Chapter 12

Simon’s car came skidding to a halt in the round about in front of the North Tower entrance.  The entire area was covered by the shadow of the towers.  Jumping out of his new Jaguar, his third in as many years, after having to replace the last one that replaced the one Ellis drove into the Marina, Simon ran toward the Lobby doors, almost pulling it off its hinges.

He spotted the Piper called Paulson and ran to him.


Paulson shook his head as he pulled out his gun and popped the clip.  They split up, circling the large lobby area as Vivienne finally came out of the emergency stairs.  Walking directly to her, he felt her wave of fear, excitement, and intense curiosity.

“What did he look like?”

“Black hair, blue eyes, fucking thin.  Couple inches shorter than you?”

Simon put his hands on her shoulders and listened to her heartbeat.  It was racing, but then so was the baby’s.  “Go sit down, you’re stressing the baby out.”

Viv instinctively put her hands on her small baby bump and nodded.  JT rushed back, spitting a bullet out into his hand.

“What are you doing?” Simon asked, watching him put the bullet back in the clip.

“You can mark?” Viv asked, raising her eyebrows.

Simon didn’t know what that meant, other than the obvious definition of the word.  “We don’t want him dead.”

Paulson smiled, “I’ll just wing him then.”

Then the fire alarm began to blare, bells going off in the Lobby and throughout the entire building on every single floor.

“Smart,” Viv said with a grin.  “Eyes on the door, he’s just going to walk out.”

“He has to come out this way.  You check the bathroom?”

JT shook his head and spun around, looking toward it as a crowd of people began to flood the Lobby, coming out of the stairwell.  Both he and Paulson stood at least fix foot four, the Piper a smidge taller, so they spun around, scanning the crowd.

“There!” Viv pointed toward the front doors and Simon turned, just in time to see Kyle Evans run out.




JT and Simon surged toward the door, but not without the both of them telling Viv to exit and stay put.  She waved them off with a put out look, but made her way toward the door slowly behind them.  They pushed through the crowd of people, making it to the door a good twenty seconds behind the man.  Reaching out, they pushed out the door and broke off into a run.

Holding his gun in his hand, JT scaled the bushes lining the front walk as Simon blurred out in front of him.

LT chirped into his ear, “Charlie is secured.  JT you all right?”

“Roger that,” he said as he leaped over a car in front of the street leading up to the Towers.  He had caught a whiff of the man in the stairwell – sweat, something like ink, and salt water rekindled the memory in his head.  Simon had disappeared, hopefully catching up to the man.  JT took the time to stop on the sidewalk across the street and inhale deeply.

Closing his eyes, he let the smells inundate him.  Gum, motor oil, dirt…the smells floated into his mind’s eye…twisting in the other direction, JT inhaled again, tasting the air.  There!  Ink and saltwater on his tongue and he moved west toward the horizon.

“I got him, he’s heading due West,” he said into his earpiece.

“All you, JT.  Pipers in route,” Lewis said in reply.  “Quick question though.  Who, exactly, are we chasing?”

JT had no clue, but Vivienne had been adamant they stop the guy.  She was in his chain of command, so he acted accordingly until he was told to stand down.

The faint traces of the man’s scent faded, making him double back and head into a parking garage.  Running up the ramps, he tried searching for the trail, catching glimpses of it mixed in with sweat.  There was a blur as Huntington met up with him, coming down the ramps.

“He’s not up there.”

JT’s instincts told him the door and that’s where the faint scent was telling him, so he pointed toward the level door, pushing it open and readying his weapon.  Huntington went to turn right, but JT grabbed his sleeve, pointing silently in the opposite direction.  Together they ran down the hallway and onto a floor overlooking a huge arboretum.  They leaned over the side and saw the man running across it.

Simon threw his legs over the side and dropped to the floor silently as JT closed one eye and trained his gun on the man.  Clenching his jaw, he pulled the hammer back on his sig sauer and aimed for his left arm.  He squeezed off one shot and just grazed him, drawing blood but not hurting him.

Reaching up, he touched his earpiece.  “Marked.”

Dropping his gun, he tucked it back into his waistband and calmly walked back toward the parking garage.