A Pawn for Malice(59)

By: Cynthia Roberts

Ayden moved fast, closing the distance between them

“Well, asshole,” Ayden spat, as he leaned over him with a look of intimidation, that made the owner swallow nervously, “you pushed him over the edge … enough so, he kidnapped a woman, and it’s more than likely he’s got her held up here.”

“Christ. I don’t need this shit. Not now. I’m supposed to open soon.”

“Well, you are fucked, unless you cooperate.”

The owner thought briefly and sent him a questioning look before answering.

“Yah, just how do you figure that?”

Bryan stepped in and answered for Ayden.

“Look. He knows your closed for business obviously. It’s our assumption he doesn’t have her in an area where your workers are, where sightseers would normally venture. He’s worked these caves long enough; he knows them better than anyone. There’s got to be chambers, once discovered and not open to the public. Do you have any idea where they might be?”

The owner nodded and then leaned to his right and slid the bottom drawer open of his desk. He pulled out a large folded paper that resembled a map and spread it open across his desk.

“There’s two chambers I’m aware of. Here and here,” he pointed. “They’re pretty accessible, if your dressed for it. “He looked up at them both and waved his hand, “not like that though. You need to come back in jeans, sweatshirt or sweater maybe, and work boots. Floors are jagged and dangerous down there.”

“Is this map clear enough for someone like us to follow.”

“Yah. I had no trouble. This point begins right off the elevator,” he indicated the spot on the map. “Only one way down, I know of. He may have an exit point from outside I don’t know about too. He was a sneaky bastard. Like you said, he’s been here long enough. Could be another chamber too, and not one of these? There’s nearly two miles of cave below ground.”

“I’ll take that, if you don’t mind?” Ayden directed.

The owner rolled up the map and handed it to him. He pulled a set of keys from the top drawer and handed those over as well.

“These will open the front door. Workers will be out of here by five. In the front office is a cabinet, where you’ll find headlamps, lanterns and flashlights. Use what you need.”

Bryan replied. “We’ll wait until dark. Thanks for your cooperation, and please, not a word to anyone.”

The owner stared at him for a moment longer than needed.

“Hey, ain’t you that Senator, whose been on the news so much?”

Bryan acknowledged with a nod.

“So, what’s your interest in all this?” The owner pressed.

“The woman he kidnapped, is a member of my staff.”


The waitress, who looked like she’d been ridden hard, shuffled to their table like it pained her to move. She set two cups of steaming, hot coffee down on the table with arthritic hands.

Sy waved her off, when she politely asked, if they wanted to order something to eat. His brusqueness certainly did not bother her any as she remarked, “Suit yourself, sonny. Makes no never mind to me.”

His coffee companion chortled at the woman’s response and blew at the hot liquid to cool it down, before taking a sip.

Sy looked around to see if anyone conspicuous was paying too much attention to them both, and was satisfied things appeared to be normal. He chose this old diner for a good reason. It was way out in East bejesus, and not a likely place where anyone would know him. There were a few late morning stragglers sucking down coffee. They looked like local farmers and delivery folk passing through.

“You hiding her, where you said?”

“You think I’m lying?” Sy snarled in reply.

“Don’t get your underwear all twisted, Corbat.” His associate snapped. “There better not be a mark on her.”

Sy didn’t like this prick … not one bit. He hated that he refused to tell Sy his name. He understood why though. Couldn’t rat out someone, if you didn’t know their name. He could give a flying fuck, if his was Tinkerbell. The guy was smooth as butter. He knew how to cover his ass. He probably made a living out of fucking people over his entire life.

The bastard didn’t mind paying him two million to get what he wanted either. He didn’t even blink, when Sy asked for it. He wanted the woman bad.

Sy still couldn’t believe his luck, when the guy first approached him outside the courtroom, after his brother was found guilty. Funny thing though, Sy never noticed him at the Courthouse one time, during the entire trial. He had to have someone sit in for him, tell him what was going on every day, and who was there. How else would he have known?