down the plunger and the fluid streamed into James blood with a burning sensation of fire. Just as Bill removed the syringe and was about to find and light a candle, the power and lights came back on with a sounding jolt. Bill and James just sat and looked at each other wondering if this was a sign of good fortune or an omen of damnation!

132 Bill could see the distress and pain on James face as the toxin flowed through his veins and he said, “It will sting all over for several minutes but it will subside shortly. You will always feel it but you will get used to it and eventually it will seem normal.” Bill called the security office and they reported to him that the electrical problem was that just down the main road and a power line pole had been struck by a car and the emergency generators had taken over. Bill later found out that the woman driving the car was none other than Larry Pool’s mother and the accident was caused by a heart attack and she died on impact. Al took Simon off his duties of following Bill and sent Martin to Nashville in his place. Al had sent for Simon to hunt down Kane and Mercedes but he wanted to update him immediately in person. As Simon was waiting for Al to enter, he slowly walked around the huge office scanning the contents on the walls and tables. He noticed not one picture of Dalton or any family portrait anywhere in view. This was more like Simons demeanor to be totally isolated from friends and family and he thought it odd for Al to have children and a wife and not one picture of any of them in this entire, elaborate room. When Al finally came through the door, Simon quickly returned to the chair and tried to hide his curious behavior. Al said, “Did you see anything you liked?” Simon looked slightly surprised as he then realized that the office was probably under surveillance and he said, “I was just admiring how a successful man decorates his office.” Al laughed as he tapped the Cuban against the gold plated ash receptacle and said, “Simon, your full of shit, but you kiss up with the best!” They both had a chuckle and Al cut it short saying with extreme seriousness, “I need you to find those two little fuckers! I’m tired of waiting and I expect results since your track record is perfect, so don’t let me down!” Simon nodded and said, “Do you have any information as to the specifics of their escape?” Al leaned back in his chair and said, “All my lab tech’s say they have no idea what the hell happened and almost all of them are soft hearted and ignorant enough to withhold information from me. I know that someone knows something but even the polygraph hasn’t implicated anyone. One particular janitor had unsavory results and we interrogated him to near death and all he revealed was that another maintenance employee has not returned for work since the escape. We have no record of this individual, but I do have him on surveillance video. I want you to find out how this imposter infiltrated the complex and I definitely want his identity!” Simon said, “I’m on it and I’ll keep you informed!” Al then said with a vengeful tone, “Don’t let me down, especially not on this one!” Chapter 33. This day of band practice for Mercedes or (Goddess) and Death Angel was basically like every one before. The guys messed around for an hour or so and when Tenacious didn’t show, Mercedes took her temporary place on the lead singers microphone and the practice went better than ever before. At the end of the night, Ricky called a band meeting and they all sat around the center table as he said, “We have another gig this Friday night and if Tenacious doesn’t show up soon, we are going to make Goddess our new singer.

133 Everyone agreed, especially since the band sounded better than ever. Mercedes was now absolutely sure that even if it were possible for Tenacious to return, she was out and Goddess was in! When Thursday night’s practice ended and Tenacious had not been seen or heard from, Goddess was officially made the new singer for the band. As they celebrated with a variety of substances, a long time friend of Tenacious and groupie of the band, burst into the room and said, “She’s dead! She’s fucking dead!” Ricky said, “Who’s dead?” The girl, Lana, excitedly said, “Tenacious! She’s fucking dead! Turn on the fucking TV!” Thumper grabbed the remote, clicked on the power and started flipping through the local channels until Lana said, “Stop!” They watched and listened as the newscast was reporting from the landfill with a live feed. The story was already in progress as the reporter said, “They found her rolled in a piece of carpet and inside that she had been repeatedly covered with some sort of plastic wrap. It seems as though she had received blunt force trauma to the back of her skull. This has not been confirmed as the cause of death but it definitely may have been. Preliminary tests show that she has possibly been dead for at least five days and with the hot weather and the plastic wrap, the decomposition has been slow but very messy, according to our information. According to our sources, a land fill worker was doing his usual job of maneuvering the trash, when a rolled carpet came undone in front of the blade of his bulldozer. He didn’t see anything suspicious at first until the plastic containing the body came free of the carpet and the dozer blade dismembered an arm from the body. By the time the operator noticed the arm, he had ran over the remainder of the body with the cleaved tracks of the wheels several times. The coroner was still able to determine that even with the body mangled by the large equipment, that the skull had been fractured when she was alive. Her identity has not yet been confirmed, but she does resemble this picture of a missing persons report filed only three days ago. This missing girl is, Tenacious Jones and if you have any information, please call the number on the bottom of the screen. We will be updating this story as information becomes available. This is Wanda Spears, Action 7 News. Lana kept pointing to the TV saying, “I know it’s her! She never came over last Sunday like she was supposed to! I talked to her mother Monday afternoon but her mom is such a crack whore that she just said, “Oh, she’ll be back. Don’t worry. She leaves for days at a time. She’s probably with that bunch of degenerate musicians she is so worked up about.” Lana continued, “I tried to tell her that I have been here with the band and I haven’t seen Tenacious since Saturday night, but the old bitch just lit up her crack pipe and got all fucked up! I finally went to the police station the day before yesterday and they said a family member had to file the missing persons report, so I went home and got a picture of her and told them I was her sister! They must have filed it because that picture of her on the TV is the one I gave them!” Mercedes was not happy that Tenacious’ body had been found and that Lana was digging into her disappearance. She decided to wait and see what the police came up with

134 and unless it somehow connected her to the murder, she wasn’t going to run because she was getting close to her objective. Now, if only she could pull the bands attention away from Tenacious and back to business, she might get the plan back on schedule. She said to the guys in the band, “There’s not anything any of us can do for her now and we still have the gig tomorrow night, or are we going to cancel?” Ricky spoke up saying, “I have been trying for a long time to get us in this club and if we cancel, we will never get another chance! Besides, Goddess is right, we can’t do anything for her now, so I say we keep with the plan!” Thumper and Vibe agreed, as usual, so the decision was made to continue practice tonight and do the gig tomorrow night. Practice went excellent and they felt ready for anything! Dalton slipped out of the room while Kane was snoring up a drunken storm and headed for Screams apartment to check out the situation. When he arrived, there was a small party going on and Scream was entertaining a couple of friends and a few girls. After he scoped out the apartment, he put a plan into play. As the party wore on, most of the partiers were passed out or intoxicated up to the point of incoherance and he quietly slipped into the apartment. The living room was dark except for a small TV on a table in the corner giving off enough light to see guests lying on the couch and floor. He slowly stepped around the unconscious bodies strewn on the floor making his way to the bedroom, trying not to make the wood under his feet creak too loudly. As he turned the bedroom door knob it made a clicking sound and he stopped dead in his tracks and listened. The apartment remained quiet except for the TV and when he was sure no one had awakened, he eased the door open. When the door was open almost enough for him to lean his head in to look around, the hinges gave off a Halloween squeak from hell and he again stopped cold. As he listened, he could hear a mumbling coming from inside the room but he couldn’t see where the person was. He waited a few beats until the room again went quiet, then tried to ease the door open a little more and the loud squeak resumed. He again stopped and listened, and again, all he heard was the TV. He decided to just give the door a healthy, quick shove and get it over with or maybe a quick shove would bypass the hinge creaking. He counted to three, in his head, and pushed the door open wide and to his surprise, it only made a small, almost inaudible squeak. He leaned cautiously into the doorway and tried to look around but the room was pitch dark and he couldn’t see a thing. He thought if he waited a few minutes his eyes would adjust to the darkness and he might be able to see better. After a couple of minutes the shadows only became blackened shapes and he could see the outlines of the bed and what he thought was a dresser. He knew since this guy was a partying bachelor, there must be a lot of crap littering the bedroom floor and he couldn’t tell what or where it was, but he knew it was probably there. This was going to make just getting across the room, without being discovered, a real challenge. He figured Scream as the kind of guy that could take care of himself and he probably slept with a gun under his pillow and if he wasn’t careful, he was going to find out. Dalton got down on his hands and knees feeling his way toward what looked like the bed. He crept along the floor using his hands in front of him to feel his way across and wasn’t surprised when he found crap all over the place.

135 As he touched things he tried to identify what he was feeling and it was quite a list. First he noticed gritty dirt mixed with what felt like cigarette ashes! “Oh fuck this is nasty,” he thought as he reconsidered what he was doing, but now that he’s this far, he might as well finish. Then he remembered the latex gloves in his back pocket and was privately embarrassed that he hadn’t already put them on. He kept thinking of how it was too bad that this fucking asshole was never alone or else he could have taken care of him in a dark alley or in a tunnel, hell, he should’ve just car bombed the son of a bitch right along with all of his friends. But this needed to look like an accident so there was no problems and no witnesses. “Well fuck then, it’s back to playing identify the crap on the floor.” He thought as he mentally resolved to complete his mission. He only made it a couple of feet and felt what was probably underwear, then pants and an empty bottle. He sorted through several more items and had almost reached the bed when there was something round, smooth and hard. It was metal and then he felt the wooden stock and immediately knew it was a shotgun! Right beside the bed, almost underneath and long ways with the barrel toward the door. Yup, this is definitely Scream’s side of the bed. Dalton had brought a quart of ninety proof whisky, a pack of cigarettes and a disposable lighter. He quietly twisted off the cap, poured the whisky on the bed linens along the side of the bed, being extra careful as not to get any on Scream, well, yet anyway. He slipped to the foot of the bed and poured more whisky along the bottom edge. He held the bottle in a position where it was ready to pour on Screams body and he lit the lighter as he turned the bottle upside down. He touched the lighter to the whisky soaked sheet covering him and stepped back as the flames engulfed the bed along with Scream and his lover. Dalton could now see very well now, from the intense flames as he quickly stepped backward tooward the door. Scream and his lover rose up from the bed in a horrified stupor as the flames engulfed their bodies. Dalton first heard cries of pain and terror emitting from the girl that had the misfortune of sleeping with him. He sloshed the remainder of the whisky on the floor preventing them from reaching the exit because this was igniting as it hit the wood floor. The only window in the small bedroom was three floors up, with nothing but a deadly fall to the street below. The burning couple were now racing around the flame engulfed room searching for relief. Dalton threw the now empty bottle in Scream’s direction as he closed the only door for exiting the inferno. He then held the knob taunt from the living room side, preventing quick escape. The pleas of mercy from Scream and his lover were not loud enough to wake the passed out partiers as Dalton continued holding the knob as the burning musician frantically attempted to open the door. After another minute, he heard the window glass break and then the only sound coming from the smoking room was the crackle of hot, burning flames. Dalton made a quick exit out of the apartment building and he noticed two naked bodies on the concrete as he rounded the corner. He looked back and was satisfied that

136 Scream and his lover had probably expired from their three story plummet to the hard street. The next afternoon Dalton and Kane went back to the band’s practice space and Dalton again went in alone, leaving Kane in the car. He was greeted by the same girl he had spoken to the day before and she was excited to introduce him to the band. She had remembered that he was from a recording company and the band was eager to meet him. Dalton was introduced to Rocket, Rumble and Sub as they apologized that the singer had not yet arrived, but they expected him at any moment. Dalton just said, “That’s ok, I’m sure he has a good reason for missing your practice.” He waited around for an hour and as he already knew would be the case, Scream never showed up. Finally, he explained his need to leave for another appointment and he would have to come back later. Dalton and Rocket exchanged phone numbers and Dalton promised to return at a later date to audition them for a possible recording contract. Before leaving, he turned up the heat by saying, “I caught your act the other night at the club and I am very interested in meeting everyone to get a feel for how you guys get along personally. I need to complete the interview soon or I will have no choice but to pass on signing your band. They all shook Dalton’s hand and he left. When Dalton and Kane returned to their room, Dalton turned on the TV to catch to local news hoping to see the story about two naked bodies found dead in the street. While waiting for the evening edition of the news, he decided to borrow the neighbors news paper to see if maybe there was an article in there about it. He scanned the first few pages spotting a story about the incident and said, “Oh shit! Check this out, Kane!” Kane leaned over and saw the pictures and he said, “It’s all in German but that guy looks familiar, who are they and what happened to them?” Dalton read the article, “A man and woman apparently had a little too much to drink last night as their bed and apartment caught on fire and they must not have been able to get to the door as they plunged three stories to their deaths. According to authorities, the couple had been drinking and a bottle of alcohol had spilled on the bed and a cigarette ignited the sheets. The two jumped from the window in an attempt to get out of the inferno. Police say it seems that the couple were naked in the bed when the alcohol spilled and it soaked the sheets on and around them. When it was ignited by the cigarette, the heat from the flames instantly burned them and the polymer sheets had melted to their skin. From the burn marks in the room, the alcohol had also spilt on the floor around the exit door and the flames there prevented a safe escape. As the room became engulfed in flames and smoke, the couple had opted to jump from the high window to avoid death by fire only to be killed by the impact on the street below. We have obtained the identity and pictures of the victims from other occupants that were in separate rooms of the apartment who escaped with minor injuries and smoke inhalation.” Kane looked at the pictures of the faces of Scream and his lover and of the black, water drenched room as he said, “Who is that guy, he looks so familiar?” Dalton said, “It’s Scream! The singer for Dead Bolt! I guess I won’t have to pay him off after all!” Chapter 34.

137

Simon was viewing the security tape of the mystery maintenance worker and he didn’t recognize him but there was something familiar about him. He couldn’t put his finger on it but it nagged him in the back of his mind. He watched and searched the tapes looking for a time when this man used a security pass card to open a door and he found what he was looking for. When he referenced the data history he was surprised to find that the card was issued to Dalton Jamison but the man in the video looked nothing like Dalton. There was something about this mystery man that seemed very familiar. He informed Al of the only scenario that made sense, which was that someone had taken Daltons pass card when he went missing and that person had to be connected to the Stanford’s. Simon found out that the man using Dalton’s pass card was Bob Lander, but he couldn’t find a work application or any other paper work on this name. He re-interviewed the employees, trying to find out if anyone knew Bob Lander and several people had seen and talked to him but no one knew anything about him or where he came from. Simon viewed the surveillance videos and tried to lift fingerprints on the surfaces that Bob had touched. He had no luck as the cleaning crew had destroyed the evidence or there were too many prints present to get a clear , usable one. Simon had also considered the possibility that Bob had covered his tracks well and was probably connected to Kane and Mercedes escape. He also wanted to interrogate Jack, but he was still in a coma and may never be able to talk again. Simon then searched the maintenance locker room trying to find anything Bob might have left behind. He scoured the area finding a small piece of paper caught in the back of the locker that Bob had used and it was a receipt from a car rental agency. The car had been rented with a credit card in the name of Bob Lander and Simon had his connections run down the numbers. He found out where Bob had rented the car and what day the car was left at the airport. He found out about the house in the suburb and what flight Bob took and that he purchased two tickets to Berlin, Germany. Simon guessed that only one of the kids had went with Bob to Germany and he had no clues yet of the location of the other one. He ran down the boarding agent that was on duty when Bob and his guest had gotten on the plane and she didn’t remember the picture of Bob or either of the kids. He then ran down the pilot and flight attendants that were on the plane and the pilot was in Atlanta, Georgia, and the flight attendants were in various cities around the world. He found out the schedules for each attendant and sent an associate to meet up with each one to verify which kid was with Bob. It would be several hours before he knew if the airline people came through. In the meantime, he was sure one of them went with Bob to Germany but he wasn’t sure if he should go there or stay in the States to chase down the other one. He opted to stay put and send a confident man to start investigating over in Europe until he decided if he would go there himself. He would try to find out where the other kid was and hope to get leads on both of them soon. Chapter 35.

138 Mercedes was psyched about Death Angel’s gig later on in the evening as she got ready for the performance of her life. She had gotten herself dressed to kill and wore the same hair disguise she used around the band. She then went to the largest recording company in Los Angeles and used her scent ability to get in to see the president within thirty minutes of entering the building. When she was led into his office, he first looked at her with that male look of desire and then immediately changed demeanor to wondering how the fuck she got in without an appointment! She walked over toward his desk with the sexiest posture she could portray and sat down across from him. She was waiting before she used her secret weapon, just to see if there was any magic without it. His name is Terrance Dogwood, president of Slam Records and one of the most powerful men in music, world wide. He’s married with two children and a huge mansion in Beverly Hills and had almost as much money as Al Jamison. He worked and slaved to bring Slam Records up from nothing, thirteen years ago and has managed to stay on top of the modern music scene ever since. To get a meeting with him usually takes a month with a legal threat from an agent or a lawyer. He looked Mercedes over a couple of times and then picked up the phone and asked for security. She frowned and turned on the confusion charm and when a voice asked him what he needed, he abruptly said, “Uh, never mind. I don’t remember why I called. By the way, who am I speaking to?” The voice on the other end identified himself and Terrance replied, “Ok then, don’t ever call here again!” and slammed the receiver down. Mercedes then put her plan into action by telling him to make sure they weren’t disturbed. After he finished informing his secretary that he was not to be disturbed for any reason, she set up a video camera to record the whole rotten, nasty, sexual affair that was about to take place after she turned on her lust scent ability! She produced so much scent and got him so turned on that he ejaculated in his pants before they were even undressed! She got undressed and he followed suit with everything she did until they had fucked six ways from Sunday on high definition digital tape. She made sure to add in a little extra security by having him do some conversing after the nasty sex was over. She kept him hot, hard and horny while she said, “Terrance, did you like fucking me?” He looked like a dog at a butcher shop as he said, “Oh yea, I liked it a lot!” Then she said, “Did you like it when I sucked your meat and took it all the way in my mouth?” He was sweating from anticipation of doing her again as he said, “Yea, I liked the way you swallowed my meat, baby!” She giggled a deep laugh of total satisfaction as she said, “Did you like shoving yourself in my tight, wet pussy?” She turned up the scent a notch just before he said, “OH YES, I loved doing your sweet tight fucking pussy, lets fuck again, baby, please!” She was totally tripping on the total control she had over people with this un fucking believable ability and especially putting the screws to this ungodly powerful man right now as she said, “Terrance?” By now he was practically drooling as he said, “Yea, baby. Are you ready now?”

139 She was flaunting her naked body in front of him as she said, “Terrance do you want to fuck me up my cute little a-hole?” He couldn’t take it any longer as he started masturbating and blew another thick load of cum, but this time it shot onto his hand and the floor instead of inside Mercedes. He was still begging her to fuck him after he had cum three times in twenty minutes and it was all on film, including their dirty little conversation! She turned off the scents as she got dressed and grabbed the video camera. He was trying to regain his senses as he said, “What just happened here? I remember that you- What was your name again?” She just looked at him and laughed as she said, “I didn’t say what my name was and your priorities have just changed dramatically, Mr. Dogwood!” She sat down on his leather chair at the desk and hit the stop button on the recorder as she lit one of his expensive cigars while putting her feet up on the desk. He was in total shock as he watched her take over his office and just as he was about to protest and again call security, he noticed the cum in his hand and his red, throbbing, flaccid penis. He couldn’t remember everything but as he began to get dressed it started coming back to him and he actually smiled big at first and then he realized what he had done. He had regained some composure as she said, “There is a remote recorder, miles away from here that captured this same footage and I think you might want to take a look at yourself in action, tiger!” She turned the playback viewer toward him and watched his face change from one extreme to another as he looked at the small screen portray their animal encounter. She laid out the plan as he looked on with what his face told were mixed emotions. He portrayed everything from sexual bliss to the anger of a mad polar bear as he listened to her orders. She informed him that he would have his best talent scout at the club tonight to make things look official and by tomorrow he would sign her band to the most extravagant recording contract he had ever signed and it would be of her design and content. She said, “If any of this is a problem just say so and your wife and I will have tea as we watch you ram your meat up my pussy on digital DVD! Are we clear?” He nodded and she then added, “We can work out the details tomorrow, I have a gig later! Ta, Ta, Terrance!” She walked out of his office and boarded the elevator and as she stood there waiting for the doors to close, she stared at his secretary with a smile from ear to ear as the bitch shot her a look from hell! Chapter 36. Dalton and Kane went back to the Dead Bolt practice studio and this time Dalton took Kane in with him. Before they reached the door, Dalton told Kane of his supposed position of owning a record company and for him to play along. He also said, “You need a new name for safety, who do you want to be?“ Kane thought for a moment and said, “Any name I want?”

140 Dalton shrugged his shoulders and Kane said, “I shall be known as “Atlas” from now on!” Dalton nodded as if it were a noble and appropriate name. They went inside the room and after a few introductions, Rocket said, “I’m sorry to waste your time Mr. Lander but our singer died last night and we-” Dalton cut him off by saying, “I have already heard the tragic news. I want to give all of you my deepest and sincerest sympathies.” The whole room was in shock as they looked back and forth at each other wondering why this record exec has so much interest and knowledge about them. Were they suddenly that special for some unknown reason? Rocket spoke for all of them as he said, “We are grateful that you care about us, Mr. Landers, because we usually don’t get that from anyone since we are in a band and we look the way we do.” Dalton knew that he had these guys hook, line and sinker! He wanted to establish Kane in the band now while the time was right, so he said, “It just so happens that Atlas here, is a talented singer and I know you must be grieving for your loss, but I have an idea to honor Scream. I will put together a tribute concert in his honor and you can perform with Atlas on lead vocals in your band! What do you think?” All three of them, Rocket, Rumble and Sub had mixed emotions and Dalton could tell they were torn between honoring and mourning Scream and the dilemma of working with a new singer less than twenty four hours after Scream’s death. After a few awkward moments Dalton turned the screws tighter by saying, “I completely understand, so Atlas and I will leave you to yourselves.” As they turned to leave, Rocket said, “Mr. Lander, will you be back?” Dalton tightened the screws one last turn by saying, “Well, you have to understand that none of this has anything to do with Atlas and I do represent him. He is an exceptional talent and if another band is available and worthy of him, well, I really do feel for your situation but I have responsibilities and a job to do and-” Before he had finished, all three of them mumbled out the words, “We’ll do it!” and Dalton basically started managing the band from there on! James was coming to terms with his appointed task in life even though he was only seventeen and the formula didn’t hurt any more but he definitely felt different. He and Bill were back in the lab and Bill was instructing him on how to conjure up the scent ability as he said, “You just need to concentrate on how you feel and what you want anyone around you to feel. As you do this you will have to conjoin and then separate the emotions in your mind and your body will give off scents in accordance. I have never actually done this, but in theory that is how it will work. Now you try and concentrate on an emotion.” James said, “Which one?” Bill thought of what would probably be easiest and he said, “Try happy!” James nodded in compliance and dutifully put his mind to work and in just a few seconds Bill began to chuckle a little. When James noticed this he thought Bill was making fun of his failure, so he concentrated that much harder and Bill’s chuckle instantly became a hearty laugh. James still thought Bill was mocking him and this caused him to feel immensely depressed and sad and within a few seconds Bill was on

141 the verge of tears. Bill had no idea of what was going on because the emotions felt authentic to him but James instantly knew he had caused Bill‘s reactions. He then tried a confusion feeling and in another few seconds, Bill looked as though he had forgotten why he was crying. James was sure of himself now, so he thought of love and in no time Bill had a comfortable smile on his face while he looked at James as though he were Christ himself. James decided to try the other end of the spectrum with fear and in a moment Bill had a look of total terror in his eyes and he began to scan the room as though a paranoid person would. James changed gears yet again and Bill soon became agitated and fidgety and was sighing as though he was extremely frustrated. James turned it up one more notch and shortly Bill’s face turned red and he was rubbing his hands together and making fists and suddenly he punched a hole in the sheetrock wall! This instantly dropped James concentration into fear for himself and soon after that, Bill also looked scared and this panicked James further and thusly Bill got up and started jerking around the room and eventually took off down the hall screaming like a school girl. James realized he would have to compose himself and calm down or Bill would be a mess every time they were near each other. Then it hit him. He was going to have this effect on EVERYONE he was around! He almost panicked again but then quickly composed himself and this made him realize two definite things. First, he could not show or feel very much emotion or it would affect anyone near him and secondly, controlling emotions is harder than he ever thought possible, especially with a live persons facial expressions and bodily reactions working like a meter gauge! What a fucking trip this was going to be! Simon got a call from one of his henchmen, reporting that an airline attendant had positively identified Kane and Bob as both being on the plane and they definitely had disembarked in Berlin, Germany. This let Simon know that Mercedes was the one he had to find. He called his other henchman that had just arrived in Berlin and informed him that Kane was with Bob. He hoped that by giving the associate two faces and names to reference, he would be able to get a line on at least one of them in Berlin. Simon began to scour all the newspapers that had on line access, to search for recent articles that contained odd circumstances. He thought Mercedes would leave a trail of clues because she was young and inexperienced, plus she had been raised in such a sheltered environment. He spent the night and most of the next day doing searches for anything out of the ordinary, but everything he ran across was either not in context of anything that Mercedes would do, or he found out the culprit was not her. He expanded his search in a 360 degree circle out from Chicago and he hit pay dirt when he checked the Las Vegas area newspapers. There were several police notes summonsing an officer to several different casinos to file a formal public complaint against a single person accused of counting cards and other miscellaneous acts of cheating. Simon knew that the casinos call in the police when they have proof of someone cheating to justify themselves for barring them. Then the casinos can instantly inform each other of a cheaters identity and they can subsequently say they didn’t illegally blackball anyone because it is public knowledge due to the police report.

142 Simon flew to Vegas and tried to verify that Mercedes had been there, but he had no luck as she must have worn a disguise and nobody recognized her picture. He was asking around about any other odd crimes or incidents that had taken place within the last week and a waitress at a diner just happened to overhear him. She came over to his place at the counter seat and said, “Are you asking about robberies too?” Simon said, “Yea. What have you got for me?” She smiled as she said, “What have you got for me?” He gave her a look of betrayal as he said, “Oh, how about I take you away from all of this, well for an hour or two anyway?” She was not impressed with his smart ass remark as she said, “Honey. I get better offers from better men when I’m asleep!” He made a sour face and said, “Alright already! How much?” She looked at him with a questioned expression as she said, “How much for what, my mind or my body?” He took a sip of his coffee, set the cup down and said, “What’s cheaper?” She laughed and replied, “How much are you looking to spend?” Simon smiled as he counted off numbers on his fingers and held up a middle finger at her as he said, “Oh, about one!” He was holding up his fucker finger in a gesture of a number one and she leaned over, letting it go completely into her mouth. She then closed her lips around it and pulled her head back letting it slide smoothly out, then she said, “Lip service is extra!” He wiped his wet finger off on her ass and said, “When and where?” She said, “I get off work in half an hour. Meet me at the Gold Coin motel, room #7!” He nodded a yes, left a twenty on the table and left. Chapter 37. Death Angel was back stage before their debut gig, watching the clock hands tick away as every member, including Mercedes, was having the stage freight jitters. She was humming lightly to herself, Thumper was silently drumming on his leg, Ricky was playing his electric guitar while it was unplugged and Vibe was in the bathroom throwing up. This was the first large public appearance the band had ever made and it was the first time for Mercedes to perform live, ever! When the time came, they took the stage and even the audience could see how nervous they were. Thumper tripped and fell while getting behind the drum set and knocked over a cymbal with a loud crash. Ricky and Vibe just stood paralyzed in place as they waited until everyone was finally ready. Ricky’ opened the first song and he silently turned up the volume knob on his guitar and just when he was stroking the strings with the opening power chord, he lost grip on the guitar pick and nothing but a stumbled, gargled loud flub blared out the speakers. This was followed by a ear piercing, high pitched squeal of feedback filling the room for several seconds. The whole audience immediately covered their ears with their hands and made angry statements, faces of aggravation and middle finger up hand gestures - toward the band.

143 Mercedes was so shocked and out of sorts that she completely forgot about her power of body scents that could turn this crowd into putty in her hands. Ricky regrouped and looked at the rest of the band as he once again laid into the strings and the chord roared out perfectly, shaking the rafters and the crowd went from pissed to pleased. Thumper let the chord ring several seconds longer than usual and then he counted off by hitting his sticks together with a, 1, 2, 3, 4, and in total unison with a thundering punch, the whole band started the song and the crowd went wild. Mercedes was almost half way through the song before she realized that these people were really enjoying the band and she hadn’t used her scent power. This was an unbelievable feeling and she let it ride for a couple of songs as she scanned the crowd for Terrance’s talent scout. She finally spotted him and he seemed interested but definitely not blown away. He was very handsome and quite a hunk and she immediately wanted him to notice her, one way or another. She waited until the next song and she decided to turn on the charm just to catch his eye, along with every other soul in the place. When the song started almost every person was fully attentive to the stage and when she started to sing she also turned on the desire scent and in just a few seconds there were males and females trying to jump on stage to get to her. This was exactly what she expected to happen as the security bouncers were having a hard time keeping them back as she kept singing and letting out the pheromones. Being on stage had her so involved in her voice that she was literally pouring out her heart through her voice and her body scent. She closed her eyes and just let the music flow through her as she felt as one with the whole world. The combination of the music and the excitement of being on stage and her personal desires gave her ability a new variation but she hadn’t realized it yet. When the song was almost over she opened her eyes and was totally surprised to see the whole crowd just standing in awe of her. Not one of them were moving, they were just looking at her as if she were their one hearts desire, They were almost so infatuated that they couldn’t physically function! Their complete mental concentration was totally on watching and listening to their “Goddess!” Chapter 38. Dead Bolt began immediately practicing for the tribute concert and they were sounding better than ever, especially with the addition of Kane. Dalton was busting his ass trying to figure out just how to set up and promote a tribute concert. He didn’t know the first thing about the music industry or promoting a band, hell he didn’t know how to put on a fucking back yard Bar-B-Q, let alone a tribute concert. He decided to use his corporate connections to call in some private favors without his father finding out. His European connection made a deal with him and in return for getting Dalton a record company to help him out, he had to get rid of some trash to make the deal. Dalton agreed and a Man from a major recording company would be in touch the next day to discuss what could be done for him.

144 Dalton was required to assonate a political leader in Switzerland within a week to hold up his end of the bargain. The following day, Dalton dropped Kane off at the Dead Bolt practice space and he ventured off to meet his music industry contact. Dalton arrived at the restaurant and proceeded to the table where he saw three men waiting for him. As he sat down the man in the middle said, “You must be Bob Lander!” Dalton shook the mans hand and said, “Yes, I’m Bob.” The man was very blunt and disinterested as he said, “You must have friends in very high places, Bob. I haven’t been out on an assignment in a few years and all of a sudden I’m here kissing your ass. Well, that’s beyond the point, so lets get this over with fast. Just what exactly do you need me to do?” Dalton thought for a moment and said, “What have you been told about me?” The man looked extremely perturbed as he said, “All I know is that you have a band that you want promoted with expediential speed and with a massive media blitz for this weekend. I am told you need some sort of tribute concert set up for a totally unknown band to perform, and with a full house of adoring fans, I might add. Does that about cover it, Bob?” Dalton was impressed at the accuracy and speed that his deal had delivered. This also meant that the target politician in Switzerland must be an extremely difficult man to kill. He replied back to the rude man, “I think you have been sufficiently informed of my situation and my needs.” The man got up and said, “I will leave you in the hands of these two very able men, Ernie and his friend Bert. They will see to your needs with any musically connected task or situation. They are experienced in many fields and will apply their skills where they deem necessary. Good Day, Bob!” Dalton said as the man walked away, “I didn’t catch your name, Mr.?” The man stopped walking, straightened the lapels on his suit jacket, turned to Dalton and said, “My name is not important, Bob. If you find that you simply must know who I am, just call your friend and have him inconvenience me with another excursion out to meet you again at a later date. Like I said, Bob. Good day!” The man left without looking back and Ernie and Bert were waiting for the details for their next action. After Dalton finished explaining what he needed done, he was amazed at the abilities of these two men. In less than a day they had procured a place for the tribute concert to be held, had the advertisements and publicity for it ready to go that same night and they estimated almost a full house. Then Ernie said, “Is there anything else that you need right now?” Dalton said, “What happens after the concert?” Ernie looked at Bert and then he said, “When we hear the music and see the reaction of the crowd at the tribute concert, then and only then will we know exactly what the next move will be. You see, Bob, we have to know a band to know how to promote a band and make it fly. Look at it like this, everyone eats food, but not everyone likes the same food. So, you don’t try to sell a steak to a vegetarian. Is that explanatory enough, Bob?” Dalton nodded in great understanding as he said, “Thank you Ernie, Burt. Oh, and when will I see you again?” Ernie said, “We’ll be at the concert, but if you need anything we can be reached at this number.”

145 He handed a card over to Dalton and he looked at the card then looked at the men and walked out of the restaurant. James was finally able to get his emotional scent releasing under control and Bill was able to help him concentrate it onto a single person, even in a crowd. James perfected his ability quickly because of the advice and direction from Bill’s understanding of the formula and how it worked. Within a few days Bill knew that James was ready to handle the mission that was about to unfold. Bill didn’t know if the formula had been altered for better or worse by Jack or possibly by Al’s scientists in Chicago, so he had no idea of what Kane or Mercedes might be capable of. He knew that Jack could have produced the same or similar advanced version that he did, but he believed that Jack wouldn’t do that for someone that was going to abuse it like Al would. The only possibility would be if one of Al’s tech’s had figured out how to adjust the properties of the components that made up the formula. Bill just hoped that James had a more dominant version than that of Kane or Mercedes. Chapter 39. Simon showed up at the Gold Coin motel, knocked on room #7 and waited for her to answer the door. He still didn’t even know her name but that wasn’t what he was interested in anyway as he stood pleasantly smiling when the door to the room opened. She wasn’t wearing anything but a chefs hat with stockings and high heels. He was pleasantly surprised as she flung the door completely open and was motioning him inside with a “come hither” finger as she walked backwards with sexy movements. Simon hadn’t planned to get excited quite this way but he was willing to watch what she had to offer. She kept walking backwards until she reached the bed, then she sat down crossing her legs and holding herself up with her hands splayed out to her sides holding her up as she was slightly leaning back. She used her shoulders to mush her breasts together to give them a firmer, fuller look. Simon walked around the bed looking over the room and her body until he saw what he was looking for. When he knew this particular item was in the room he was more at ease and he was deciding exactly how to handle the situation. She had an attractive body and she seemed to want to have fun as she said, “Why are you behind me? Don’t you like what you see on this side?” He said, “Oh, you are lovely all the way around, uh-” She cut him off with, “Peggy! My name is Peggy! And you are?” Simon smiled and said, “Curious! My name is Curious! I am in need of information.” He reached down, picked up her purse and started rummaging through it as she said, “What the fuck do you think you are doing?” He just kept digging around in her purse and looking from her to the contents and back to her again. She got up off the bed and walked around to where he was and just as she got about an arms length from him, he shot a fist straight out and slammed her in the face knocking her out as she fell to the floor in a heap. He finally found what he was looking for in the purse and he proceeded to wipe off any of his fingerprints. When he was sure there was no trace evidence from him to be found on the purse, he picked her up and set her in the bath tub waiting for her to come to. He slapped her a few times but she still

146 didn’t completely come around so he pulled his zipper down, pulled his penis out and pissed all over her face. She woke up spitting and gagging as she flopped around in the tub and tried to find and block the stream of liquid with her hands. When she would get a blocking hand on the warm stream, he would move and spray her face and eyes so she couldn’t see where it was coming from and this game of tag went on until he ran out of piss. By then she was quite awake as the piss had washed the blood from her smashed nose and busted lip, leaving red stained streaks on her naked body and crimson puddles in the tub. After he zipped his pants, he grabbed her by the hair and pulled her up onto her feet as she was slipping and sliding around in the tub fighting his manipulation of her body. They fought against each other so hard that he ended up ripping a handful of hair out of her head and had to grab for more. She almost got away as she shoved him back onto the sink and ran out the bathroom door. Before she was completely outside the door, he spun a foot around and tripped her, practically cracking her shin bone with his sharp edged patent leather dress shoe. She again went down face first into the bed post smashing the side of her cheek into the hard wood. He was back on top of her before she could get up or crawl away. He grabbed another handful of hair and said, “Don’t make me slam your face into the post, Bitch!” She was crying as she tried to nod out an “OK” while she silently mouthed the letters so he could see her mouth. Simon then said, “Alright. Calm down and listen to me. I saw your whole life in the purse. I know where you live, I know what your two kids look like, I even know what your old bag mother looks like, so don’t fuck with me! You got that?” She was listening and crying as she just kept a constant nodding motion and silently mouthing OK, OK, OK. He pulled her up in a sitting position by another handful of hair and with her back against the side of the bed as he said, “In the restaurant you mentioned knowing something about a robbery, right?” She nodded yes and he continued, “I want you to tell me if this girl had anything to do with it.” He held out a picture of Mercedes and she looked at it and shook her head no. He gripped her hair tighter and smacked the side of her head into the bed post and said, “Look again. Her hair, make up or cloths might have been a different color, so look again!” He pulled tight on her hair as he held the picture out in front of her face. As she gave it a second look, he could see the light go on in her eyes as she did recognize the girl in the picture now. He said, “I want you to calm the fuck down and tell me everything you know from the beginning!” She nodded yes and started to tell him that she had worked a fancy high society dinner and that girl was there as a waitress. When all of a sudden everyone in the banquet room, including herself, went blank for a while and then she remembered seeing the girl stuffing wallets, purses and jewelry into a huge bag and then she went blank again. Simon turned her face toward his as he said, “Why wasn’t it in the papers or on the news?”

147 She got a scared and flustered look on her face as she said, “I don’t know! Maybe they were high society enough to keep it quiet, I swear I don’t know!” Simon asked, “Did she rob you or the other workers?” She nodded out a no. Then he thought to himself that it must have been a bunch of rich people that didn’t want the publicity and since the workers weren’t robbed, they were able to keep it quiet. He asked her, “Do you know anything about her or where she might have went?” She explained that she had never seen her before that night and didn’t know anything about her or where she is. Simon was satisfied that he had gotten all the information he was going to get from this woman and now he needed to permanently finish this conversation. Simon tilted her head back while he stood over her and she sat on the floor at the end of the bed, then he said, “It’s not you it’s me. I’m gay but you are very beautiful, Peggy.” He then grabbed her head, on the sides with both hands and crammed his thumbs into her eyes. Her eyeballs popped and squirted, sending fluid running down her face. He kept jamming and gouging his thumbs deeper and deeper into her skull until he felt the membrane bust and his digits plunged into her brain. She instantly went slack and stopped fighting as he let her fall completely to the floor. After cleaning out her eye sockets with peroxide, he also cleaned himself up and any other trace evidence. Then he pulled a plastic baggie out of his pocket with hairs from a man that pissed him off on the plane ride from Chicago to Vegas and planted them here as revenge on this man that probably didn’t deserve this cruel of treatment. On the flight from Chicago to Vegas another passenger hit Simon in the back of the head with his overhead baggage, Simon stumbled into the man’s seat and as he stepped down hard on his foot, he used the pain from that as a diversion to pull a few hairs from his head. The asshole from the plane had better hope his DNA isn’t in the FBI system or else he may have some serious explaining to do! Chapter 40. The talent scout that Terrance sent to check out Mercedes and Death Angel was actually impressed with the band. He went to the club on orders from Terrance even though he already knew that Terrance was going to sign this band anyway. The scout was not only interested in the band but he was practically infatuated with Mercedes. She also noticed him but she didn’t get a chance to meet or talk to him at the club as he had left before she was finished performing. The next day Mercedes walked straight into Terrance’s office, with no problems, but she did receive several dirty looks. When she walked in, she saw the talent scout was already seated at Terrance’s desk. She wasn’t sure of exactly how to proceed as she sat down in the chair next to the man. She didn’t think that Terrance had told him of the dirty trick she had used to extort him but she wasn’t positive. Terrance said, “Goddess, I want you to meet Corbin Ashton. Corbin, this is Goddess.” After the introduction Terrance got her up to speed by saying, “I was just talking to Corbin about our chance meeting yesterday and how you totally impressed me and he has just confirmed my hunch that Death Angel will be an excellent investment for Slam Records. I believe you have a contract for us to look over, is that right?”

148 Mercedes pulled what practically looked like a novel, of papers out of her pack and handed them to Terrance. He suggested that Corbin and her go get some lunch while he looked over the contract and when they got back they would continue this discussion. As Corbin and Mercedes sat down at a café, he placed her chair for her and this was so romantic to her because she had never been treated with such respect before. He sat down across from her and they looked over the menus as they waited for service. He already knew what he was going to have so he just tried to pretend like he was reading but he was actually looking over the menu at her. She caught him without letting him know as she totally enjoyed the true attention. The waitress came and they ordered, then Corbin said, “I really liked the show last night and you were absolutely fabulous!” She blushed and thanked him and then she asked, “What has Terrance told you about me?” She was afraid he knew more than she wanted but he said, “Well, he just told me how interested he is in your band and he really wants to make you a success project. I have never seen him this determined or this sure of anything ever before!” She tried to look surprised and flattered as she said, “What do you think about our band going from nowhere to the top overnight, I mean, do you think will it work?” He smiled as he said, “I don’t see a problem. I think you will be the best thing out there!” She was happy that he had authentic faith in her without her using the scent. She was thinking of how making him a lover with the scent would be exotically fun but she wanted to see how things worked out without any influence. They finished a quick lunch and returned to Slam Records. Terrance was still at his desk when they walked in and he had just finished reading over the contract she had drafted. He said, “Either you’re well educated in entertainment law or you have a good lawyer!” Mercedes let out a small burst of a laugh as she thought back on the extortion sex she had with a very prominent entertainment lawyer a few weeks ago when she first devised this plan. Then she said, “Well, I do have a friend in the business and from the way you talk, this must be a good contract!” He raised his eyebrows as he said, “The way this is set up, well lets just say I won’t be getting my usual commission with you and your band!” She smiled and said, “I guess the only question is do we have a deal?” He looked at Corbin and she could tell that when Corbin finally got to read through the contract he was definitely going to be curious as to why Terrance would sign such an unusual deal. Apparently Terrance wasn’t going to tell Corbin the truth but it would be interesting to hear the lie. Terrance finally said, “I think your band will be so huge that it will still be worth my while to green light the recording and promotion with a total media blitz included.” Corbin’s eyebrows raised as he heard Terrance agree to this kind of deal. Terrance made an appointment with her for the band to come in and record and once the recording was finished he would begin a tour.

149 After goodbyes were in order, she heard Corbin say as she was leaving, “Terrance, I received a call from our European office and we have a hot potato in Berlin, Germany that I need to discuss with you. Chapter 41. Kane and the members of Dead Bolt were preparing to take the stage for the tribute concert for Scream. The band was only nervous because Kane was inexperienced at performing live and they had only practiced with him on vocals for about a week. The sound was excellent in the practice studio but tonight was the true test. Kane was trying not to show his nervousness and not release scents as his mind became more and more stressed. When the time came and the MC introduced them, Kane, Rocket, Rumble and Sub ran out on the stage and took their positions. Kane was so scared that he couldn’t remember the words to any of the songs and especially the first one! As the band slammed into the intro and went through the measures, Kane was looking at Rocket with a total blank on his face and Rocket tried to mouth the words to him across the stage but it wasn’t getting through. When the band got to Kane’s queue to begin, he was still lost and the band went through it again and once again Kane missed his queue. On the third try around the crowd could tell that it wasn’t coming together and Kane could see the crowd becoming disappointed. He finally just closed his eyes and when the music reached his queue, he just flowed the words out in perfect time and key. It pulled together instantly with the power of a supernova starburst. As Kane felt the music flowing through his body, he was unknowingly releasing scents and the crowd was being influenced with each and every note coming from the stage. Kane finally realized he was mixing his emotions with the music and then he noticed the entire audience was getting a dose of the scent but he didn’t want that, he wanted them to crave the band naturally. So he concentrated on just the music and turning off the scent and to his surprise, the mood didn’t change and he thought they were just into the band. This is what he was looking for to make him feel whole. The entire audience was enthralled solely with Kane and he had hoped the whole band would be involved because that would be real, but something was wrong. When he turned off the scent charm they should go back to their normal emotional state but that wasn’t happening and he didn’t know why. They finished out the concert and the whole crowd was only interested in Kane and he hadn’t used the scent since the very beginning of the night. For some reason the emotional attachment they felt for him was lingering way too long. Back in Nashville, Bill was confident that James would be up to his task when the time came. In the mean time, he sent a note with Laura to put in the box for Sassy and Annie to receive. The note asked them if they had any new information on the location of Kane or Mercedes, and he wondered if there was any possible way to get a message to and from Jack. He would have to wait several days to get a reply but he also knew that there was nothing else he could do unless something extremely out of the ordinary were to happen. Laura still didn’t know about James and Bill’s little secret and they didn’t know that she was suspicious about their activities lately. She was sure that they were up to something

150 but she thought they would tell her when the time was right. She sent Bill’s note off to Chicago and she was sad that there was no way to help Jack. She was in love with Bill but she still didn’t want Jack to spend his last days confined in a place so alone and isolated. Just thinking about how many years he has been a prisoner in Al’s lab made her sad and angry all at the same time. Occasionally she thought about how it affected Bill that he had a son or a daughter that was eighteen years old and he had never even meet yet. Plus the fact that these kids had such a dry childhood and now they have escaped but they may never meet Bill. She knows these thoughts and the feelings that go along with them, have got to be in Bills daily thoughts but he never talks much about it and he always seems to keep the same pleasant demeanor. She’s afraid that one day Bill might just snap. Simon found a lead on a pawn shop in Vegas that had recently fenced several pieces of high end jewelry and watches. He found out from a local contact he knew, from his earlier days in the money laundering business, that this particular pawn shop owner was a cash mover for the contact. When Simon had called his contact, he had just talked to the shop owner the day before and learned that some weird chick had come in with a shit load of hot goods. He took the goods for sixty cents on the dollar and she was pissed but finally took the deal. Simon was more interested in where she went and the shop owner had said that all he knew was she left in a Courier Cab. Simon thanked his old friend for the info and they agreed to get together some time for a drink. Simon then called the cab company and found out which cabbie had drove Mercedes that day. It took some talking and interviewing to find the right cabbie. The driver told him they went to a small motel, she ran in and got a few bags and he dropped her at the airport. Simon found out that he dropped her off in the afternoon so he would know what shift of workers would have been on duty. He tried to find out which airline she used by asking each ticket counter attendant and showing her picture and explaining that she probably looked different now. He spent several hours going from counter to counter and airline to airline. Eventually he found a ticket agent that thought it might be a woman she sold a ticket to. The attendant said that if it was her, she went to L.A. Simon called a contact in L.A. and told him to get a few guys on the case and he was on his way there with the picture because he wanted to check out this lead himself. Simon had a gut feeling that he was going to catch up to her in Las Angeles. Terrance had recorded enough of Death Angel’s songs for their first album and he had put it into production. He also had put maximum media publicity and flooded the advertising market to every possible avenue. He set up a major city tour across the country having them open for another band on the Slam Records label called “Retrospect”. At every concert, Mercedes would use her scent ability to induce a desire for her from every member of the crowd and when Death Angel finished their show and began to leave the stage, the audience would chant “Goddess” over and over. As Retrospect then took the stage, the crowd would boo them and again start chanting “Goddess”. This went on for three cities and finally Retrospect was pulled from headliner and placed as opener for Death Angel for the remainder of the tour. At every show all Death Angel CD’s, T-shirts and any other merchandise was sold out at each concert, most of the time before the band had even started playing.

151 Terrance had began a mass campaign to make and distribute Death Angel and especially “Goddess” items and products, such as, dolls, printed bed linens, back packs and just about anything that could have her face printed on it. The response was incredible! The production could not keep up with demand. The money, fame and power began to change Mercedes into an even more selfish and cruel monster. This power had come to her within just a few weeks and she insisted on continuing the live touring as Terrance tried to get her to do mostly TV shows and videos. She knew that her power over audiences was only effective at a live concert and she wanted to keep on strengthening her fan base. Eventually Terrance had no choice but to schedule Death Angel on a world tour to keep Mercedes from leaving his company and possibly making their fuck fest video available to his wife. Before embarking on the world tour, Mercedes had decided that she wanted her very own line of perfume and she knew what she wanted it to smell like. When Terrance had finished researching the available companies to produce it, he told her that she probably should meet with some company representatives to work out the details. When he mentioned that she would have to go to Super Cosmo in Chicago and Meet with Alfred Jamison, she turned white as a ghost and she immediately screamed at him to cancel the whole deal with that company and he was to find a different company to produce her perfume. He asked he what was wrong with using Super Cosmo and she just said she has had bad experiences with their products. Terrance had connections at Super Cosmo and he decided to give them a call and see if he could find some dirt on her to counter protect himself from her sex extortion. Dalton, along with Ernie and Bert had been setting Dead Bolt up on a European tour and they were having the same results that Death Angel was having back in the States. They had finished a major city tour that had covered several eastern European countries and they also had been selling out merchandise ahead of production. Kane had perfected his scent ability just as Mercedes had to the point of where the live audiences were infatuated with them on a permanent emotion altered basis. Neither Kane nor Mercedes knew exactly how they had altered the effect to do this but it was keeping the fans obligated several weeks after the live concerts. Kane was taking on the same “larger than life” personality as Mercedes had from his sudden fame and fortune and they both were experiencing this simultaneously in opposite sides of the globe. Simon had followed Mercedes to L.A. but he lost her trail and was checking out every possible avenue when he received a phone call from Al that changed his course of action. Al told him to go to Slam Records and Terrance would bring him up to date and Al would be arriving there soon. Bill had been informed that a rock star was interested in having a perfume designed to her specific desires and this threw up a red flag in Bills mind. He went on a hunch and sent a note to Sassy and Annie stating that Mercedes might be coming to Nashville. She was scheduled to meet with Bill in two days and he didn’t know if his message would get to Chicago in time or if it did, would there be enough time for Sassy to react and make a plan to do something? Bill talked to James and prepared him for a possible opportunity to confront Mercedes. He didn’t have a detailed plan but he would make sure that James would be at Exotic Scents, close at hand, in case there might be a chance to get her alone and use his abilities to subdue her.

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Chapter 42. Simon was expected at Slam Records and was taken directly to Terrance’s office where he was greeted by Al, Terrance and Corbin. Simon was introduced and then Al said, “The situation is like this. We don’t have absolute confirmation, but we think that Kane is in Europe and Mercedes is finishing up her tour here. She has a meeting with Bill Stanford the day after tomorrow for a perfume product meeting. The fucking bitch declined to use Super Cosmo to produce it for her. Anyway, Terrance has a line on both of them through the recording company.” Simon said, while pointing a finger at Terrance, “You mean to tell me that both of them have record deals with Slam Records and this guy pulled it off?” Al nodded an unbelieving yes as he said, “They both got contracted with Terrance’s people in one way or another. The unbelievable part is this happened within a few weeks of each other!” Terrance butted in with, “I have a special deal with Goddess and I have a lot to lose if she gets pissed off at me!” Al said, “Don’t worry Terrance, I will reimburse you for any money this change in plan costs you!” Terrance then said, “It’s not just the money, she has some incriminating information on me and I can’t afford to have it get out!” Al then asked, “What the fuck did she find out about you that no one else has been able to find?” Terrance got a red faced embarrassed look on his face as he said, “She has a video that would ruin my personal life and quite possible damage my professional career!” Al thought about this as he pulled out one of Terrance’s expensive cigars, lit it and said, “Ok. We need a plan to keep all of us out of the public eye and still get a hold of both Kane and Mercedes. I think we are going to have to grab both of them at the same time because apparently they are in contact with each other or how else would they both get signed to the same record label and at almost the same time?” Simon was impatient to capture Mercedes and he said, “I think we should just grab her while we can!” Al held his hand out as if to hold Simon back as he said, “We don’t know if they have a certain time they contact each other and if one doesn’t get in contact with the other, one might go back in hiding and then I will only have one!” Simon then quickly said, “Well, that’s one more than we have now!” Al was getting a little perturbed at Simon as he said, “I pay the bills and it’s my agenda that has brought all of us together! Don’t forget that! I do realize that you have put a lot of time in chasing the bitch but were too close to fuck this up now! Do you hear me Simon?” Simon nodded out a pissed off yes and sat down hard in the chair. Al decided to handle the situation with an edge of calm and stealth with saying, “Were going to play this slow and methodically. We are going to let Mercedes do her little fucking perfume thing and Terrance is going to send her to Europe, to the same city that Kane is in and when we have them that close together we will make our move.” Terrance then said, “I have a couple of questions.”

153 Al said, “Yes Terrance?” Terrance hated to be the slow man in the room and he didn’t want to reveal any more information than necessary as he said, “So, Goddess is Mercedes and Atlas is Kane, right?” Al said, “Yes, that’s right.” Terrance thought about how to word his next statement without giving away his secret and he said, “What kind of protection do I have that Goddess, or Mercedes, isn’t going to fuck me over? If she has a back up contingency plan to keep safe with Atlas, or I mean Kane, she probably has a back up plan to publicize the information on me! Even if you grab her and keep her confined, what if she has someone holding the information and if she doesn’t call or show up at a designated time or place, they make it public?” Al needed Terrance to play along to get his agenda put into action but he was tiring of this mans whining about his problems, so he said, “When we get her in Europe, you will have to demand that she give the proof to you so you can feel secure. You have held up your end of the deal, right?” Terrance said, “Yea, she has received everything she asked for!” Al then said, “You just have to convince her that since you have supplied her demands, she must give the goods to you and if that doesn’t work, Simon here is very good at persuasion!” Terrance called his agent in London, England to find out exactly what Dead Bolt’s European schedule was going to be for the next week. He then called Mercedes to tell her what her schedule was going to be. He coordinated both of them to be in Paris, France in five days and that’s when and where they would be abducted. Al asked Simon if Mercedes or Bill had ever seen him and he replied, “No, I don’t think either one of them has ever seen my face before.” Al then said, “Good! I want you to be there when she has the meeting with Bill so you can make sure nobody gets wise to our plans!” Terrance butted in again with, “I think Corbin should accompany Simon to Nashville to make sure things go smoothly and she doesn’t screw me over.” Al looked at Simon and they both did a shrug with their eyebrows and Al said, “It’s OK with us but he has to stay out of the way, agreed?” Terrance and Corbin agreed, then Simon and Corbin left to prepare for a flight to Nashville. Sassy had received the note from Bill and Annie was accompanying her to Nashville to see if they could come up with a plan. Bill had no idea they were on their way as he planned out the meeting with Mercedes so that James could be available. Bill planned to dress James in a lab jacket and set him up doing tasks of an intern and he would try to get her in the area of the lab where they could be alone with James. His only real concern was James’ confidence if he confronted her. Kane and Dead Bolt had been playing concerts every night working there way to Paris. The crowds were gaining attendance with each concert and Kane had all the perks he could have ever have dreamed for. The band and he were the most popular thing in European history, in just a few weeks of touring. The scent ability was the main cause, but even fans that had not been to a concert were following the pier pressure and sales were skyrocketing.

154 Dalton was cashing in as the manager and he stayed right at Kane’s side to keep his golden goose in line. Dalton had plans of making Kane a world wide phenomenon that would eventually control a lot more than the music charts. He had visions of politics, financial institutions, stock markets and anything that had a large return from having Kane control the investment. Kane was still very dependant on Dalton, mostly an emotional, fatherly type connection and Dalton was doing everything to keep him there. Chapter 43. Mercedes and Death Angel had paused touring long enough for her to go to Nashville and planned for them to regroup later in Paris. She arrived at a Penthouse room in a prestigious Hotel and was awaiting her appointment at Exotic Scents the next day. Simon and Corbin arrived in Nashville later that same evening and checked into the same Hotel to keep tabs on her until the meeting with Bill. Corbin was contemplating just how to get away from Simon to see Mercedes and at least talk to her. However, Simon was an insomniac with a mute personality and he watched Corbin like he was a naked pole dancing male stripper. Corbin wasn’t sure if Simon was a dedicated henchman or just gay. When Corbin came out of the bathroom and Simon was apparently at the door, trying to quickly run back to the bed when the door opened, he decided Simon was both. As the night wore on, Simon just sat up fucking around with his phone equipment and other miscellaneous devices and Corbin was obviously not going to be able to sneak over to Mercedes’ room. He was also getting tired but was too paranoid to fall asleep with Simon lurking around, so he nodded out short naps a few minutes at a time while sitting in a chair, until the morning. Sassy had disguised herself as an Avon agent and went to Bill and Laura’s before he had left for work. Bill and Laura were pleasantly surprised by her sudden appearance but Bill was especially relieved to have some help. The three of them went out on the patio to discuss a possible way to get Mercedes alone. Just as the conversation was about to get serious, James came outside. Bill felt uncomfortable because Laura didn’t know about James involvement and he didn’t know if Sassy knew anything about the DNA formula, so this was going to be an interesting few minutes. Finally he said, “So, you got my note?” Sassy nodded a yes and Laura said, “What are we going to do? We may never have another chance like this again!” Sassy said, “Bill, you have to get me into the meeting!” Bill looked shocked and said, “I guess I can put you in with James- Uh, I mean, uh-.” Laura stopped him short and said, “What the hell have you gotten James involved in?” Bill was fucked. He was trying to think of something to cover with but there was no time for a story and definitely no time for a fight with Laura, so he just confessed everything about his plans with James. Sassy was even more shocked by the explanation than Laura was by the admission of him infecting James with the formula to possibly confront Mercedes and maybe even Kane. Bill described the probable difference between James formula and Mercedes and Kane’s. He apologized to Laura but she was extremely pissed after she had finished crying.

155 James came out on the patio to save the day and Bill’s ass, by saying to all of them, “I know who my real father is and if I have a brother or sister that needs my help, I want to do anything I can. I have this ability under control and with dad’s help I can do this.” Laura was even more upset by finding out that Bill had told James that Jack was his father without consulting her first, but the most upsetting thing was still the injection of the formula into James. Eventually Laura calmed down and all of them realized that time was running out and they needed to do something, so Laura finally said, “Ok, we have got to get Sassy in there to make sure James is safe!” Bill said, “I will set you up as if you are teaching James in the lab and I will try to get Mercedes off to the side with a bullshit line about the perfume and you two will be the tech’s to assist me. If it works, we won’t have but a few minutes to make something happen, so we will have to play it by ear.” Sassy asked, “Is she the only one coming?” Bill replied, “No, there are a couple of guys coming with her but I don’t know who they are.” Sassy nodded, then turned to hug Laura and said, “Laura, I’ll take care of both these guys, so don’t worry!” Bill said, “Well, we better get going!” Simon and Corbin waited for Mercedes to exit the Hotel elevator as they approached her and she immediately recognized Corbin as she said, “Corbin! What are you doing here?” He leaned in and gave her a light kiss and said, “We are here to make sure that things go smoothly at the perfume company.” She said in a sly manor, “Did Terrance send you to spy on me?” Corbin looked at Simon and then back at her and said, “He does know were here but I wanted to come and see you, just to make sure everything is ok. Oh, and this is Simon.” She looked happily amused and said hello to Simon as they left the hotel together heading for the Exotic Scents compound. Sassy and James were situated at a lab table messing around with some test tubes and trying to look casual as Bill sat in Jack’s old office when the phone rang telling him that his appointment had arrived. Bill exited the office and as he crossed the lab he gave James and Sassy a look and a quick nod. He went to the lobby to retrieve the guests and when the three of them came into the lab, Sassy almost blew the whole charade when she saw them. James saw her about to freak out and he got her attention and asked what was wrong and she said, “That weird looking guy on the left works for Al, what the fuck is he doing with her?” They both had random thoughts running through their brains as they stared at Bill talking and shaking hands. Sassy thought Mercedes could be under constraint by Al’s goon but then she thought that Mercedes could alter his emotions and so that couldn’t be the situation. She couldn’t figure out how or why Al’s goon was with her and she looked so calm! Finally James went over and got Bill’s attention and persuaded him to excuse himself for an emergency. James got him into a private corner and told him that one of the guys was a goon of Al’s. Bill didn’t know what to make of it as he told James to try and

156 concentrate his ability on the other guy and get him to follow you into the back and we’ll play it like he’s going to the bathroom. Bill went back to the guests and said, “Did you say you needed a bathroom, uh, Corbin?” As Corbin looked at Bill with a questioned expression, James concentrated on him, making him want to come over to be with him, then James started walking to the back and Corbin followed like a dog following the smell of cooking bacon. Bill continued to discuss the different scents available to reproduce the smell that Mercedes was wanting as he led them over to a table for her to sample some scents. He was trying to get Simon away from her so he could talk to her, but Simon was sticking like glue. James got Corbin into the bathroom and when he turned off the scent Corbin was confused and trying to figure out just what the fuck was going on. James used his ability to get Corbin to calm down and listen to him as he said, “Who are you?” Corbin told him quickly who he was, all about Terrance and Al and Kane. James then said, “I am her brother. Our father is a prisoner in Al Jamison’s lab. She doesn’t know I’m her brother. I only want to help her. What else do you know?” Corbin told him about Al’s plan for Paris in four days and he bluntly said, “I think I’m in love with her!” James smiled as he said, “That’s nice! Now I need you to keep our little meeting absolutely quiet and keep in contact with me with this phone number.” James gave him a piece of paper with a number on it and as Corbin took it he said, “Simon has all kinds of phone tapping and listening devices!” James thought about that for a minute and said, “Don’t call, just keep all of this to yourself and we will meet you in Paris and once everyone is together we will make our move. James didn’t want to use his ability to subdue Mercedes here and now because Al would definitely take Kane once he knew Mercedes was not available to him. They needed to follow her to Paris and try to take them both at once. Corbin and James returned to the lab where Bill was still with Mercedes and Simon. The meeting was finished and after Mercedes, Corbin and Simon left the building, Bill, Sassy and James met in Jack’s old office. James was first to speak as he said, “Corbin said that Mercedes is with the recording company he works for and they signed Mercedes to a deal. They also have signed Kane in Europe. Al knows all of this and he plans to grab both of them in four days. Mercedes apparently doesn’t know who Simon is.” Bill interjected, “Who is this “Simon?” Sassy filled him saying, “He is Al’s goon that was watching you back when they first took Jack!” Bill nodded with a confused look as James went on, “ He knows who we are but he didn’t think we knew him, but he doesn’t know about Sassy or that she knows who he is. Now, we must go to Paris and get in position before Al gets a hold of them and out of reach!” Bill was slightly shaking his head back and forth as he said, “We are going to be out numbered and they know what we look like!” Sassy said, “I can get a couple of people to help!”

157 Bill then remembered Raphael and the salon as he said, “We all need a quick face lift!” Raphael fixed Bill, James, Sassy and even Laura up with killer disguises and they took the first flight to Paris. When they arrived in the hotel just down the street from the concert hall, James put on his disguise to go out and do a little recon so they would know where everyone was. Al and Terrance were down the street at another hotel with Simon and Corbin. Mercedes had her own room in the same hotel with her room near Simon and Corbin’s. Al and Terrance were in rooms were on another floor. Kane was at the hotel where James, Bill, Sassy and Laura were but James didn’t know who Dalton was but he was with Kane. The concert was tomorrow night and that didn’t leave much time to prepare. Bill put on his disguise and he and James checked out the concert hall and surrounding area while Sassy met with her two assistants in the room to explain the general plan. The exits and back passageways of the concert hall were excellent for a concealed escape, if all went well. Bill and James went back to the room and discussed the situation with the rest of the crew. Sassy said, “The schedule has Kane on stage first and Mercedes second but that may change if either one of them doesn’t like the arrangement. We don’t know when Al is planning to take them. I would think it would be in between performances to assure they are both near the stage. We will have a very narrow window of opportunity to get them before Al’s goons do. The only way anyone can get near them is with nose filters in place and remember, breathing through your mouth can be dangerous. We will have to be in our places back stage and in the escape area to insure a secure exit. James will use his ability to confuse and lure Kane and Mercedes through the exit into a waiting vehicle out back. We will have to eliminate Al’s goons because that is probably where they will also be planning to make their get away.” Sassy then added, “Me, Darren and Steve, will take care of the goons out back and secure that area before you bring Mercedes and Kane out.” Bill looked at James and said, “You may have to hit a couple of Al’s guys inside with a fear or confusion scent at the same time you are concentrating on Mercedes and Kane, do you think you can do it?” James made a questioned face and said, “I think I can even pull a few audience members in to really mix it up for us!” Chapter 44. The following day excitement was high in several hotel rooms across the street from the Muse Concert Hall in Paris. Al was confirming plans and intentions with Simon to set the abduction in motion. Mercedes was preparing for the performance later in the evening as was Kane. Terrance was trying to get information out of Corbin and he tried to convince Terrance that he didn’t know any more than anyone else. Sassy was going over final details with Darren and Steve. And finally, Bill and James were trying to convince Laura to stay put in the room until it was all over and they would either come and get her or send someone after her. She was diligently holding her ground to be allowed to do something to help. Bill finally agreed to let her come along but she wouldn’t be allowed to get close to any dangerous situations.

158 As the sun went down and the people began to line up around the block to get in to the show, there was activity inside and around the back of the venue. Sassy watched as four of Al’s goon’s staked out the alley just behind the back two exits with a large utility van. Darren said to Sassy, “We should just use their van for our get away, huh?” Sassy thought about how convenient that would be but then she said, “They probably have a tracker on it and if they don’t, they have an ID on it so it would be fairly easy for them to find us later. We’ll just stick to our own vehicle.” Darren nodded in understanding and went back to watching the targets. Bill set Laura in the back stage hall, near the farthest exit, with a radio and a security jacket and he said, “Remember, if anyone asks, you are just here to make sure no one enters this door without a pass. That’s all you were hired to do, got it?” She nodded and tried to look natural as he leaned down and gave her a kiss, then he turned, walked to the corner of the hall, looked back at her, winked and went out of sight. James was at the stairs that led from the dressing rooms directly to the stage. He was holding a clip board and frantically looking around and taking notes as if he really had an important job. When Bill saw him, he thought, don’t over do it James, don’t over do it! Bill was wearing a fire inspector jacket and just slowly walked around looking at seating capacity signs when someone came near and then glancing at the audience as the building kept filling up with fans. There was only twenty minutes before the first performance was scheduled to begin and so far everything seemed to be manageable to execute the plan. Mercedes arrived at the performers entrance in the back and she walked past Laura as she came into the building. As she walked in front of Laura, she looked down at the woman sitting with the security jacket on, Laura looked back up at her and when their eyes met, Mercedes gave her that belittling stare she gave to everyone. Laura almost cried as she thought of how lonely of a childhood this poor girl must have had. When she was gone, Laura notified everyone on the radio that “Goddess was in the building.” Mercedes made her way to the dressing room marked “Goddess” and she entered, slamming the door behind her. There were flowers, candles burning, a bottle of champagne and several cards of endearment and well wishing. She had never seen or even heard of the band “Dead Bolt” that was opening up for her and she really didn’t care because she was the headliner and that’s all that mattered to her. She didn’t even have to be here yet but she wanted to check out this Dead Bolt band and this old, but cool theater. Kane entered the same door only minutes after Mercedes had and Laura also got a good look at him as he walked by. He only glanced at her with what might have been a smile or it might have been the dim light on his face just making it look that way. She watched as he also rounded the corner out of sight as she clicked the transmitter button on the radio and said, “Atlas is in the building.” Kane had requested for a couple of girls to be in his dressing room and a few other items, but when he opened the door, there was no body inside. He immediately went ballistic and started throwing chairs and screaming like a fucking four year old. So, it was Dalton to the rescue as he had just walked passed Laura with two barely dressed girls when Kane threw his temper tantrum. When Dalton reached Kane’s dressing room with the girls, he said, “Calm down! I couldn’t find you, you just took off and I didn’t know that you were coming straight here or I would have had these bitches here earlier!”

159 Kane calmed down and all four of them went into the room closing the door behind them. Al was seated in a VIP box with mirrored windows so nobody could see who was inside. Terrance was seated next to him and he said, “What happens to them when they leave here?” Al looked at Terrance and smiled a big smile as he said, “Hopefully within a few months they will be making my portfolio as fat as my ass!” Terrance gave Al a look of disgust and he just turned his gaze back to the dark stage. Al had lit a Cuban cigar and said, “You have to learn when to let go of certain things in life, Terrance. These kids were mine eighteen years ago and you just stumbled onto them while I temporarily had lost them and I want them back. I understand that you are already out quite a bit of cash and I will make it up to you, but after this, you need to forget you ever met these two fucking kids.” Terrance just kept quiet but he did want to know where Mercedes had put the other copy of their nasty tape. Or hell, she might have made a thousand copies for all he knew and he may never get any of them back now, because this fat fucker Al, and he sure as hell didn’t care! Simon was walking around back stage checking out the same things as Bill. When he would pass by Laura, Bill or even James, he had a look of remembrance on his face but he couldn’t quite put it together. Bill was sure that before long he was going to recognize one of them through their disguises and it was making his heart pound. Bill looked at his watch and there was ten minutes left before show time and everything seemed to be going as planned. James walked over to Bill and whispered to him, “Since we had the foresight to wear the micro air filters, do you think Al’s goons have them too?” Bill had thought about this earlier and he said, “I think we can get them dislodged by slapping them on the back with a hard smack and that should do it. I also wondered if Kane and Mercedes might be wearing them.” James looked at Bill with a surprised face as he had not thought about that possibility. Bill said, “How many goons have you spotted, well besides Simon?” James said, “I counted four, counting Simon.” Bill said, “The same here. I have an idea. We only have a few minutes and I am going to take care of a few of the goons real quick.” Bill walked to the back of the hall and when one of the goons was in front of him, he slightly ran up behind and bumped into him hard. The micro air filters in his nostrils flew out and bounced on the floor and as the goon regained his balance, Bill quickly stepped on them crushing them beyond repair. He repeated this for every goon he could find. Simon was the only one left and he was waiting for an opportunity to do the same to him, when suddenly Laura was coming up the hall behind Simon and she slammed into his back and the little filters sailed onto the floor and Bill hurried his pace and crushed them under foot with permanent damage. Simon was about to take out his wrath on Laura when Bill pushed his way in between them and as Simon looked Bill in the face, his memory and the recognition flashed over his facial expression as Simon said, “Bill Stanford!”

160 Before Simon could repeat it or do anything, James threw a confusion and desire scent to him and Simon followed James silently into a back room and Bill was right behind. Once inside, Bill bound and gagged Simon leaving him immobile and hidden behind some equipment. When they returned to the hall there was a commotion as Kane and Dead Bolt were making their way to the stage. As Kane and his band took their places, the crowd went into a loud round of cheering as the excitement rose in the building. The loud roar of the crowd caught Mercedes attention and she decided to get a look at this “Dead Bolt” band and see just how well her fans were going to accept them as an opening act for her performance. As the first song was under way, she made her way to the stage to peek around the corner to watch the reaction of the crowd. To her surprise there were several people holding up signs and banners that read “Dead Bolt” and more disheartening were the ones that read “Atlas” in large, bold lettering. She instantly was pissed. She had not been told that the opening band was so popular and this really got under her skin. She dialed Terrance’s cell phone number and waited as the line rang. Terrance was still seated in Al’s mirrored window, balcony seat above the stage in the Muse Concert Hall. Al looked annoyingly at Terrance as his phone rang in his jacket pocket. He looked at the caller ID and said to Al, “It’s Goddess, I mean Mercedes.” He flipped it open and said hello. Al could hear her screaming from his position several seats away as the angered, high pitched voice screamed out, “Why the fuck didn’t you tell me that these guys were so fucking popular here? Huh?” Terrance tried to calm her down but he had to wait until she had gotten it all out and he finally said, “We just wanted to make sure the crowd was pumped up for you! You must remember that you aren’t well known here!” Then he quickly added, “Yet! But after tonight you will start your rise to the top in Europe! Don’t you see?” She was quiet for a few seconds while pondering over what he said. Then she replied, “I don’t need the fucking crowd primed up! I have a special kind of talent and you said you knew that and you believed in me!” Terrance was used to dealing with difficult artists and knew exactly what to say and he replied, “I do believe in you! I just want to make your European tour to start off with a good, solid show! I’m sorry if I have offended you and it will never happen again!” Mercedes changed her demeanor and said, “Alright, alright. I can’t do anything about it now! You just remember that I am special!” He agreed with her and the line went dead. As Mercedes was about to return to her dressing room she noticed something that had been there all along but eluded her until now. That voice flowing through the whole building was so familiar, it reminded her of, KANE! That voice! The fucking singer for Dead Bolt was KANE! How the fuck could this be? How did he get here in Paris and on this night, of all nights! She knew that Terrance had to know. This was unacceptable and she was not going to stand for it! Now she had to decide just how to deal with this situation without publicly humiliating herself. Then she decided to just do as she felt and that was nothing less than a devastating rage! Before Dead Bolt had finished their third song, Mercedes was making her way up the stairs, through the main side entrance to the stage. Bill and James saw this and knew that

161 shit was about to hit the fan! Kane was into the song and as he sang and released scents, he was hypnotizing the crowd into a mesmerized state of euphoria. Mercedes could see that Kane was causing the same kind of reaction that she did to audiences and this pissed her off even further. She made it to the edge of the right side of the stage and as Kane opened his eyes and gave a quick glance around, he saw her. He didn’t recognize her but there was something about her that sure was familiar. He turned back to face the audience and noticed that their attention had swung from him to the right side of the stage and so had his band mates. The fucking bitch was Mercedes and she had scented everyone out from under him in the middle of his performance! He concentrated a little harder and the attention again swung toward him. Mercedes then turned on the charm and it was so intense that she noticed that even Kane was being affected by her output of pheromones. Kane shook it off and concentrated as hard as he could and he then could see Mercedes being affected as her and the audience swung their affectionate attention back to him. This battle of emotional tug of war went on for a minute as James and Bill tried to figure out a way to handle this complicated scenario. Bill had originally planned to spring his plan into action back stage in between performances while both Kane and Mercedes were off stage and the audience couldn’t see what was going on. But now it was going to happen in plain sight in center stage because by now Mercedes was, center stage, just a few feet from Kane and they were going at it full blast. Bill was relieved that they were still using the subtle scents and hadn’t taken it up a notch to anger or rage, well not yet, anyway! James was now right behind Bill and they both watched in amazement as the two fought for emotional dominance. James and Bill had their nose filters in place and were not getting the effects like rest of the building was experiencing, so they had an un-obscured mental view of the action. As they watched from side stage, a few more of Al’s goons were making their way from the front of the building toward the stage. Bill pointed this out to James and he tried to use his ability to confuse them but it didn’t work as they just kept making their way fore ward with malicious intent. James and Bill knew these guys had nose filter protection and they were going to grab and incapacitate Kane and Mercedes. They needed to counteract this and fast. Bill instructed James to concentrate on Kane and Mercedes and try to get them to follow you to the back and outside with Sassy. James put his mind on them and they seemed to bend to his influence for a few seconds but he eventually lost them. Bill told him to try for just Mercedes alone and when he did, she responded almost immediately but tried to resist and the battle for her own emotional control was obvious in her facial expressions and un-natural body movements. She eventually came toward him and awkwardly followed as he walked out the back door. Sassy and her team subdued her as James went back inside to retrieve Kane. Bill watched as Al’s goons were closing in on Kane and he was trying to keep them at bay. Bill decided to intervene and save him from their grasp. He slammed into the first one he encountered and the filters came flying out. As Bill spun passed the first man he immediately hit the second goon on the back of the head and dislodged his filters also. James was just re entering the stage when the third goon pulled out a gun with a silencer and shot Bill four times and Bill went down.

162 Kane wasn’t sure of what was happening but he had noticed the filters flying out of the goon’s noses. He instinctively hit the third man hard on the back to dislodge his nasal protection just after he had shot Bill. James was stunned immobile as he watched his father fall to the stage floor in a heap with blood pouring from his wounds. Just as he was making a move to go to Bill, several bullets splintered the wood in the wall near his face as he realized he was the next target. He instantly turned his fearful feeling directly into his out pouring scent and the three goons backed off and ran to the other side of the stage as if they were being perused by a poltergeist. James then brought his concentration to a level of depression he had never reached before and the three men all had their guns in hand and shot themselves in the head. James then turned his attention to the audience with the most powerful confusion he could muster and when the whole room went into a stumbling stupor he redirected thoughts to Kane and shot him a powerful blast of desire and Kane followed him out side where the rest of the team was waiting to subdue him. When Laura didn’t see Bill, she asked James where he was and she saw the tears in his eyes and she knew that something had gone wrong. As she tried to go back inside, he grabbed her arm and tried to stop her, but she pulled away and ran inside. James followed his mother as Sassy was calling for both of them to come back. Laura scanned the area until she saw Bill’s lifeless body on the stage and when she reached him, she fell to her knees gently lifting his head iton her lap. She wept as she stroked her fingers through his hair and James looked on with a large hole ripping through his heart. Al and Terrance watched the whole episode play out through the mirrored glass windows and as Al watched his men become defeated, his dreams became crushed. Terrance was extremely worried, now that Mercedes felt betrayed by him, he was sure his life was about to become a public embarrassment. Both Al and Terrance were powerless of doing anything about the escaping Stanford crew along with Kane and Mercedes. Dalton saw everything and was trying to find a way to rescue Kane from Sassy and her team while James was inside with Laura. He knew that James had the same, if not better, ability than Kane and was doing everything possible to avoid him. As Kane and Mercedes were being escorted toward a van, Dalton came around the back side of the vehicle, stepped out and held all of them at gun point. Dalton wasn’t wearing nose filters but knew that breathing through his mouth kept him from being affected by the scents and he applied this technique now and all was going well. Until Kane put his hand over Daltons mouth as if to force him to breath through his nose. As he held his gun towards Sassy, Mercedes and the other two men of the team, Kane kept his hand over his mouth with showing no signs of letting up. Dalton couldn’t believe that Kane had went against him and just before he needed to breath in through his nose, he pointed the gun at Kane’s face as though threatening him to release. When Kane didn’t let go, Dalton brought the gun down and shot him in the chest. Kane fell and Dalton redirected the gun back toward the others trying to decide weather to run or try to take Mercedes with him. James had gotten Laura to leave Bill’s lifeless body behind because there was nothing they could do for him. As they reached the back door, James noticed a man holding a gun at Sassy and the others and he saw Kane on the ground, motionless. James tried to concentrate on the man holding the gun but the effect was very weak. James decided to

163 take a chance and sneak up on the gunman and surprise him but as he started out the back door, Laura grabbed his arm and let out a loud “NO JAMES!” This caught everyone’s attention and as all eyes went to the back door, Sassy took advantage of the moment and tried to take Dalton down but he saw her out of the corner of his eye and as he turned and shot, he missed Sassy and hit Mercedes in the neck. Sassy successfully tackled him and by the time Darren and Steve reached them, she was wrestling with him over the gun. As they rolled and fought, the gun went off several times and on the last shot Sassy and Dalton both stopped moving. When Darren rolled Sassy away from Dalton she looked at him with a sad look on her face and as he followed her eyes, they first glanced at the pooled blood on the ground at Daltons slow breathing chest with bubbles of air and blood gurgling out and then her eyes went to the back of the building. When everyone’s eyes caught up to hers, they saw Laura leaned over James’ motionless body as her whole body was jerking from the intense crying and sadness she was emitting over James and Bill’s deaths. During the battle between Sassy and Dalton, on of the shots had strayed out and struck James. When the ambulance arrived, Dalton was already dead and Al had made his way out side and found his son lying on the ground in a puddle of blood. Al showed no emotion as he looked at Sassy and her crew holding their guns in his direction, as they looked at him with menace, he turned around and walked back into the building. He looked around for Simon and he finally found him lying on the floor in the back room. He was still tied up and gagged but he had crawled almost half way across the room. Al said, “I trusted you to do your job without fucking up and now my son has died! After all this time he was right under your nose! Simon you are now relieved of your duties” Al leaned down, put his hands on Simon’s throat and squeezed until he could no longer breath and held steady until his body went limp. While Al was ending his association with Simon, Mercedes and Kane were loaded into the ambulance by two medics and as Sassy, Darren, Steve and Terrance watched it pull out of the alley, the face in the back window, peering out, looked familiar to Terrance and after a couple of seconds, he knew who it was for sure. Terrance said out loud, “Corbin!” No one ever told Al about the people in the back of the ambulance when it left that Paris alley with Mercedes, Corbin and Kane inside. Al had been told that Mercedes and Kane ran off down the alley and he never was the wiser because he never found them. Laura went back to Nashville and buried Bill and James near Bill’s parents with a small, private ceremony. When Al eventually gave up searching for Mercedes and Kane in Paris, he returned to Chicago and he found that Jack had deteriorated and finally died the next week. He put his body in a heavy, sealed box, that resembled that of a refrigerator and sent the rapidly decomposing corpse to Laura’s house in a dedicated truck that simply dropped the package off on her front porch. When she returned home she read the return address as, “From Hell, through Hell and back to Hell” When she opened the container the rotted vapors almost made her vomit and when she eventually managed to flip the lid open, she saw the unmistakable, eighteen year missing, young face of a young Jack Stanford’s Exotic Scents picture ID card, stapled to the forehead of the rotting corpse.

164 In a few days following Jack’s real funeral, Laura had went to Exotic Scents and secured all of Jack and Bill’s personal files, notes, samples and anything else the company didn’t know about. She sent them to Sassy to hold for safe keeping. Al continued searching for Mercedes or Kane with no results, but he did receive a letter by private carrier from Sassy that said, “Greetings fat man. We hope this letter finds you pissed off and depressed! Mercedes, Kane and I will be around to haunt your waking nightmares! Keep your chins up, and sleep with one eye open because you never know when karma may strike!” Terrance also received a letter that stated, I hope this copied video clip is to your liking and when I need your help you had better do just as my future instructions demand or your professional and personal life are finished! P.S. Keep this communication absolutely private and dump your fat friend Al or else your sexual episode will be on the evening news! Ta, Ta, Goddess. THE END

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