"Bennie, what's the deal with Melissa?" Clinton asked.
"She's not bad, uh?" Bennie was smiling.
He leaned in closer. The place was still pretty much empty so no one could overhear their conversation. "Don't tell me you've gone straight?"
It wasn't a real question, he knew what went on at the home. Yet still, he wanted to know if the thing between his brother and Bennie ment anything.
The boy blushed and looked a little embarrassed.
"I know you did stuff with Morgan," he added, moving back and looking at him.
"What are you doing here anyway?" Bennie changed the subject.
"I don't know if you'd believe me even if I said."
"Ah ha! That's a classic.Try me."
It was Bennie's turn to look at Clinton. He studied the guy, wondering both what Clint was up to and how he'd turned up here, with his brother, he supposed, due in the port.
Before anything could be explained Ana walked in and finding Clinton at the bar informed him Eduardo wanted him. Right away, she insisted, before turning and strolling off across the lounge. Both boys watched her exit.
"Another friend of yours?" Bennie raised an eyebrow.
"Gotta go. Catch you later," was the only reply he got.
Clinton went to find Se ñ or Philippe.
He knocked and waited for Eduardo to open the door. The man beckoned for him to come in as he continued a conversation in Spanish on the phone. Clinton looked around at the room and took in the view from the large windows. He waited for Eduardo to finish.
"We're going in an hour. You and Miguel will drive the goods from the docks."
The ship must have arrived and Morgan with it. Clinton felt a little relief, but now the next part of the game would play out, and that could be tense.
"And my brother?" he asked, which made Eduardo grimace.
"I'll take care of him," he grinned. "You take care of business and you can play happy families after."
Clinton bit his tongue. He had the urge to lash out, but made no reply."
"Okay, get out," Eduardo told him. "Wait for me in the salon, in an hour."
It was 19:05, Clinton looked at the red figures of the little digital clock. He left the room.
Picking up the phone he pressed the numbers to make the call and waited while the familiar tones played their digital tune. It rang.
"Clinton," he said, when someone picked up. "In one hour I'm supposed to pick up the consignment from the ship. I think Eduardo is coming. He mentioned taking care of Morgan when I asked."
Clinton felt nervous again. It was all coming together, but in some vague way out of his control. An uneasy feeling made him tremble involuntarily.
"The interception will be on the causeway as planned. One hour," the voice confirmed and the line went dead.
The uneasiness lay on his stomach like a weight. He felt sick, and the only thing he could think to do was calm himself with a drink. But not downstairs at the bar. He didn't want another conversation with Bennie, nor did he want to bump into Melissa. Clint opened the door to the little fridge and took out a tiny bottle of whisky. Unscrewing the cap he emptied the contents into a glass tumbler, then sat on the bed looking at the glass. He swallowed the chilled liquor.
It was dark as they crossed the causeway onto the island. The place was massive from what Clinton saw, but mostly a vast expanse of tarmac with few buildings other than open hangars. Eduardo pulled up at the far end of the quay. He recognised the colours and shape of the Bombomo and stared up at it through the glass window. A figure stood watching at the top of the metal stairs, flood lights cast their broad swathes of light over the quayside.
"Get out," Eduardo commanded impatiently.
As he closed the door behind him, he watched the car make a broad U turn and drive away.
Clinton climbed the steps and was met at the top by Gregoire and Miguel.
"You go with Miguel," Gregoire told him. "And follow him out of the port."
"Where is Morgan?" Clinton asked.
"Don't worry, you'll see him when you get back."
But Clinton was worried. Still, if the plan worked out he should be back here quickly. Only Eduardo had disappeared and he had no way of knowing where.
"I thought Eduardo was supposed to take care of this?" Clinton tried to make out Gregoire's expression in the dim light.
"I'll take care of him," he said.
Miguel was looking at him, gesturing him to follow, which left no choice other than to go back down the steps after him. He led Clinton to two white vans parked near the ship. Miguel handed him the keys and got into the first vehicle.
Eduardo entered the warehouse and walked across the empty space towards the two boys. Morgan looked at the figure approaching. Javier could see nothing, tied face down on the cross. It seemed a long time before Eduardo was standing near enough for Morgan to recognise him. He walked up close to Morgan and smiled. It appeared to Morgan like a wicked smile and he shivered at the touch of the palm of Eduardo's hand on his bare skin.
Eduardo turned away and Morgan watched him move over to Javier. The boy strained to see what was happening and who was there, but he could not see. The man bent down behind Javier and picked something up. Javier felt something touching his skin, sliding down his back and across his buttocks. Whoever was behind him, was playing with him. Nothing was said.
The two vans sped through the deserted docks, past idle cranes, hangars, and almost empty car parks next to the odd building which were all dark. It must have been around ten o'clock and there was practically nobody about.
The van in front of him came screeching to a halt halfway across the bridge. Clinton slammed his foot on the brake as he saw the red lights in front of him and watched the leading van swerve. Flashing blue lights appeared in both mirrors. This was it.
"Turn off your motor and get out of the vehicle!" The message was load and clear. The flashing lights reflected off the water on each side of the road. There was no escape. He watched as Miguel got out of his van and he did likewise.
"On the ground! Hands behind your head!"
His heart was beating fast and loud, thumping in his chest. He was pushed to the ground, cuffed and yanked up onto his feet. They were both hauled away. Clinton saw Miguel shoved into a police car, it's lights flashing wildly. He felt a hand on his head as he was pushed into another car.
They sped away through the chaos around them, lights flashing, sirens blaring.
Morgan was screaming as Eduardo prodded him sending electric shocks through his body. He struggled, swaying in his harness, but unable to escape. The phone rang. It was incongruous, A metallic ringing became the only sound in the empty building. Eduardo stopped the torture and moved away. The ringing stopped. Morgan strained to see what was happening and thought Eduardo must have been called away. He saw him moving quickly and heard a door sliding open.
"Javier!" he called out, "you okay?"
"I think so," came a nervous reply.
They were still trapped, tied up naked. There was still no way to break free. What if he comes back? The idea horrifled him, but there was nothing he could do.
"You alright?" Javier shouted.
They both heard the footsteps, but it sounded like more than one person. Morgan was scared and Javier was trembling. Someone ran towards him.
Morgan breathed a sigh of relief. "Clint! Jesus! Thank god!"
"Got here as soon as I could. Are you okay?"
Morgan nodded. Clinton looked quickly over at Javier where the two men who had accompanied him to the warehouse were untying the boy. He got to work releasing his brother. Then he helped Morgan to his feet and looked around for his clothes. Clinton noticed some marks on his brother's body and on Javier as well.
It wasn't difficult to imagine what might have gone on before they got there, he only hoped things hadn't gone too far, but it did seem they had arrived in the nick of time. The men who had accompanied Clinton wanted to know if Eduardo was in the warehouse and how long ago he might have left.
"Stay here and someone will come and pick you up" the younger of the two told Clinton.
They left them, having made sure there were no serious injuries, and rushed out of the building.
"Launch the fucking boat!" Eduardo shouted at Gregoire, but the man didn't move.
They were standing facing each other on the open deck next to the container hold which was now empty.
"Do as he says," The Captain's voice boomed out as he climbed down from the bridge.
Eduardo waited impatiently, his hand on the weapon in his jacket pocket. As The Captain arrived next to them Eduardo pulled out the semi-automatic pistol and pointed it at Gregoire.
"Launch the boat," The Captain repeated, ignoring the gun pointing in their direction. "It's loaded with the goods," he told Eduardo.
Gregoire turned and pulled the release lever. The boat swung out over the side of the ship. Eduardo carefully clambered in, still pointing the gun at Gregoire. The Captain didn't move, he watched the scene play out. They could hear sirens approaching and the white light from the the flood lighting was tinged with a flashing blue. Gregoire hit the large green button and the boat started to descend towards the water.
"You can tell the colonel to go to hell," Eduardo shouted up at them.
The Captain pulled Gregoire back from the side of the ship. "Leave it. Let him go. He made his getaway at gun point. Got it?"
Gregoire frowned, but being rational he knew The Captain was making sense. The sirens and flashing lights arrived at the ship and several uniformed men with helmets and heavily armed came charging up the steps. The Captain watched the boat launch and speed away out towards the ocean. At the same time they heard the sound of rotor blades as a helicopter swung over the ship, it's search beam highlighting the deck and picking them out.
"US Customs!" the voice bellowed through a loudhailer.
Clinton, Morgan, and Javier were ushered into a car outside the warehouse. Morgan and Javier slid into the rear seat, Clinton took the front. The journey out of the port was silent, the boys staring out the windows into the night . They sped across the causeway, past a couple of police vehicles, the only remaining sign that anything had happened.
It didn't take long before they pulled up outside the hotel. Clinton was surprised, thinking they would be taken to a police station or something, but as he thought about it things became a little clearer. Perhaps not all these guys were from the DEA. Anyhow, he couldn't think about that right now. What was important was Morgan.
"We'll need to see you in the morning," the driver told them as he dropped them off. "Don't go anywhere."
Clinton thought that was kind of funny. Where were they going to go?
They entered the lobby and went up to Clinton's room. Javier asked to take a shower, Morgan flopped down in an armchair, looking around at the plush hotel suite.
"Nice," he said.
Clinton turned towards his brother. "I know you remember, we talked about it a while back."
Morgan looked curiously at Clinton, "what?"
"It was years ago, but that girl in the red polka dot dress, Melissa, is here, so is Bennie. I don't know what any of that means for you Morgan. I guess we've got a chance, I know I've got a plan."
"Clint, you've always got a plan," Morgan smiled.
That was true, but only one thing was certain, Morgan had Clinton, Clinton Morgan, and for both that was more than most.
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