Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Chapter 5

           The Watcher eased out from behind the tree near the gates of Sarah's house and looked after her car as it drove down the driveway faster then was safe.  Smiling, The Watcher nodded in approval.  Sarah was angry and was about to take that anger out on someone.  The smart guess would be on Jack Sheffler.  Too bad King was too disciplined to loose control.  Having Sheffler out of the picture would have made things so much easier in the long run.
           As the car's tail lights disappeared, The Watcher slipped up to the house and took a key from their pocket.  Holding the key The Watcher looked at it and wondered if in fact it would work.  The key had been obtained a long time ago.  That being said, Sarah King was almost completely lax in personal security.  An odd trait in someone working for The Company.  This house and everything in it was worth more money then could be spent in two lifetimes.  Putting the key in the lock and turning it, The Watcher felt a thrill as the lock gave way and the handle turned.  Stepping inside and locking the door behind them, The Watcher walked into the grand front foyer and looked around.  The sun had just set and a soft, gray light made it difficult to see very far.  It gave a dullness to the grander of the entryway.
              Walking quickly to the east wing, The Watcher moved with a purpose and sureness of someone who knew exactly where they were going.  Stepping into a study The Watcher looked around and thought for a minute.  The information hadn't been very clear but had been enough to make the mission move forward.  Walking around the room, The watcher tugged on gloves and started looking.  There was a safe in this room that needed to be found and gone through before King came back.  Hopefully the files that had been made up on Kirland and Sutan would be there as well.  Cursing softly The Watcher hoped those two idiots would get what was coming to them soon.
            Running hands deftly along the mantle of the fire place, The Watcher paused at the sight of a crack on the side of the moulding at one end.  Gently tugging in different directions a self satisfied smile came to their lips as a clicking sound finally indicated a lock loosening.  Looking to the right another crack in the wall had widened.  Pulling it open revealed a wall safe.  Even better, it was a simple combination safe.  Easy enough to get in to.  It was only a matter of minutes before the door opened and The Watcher shone a small flash light inside.
            The safe was broken into two shelves.  On the top shelf were a few boxes that held jewelry and a few old letters.  On the bottom were several files.  Eagerly taking the files out The Watcher flipped through them.  They were legal documents, dealing with Sarah's adoption by her aunt and uncle.  The Watcher quickly lost interest, it wasn't what they were looking for, but their eye caught a name on the last page that made them stop in disbelief.  Oh this was too good!  The Watcher smiled again, but this time it was an ugly, triumphant smile.  Taking a moment they took another look around the room and realized just how much dust was all over.  The Watcher's foot prints and hand hand prints were all over!  Swearing in frustration The Watcher took pictures of the file and put it back then started to clear away the traces of their presence in the room.  The dust was more than just a few months.  No one had been in this room in years!  Chances were King didn't even know the safe existed.  If she had ever opened it and gone through the contents, she wouldn't be working for The Company.  Touching the small camera in their pocket, The Watcher wondered just what they could get for this information.  The paper's they had originally come for but hadn't found were important, but this bit of information could be just as important.

                                ***                               ***                            ***

        "Congressman, I need you to look over the remarks for tomorrow's dinner and also you have a 6 am interview with MSNBC."  Jack took the papers handed him by Sean and started reading through the the latest version of the stump speech.
         "You know, I could give this speech in my sleep Sean." he said.
         "Probably but there are a few changes that are crowd specific.  Need to keep things personal."  Jack looked at him incredulously.
         "That's right.  Just me and seven hundred of my closest friends." he sighed.
         "Seven hundred of your closest friends with big pockets.  Shake them a little to get all the change in them."  Jack looked at Sean in surprise and smiled.  The kid was starting to get a sense of humor!  It was about time!
          "I'll take this with me to my room and look it over and call someone if I have any changes.  It's almost midnight.  How about we all try to call it an early night.  Go have some fun Sean.  I'm going to sleep."  Jack watched the young aid walk away and called after him, "And by fun, I don't mean strategizing.  Have a drink!  Talk to a normal human being about something other then the campaign."  Sean rolled his eyes and kept going.  Jack was pretty sure the kid was going to ignore him.  He was some kind of machine when it came to the campaign.  He thought Sean wanted him to win more then he did!
          Nodding to the secret service men outside his door he opened it while reading the stump speech.  Scanning it really.  He saw the few differences Sean had mentioned and made note of them.  Tossing the paper on the desk he shrugged off his suit coat and laid it on the chair.  Reaching to loosen his tie he turned around and stopped at the sight of Sarah King sitting with her legs crossed on the end of the bed.
        "Really Jack, politics are making you slow and soft." she said quietly.  He took her in from head to toe.  Her black hair was loose and wind blown but somehow perfectly framed her white face and green eyes.  She was dressed in jeans and a sweater.  A sweater he recognized as his.  For a moment he was back in Russia eight years ago with her.  They had been on a stakeout and lost the heat in the building they were in.  It wasn't winter thank goodness but it wasn't warm.  He had watched her shiver for an hour without asking for help before he pulled out the sweater from his bag and tossed it to her.  Sarah never asked for help.  She stood up and he snapped back to the present.
         "Want to tell me how you got past the boys outside?" he asked as he finished loosening his tie and turned back to the desk to pour a drink.  She paced slowly to the other side of the room, watching him like a cat watches it's prey.
         "Secret Service wouldn't think of stopping me.  I have higher clearance then you ever will as President." she said.  He offered her a drink and she shook her head.  Taking a sip himself he looked at the door and back at her.
         "You're probably right.  So, you had to have had a reason to bully your way past Tom and Bill."  he set the glass down and leaned against the desk.  "What can I do for you Sarah?"
          She paced for another minute before picking up a file on the bed.  Flipping it open she took out  several pieces of paper stapled together and handed them to him.  He took it and started looking through them.  It was the arrest file he had done on Brian Kirland.  Looking up at her he could see she had gotten even more tense.
          "Brian was part of an Irish terrorist cell over here I helped take down when I was with the CIA.  The DA couldn't make anything stick to him.  And honestly didn't try too hard.  He was low level.  Didn't know much of anything."  Sarah stopped pacing and stood staring strait at him.  Her green eyes were practically snapping with anger.
           "There is a good chance he is one of the men who kidnapped and is holding Sharon." she hissed at him.  Jack stared at her in surprise and forgot the papers in his hands, letting them fall to the ground and taking a couple steps towards her before she stopped him with a look he recognized all too well.  One more step forward would probably end with him on the ground.
           "How do you know?" he asked.  Sarah resumed pacing and Jack watched her.
           "Sam found a note Sharon wrote two years ago in a house in Baltimore.  She gave two first names and a short description and his name and Richard Suton came up as possible matches.  You took this guy down and the cell he was with.  Why the hell would these guys want Sharon?  Why would they hold her for so long without making any demands or any moves?"  Her voice rose as she spoke and Jack relaxed a little .  The louder Sarah got the less likely she was to loose control of her temper.  It was when she went quiet that he would get worried.  Jack thought back and tried to find an answer for her.
          The cell he had taken down had been a radical off shoot of the IRA.  In fact, he had gotten help from the main IRA leaders to help bring them in.  The radicals had gone farther then any attacks by the IRA.  Their general thought process was if you weren't Irish you had no right trying to influence Ireland in any way.  From what he understood, this splinter group was in favor of pushing all but the Irish from Ireland.  And by Irish, they meant full blooded and members of a Clan.  He couldn't understand the thought process then and now he was even more confused.  Sharon King was of Irish descent, but her grandparents on her mother's side had left Ireland when they were newly married.  As far as he knew, they had no connection to the IRA.
            "Sarah, I'm sorry.  I don't know.  Kirland was a kid then.  Probably pulled in off the streets to be more an errand boy then anything.  The group his cell was attached to has been completely dismantled.  Six years ago the last cell was uncovered and lead to the core group.  All those people are in jail and those who somehow made it through the trials are watched carefully."  Sarah looked at him and then sighed in frustration, sitting back on the bed and folding her arms, scowling at the floor.
           "There has to be a connection Jack!  There has to be a reason she was taken and this man is the first real lead we have had in years.  Why?  Why are they holding her and doing nothing?"  Jack walked over and carefully sat next to her, leaving plenty of space between them.  She was still tense and the last thing he wanted was to have to explain why his body guards shouldn't arrest her for assaulting him if he said the wrong thing.
            "Sarah, you have to eventually consider the very real possibility that she--" before he could finish Sarah smacked her hand over his mouth and he tensed waiting for what he expected to follow.  If only his hip weren't so stiff he could take her down.  But she didn't move and neither did he.  After a moment she took her hand away and stood up to pace again.
           "Don't say it.  She IS alive.  She has to be alive.  No, there is a reason for all of this.  This guy worked for terrorists before so the chances of him going back to familiar territory is high.  I just have to figure out who and why they took Sharon."  Jack watched her pace a few more minutes before he realized she wasn't here to take her frustration out on him.  She was here to ask him for help and was having a hard time doing it.  He almost smiled but held it in.  A smile would be bad right about now.  Instead he switched directions.
           "Does The General know you're here?"  Sarah stopped and he knew he had hit a sore spot.   "He doesn't I see.  I'm not surprised I guess.  He gave me the lecture to stay out of things.  And to stay away from you."  Sarah looked at him and this time he did smile.  She took a deep breath and let it out slowly.
            "I need your help Jack.  The General, he keeps things too compartmentalized for me right now.  I have to find Sharon.  I know she's alive and I have to find her."  Jack looked at her a moment and then nodded.
          "You don't make things easy.  Your timing could be a little better.  But I'll do what I can.  I still have contacts and I'll try to connect with them and see what I can find."  Sarah gave a small smile and sat down next to him again.
          "Will I get in the way of you winning?"  Jack smiled and shrugged.
          "A spook is running for president.  I think the secret service will get a work out like they have never had keeping up with me.  But thats who I am."  Sarah tilted her head as she looked at him curiously.
         "If that's true, why are you running for president?  Why did you go into congress?"  Jack just looked at her and smiled.
          "Maybe some day I'll tell you.  But for now, lets focus on Sharon.  Let me see what you have."  Sarah handed him the folders and he started flipping through them.  She watched him read for a moment before going to pour herself a drink.  Taking a large sip she winced as the scotch burned a trail downer throat.  She made a face.  She had never liked hard liquor but felt like she needed a drink.  Coming here she was going against The General and possibly costing Jack his bizarre run for the presidency.  But she was going to get her cousin back no matter what it took.

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