Slaves of Vengeance by Declan Brand

EXTRACT FOR
Slaves of Vengeance

(Declan Brand)


Slaves of Vengeance

CHAPTER ONE

 

Ronald smiled as he passed through the ticket booth and entered the University Fieldhouse.

Place is lookin’ pretty good now, he told himself. It was a real shithole when I was a student!

That had been years before—when Ronald was a very different man. Hell, I believed in all that shit—truth, justice… He shook his head. The promise of America, for God’s sake!

I was a young fool. He told himself as he passed the concessions and headed for courtside. It took me way too long to figure that out. Years—decades in which he had served others for a pitiful salary. But I finally got wise. He looked around; found the row he was looking for. And now it’s time to help my friends get even. He saw his target run out onto the floor with the rest of the cheerleaders, her short skirt flapping as she ran.

Nice legs. Ronald dropped into the seat he had so carefully picked out. Just like her mom! He put his bag on the floor between his legs, squeezing the sides to make sure his kit was intact.

His fingers touched the roll of duct tape, squeezed it as he looked the girl over more carefully. Pretty face, too … Ronald’s mind went back to other hours he had spent in this place—hours in which all the really pretty girls ignored him—or worse, laughed at him. It’s because I was never one of the jock. He glanced at the basketball players huddling around their coach. I was just another nerd…

That was then; that had become his mantra as soon as he walked onto the University Campus. I’m different now, he let a smile cross his face, in ways those shmucks could never imagine. He turned away from the players and took the time to really study the target. Shorter than I would have thought she’d be. He ran an appraising eye over her. Good figure, he noted her jutting bust line. Wonder if she pads her bra? He smiled and noted her hair--nearly black in the harsh lighting that illuminated up the hardwood floor of the court. Briefing said that her sister’s got a completely different look—tall and blonde. He watched with some interest as she sank to her knees behind her team’s goal. Not too bad. A grin spread across his face. Pretty graceful for someone with no training. He touched the bag again, thinking of starting that training—then pulled himself upright. Don’t attract attention, he glanced to his right—the bleacher seats there were filled with college kids and their parents—not one paying the slightest bit of notice to the average-looking man seated alongside them. Don’t give them anything to remember. He turned to the left; saw a young girl staring at him. Nothing at all. He smiled at her, looked straight into her eyes and waited for her to turn away. Forget about them. He forced his gaze onto the court. Watch the game—can’t do anything at all until half-time anyway!

Typically, the game started slowly, with both teams playing tentatively, feeling one another out. It wasn’t long before there was a stoppage in play. That was when the cheerleaders ran from beneath the net to the sidelines and began one of their dance routines.

As planned, Ronald’s target ended up performing directly in front of him.

Very nice. He watched her sway to the blaring music, hips swinging invitingly from side to side as her breasts heaved and jiggled beneath the thin cloth of her uniform top. Very nice indeed. He smiled at the dark girl as she gyrated in front of him. I think this might turn out to be fun!

 

***

 

A few dozen blocks uptown, Jake Brown slumped in his car seat, sipping a cup of coffee and listening to the radio. To any passerby, he was a tired motorist having a drink before heading home—but Jake wasn’t tired—and he wasn’t getting ready to head home—at least, not quite yet…

She should be home any time now. He glanced at his watch. Sheet says she’s never more than ten minutes late getting back from her shift. His gaze returned to the second-floor window of the brownstone across the street. My brother should be in position by now. He took some more coffee. He’ll give the bitch a real surprise when she gets home. A smile crossed his lips. That’ll be right around the same time as little sister’s game breaks for the half. He rolled his shoulders, making sure they weren’t stiff. And if Ronald does his part, we’ll all be on the way back to the barn by nine thirty…

He allowed himself a brief smile. Only this time, we’ll have some company…

 

***

 

Todd Brown—Brownie to his friends—was sitting in a comfortable chair in the target’s living room, absently stroking the silky fur of the target’s pet cat. Brownie had a way with cats--they took to him on first sight. He liked that trust—and loved the way their fur felt. A nice purr helped—it made him feel secure, loved. He would make sure he shut this one in the bedroom when Jake signaled the arrival of the target. Wouldn’t do to have the poor cat get stepped on—or run into the hall where anything might happen.

He smiled as the cat purred and rolled over to present its belly for a rub. Target should be along any time now. He ran his close-clipped nails over the cat’s belly, rubbing it in all the right places. Any time…

 

***

 

Sarah Jane always tried to pick out a man in the audience and aim her considerable sexual attractiveness directly at him. She knew that some would consider it cock-teasing—but she found it gave her an extra thrill to see some stodgy businessman or pimple-faced underclassman try to hide an erection caused by her movements.

Tonight she had zeroed in on a slender and non-descript fellow in the first row. He was clearly not a college student—a little too old for that—but she had noticed him watching her when the game started—now she was going to give him something worth looking at!

Okay old man, she grinned as she positioned herself for the start of the cheer routine. Let’s see how you handle this!

The music started—and Sarah Jane fell into the dance routine. Most of it was quite primal—hip-swinging, some bumps and grinds, and a lot of booty shaking.

She was very good at the latter.

She kept her eyes fixed on her target. She had expected him to look away nervously when she began—instead, he had leaned forward, watching her every move as if he were planning to critique her performance—not embarrassed in the slightest by her suggestive moves and youthful beauty. More to him than I thought, she told herself. Well, then…

Sarah Jane smiled widely and redoubled her efforts,

Two minutes later the horn sounded and Sarah Jane, a light coat of perspiration covering her bare midriff, tossed her ass one more time and pranced away behind the other cheerleaders. She kept her eyes on the lean man—and noticed that he touched the canvas bag that was under his seat as she moved away.

 

***

 

Kristen was tired as she came up the stairs from the subway. Long day! She thought. Metro is so much busier than traffic! Her new assignment to Metro had come very fast, probably owing to a little gentle persuasion from Mom. I should talk to her about that. Kristen turned the corner and headed down the street toward the brownstone that held her apartment. Don’t want to get a rep for leaning on her too often...

Still, she liked the hustle and bustle of Metro—and the possibility of quickly moving up the ladder. If I’m careful and work hard, I can take the detective’s test in a year or two… She thought about getting the gold badge. Then we’ll see just how far a girl… She snorted to herself. A woman can go in this department!

A rustle of movement to her left caught her attention and she half-turned in time to see a smallish man open the trunk of his car. Does he have a flat? The wheels on the traffic side seemed fine. Should I ask if he needs help? She thought about it for a split-second, then shook her head. No. She turned right--onto the stoop of her building. I’m too tired for that right now! She glanced back at the man. Besides, he’s not good-looking enough to go to the trouble!

As usual, the stairs creaked as she made her way to her third-floor apartment. Wish they’d get the damn elevator going! She knew that going up and down the stairs helped keep her in shape—but it was a bitch carrying her groceries up three flights! Don’t even think about it now. She sighed. Just get inside and into the bathtub. She flexed her left shoulder. She’d spent half her shift pulling records from a formerly-inactive case that had suddenly become hot. A box full of old papers had slipped off a shelf and she’d wrenched her shoulder trying to catch it. Should have let it fall. She told herself as she rubbed the sore spot. Still, a little hot water’ll make it feel better. She grinned. As long as it comes with a shot of brandy!

She put her key into the lock and stepped into the dark room. “Sally?” The cat was usually waiting for her when she walked in. “Where are you, girl?”

There was a soft meow from the direction of the bathroom. Damn! Kristen put her bag down on the table alongside the door and stepped in that direction. Did I accidentally lock her in? She took one long step. I hope she hasn’t made a mess…

An arm grabbed her from behind, one arm going around her waist, pinning her right arm in the process--the other covering her nose and mouth.

 

***

 

At almost the same time moment, the horn signaling halftime sounded in the new Fieldhouse. The players ran off the court, followed closely by coaches, managers, and the school cheerleaders.

The crowd filed out to the toilets and concession stands that surrounded the arena floor—and Ronald went with them. Once inside the rotunda area, he turned and headed to his right. His briefing package said that the cheerleaders had a room just beyond the team’s locker room. Ronald found the proper doorway and walked just past it. A pair of restrooms were just beyond, then a short curving corridor that led to the loading docks at the back of the building.

Ronald stepped into the curved area and flattened himself against one wall. He was sure he couldn’t be seen from any of the doorways, although he was in plain sight of one of the security cameras. That shouldn’t matter if Mick did his job… If he stood just so, he could just see the entrance to the lady’s restroom. If the scout report is accurate …

It was. A noise from the doorway leading to the team areas alerted him and soon Ronald heard a number of footsteps coming in his direction. He risked a glance to his side—and grinned at what he saw. Right on time! Sarah Jane and two other cheerleaders were stepping into the lady’s room, chattering happily as they went. Book said she always sneaks out for a smoke during halftime. Ronald’s grin widened. Helps her keep that girlish figure! He stayed where he was, waiting for the other girls to exit--the book also said that she was always the last to return to the locker room—anxious to take one last puff before joining her friends.

Let’s see if it’s right about that as well. Ronald hoped it was. If not, he was going to have to resort to Plan B—and while he didn’t mind the thought of grabbing a few extra cheerleaders, he did mind trying to get them past security without any help. I’d have to use the extra injectors. He touched the slim case in his pocket. Take out all three of the girls and make a break for it with the subject.

He hoped it wouldn’t come to that.

He waited a few long minutes—then heard the restroom door open. Again, he snuck a peak—and saw two of the cheerleaders go down the corridor toward the dressing/locker rooms.

The target was still inside—alone.

Ronald smiled and stepped out of the shadows. It was time to go to work…