Welcome to another Wednesday Brief. This week we have the last of the boys past being told and so please heed the content warnings from the last two chapters.
As always all comments are welcomed, and please check out the other authors posting at the end of this chapter.
A picture or a long dirty corridor, reminiscent of an old war film.
Toby stared at the scene before him. Daniel was curled tight into Carlos’ arms. Silas was kneeling on the floor; one hand wrapped around Daniel’s ankle and the other clasped tight by Oliver who was perched on the arm of the couch. Oliver in turn had his free hand on Carlos’ shoulder. Together they formed an unbroken circle, each giving and receiving comfort from the others.
Carlos broke the silence with a snarl.
“But, where were you when they needed you? You left them there for years. You—”
“I thought they were dead!”
Toby’s anguished shout caused an instant silence to descend. Taking a deep breath Toby moved further into the room and closed the door.
“Dead?” Oliver dropped his hand from Carlos’ shoulder to turn to fully face Toby.
“Yes,” Toby affirmed. “About a year after our parents’ funeral my commander called me in for a meeting. It was unusual because I was deep under cover and was near to getting the mark where I needed him. I usually only had contact with my handler or my brothers through a secured email account—of course I didn’t know that Silas and Daniel weren’t the ones reading or responding to my emails after the funeral. I hadn’t heard from them for about a month but that wasn’t unusual.
“Anyway, I made the meeting. I then went a little mad when he told me the news that my brothers had been killed in a hit and run accident the month before. And worse, because of my mission they had waited until after the funeral to tell me. I screamed. I cried. And then I pulled myself together and got on with my job. After all what else did I have left? I took mission after mission until I finally burnt out and a government shrink signed me off.
“At the shrink’s suggestion I headed home and rented an apartment. I visited our old haunts and tried to say goodbye, but, something kept niggling at me.
“After I had been back for about a week I was leaving a local gay club when a guy grabbed me. He said, ‘Silas, you little shit. Harold’s not here to stop me taking what I want this time.’ Needless to say I wanted to know more. I allowed the jerk to drag me into an alley, then I…convinced…him to tell me everything.
“I called in a few friends and it took a long week to find out all we could about Harold Rivers and to stake out his home, looking for patterns and trying to see if we could spot Silas or Daniel.
“Finally, we made our move one night and broke in. I’ll never forget what we found…”
Daniel pushed off Carlos’ lap and Silas jumped up to run to Toby. The three of them wrapped tight round each other and Daniel whispered, “You don’t have to keep going. I think they get the idea.”
Toby shook his head. “I may as well finish this now.” He let Daniel and Silas pull him to the couch and Carlos gave up his place so the brothers could all sit down. Silas and Toby side by side and Daniel across them both.
“Terry found Silas first, I had gone in another direction. To reach them I had to go down a filthy corridor that had cells lining either side of it. Silas was locked in the last one. He was chained and gagged, and barely conscious. Sherri was our team medic and she checked him out and made sure we could move him safely. We were just about to move him when Xavier radioed to say he’d found Daniel, but that Daniel was too panicked for anyone to approach him. I could hear screaming in the background and I knew he would wake the whole house if we weren’t careful.
“I followed Xavier’s directions and as I got near the room another door banged open. A man came out half-dressed and cussing up a storm. He was muttering about the little brat getting a real beating this time. I followed him and he barged into a room to doors down. He raised his arm as he entered and I saw he was holding a whip. I ran in behind him and knocked him unconscious.
“Sherri had followed me and went straight to Daniel. She ended up sedating him so we could move him. We were nearly out the room when the jerk woke up. He pulled a knife from somewhere—I couldn’t even guess at where he had been keeping it—and tried to get up. I put two rounds in his head before following Sherri and Xavier out.”
Silence reigned over the room. Oliver and Carlos looked stunned. Daniel and Silas were cuddled into Toby. They’d heard the story before, but it never got any easier.
Carlos was the one to break the silence. “What happened to Kevin? Surely you didn’t let him get away?”
“He disappeared not long after Harold took Danny and Silas. Apparently, Harold paid over a quarter of a mill. Kevin took the money and ran. He must have known I would find out eventually and he didn’t want to get caught by the agency. I put a permanent search in place. If he turns up on CCTV, a traffic stop, or even if he tries to apply for something and is required to give fingerprints, I’ll have him.”
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